Why There Are Words presents a delectable assortment of delicious readings from the following authors on the theme of “Sweet.” Join us for the lusciousness on December 11, 2014, at Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.
Hugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press). Bird poems have appeared in such places as Spork, Fence, Denver Quarterly and Ping-Pong. He teaches writing at California College of the Arts, where he edits the journal Eleven Eleven.
Brian Komei Dempster‘s debut book of poetry, Topaz, was published by Four Way Books in 2013 and received the 15 Bytes 2014 Book Award in Poetry. He is editor of From Our Side of the Fence: Growing Up in America’s Concentration Camps (Kearny Street Workshop, 2001), which received a 2007 Nisei Voices Award from the National Japanese American Historical Society, and Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement (Heyday, 2011). He is a professor of rhetoric and language and a faculty member in Asian Pacific American Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he also serves as Director of Administration for the Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies.
Cassandra Dunn is the author of The Art of Adapting (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), which Publishers Weekly called “a lively, engaging, and heartfelt tale of learning how to cope with change.” She received her MFA in creative writing from Mills College. She was a semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She’s published twelve short stories.
Rita Gardner is the author of the memoir The Coconut Latitudes (She Writes Press, September 2014). She grew up on her expatriate family’s coconut farm in the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Living in a remote coastal village, she was home-schooled and began writing, reading, and painting at an early age. She returned to the U.S. to finish school and later moved to Northern California where she follows her passions—writing, traveling, trail hiking, and photography. Her published essays, articles, poems, and photographs have appeared in literary journals, travel magazines, and newspapers. She has been awarded writing residencies at Hedgebrook and Lit Camp.
Glen David Gold is the author of the novels Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside. He has written essays, short stories and journalism for McSweeney’s, Playboy, and Zyzzyva, and comic books for DC and Dark Horse. He’s written episodes of Welcome to Night Vale and The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
Susan Ito is the author The Mouse Room, a SheBooks memoir. She co-edited the literary anthology A Ghost At Heart’s Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption (North Atlantic Books). She is a creative nonfiction editor at the online literary journal Literary Mama, and her work has appeared in Growing Up Asian American, Choice, Hip Mama, The Bellevue Literary Review, Making More Waves and elsewhere. She has performed her solo show, The Ice Cream Gene, around the United States. She writes and teaches at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, at UC Berkeley Extension, and the MFA Program at Bay Path College.
Claudia Long is a highly caffeinated, terminally optimistic married lady who writes about early 1700’s Mexico and modern day and Roaring Twenties California. She practices law as a mediator for employment disputes and business collapses, has two formerly rambunctious–now grown kids, and owns four dogs and a cat. Her first mainstream novel was Josefina’s Sin, published by Simon & Schuster in 2011. Her second, The Duel for Consuelo (Booktrope, 2014) is about the Crypto-Jews of Mexico in 1711 and the last gasps of the power of the Inquisition. She grew up in Mexico City and New York, and now lives in California.
Elizabeth Rosner is a bestselling novelist, poet, and essayist living in Berkeley. Her third novel, Electric City, and her full-length poetry collection, Gravity, were both published in October 2014. Her first novel, The Speed of Light, was translated into nine languages. Short-listed for the Prix Femina, the book won several literary prizes in both the US and Europe, including the Prix France Bleu Gironde; the Great Lakes Colleges Award for New Fiction; and Hadassah Magazine’s Ribalow Prize, judged by Elie Wiesel. The book was optioned by actress Gillian Anderson, who will be making the film her directorial debut. Her second novel, Blue Nude, was named one of the best books of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her essays have appeared in the NY Times Magazine, Elle, the Forward, Hadassah Magazine, and several anthologies. She travels widely to lead intensive writing workshops, to lecture on contemporary literature, and to visit with book groups. Her book reviews appear frequently in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Robert Thomas’ latest book, Bridge, is a work of fiction published by BOA Editions. His first book, Door to Door, was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as winner of the Poets Out Loud Prize and published by Fordham University, and his second book, Dragging the Lake, was published by Carnegie Mellon. He has received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and won a Pushcart Prize. Robert lives with his wife in Oakland.
Zarina Zabrisky is the author of two short story collections, Iron and A Cute Tombstone, the novel We, Monsters, and a book of collaborative poetry and art, Green Lions, co-written with Simon Rogghe. Her work has been published in six countries. She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a recipient of a 2013 Acker Award.
Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay, the South Bay–everywhere–to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its fifth year.
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!
Last Thursday’s reading, themed Heat, was definitely hot. Evan Karp kindly has video.
Here’s Cara Black
Mark your calendars now for July 8, a special reading (It’s Josh Mohr’s birthday. And mine.) Readers: Josh Mohr, Glen David Gold, Jason Roberts, Tatjana Soli, Elissa Bassist, Anne Raeff.