Ch-ch-ch-changes, make that Transition. That’s our theme for June 13. What will remain the same at Why There Are Words is the quality of the readers. Join us for the following writers and authors reading from their works. Doors open at 7 pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. You’ll want extra cash for books and booze.
Melanie Abrams is the author of the novel Playing. She teaches creative writing at UC Berkeley and received her MFA from UNC Greensboro. Her novel has been translated in Italian, French, German, and Hebrew.
Jon Boilard was born and raised in Western Massachussetts. He has been living in Northern California since 1986. More than 50 of his short stories have been published in literary journals in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. A River Closely Watched is his first novel, which has been shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award.
Seth Harwood’s new novel In Broad Daylight (Thomas & Mercer) features a new character for him, FBI agent Jess Harding. In the novel, she chases a vicious serial killer’s bloody trail across the summer planes and white nights of Alaska. He has also published three other crime novels—Young Junius, This Is Life, and the bestselling Jack Wakes Up – as well as a collection of stories, A Long Way from Disney. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches creative writing at Stanford and CCSF. Serialized versions of his work as free audio podcasts have been downloaded over one million times via iTunes, Podiobooks and at his website.
Jen Michalski is the author of the novel The Tide King (Black Lawrence Press, 2013), the short story collections From Here (Aqueous Books 2013) and Close Encounters (So New 2007), and a collection of novellas, Could You Be With Her Now 2013). She is the founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww, a co-host of The 510 Readings, and also is the editor of the anthology City Sages: Baltimore, which Baltimore Magazine called a “Best of Baltimore” in 2010. She lives in Baltimore and tweets here.
Vicente R. Viray’s writing has appeared in the Greensboro Review, California Northern, Stymie: A Journal of Sport & Literature, Chelsea Station, Tattoo Highway, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco. He lives in San Francisco with his partner Paul and is currently working on a short story collection.
Jon Wells is a designer, writer, and filmmaker living in Mill Valley. In his life he has been a soldier, a Marine, a mountaineer, a rock climber, a white water kayaker and a sailor. His film, At the Epicenter of the Epidemic, concerning the HIV/AIDS crisis in Honduras was accepted at the Tiburon International Film Festival. He is an alum of the Squaw Valley Community of writers. He Died All Day Long is his first novel.
Rob Yardumian received his MFA from Warren Wilson College in 1997. The Sound of Songs Across the Water is his first novel. His short fiction has been published in The Southern Review, The New Orleans Review, The Antioch Review, The Madison Review, Sycamore Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, and Porcupine Literary Arts. Before receiving his MFA, Rob spent ten years in the music business, including stints as director of marketing for a record label and creative director for a publishing company. Currently, he lives in Portland, OR.
Mariah K. Young was born in San Leandro, and spent her childhood in the East Bay and in Lahaina, Hawai’i. She graduated with an English degree from California State University East Bay, where she won the inaugural RV Williams fiction prize. Her first short story collection, Masha’allah and Other Stories, received the James D. Houston Award in 2012, honoring books by writers whose voices reflect humane values and a thoughtful literary exploration of California, Hawai’i, and the West. Mariah currently lives and teaches writing in Los Angeles, and is hard at work on a novel.
Why There Are Words celebrated its third year in January 2013, takes place every second Thursday of the month, and is the brainchild of curator Peg Alford Pursell.
Gabriel Blackwell is the author of Shadow Man: A Biography of Lewis Miles Archer and Critique of Pure Reason, a collection of essays and fictions. His work has appeared in Conjunctions, Tin House, Puerto del Sol, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. He is the reviews editor of The Collagist and a contributor to BIG OTHER.
Laura E. Davis is the author of the chapbook Braiding the Storm (Finishing Line Press). Her poem “Widowing” won the 2012 Crab Creek Review Poetry Contest, judged by Dorianne Laux. Other poems and reviews are featured or forthcoming in Mason’s Road, Right Hand Pointing, The Rumpus, A-Minor, Super Arrow, and Redactions, among others. She is the founding editor of Weave Magazine, and teaches poetry writing, translation, and recitation in San Francisco, where she lives with her partner, Sal.
Steve De Jarnatt grew up in the small logging town of Longview, Washington. He attended Occidental College, graduated from The Evergreen State College, and recently completed the Creative Writing MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles after a long career as a writer and director in film and television. He counts among other credits the indie cult film, “Miracle Mile.” His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Meridian, The Cincinnati Review, The Santa Moncia Review, The Best American Short Stories 2009, and New Stories from the Midwest.
Valerie Fioravanti is the author of Garbage Night at the Opera, winner of the 2011 Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. Her fiction, essays, and prose poems have appeared in many literary journals, including North American Review, Cimarron Review, and Hunger Mountain. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Creative Writing, and is at work on a novel set in Italy. She teaches in private workshops in Sacramento and as a writing coach, and runs the award-winning reading series Stories on Stage.
Anne Galjour is an award-winning playwright and actor. Her playwriting credits include the upcoming world premiere of Turtles & Alligators, a Cajun Kitchen Comedy at the Bayou Playhouse in Spring 2013; Bird in the Hand; Okra; and The Queen of the Sea. Her solo performance credits include You Can’t Get There from Here, Hurricane Mauvais Temps, Alligator Tales, and The Krewe of Neptune. Awards for her work include the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award – Best Original Script; the Will Glickman Playwriting Award and Bay Area Theater Critics Award – Best Original Script; theAmerican Theatre Critics Association Osborn Award for Emerging Playwright; the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle – Best Solo Performance; the S.F. Solo Mio Festival – Outstanding Solo Artist; and the S.F. Bay Guardian “Goldie” for outstanding performance artist. She is a lecturer in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University.
Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs, and Why We Broke Up, recently awarded a Michael L. Printz Honor. As Lemony Snicket, he is the author of far too many books for children, including Who Could That Be At This Hour?, the first volume in his new series, All The Wrong Questions.
Arisa White is the author of the debut collection Hurrah’s Nest, the 2012 winner of the San Francisco Book Festival Award for Poetry. She is a Cave Canem fellow, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an editor of Her Kind, the official blog for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Her second collection, A Penny Saved, is forthcoming from Willow Books.
Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme Ignored September 13 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. A stellar night of readings with seven incredible authors? Now that’s something you can’t ignore!
David Booth is the author Peer Participation and Software, a book about crowd-sourcing and democracy (MIT Press, 2010). His fiction has appeared in many print and online journals, including Washington Square, The Missouri Review, and The Farallon Review. David was a creative writing instructor at the University of San Francisco for 10 years. He now teaches humanities at Gateway High School in San Francisco’s Fillmore District. He has just completed the first draft of a novel called “The History of Adoption” that explores child adoption and the teaching of literacy to adolescents in the United States.
Traci Chee is an always-writer and sometimes-teacher. She has a graduate degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University and is looking forward to earning her teaching credential. In recent years her work has been published in The Big Stupid Review and ABJECTIVE. Her collection of short stories Consonant Sounds for Fish Songs is forthcoming from Aqueous Books. She lives in Northern California, where she keeps a fast dog and a weekly blog. She likes fish and ships.
Lindsey Crittenden is the author of two books: The Water Will Hold You: A Skeptic Learns to Pray and The View From Below: Stories. Her personal essays—on everything from visiting a group of lifers at San Quentin to the pitfalls of too much California sunshine—have appeared in The New York Times, Image, Real Simple, Bon Appétit, East Bay Express, and Best American Spiritual Writing. Her fiction has won national awards and been published in Glimmer Train, Bellingham Review, Quarterly West, and other publications. She teaches writing at UC Berkeley Extension and through the Glen Online, blogs weekly, and is at work on a novel.
Erich Origen is a New York Times bestselling humorist. His first book, Goodnight Bush, which he co-created with friend Gan Golan,a bedtime story about the Bush Administration, became a breakout hit in 2008, and the book’s words were sung by jubilant choirs across the country. His second book (also created with Golan), The Adventures of Unemployed Man, a superhero parody about the economic crisis, was an international bestseller and one of the best-reviewed graphic novels of the year. The duo’s latest book is Don’t Let the Republican Drive the Bus! Origen has a special connection to this book’s soul: His mother was a charter bus driver whose livelihood was devastated by Republican union-busting. He studied film and television at the University of Southern California, where he won the Bernard Kantor Award for Academic Excellence. You can follow his blog here.
Caroline Paul is the author of Fighting Fire, a memoir of her career as a San Francisco firefighter, and East Wind, Rain, an historical novel that takes place on the Hawaiian island of Niihau at the start of World War II. Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology will be published in April 2013.
Sarah Stone is the author of the novel The True Sources of the Nile and co-author of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly, The Future Dictionary of America, the Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers, Dedicated to the People of Darfur: Writings on Fear, Risk, and Hope, and A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, among other places.She has taught in Seoul, in Bujumbura, at San Francisco State University, at the University of California, Berkeley, and in the MFA in Writing and Consciousness, first at New College of California and later at California Institute of Integral Studies. She teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
Rebecca Wilson is the author of the memoir A House with No Roof —After My Father’s Assassination, A Memoir, (Counterpoint Press, 2011), with an introduction by Anne Lamott. She was born in San Francisco and raised in Bolinas, California. She graduated from Scripps Women’s College Phi Beta Kappa and traveled to Scotland on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. During her time in Scotland she published her first book, Sleeping with Monsters: Conversations with Scottish and Irish Female Poets.