Why There Are Words wants you to name the theme. Join us March 13th when the following readers will read from their works. Listen closely and decide the evening’s theme. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. Studio 333 in Sausalito.
Kirstin Chen is the author of Soy Sauce for Beginners. A former Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing, she holds an MFA from Emerson College and a BA from Stanford University. She has received awards from the Sewanee and Napa Valley Writers Conferences. Her short stories have appeared in Zyzzyva, Hobart, Pank, and others, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best New American Voices anthology. She was born and raised in Singapore and currently lives in San Francisco, where she’s at work on her second novel, set on a tiny island off the coast of southern China in 1958.
Adrianne Harun‘s prize-winning short fiction, essays, and book reviews have been published in numerous magazines and journals, including Story, the Chicago Tribune, Narrative Magazine, Ontario Review, The Sun, Willow Springs, and Colorado Review. Her first novel is A Man Came Out of the Door in the Mountain (Penguin Books, February 2014). Her short story collection, The King of Limbo (Houghton Mifflin), was a Sewanee Writing Series selection and a Washington State Book Award finalist. Stories from an upcoming collection have been noted as “Distinguished Stories” in both Best American Mystery Stories (2003) and Best American Short Stories (2009). She is also a member of the core faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshops, an MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University, as well as a faculty member at the Sewanee School of Letters at the University of the South. She lives with her husband in Port Townsend, Washington.
David Haynes is the author of seven novels for adults and five books for younger readers. He is an Associate Professor of English at Southern Methodist University where he directs the creative writing program. He teaches regularly in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and has taught in the MFA Programs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Hamline University, and at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, and at the Writers’ Garret in Dallas. His teaching interests include gender, class, race, and generational differences – all themes that he explores in great depth in A Star in the Face of the Sky, his most recent novel. He received a fellowship from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and several of his short stories have been recorded for the National Public Radio series “Selected Shorts.” In 1996 Granta magazine named him as one of the best young American novelists. For fifteen years David served as a teacher in urban schools, mostly teaching middle grades in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and was involved in the work of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, coordinating efforts of the nation’s finest educators to develop standards in the fields of social studies, vocational education, early childhood education and for teachers of students whose first language is not English. He is currently a director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and is the Founder and Project Director for Kimbilio.
Maria Hummel is the author of the poetry collection House and Fire, winner of the 2013 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, and two novels: Motherland (Counterpoint, 2014) and Wilderness Run (St. Martin’s, 2003). Her poetry and prose have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Narrative, The Sun, and The Believer. Her work was also featured in the 2012 Pushcart Prize anthology and the centenary anthology The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine. A former Stegner Fellow in Poetry, Hummel teaches at Stanford University.
Michael Nava, a third-generation Californian of Mexican descent, is the author of an acclaimed series of crime novels featuring Henry Rios, a gay Latino criminal defense lawyer. Published between 1986 and 2000, each new novel was greeted with greater critical acclaim until, about the last novel, Rag and Bone, the New York Times reviewer wrote simply: “Nava is one of our best.” The series won six Lambda Literary Awards. In 2001, Nava received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in gay and lesbian literature. For the last 15 years, Nava has been working on a series of novels loosely inspired by the life and times of silent film star Ramon Novarro, a Mexican national who fled his homeland as a teenager during the Mexican Revolution and became one of the great stars of the silent era, known most memorably for his role in the original Ben Hur. The City of Palaces is the first novel in the series and is set in Mexico City just before and at the beginning of the Revolution of 1910.
Ethel Rohan is the author of two story collections, Goodnight Nobody and Cut Through the Bone, the latter named a 2010 Notable Story Collection by The Story Prize. She is also the author of the chapbook, Hard to Say. Her e-book, a short memoir titled His Heartbeat in my Hand, is forthcoming from Shebooks in 2014. Winner of Ireland’s 2013 Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award, her work has or will appear in The New York Times, World Literature Today, PEN America, Tin House Online, BREVITY Magazine, and The Rumpus, among many others. A former book reviewer for New York Journal of Books, she received her MFA in fiction from Mills College. Raised in Dublin, Ireland, she lives in San Francisco where she is a member of The Writers’ Grotto and PEN USA.
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 into its fifth year.
May 13, 7 PM at Studio 333. $5 gets you in. The theme is Complications. You know what those are. So do the authors who’ll be reading. Come and hear theirs.
Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs, and far too many books as Lemony Snicket, including the forthcoming 13 Words, a collaboration with Maira Kalman. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and child.
Tony DuShane is the author of Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk, a novel loosely based on his life growing up a Jehovah’s Witness. Vanity Fair picked it as a Hot Type title for March 2010. He lives in San Francisco’s Tenderloin and writes for lots of publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, Mother Jones, and SFGate.com. He hosts the radio show Drinks with Tony and DJs at bars and clubs around San Francisco. He uses Wild Hair Moustache Wax and is obsessed with the World’s Strongest Man Competition.
Lori Ostlund’s first collection of stories, The Bigness of the World, received the 2008 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by the University of Georgia Press in October 2009. She was one of six emerging women writers chosen to receive a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award in 2009. Her stories have appeared in New England Review, The Georgia Review, and The Kenyon Review, among other journals. She teaches developmental English and story writing at The Art Institute of California-San Francisco and is currently at work on a novel and a second story collection.
Christina Sunley was born in New York City, raised on Long Island, and has lived for the past twenty years in the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended Wesleyan University, got a BFA in Film from New York University, and received her Masters in English/Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Christina’s short fiction has appeared in a variety of literary journals. She was a writer-in-residence at Klaustrið (The Monastery), a stone farmhouse in a remote area, near where her grandfather had lived. The Tricking of Freya is her first novel, about which Publishers Weekly (starred review) said “”This grand coming-of-age-novel boasts a dynamic set of characters and a rich bank of cultural and personal lore, making this dark, cold family tale a surprisingly lush experience.” Christina also works full-time in the nonprofit sector.
Bora Reed was born in Seoul, Korea, and grew up in Southern California. In 2002, she left her job in campus ministry, went to writing school, and started working on a novel set in the Korean War. In 2006, she was privileged to travel to North Korea with her father, who left Pyongyang in 1950 as a war refugee. North Korea, then and now, remains one of her enduring interests. To support her writing habit, Bora now works as an editor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She holds a MFA from Warren Wilson College and a MA in Theology from the Graduate Theological Union.
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Ethel Rohan now lives in San Francisco. She received her MFA in fiction from Mills College, CA. While there, she was awarded both a Dean’s Undergraduate Merit Scholarship and an Alumni Graduate Merit Scholarship. Her work has or will appear in Storyglossia, Keyhole 9, The Emerson Review, Los Angeles Review, and Potomac Review, among many others. She blogs at her website.