Why There Are Words

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series rocks Litquake and more!

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on September 13, 2012

October is Roctober with Litquake! We have readings galore for you this month!

FIRST UP, join us for our regularly scheduled event at Studio 333 in Sausalito, October 11. 7pm. This very special show features writers from the audience who entered their names in the drawings over the months. Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. 

Rosaleen Bertolino

Rosaleen Bertolino‘s fiction has appeared in The MacGuffin, Pure Francis, Prick of the Spindle, and Southern California Review, among others. Her awards include a Marin Arts Council Individual Artist Grant.

April Eberhardt

April Eberhardt joined the literary world as head reader for Zoetrope: All-Story, a literary magazine, followed by five years as an agent with two San Francisco-based literary agencies. She holds an MBA from Boston University in Marketing and Finance, a BA from Hamilton (Kirkland) College in Anthropology and French, and a CPLF degree from the University of Paris. She divides her time between SF, New York and Paris.

Audrey Ferber

Audrey Ferber received an MFA in Writing from Mills College. Her short stories have been anthologized in Virtually Now, Eating Our Hearts Out, and An Intricate Weave. Her essays have appeared in the San Francisco ChronicleTravelers’ Tales for Women, and most recently in FRONTIERS: A Journal of Women Studies. She has written book reviews for the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle.  She is at work on a memoir about aging, marriage, and dance classes.

Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger is “The Storming Bohemian” and creator of the website “Storming Bohemia,” which has been mentioned in the New York Times for its coverage of the San Francisco literary scene. He is also the editor and lead reviewer for TheatreStorm, a regular contributor to LitSeen, and an occasional book reviewer for The Rumpus. He is also a painter, whose work can be seen online.

Alexandria Melton

Beverly Morrison

Alexandria Melton has spent over a decade writing for other folks in the advertising industry. A recent transplant to Sausalito, she has published absolutely nothing and red-lined just about everything. She has a penchant for the flagrant use of em dashes — really, and possesses truly brilliant Sharpie skills. She is tragically poor, looking for the next great hardcover.

Robert Ofsevit

Beverly Morrison has a B.A. in Creative Writing from SF State. She is a truck driver living in Petaluma with her partner of 16 years, two birds, a gecko, and a cat. She is building a collection of flash fiction stories and specializing in haiku.

Robert Ofsevit saves energy for a living, and expends energy improving his writing, sailing and drawing skills. His BA thesis was published in the Undergraduate Journal of Asian Studies, Vol V, 1991, a highpoint in his literary career.

Alison Owings

Alison Owings is author of the Indian Voices: Listening to Native Americans (Rutgers 2011), a nearly decade-long labor. It appears in paperback in November. Her previous serious books are Hey, Waitress! The USA from the Other Side of the Tray and Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich. Her previous  not-so-serious book is The Wander Woman’s Phrasebook: How to Meet or Avoid People in Three Romance Languages. She lectures and teaches about the subjects of her serious books.

Barbara Solomon

Barbara Solomon is a retired attorney, painter, and community volunteer in Marin. Her current project, a short story collection, may turn into a novel.

Townsend Walker

Townsend Walker is a writer living in San Francisco.  His stories have been published in over fifty literary journals and included in six anthologies. One story won the SLO NightWriters story contest, and two were nominated for the PEN/O.Henry Award. Four were performed at the New Short Fiction Series in Hollywood.

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 NEXT, join us for everyone’s favorite Litquake’s LitcrawlLitcrawl: Why There Are Words Presents. October 13. 7:15. (Phase 2Aldea Home, 890 Valencia Street, SF. 

Pam Houston
photo credit: Adan Karsten

Pam Houston is the award-winning author of Contents May Have Shifted, Cowboys Are My WeaknessWaltzing the CatA Little More About Me, andSight Hound. Her stories have been selected for the Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Awards, the Pushcart Prize, and the Best American Short Stories of the Century. She teaches in the graduate writing program at University of California, Davis.

Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr is the author of the novelsTermite Parade, which was an Editors’ Choice on The New York Times Best Seller List; Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine‘s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a SF Chronicle bestseller; and the brand new Damascus (October 2011).  He has published numerous short stories and essays in publications such asThe New York Times Book Review, 7×7, the Bay GuardianZYZZYVA, andThe Rumpus, among many others.  He lives in San Francisco and teaches in the MFA program at USF.

Michelle Richmond

Michelle Richmond is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Year of Fog, currently under option with Battleplan Productions; the novels No One You Know and Dream of the Blue Room; and the award-winning story collection The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress. In Fall 2012, she held the Catherine Julie Cunningham Chair at Notre Dame de Namur University. She is the founder and publisher of Fiction Attic Press.

Susan Steinberg

Susan Steinberg is the author of the story collections Hydroplane and The End of Free Love, and her third collection, Spectacle, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press. Her stories have appeared in McSweeney’s, Conjunctions, The Gettysburg Review, American Short Fiction, Boulevard, Quarterly West, Denver Quarterly, and The Massachusetts Review, and she has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a National Magazine Award. She was the 2010 United States Artists Ziporyn Fellow in Literature. She has a BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in English from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  She is Professor of English at the University of San Francisco.

Ryan Van Meter

Ryan Van Meter is the author of the essay collection, If You Knew Then What I Know Now (2011). His work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Iowa Review, The Normal School Magazine, Ninth Letter, and Fourth Genre, among others, and has been selected for anthologies including Best American Essays 2009. A recent finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, he has also been awarded residencies by The MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

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BUT WAIT, that’s not all! Come out early (you know what they say about early birds) to the Litcrawl (October 13) at  6pm to Four Barrel Coffee, 375 Valencia Street, SF for Tzara’s Hat: Five Writers, Five New Works.

Tristan Tzara knew something about the creative power of community and constraint. During a Dadaist rally in the 1920s, Tzara offered to create a work on the spot by pulling words at random from a hat. The exercise became a well-known surrealism technique, and when applied to flash fiction it works quite effectively by pulling the words from a hat at timed intervals, which must be immediately incorporated into the story being drafted. Come hear the results, at Tzara’s Hat, where five writers will read five new flash fiction works of no more than 750 words.

Peg Alford Pursell‘s fiction has appeared in the Los Angeles Review, Staccato Fiction, Annalemma, Emprise Review & others. She’s an editor & lit reading series curator.

Daniel Levin Becker is reviews editor of The Believer and the youngest member of the Paris-based Oulipo collective.

Ethel Rohan is the author of Hard to Say and Cut Through the Bone. She has published in World Literature TodayTin House Online, The Rumpus, & elsewhere.

Janey Smith is the writer of The Snow Poems (forthcoming, NAP) and Animals (Plain Wrap Press). Her writing may be found all over the internet.

Olga Zilberbourg writes fiction set in San Francisco, St. Petersburg, Russia, and places between. Her work’s appeared in Narrative MagazineSanta Monica Review, HTMLGiant, and others.

~LAST, Bonus! Join us for Litquake’s Barely Published Authors: October 6 at 7pm $5 at the door, when Nancy Au reads, as selected by Why There Are Words & North Bay Writers.

 

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Why There Are Words May 10: “Unforgotten”

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on April 19, 2012

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme Unforgotten May 10 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. Join us as these authors create another unforgettable night. That’s Why There Are Words.

 

Dan Coshnear

Daniel Coshnear is the author of Jobs & Other Preoccupations (Helicon Nine 2001), winner of the Willa Cather Fiction Award. He lives in Guerneville where he works at a group home for men and women with mental illnesses and teaches at various SF Bay Area university extension programs. He hopes to publish a new collection of stories in 2012 with Kelly’s Cove Press.

 

Rob Davidson

Rob Davidson is the author of The Farther Shore: Stories (Bear Star Press, 2012), The Master and the Dean: The Literary Criticism of Henry James and William Dean Howells, and Field Observations: Stories. He has won the 2009 Camber Press Fiction Award, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and been twice selected as the artist-in-residence at the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony. His work has appeared in Zyzzyva, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Indiana Review, The Normal School, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. Davidson teaches creative writing and American literature at CSU Chico.

 

Cheryl Dumesnil

Cheryl Dumesnil’s memoir, Love Song for Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood, will be released by Ig Publishing in 2013. Her collection of poems In Praise of Falling won the 2008 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. She is the editor of Hitched! Wedding Stories from San Francisco City Hall and co-editor, with Kim Addonizio, of Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos. Her poems have appeared in Nimrod, Indiana Review, Calyx, and Many Mountains Moving, among others. Her essays have appeared in Hip Mama, MamaZine, and Literary Mama. She is a regular contributor to Out and Around: Writing From the Crossroads of Suburbia, Parenthood, and Lesbian Life.

 

Stefanie Freele

Stefanie Freele’s newest book is the story collection Surrounded by Water (Press 53, March 2012). She is also the author of the story collection Feeding Strays. She recently won the Glimmer Train Fiction Open, and her stories are published or forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Sou’wester, Mid-American Review, Western Humanities Review, Quarterly West, The Florida Review, American Literary Review, Night Train, Edge, and Pank. She is the fiction editor of the Los Angeles Review.

 

Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler is the author of the novel Why We Broke Up, (Little and Brown, December 2011), awarded a Michael L. Printz Honor, as well as The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth , and Adverbs. He has scripted two movies, Rick and Kill The Poor, and he is working on a musical with Stephin Merritt commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company. As Lemony Snicket, he is the author of many books for children.

 

Leota Higgins

Leota Higgins has an MFA from the University of San Francisco and is currently at work on her first novel “Still Searching,” the first chapter of which has been published by Achiote Press in their debut story collection Routes.

 

 

Julia Flynn Siler

Julia Flynn Siler is the bestselling author of two works of narrative history, Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure and The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty. An award-winning journalist and former foreign correspondent, she was a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and Business Week and also wrote extensively for the New York Times. Her first book, The House of Mondavi, became a New York Times bestseller and was named a finalist for a 2008 James Beard Foundation award and a 2008 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business Reporting. Her second book, Lost Kingdom, became a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller shortly after being published in early 2012 and has won critical praise.

 

Lysley Tenorio

Lysley Tenorio is the author of the brand new debut collection of stories Monstress (Ecco Harper Collins, February 2012). His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Zoetrope: All-Story, Ploughshares, Manoa, and The Best New American Voices and Pushcart Prize anthologies. A Whiting Writer’s Award winner and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he has received fellowships from the University of Wisconsin, Phillips Exeter Academy, Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Born in the Philippines, he currently lives in San Francisco, and is an associate professor at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Why There Are Words Literary Reading: Hunger, August 11

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on July 21, 2011

What do you hunger for? Maybe the same things as our readers. Come find out. August 11, Studio 333, 7 pm. $5 gets you in the door. Bring mad money for authors’ books and drinks.

Mehri Dadgar

In 1982, Mehri Dadgar, an idealistic 22-year old, was arrested on a Tehran street for distributing pro-Democratic literature. In her memoir she tells of her narrow escape from execution and her struggle to preserve her sanity under the pressures of torture and isolation. Before immigrating to the United States in 1994, she studied art at the Art University in Tehran. Since living in America, she has exhibited her art in Canada, Sweden, England, and the United States, and received her MFA in art. She teaches at the College of Marin and Book Passage about the peaceful message common in all original scriptures including the Quran.

Alta Ifland grew up in Romania and came to the United States in 1991.  She is the author of a bilingual (French-English) book of prose poems, Voice of Ice, which was awarded the 2008 French prize Louis Guillaume, and a collection of short stories, Elegy for a Fabulous World, which was nominated for the 2010 Northern California Book Awards.  Her latest book of short stories, Death-in-a-Box, has just been released by Subito Press. In 2010 she was a fellow in fiction at the Wesleyan Writers’ Conference.

Andrew Lam

Andrew Lam is co-founder and editor of New America Media, an association of over 2000 ethnic media organizations in America. He has also contributed over 60 commentaries to NPR’s All Things Considered.  His essays have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, The LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, among many others, and in magazines such as Mother Jones, The Nation, Utne Magazine, and more. His short stories are also widely anthologized and taught in many universities and colleges. His book, Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora won the 2006 Pen American Beyond the Margins Award, and was short-listed for Asian American Literature Award. He was the first Vietnamese to put together an anthology of Vietnamese American writing in English called Once Upon A Dream: Vietnamese American Experience, in 1995. His 2010 book East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres was listed as a top ten indie book by Shelf Unbound Magazine. His next is a collection of short stories, Birds of Paradise, and is due out in 2012. Born in Vietnam, he came to the US in 1975 when he was 11 years old, earned a Master in Fine Arts from San Francisco State University in creative writing, and a BA degree in biochemistry from UC Berkeley.

 

Kate Milliken

Kate Milliken grew up in the Reagan 80s, bouncing between her father’s home in Chicago, Illinois, and her mother’s home in Santa Monica, California. Unwilling to complete high school she wrote a desperate letter of application to a small liberal arts college in Boston and was granted early acceptance. Her belief in the power of the written word then wholly solidified, she has been writing ever since. Having written for television and commercial advertising, in 2006 she completed her Master of Fine Arts in fiction at Bennington College. Her short stories have since appeared in numerous publications, including the Santa Monica Review, Fiction, the New Orleans Review, Meridian, and the Southeast Review, among others. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Tin House Summer Writing Workshops and Yaddo. Her collection of stories, If I’d Known You Were Coming, has been a finalist for the OV Books Short Story Prize, the Katherine Anne Porter Award, and the Spokane Prize. In January 2011, she received her first Pushcart Prize nomination.

 

Paul Corman Roberts

Paul Corman Roberts is the author of three collections of poems and flash fiction, most recently Neocom(muter) (Tainted Coffee Press, 2009) and 19th St. Station (FOC Chapbook Series, 2011.)  He is fiction editor for Full of Crow Online, producer of the Bitchez Brew monthly reading series, and writes a monthly column for Red Fez Magazine called Dispatches From Atlantis.  His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Instant City, The Rumpus, Sparkle and Blink. He is currently looking for a publisher for his first collection of short stories, and he once had coffee and donuts with Eldridge Cleaver. While ranting a poem in the shop, Eldridge got some donut spittle on Paul’s shirt. Contrary to popular belief, Paul did wash the shirt.

Ann Ryles

Ann Ryles was born in Kentucky and raised in Maryland and California.  She was a finalist for the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize in 2009.  Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Gargoyle, Konundrum Engine Literary Review, Emprise Review, and Stirring: A Literary Collection. She is a graduate of the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco and UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and in the past year has tried her hand at playwriting. She lives with her husband and two daughters in the East Bay town of Moraga.

 

 

July 14: Culpable

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on June 14, 2011

Last month’s reading was stunning!  But summer at Why There Are Words is just warming up, and July promises to be intriguing, as the following authors read from their work on the theme of “Culpable.”  We’ll be in Sausalito’s Studio 333 at 7 PM, with books, beer, wine, and blame!  $5 is all you need to come join us.

Graham Gremore

Graham Gremore is a reclusive misanthrope from St. Paul. He co-produces the humor reading series LitUp Writers in San Francisco. Graham has written two stage musicals, both of which were commissioned and produced by SteppingStone Theater in St. Paul. In 2009, his play “As in Autumn” was a semi-finalist in The Source: 10 Minute Play Festival in Washington D.C. His solo show, “Private Parts,” had its world premiere at SF Playhouse in May 2011. Currently, he is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Playwriting at San Francisco State University.

Agatha Hoff

A child of World War II, Agatha Hoff describes the violent destruction of a city, a country and the culture of her native Hungary in her book, Burning Horses. She came to America in 1949 as a refugee, attended high school in Menlo Park, and college at Seattle University. When her youngest child started kindergarten, Agatha went to San Francisco Law School and earned her J.D. degree at night. She worked in poverty law where clients often abandoned her for a “real lawyer,” meaning someone they paid. When she became a real lawyer in private practice, her clients termed her personal injury practice “the armpit of the law.” When she was appointed a court commissioner at San Francisco Superior Court, her favorite moniker written by a disgruntled litigant pronounced her to be a “fascist terrorist cross-dressed in the cloak of justice.” When at last a British tourist who came to traffic court called her “Your Worship,” she thought she’d retire before it went to her head. Agatha is spending her retirement writing and long distance cycling. Her column, “Tales From The Bench”, has appeared regularly in San Francisco Attorney Magazine.

Evan Karp

Evan Karp covers literary culture as a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and is a regular contributor to SF Weekly‘s Exhibitionist blog. He is the founder and editor of Litseen and creator and host of Quiet Lightning, a monthly submission-based reading series that publishes each show as a book called sparkle & blink, which he also edits. He is a contributing editor of Instant City and the official blogger of Litquake.

K. M. Soehnlein

K.M. Soehnlein is the author of three novels: Robin and Ruby, The World of Normal Boys, and You Can Say You Knew Me When, plus essays and reviews in many publications. He was born in New York, grew up in New Jersey, and has lived in San Francisco since the early ’90s. He teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco. His wish list includes learning to play the piano, becoming fluent in Italian, and finishing the New York Times Sunday Crossword puzzle in under 45 minutes.

Kristen Tracy

Kristen Tracy is a poet who has also written several teen and middle-grade novels, including Camille McPhee Fell Under the Bus, Lost It, Sharks & Boys, and A Field Guide for Heartbreakers. She lives in San Francisco where she volunteers as a gardener on Alcatraz. Along with Nina LaCour she teaches Bay Area writing classes.

James Warner

James Warner is the author of All Her Father’s Guns, a novel published in 2011 by Numina Press. His short fiction has appeared most recently on KGB Bar Lit Magazine, Narrative, and Night Train. He writes an almost-monthly literary column, “Standing Perpendicular,” for opendemocracy.net, and is also a fiction editor for Identity Theory.


Background: June 9

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on May 19, 2011
Join Bay Area lit lovers June 9 at Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series, Studio 333 in Sausalito, when the following authors will read from their work on the theme of “Background.” 7 PM. $5. As usual, authors will be selling and signing their books!

Cyndi Cady

Cyndi Cady‘s fiction has appeared in Potpourri, Dark Recesses Press, the West Marin Review, and the anthology Zebulon Nights. Her story “Dooley” was a finalist in the New Southerner Magazine’s 2010 fiction contest.

Aneesha Capur


Aneesha Capurs novel, Stealing Karma, debuted at the Beijing International Literary Festival in March 2011. Stealing Karma was launched by HarperCollins India in April to critical acclaim and was listed in the Top 5 Fiction Picks in The Hindu, India’s leading national newspaper, picked as Essential Reading in the Sunday Guardian and featured on CNN-IBN among others. Excerpts have been recognized in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Wild River Review, two Glimmer Train Press competitions, and the Writer’s Digest Literary Short Story award. Aneesha has an MBA from Wharton and an MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson. Aneesha has attended the Vermont Studio Center, The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Fiction Program, The Iowa Writers’ Summer Workshop, and the Fine Arts Work Center. Her professional career spans private, non-profit, and academic sectors. She was born in India and spent most of her childhood in Africa. She now lives in San Francisco.

Molly Giles

Molly Giles has published a novel, Iron Shoes, and two short story collections: Creek Walk and Other Stories, which won the Small Press Award for Short Fiction, and Rough Translations, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Her other awards include fellowships from the NEA, The McDowell Colony, and Yaddo, two Pushcart prizes, the Commonwealth Club of California Silver Medal, the Bay Area Book Reviewers’ Award, and The National Book Critics Circle Award for Book Reviewing. She directs the Programs in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and was previously a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University, as well as having also taught at the University of San Francisco and at countless summer workshops, including The Squaw Valley Community of Writers, The Napa Valley Writers Conference, and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University.

Jeremy Hatch

Jeremy Hatch is a writer, musician, and professional bookseller leading a cheerful, aimless life in San Francisco. He is the Junior Literary Editor of The Rumpus and he has a blog.

Alison Luterman

Alison Luterman is the author of two books of poetry, The Largest Possible Life  and See How We Almost Fly. She has also written several plays, “Saying Kaddish With My Sister,” “A Night in Jail,” “Glitter and Spew,” “Hot Water,” and “The Recruiter.” She has been an artist in residence at many elementary and high schools through the California Poets in the Schools program, as well as Poetry Inside Out and Poetry Out Loud. She has mentored incarcerated youth in playwriting through Each One Teach One. She performs with the improvisation dance theatre troupe Wing It! She lives in Oakland, California.

Beverly Parayno

Beverly Parayno grew up in San Jose. Her story “House Cleaning” will be featured online as Story of the Week in Narrative Magazine in August 2011. Her fiction is also forthcoming online in Southword and her author interviews appear on The Rumpus. She has an MA from University College Cork, Ireland, and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she received a Lynda Hull scholarship. She has participated in the Tin House Writers Workshop and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival, and is a regular participant of the San Francisco Writers Workshop. She lives in Pacifica, where she is working on a collection of stories.

Escape! May 12

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on April 21, 2011

Join us May 12 at 7 PM — Studio 333 — when the following authors will read from their work on the theme of Escape. You need $5 to get in and some extra cash for authors’ books, which they’ll gladly sign for you, and beverages of your choice. See you there.

Andrew Altschul

Andrew Altschul is the author of the novels Deus Ex Machina, which NPR describes as “brilliant — one of the best novel’s about American culture in years,” and Lady Lazarus, finalist for the Northern California Book Award. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Esquire, Ploughshares, McSweeney’s, Fence, One Story, and anthologies such as Best New American Voices and O. Henry Prize Stories. He is the director of the Center for Literary Arts at San Jose State University and books editor of The Rumpus.

Meg Waite Clayton

Meg Waite Clayton‘s most recent novel is The Four Ms. Bradwells (March 2011). Her second, the national bestseller The Wednesday Sisters, was a book club favorite throughout the country, and her first, The Language of Light, was a finalist for the Bellwether Prize. Her novels have been translated into languages from German to Chinese, and her shorter works have appeared in commercial and literary magazines including Runner’s World, Writer’s Digest, and The Literary Review, in addition to being read on public radio and anthologized. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Michigan Law School, and lives in Northern California.

Sherril Jaffe

Sherril Jaffe’s novel Expiration Date is new this April from the Permanent Press.  She is also the author of six works of fiction from Black Sparrow Press: Scars Make Your Body More Interesting & Other Stories; This Flower Only Blooms Every Hundred Years; The Unexamined Wife; The Faces Reappear; House Tours; and Interior Design; as well as two works from Kodansha: Ground Rules: What I Learned My Daughter’s Fifteenth Year, (a memoir); and the spiritual “autobiography” One God Clapping  (with Alan Lew), winner of the 2000 PEN Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence. Her short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines, including Zyzzyva, Epoch, Alaska Quarterly Review, Superstition Review, and Volt, and she supports this writing habit by being a Professor of Creative Writing at Sonoma State University. She lives in San Francisco and walks in Golden Gate Park every day.

Kirsten Menger Anderson

Kirsten Menger-Anderson is the author of Doctor Olaf van Schuler’s Brain, a collection of linked short stories concerning a family of doctors. The book was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award and one of Chicago Time Out’s top 10 books of 2008. Her short stories have appeared in the Southwest Review, Ploughshares, Maryland Review, Post Road, and Wascana Review, among other publications. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughter, son, and cat.

Janice Shapiro

Janice Shapiro studied film at UCLA where she won first prize in The Samuel Goldwyn Screenwriting Competition.  The short films she directed were screened widely at film festivals around the world and she was a recipient of an AFI Filmmakers’ Grant.  She has written scripts for numerous studios and independent producers including the cult film, Dead Beat that she co-wrote with her husband, Adam Dubov.  Her short stories have been published in The North American Review and The Santa Monica Review.  A graphic memoir of hers was included in the anthology What Were  We Thinking? (St. Martin’s).  Another graphic memoir appeared in The Seattle ReviewBummer and Other Stories is her first book.  She is currently working on a novel, Bad Baseball, a second collection of short stories, a collection of food essays entitled, Eat Like Me, and a book length graphic memoir, Crushable – My Life In Crushes From Ricky Nelson to Viggo Mortensen.  She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and dog.

Salvatore Zoida

Salvatore Zoida was born in Brooklyn, New York. He majored in Comparative Literature at Columbia University, graduating magna cum laude and receiving the Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize for high academic distinction and promise in the study of Italian culture. His fiction has appeared in Rutgers University’s Writers’ Bloc, Ravenna Press’s The Anemone Sidecar, The Catalonian Review, Foundling Review, and Wigleaf. He recently finished writing his first novel, Bucolic Apologia.

Why There Are Words Reading February 10: “Maybe”

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on January 18, 2011

Valentine’s Day. Will you be my valentine? Yes or no. The little heart-shaped candies. Why was there never a maybe?

Join us February 10 at Studio 333 when the following authors will read from their work on the theme of Maybe. Doors open at 7 PM. $5.

Lauren Alwan

Lauren Alwan’s fiction has appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, StoryQuarterly, the Sycamore Review, and other literary journals, and is included in the forthcoming anthology from Modernist Press, Art From Art. In 2009, a story chosen by Tobias Wolff was a finalist for the Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize in Fiction and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is a regular contributor for The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog and teaches creative writing through Ripe Fruit Writing in San Francisco.

Lucy Jane Bledsoe

Lucy Jane Bledsoe is the author of the 2010 novel, The Big Bang Symphony.  Her recent stories, which won both the 2009 Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction and the 2009 Sherwood Anderson Fiction Prize, have been published in Hot Metal Bridge, Shenandoah, Arts & Letters, Terrain, and ZYZZYVA.  She is the author of three other novels (Biting the Apple, This Wild Silence, Working Parts), a collection of short fiction (Sweat: Stories and a Novella), and a collection of narrative nonfiction (The Ice Cave: A Woman’s Adventures from the Mojave to the Antarctic). She has traveled to Antarctica three times, as a two-time recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Artists & Writers in Antarctica Fellowship and once as a guest on the Russian ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov. Her novels have been translated into Japanese, Spanish, and German, and her stories into Dutch and Chinese.

Katherine Ellison

Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist, former foreign correspondent, writing consultant, author of four books, and mother of two sons. Her latest book, a new memoir titled Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention (Hyperion Voice), is an account of life with a high-spirited child, combined with a journalist’s overview of the controversies surrounding Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and how best to manage it. Ellison’s previous books include The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes Us Smarter, and The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable.  Her writing on topics ranging from climate change to neuroscience has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Smithsonian, Time, Fortune, Working Mother, and The Atlantic Monthly.

Frances Lefkowitz is the author of  To Have Not, which was named one of five

Frances Lefkowitz

“Best Memoirs of 2010” by SheKnows.com. It’s a true story of growing up poor in San Francisco in the 1970s, getting a scholarship to an Ivy League college, and discovering what it really means to have and have not. The former Senior Editor of Body+Soul magazine, she is now the book reviewer for Good Housekeeping and a freelance writer, editor, and writing teacher. Her articles, essays, and short stories have appeared in The Sun, Utne Reader, Glimmer Train Stories, Fiction, Poets & Writers, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, Health, and more. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, once for Best American Essays, and was a finalist for a James Beard Foundation food writing award, among other honors. She lives in Petaluma and surfs in Bolinas.

Meg Pokrass

Meg Pokrass is the author of Damn Sure Right, a debut collection of flash fiction stories. She writes flash fiction, prose poetry, makes story animations, serves as Editor-at-Large for BLIP Magazine (formerly Mississippi Review), and runs the  Fictionaut Five author interview series. Her work has appeared in over one hundred online and print publications, including Mississippi Review, Wigleaf, The Pedestal, BoundOff, Keyhole, Annalemma, Smokelong Quarterly, elimae, Gigantic, Gargoyle, Prime Number, Women Writers, Istanbul Review, 3AM, Foundling Review, Mud Luscious, Juked, FRIGG, and Wordriot. Her work has been nominated for Dzanc’s Best of the Web, the Pushcart Prize, and Wigleaf’s Top 50 Flash Stories and showcased for Dzanc Book’s Short Story Month. She teaches writing privately and leads flash fiction workshops nationally, and lives in San Francisco with her daughter Molly and husband Doug Bond.

In 1999, Jacqueline Luckett took a creative writing class on a dare,

Jacqueline Luckett

from herself, and began writing short stories and poetry and never looked back.  Over the years, she took writing workshops at the University of California (Berkeley and Los Angeles) extension programs. The Bay Area native loves living in Oakland, but travels frequently to nurture her passion for photography and learning to cook exotic foods. Searching for Tina Turner was released in January, 2010. Her second novel, Passing Love, will be released in January, 2012.

One Year Anniversary — January 13, 2011

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on December 17, 2010

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series will celebrate its one year anniversary January 13! With Michael Alenyikov, Tamim Ansary, Catherine Brady, Stephen Elliott, Alice LaPlante, Janet Thornburg, and YOU! The theme is “More” — in which we will get a little of that from these “greatest hits” readers 0f 2010. Then we’ll close out the night with an open mic.

Here’s how the open mic will work: Come sign up at the door that evening. Five minute slots will be available on a first come-first served basis. Very important: reading slots are for 5 minutes only. A strict 5 minutes! There will be a bouncer. Please do not sign up if you aren’t able to keep it to 5 minutes or under. Note: as a rough idea 250 words (1 double-spaced page) = 2 minutes.

WTAW will take place, as always, at Studio 333, Sausalito — 333 Caledonia Street at 7 PM. $5 at the door. Bring cash (and checks) for beverages and readers’ books. Authors will be happy to sign them for you.

Michael Alenyikov

Michael Alenyikov’s short stories have appeared in Canada’s Descant, The Georgia Review, the James White Review, New York Stories, and Modern Words. They have been anthologized in Best Gay Stories, 2008 and Tartts Four: Incisive Fiction from Emerging Writers. His essays have appeared in the Gay & Lesbian Review. He was a MacDowell Fellow and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He’s worked as a bookstore clerk, clinical psychologist, cab driver, and interactive media writer. His childhood encompassed the Bronx, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Queens. Ivan and Misha is his first book.

Tamim Ansary wrote his own memoir, West of Kabul, East of New York,

Tamim Ansary

someone else’s memoir, The Other Side of the Sky, and the world’s memoir, Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes. Now, he’s working on Road Trips, another memoir about his experiences as an Afghan American wandering in a shell-shocked daze through the post-sixties American counterculture. He guesses his epitaph will be: he wrote memoir.

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes won the Northern California Book Award for Best General Nonfiction of 2009, and has been or is being translated into nine languages including Russian, Dutch, Indonesian, Korean, and Italian. West of Kabul, East of New York was selected as San Francisco’s One City One Book pick for 2008. It has also been selected as common freshman reading by colleges and universities ranging from Carleton, Tulane and Temple to College of Alameda and Houston Community College.

Catherine Brady

Catherine Brady is the author of three story collections, including Curled in the Bed of Love, winner of the 2002 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and The Mechanics of Falling, winner of the Northern California Book Award in Fiction. Her stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories 2004.  She is also the author of a biography of Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres, and the recently published Story Logic and the Craft of Fiction, which considers craft how-to in relation to flexible principles.  She has just finished her first novel.

Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books including The Adderall

Stephen Elliott

Diaries which has been described as “genius” by both the San Francisco Chronicle and Vanity Fair. The Adderall Diaries was the best book of the year in Time Out New York, a best of 2009 in Kirkus Reviews, and one of 50 notable books in the San Francisco Chronicle.  His novel, Happy Baby, was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lion Award as well as a best book of the year in Salon.com, Newsday, Chicago New City, the Journal News, and the Village Voice. Elliott’s writing has been featured in Esquire, The New York Times, The Believer, GQ, Best American Non-Required Reading 2005 and 2007, Best American Erotica, and Best Sex Writing 2006. He is the editor of The Rumpus.

Alice LaPlante

Alice LaPlante is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. She teaches creative writing at Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer.  She also teaches in the MFA program at San Francisco State University.  Her fiction has been widely published in Epoch, Southwestern Review, and other literary journals. She is the author of five books, including the LA Times bestseller Method and Madness: The Making of a Story (W.W. Norton 2009). Her latest book, the novel Turn of Mind, will be published by Grove Atlantic in 2011. She lives with her family in Palo Alto, California.

Janet Thornburg’s short stories have appeared in Carve Magazine, The Distillery, In

Janet Thornburg

The Family, Lumina, The MacGuffin, Phantasmagoria, and Phoebe. Rhubarb Pie, a collection of her short stories, was published by Thunderegg Press in 2005. In addition to writing fiction, she has written and performed seven solo shows, and her poetry has appeared in Womanthology, A Collection of Colorado Women Poets and Most of the Holes are Occupied: A Santa Fe Anthology. She lives with her two children in San Francisco, where she teaches at City College.

November 11 reading; theme is Journey

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on October 23, 2010

Join us  November 11 at Studio 333 7 PM when the following authors will read from their work on the theme of “journey.” ($5) Come early — seats fill up fast; bring money for beverages and for authors’ books.

Zoe Fitzgerald Carter

Zoe FitzGerald Carter is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and has written for numerous publications including The New York Observer, Premiere, Salon, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Imperfect Endings is her first memoir. It won first place in the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association’s literary contest and was a finalist at The San Francisco Writer’s Conference. It was excerpted in O magazine and is a Barnes & Nobel Discover Great New Writer’s pick. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two daughters and is currently at work on a novel.

Thaisa Frank has written three books of fiction, including A Brief History of

Thaisa Frank

Camouflage and Sleeping in Velvet (both with Black Sparrow Press, now acquired by David Godine). She has co-authored a work of nonfiction, Finding Your Writers Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction, which is used in MFA programs.  Her novel Heidegger’s Glasses is coming out this fall with Counterpoint Press.  Foreign rights have been sold to Holland, Norway, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Brazil and Poland. She has taught in the graduate programs at San Francisco State, the University of San Francisco, been on the staff of various summer writing workshops, and written essays, including a recent Afterward in Viking/Penguin’s new edition of Voltaire.

Mimi Herman

Mimi Herman is the author of The Art of Learning (NC Arts Council), and has published poetry, stories and articles in magazines and newspapers throughout the country. She is the North Carolina Poetry Out Loud Coordinator, and an associate editor for Teaching Artist Journal. She has worked as an arts and education consultant since 1990, engaging over 25,000 students and teachers with writing residencies, as well as providing extensive professional development for teachers and teaching artists. She has an MFA from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Mimi does her own carpentry and plumbing, and can milk a cow and a goat, though not at the same time.

Skip Horack is the author of the story collection The Southern Cross and

Skip Horack

the novel The Eden Hunter. He is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford, where he was also a Wallace Stegner Fellow. A native of Louisiana, and a graduate of Florida State University, he now lives in the Bay Area.

Meredith Maran

Meredith Maran is an award-winning journalist and the author of ten books, most recently My Lie: A True Story of False Memory (September 2010), featured on The Joy Behar Show, multiple NPR programs, and reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, People, Salon, More Magazine, among others. Her work also appears in anthologies, newspapers, and magazines including People, Self, Family Circle, More, Mother Jones, San Francisco Chronicle, and Salon.com. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, she lives with her wife in Oakland, California.

Cary Tennis graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in literature

Cary Tennis

and journalism and entered the masters program in creative writing at San Francisco State, where he passed his orals (Wallace Stevens, William Faulkner and Vladimir Nabokov) and had his creative thesis approved but got distracted and never actually got the degree. He formed a band called the Repeat Offenders, worked as a rock journalist for the SF Weekly and generally tried to live out some idiosyncratic version of the poet and fiction writer as brilliant urban scold throughout most of the 80s. Salon hired him in 1999 as a copy editor; in 2001 he took over the advice column from Garrison Keillor and has been writing that ever since. He also runs a small publishing house, organizes writing retreats, and conducts weekly writing workshops. His latest book is Since You Asked: The Best of Salon.com’s Cary Tennis.

October 14 Reading: Flight

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on September 18, 2010

Flight is the theme for the October 14 reading. 7 PM, Studio 333. $5.  You won’t want to miss the following authors read from their work.

Elizabeth Bernstein

Elizabeth Bernstein is the founder and editor of The Big Ugly Review, an online literary magazine that showcases fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, music, and short films. Her short stories have been published or are forthcoming in the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian (fiction contest winner), Eleven Eleven magazine, the North Atlantic Review, and other US and international literary journals. Her plays have been produced in several venues, including the Exit Theater, The PlayGround, Impact Theatre, and Fringe of Marin. She works out of the San Francisco Writers Grotto, where she edits books and teaches short story workshops.

Ianthe Brautigan

Ianthe Brautigan. I was born in San Francisco at the tail end of the Beat Era, so I feel fortunate to remember a quieter, less crowded, more artistic city; however, San Francisco will always have a special place in my heart. Now I live in Northern California with my daughter, and my husband, Paul Swensen, who is a producer, director, and amateur chef. We love to have friends come to our house to eat, laugh, and tell stories.

Recently, I had a serious brush with ill health, which changed my prospective on life. Lolly, my little dog, and I spent months sitting quietly together and going for little walks because I was too sick to do much else. (She is lying next to me as I write this.) With lots of help from wonderful doctors and my family and friends, I got well. I am very lucky. Now I am trying all sorts of new things, I am finishing up a novel and working on a documentary with my husband. My memoir, You Can’t Catch Death (St. Martins Press) has been translated into Swedish, German, and Russian, as well as, being optioned by a major motion picture company. I have also been published in Confrontation, The Antioch Review, and other publications. I teach at Sonoma State University in Hutchins, and at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of four works of fiction, most recently The Story of a Marriage, which The New York Times has called an “inspired, lyrical novel.” He is the recipient of the PEN/O’Henry Prize for Short Fiction, the Northern California Book Award, the California Book Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Public Library. Greer currently lives in San Francisco, at work on his next novel.

Other titles include: How It Was For Me (2000), The Path of Minor Planets (2001), and The Confessions of Max Tivoli (2004), as well as the following anthologies: PEN O. Henry Prize Stories 2009, Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008, The Book Of Other People, and The Show I’ll Never Forget.

Scott Landers

Scott Landers is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. His short stories have appeared in a number of small literary journals. His debut novel, Coswell’s Guide to Tambralinga, was published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2004, and sold well over 15 copies. Currently he works as a technical writer and instructional designer, and lives, with great trepidation, in north Sonoma County.

Janet Thornburg

Janet Thornburg’s short stories have appeared in Carve Magazine, The Distillery, In The Family, Lumina, The MacGuffin, Phantasmagoria, and Phoebe. Rhubarb Pie, a collection of her short stories, was published by Thunderegg Press in 2005. In addition to writing fiction, she has written and performed seven solo shows, and her poetry has appeared in Womanthology, A Collection of Colorado Women Poets and Most of the Holes are Occupied:  A Santa Fe Anthology. She lives with her two children in San Francisco, where she teaches at City College.

Olga Zilberbourg

Olga Zilberbourg. I am a fiction writer and editor traveling between San Francisco, CA and St. Petersburg, Russia. My second Russian-language collection of stories was published in September 2010 by St. Petersburg-based Limbus Press. In English, my stories have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Alligator Juniper, J Journal and other publications. I am an associate editor at Narrative Magazine and a regular participant of San Francisco Writers Workshop. I blog about travel and writing on my website.

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