Why There Are Words teams up with ZYZZYVA – the last word: West Coast writers and artists as the journal marks its 100th issue this coming spring. Join us Feb. 13 when readers recently published in the journal, along with special guest Marian Szczepanski, will read from their latest works. Doors open at 7pm. $10. Studio 333 in Sausalito.
First published in 1985, and marking its 100th issue in Spring 2014, ZYZZYVA is an acclaimed San Francisco literary institution. Counting among its contributors the likes of Po Bronson, Chitra Divakaruni, Haruki Murakami, Jim Gavin, F.X. Toole, Sherman Alexie, Molly Giles, Kay Ryan, Adrienne Rich, Raymond Carver, and many others, work appearing in ZYZZYVA has received the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award, and has been noted or included in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Essays, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading series. Editor Laura Cogan and Managing Editor Oscar Villalon have been editing the journal since 2011.
Heather Altfeld is a lecturer in the English department at California State University, Chico. Her recently completed book of poetry is The Disappearing Theatre. She has published poetry in Pleiades, ZYZZYVA, Superstition Review, The Tule Review, The Squaw Valley Review, Antique Children, Clackamas, and The New Guard.
Troy Jollimore is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Chico. He is the author of On Loyalty (Routledge), Love’s Vision (Princeton University Press), and two collections of poems: At Lake Scugog (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets) and Tom Thomson in Purgatory (Margie/Intuit House), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry.
Earle McCartney is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was awarded the Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship. He was published recently in ZYZZYVA and The Common, and holds a BA in mathematics from Williams College. He is currently at work on a novel and a collection of long stories. Earle McCartney is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and was awarded the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in 2013. His work has appeared in ZYZZYVA and the Common, and he’s currently at work on a novel and a collection of long stories.
Lori Ostlund‘s story collection The Bigness of the World (University of Georgia Press) was awarded the California Book Award, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. The recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, she lives in San Francisco.
Dean Rader’s poetry collection Works & Days (Truman State University Press) was the winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize. His most recent book is Landscape/Portrait/Figure/Form (Omnidawn). He is a professor of English at the University of San Francisco. http://www.deanrader.com
Marian Szczepanski holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and has won awards for short fiction and magazine feature writing. The granddaughter of immigrant coal miners, she grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and lived as a young child in the Jamison Coal Company house where her mother and aunts were raised. Playing St. Barbara is her first novel. She lives in Houston, Texas.
Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay — everywhere — to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong for four years.
Don’t miss Why There Are Words January 10, 2013. It’s our 3rd Anniversary and we’ll have a special reading we’re calling Pairings — tasty servings of poets and writers paired together for a delectable experience you’ll simply have to experience for yourself. As always we’ll be at Studio 333 at 333 Caledonia St., Sausalito. 7 pm. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze. Note the event will fill quickly. Come early to get a seat. Once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Julie Bruck is the author of three books of poetry, Monkey Ranch (2012), The End of Travel (1999), and The Woman Downstairs (1993). Her work has appeared in such magazines as Ms, Ploughshares, and The New Yorker, and her awards include two Gold Canadian National Magazine Awards, and the 2012 Governor General’s Award for poetry. A former Montrealer, Julie has lived in San Francisco since 1997, and has taught poetry workshops for the Writing Salon for 8 years.
Lewis Buzbee is the author of Fliegelman’s Desire, After the Gold Rush, First to Leave Before the Sun, and The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop. Steinbeck’s Ghost, his first novel for younger readers, was selected for the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Beatty Award, and was a Smithsonian Notable Book. His second middle grade novel, The Haunting of Charles Dickens, won the Northern California Book Award and was nominated for an Edgar Award. A new novel, Bridge of Time has just been published, and a new nonfiction book, Blackboard, will be published in the fall of 2013. A bookseller and publisher for over 20 years, Lewis has taught creative writing for 20 years, and is on the faculty of the MFA program at University of San Francisco.
Carolyn Cooke’s Daughters of the Revolution was listed among the best novels of 2011 by the San Francisco Chronicle and The New Yorker Magazine. Her short fiction, collected in The Bostons, won the PEN/Bingham award, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway, and has appeared in AGNI, The Paris Review and two volumes each of Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. A new collection, Amor & Psycho, is forthcoming next summer from Knopf. Carolyn teaches in the MFA writing program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
Dean Rader’s debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize. It was a finalist for the Bob Bush Memorial First Book Prize and it won the 2010 Writer’s League of Texas Book Award. His work appears in Best American Poetry 2012, and a new collection of poems that explores the convergence of poetry and painting is forthcoming later this year. Dean writes and reviews regularly for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Rumpus, and The Huffington Post. He is a professor and chair of the Department of English at the University of San Francisco, where he won the University’s Distinguished Research Award in 2011.
Melissa Stein is the author of the poetry collection Rough Honey, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. Her poems have appeared in Southern Review, Harvard Review, Best New Poets 2009, New England Review, North American Review, and many other journals and anthologies, and she has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. She is a freelance editor and writer in San Francisco.
Glen David Gold is the author of the novels Sunnyside and Carter Beats the Devil, international bestsellers which have been translated into 14 languages. He has written essays, memoir, and fiction for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, McSweeney’s, Playboy, Tin House, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He’s written comic books for DC and Dark Horse, and his essays on collecting artwork have appeared everywhere from The Believer to Yale University Press. Currently he’s working on a multi-volume memoir, and wishes to point out that his sole produced screen credit, an episode of “Hey Arnold,” is streaming on Netflix.
Matthew Zapruder is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon 2010), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in many publications, including Tin House, Paris Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Bomb, Slate, Poetry, and The Believer. He has received a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, a William Carlos Williams Award, a May Sarton Award from the Academy of American Arts and Sciences, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Currently he works as an editor for Wave Books, and teaches as a member of the core faculty of UCR-Palm Desert’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing.
Cary Tennis writes Salon.com’s advice column “Since You Asked.” He also leads writing workshops and creative getaways, publishes books, performs his fiction and poetry in bars and art galleries, writes songs, plays guitar and contributes occasional pieces to magazines. He studied English literature and journalism at the University of Miami and went to grad school in creative writing at San Francisco State, but got distracted around 1980 and formed a punk/new wave band (the Repeat Offenders) and played the local joints. He “worked” as a “rock journalist” for the SF Weekly and wrote a column called “Freefall,” (and Jerry Garcia’s obit for the SF Examiner, etc). He was an aspiring fiction writer and poet who got into journalism because it was easier and quicker, and then since he was also a rock musician he got into rock journalism, which was even easier and quicker than regular journalism; and generally throughout the ’80s, he lived an idiosyncratic version of poet-and-fiction-writer-as-brilliant-urban-rebel-and-scold before settling down in 1989, quitting the booze and trying to make a legitimate go of it doing things that were neither easier nor quicker. In 2001 at Salon he took over the advice column from Garrison Keillor, whose signature column, Mr. Blue, had run from 1998 to 2001.
Since You Asked, like Mr. Blue, is long-form, high-brow but low-key, with a literary and sophisticated tone. Cary considers the advice column practiced in this way to be an epistolary art form equal in merit to fiction, poetry, and drama, and thinks it should be taught as such in schools and universities. But he’s not holding his breath. (He’s still working on the same novel he’s been working on for about 17 years now, and really believes he should send out more work to small magazines.)
You won’t want to miss this event!