Why There Are Words

Why There Are Words January 12 “Other Voices: Come Together”

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on December 9, 2011

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series celebrates its second anniversary!  Join us January 12 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm when we present Other Voices: Come Together and find out what all the rave reviews have been about. This will be a special show with a surprise treat. The following authors’ readings are going to be anything other than ordinary!

Anne Buelteman

Anne Buelteman’s first published work is a non-fiction essay, “The Glamorous Life,” in the anthology Single Woman of a Certain Age. You may know her from her published commentary on Susan Boyle in Huffington Post. She is currently at work on a novel about life on the national tour of a Broadway musical tentatively titled Road Kill: Tales of a National Tour. A professional actress, her acting career spans decades. She spent eleven years on the Broadway national tour of Les Miserables in North America and Asia. Most recently she appeared as the inspired eccentric Dorothea Wesbrook in the California Conservatory Theatre’s production of Eleemosynary.

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 Chronicle, Travelers’ 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. Audrey is a book group leader and teaches writing at UC Berkeley Extension. She is at work on a memoir about aging, marriage, and dance classes.

Kathi Kamen Goldmark

Kathi Kamen Goldmark is the author of the novel And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You. She is perhaps best known in the publishing world for founding the all-author garage band, the Rock Bottom Remainders. She is also the co-author of Write That Book Already!: the Tough Love You Need to Get Published Now (with her husband Sam Barry). She has contributed essays to many books, including Mid-Life Confidential: the Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude, and My California: Journeys by Great Writers, and others. She writes the Author Enablers advice column that offers information and encouragement to aspiring authors. A 2007 San Francisco Library Laureate, Kathi was the winner of the 2008 Women’s National Book Association Award.

Seth Harwood

Seth Harwood received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and went on to build a large fan base for his first novel, Jack Wakes Up, by first serializing it as a free audiobook. Across iTunes and sethharwood.com, his work has been downloaded over one million times. His second novel, Young Junius, is billed as “The Wire meets Cambridge, MA in 1987″ and was picked by George Pelecanos as one of his best books of 2010. Seth currently lives in San Francisco where he teaches English and creative writing at Stanford and the City College of San Francisco.

Michael David Lukas

Michael David Lukas, author of The Oracle of Stamboul (HarperCollins, 2011), has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a night-shift proofreader in Tel Aviv, and a waiter at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Maryland, his writing has appeared in VQR, Slate, National Geographic Traveler, and Georgia Review. He is also a recipient of scholarships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Summer Writers’ Institute, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and Elizabeth George Foundation.

Janis Cooke Newman

Janis Cooke Newman is the author of the Bay Area bestseller, Mary, a historical novel about Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist, chosen as USA Today‘s Best Historical Fiction of the Year in 2006, and a Booksense Year-End Highlight. Newman is also the author of The Russian Word for Snow, a memoir about adopting her son from a Moscow orphanage, which was published internationally.  Her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, as well as in several magazines, and newspapers including the NY Times, LA Times, and San Francisco Chronicle. She is a member of the SF Writers Grotto, where she works and teaches classes in creative writing.

Peter Orner

Peter Orner is the author of the brand new novel, Love and Shame and Love (November 2011, Little Brown); The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, finalist for the Los Angles Times Book Prize; and Esther Stories, Winner of the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Granta, Best American Stories, and twice received the Pushcart Prize. A 2006 Guggenheim Fellow, he is also the editor of the oral history, Underground America, and co-editor (with Annie Holmes) of Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives published in McSweeney’s. He teaches at San Francisco State University.

Susanne Pari

Susanne Pari is the author of The Fortune Catcher, a novel that explores bicultural and bi-religious identity during the aftermath of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, translated into six languages. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, National Public Radio, and Voice of America. She was the program director for the 25 literary salons of Book Group Expo and teaches writing for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. As a literary host, Susanne has conducted interviews, panel discussions, and conversations with authors such as Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, Anna Quindlen, Andre Dubus III, Po Bronson, and many more. She lives in Northern California.

Todd Zuniga

Todd Zuniga is the creator of Literary Death Match, now featured in 39 cities worldwide, the founding editor of Opium Magazine, and the president of Opium for the Arts (a 501©3 nonprofit). He is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer for his short fiction and an award-winning journalist. His fiction has recently appeared in Stymie and Gopher Illustrated, and online at Lost Magazine and McSweeney’s. Newly based in LA, and couches all over Europe, he longs for a Chicago Cubs World Series and an EU passport.


“Come Together” by The Beatles

Why There Are Words December 8: Last

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on November 14, 2011

It’s our last show of the year so we’ve got just the theme. That’s right: Last. Join us for the stellar line-up, at Sausalito’s Studio 333 at 7 PM, December 8, for books, beer, wine, and great stories. $5 gets you in the door.

Kate Asche

Kate Asche, poet/essayist and creative writing teacher, is a graduate of the UC Davis Creative Writing Program. She was a finalist for the 2011 Audio Contest at The Missouri Review and has poetry forthcoming in Confrontation. She has received two Elliot Gilbert Prizes in Poetry and an Academy of American Poets Award, and is a trained facilitator in the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) Method. She coordinates The Tomales Bay Workshops at UC Davis Extension and volunteers regularly for the Sacramento Public Library, the Sacramento Poetry Center, and 916 INK, a local youth literacy organization inspired by 826 Valencia. Follow her and get the scoop on local writing events at her blog Kate’s Miscellany (click on her name.) 

 

David Berkeley

David Berkeley is called “a musical poet” by the San Francisco Chronicle. The singer/songwriter has recently penned a memoir entitled 140 Goats and a Guitar to accompany his fourth album, “Some Kind of Cure.”  The book comprises 13 pieces that tell the stories behind the 13 songs on the album, and the concept is that a reader moves through the prose and music together. When he presents his book live, he performs the corresponding song following each excerpt. He’s been a guest on “This American Life;” has toured with artists including Don Mclean, Dido, Billy Bragg, Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, Nickel Creek, and Ray Lamontagne; and maintains a near-constant tour schedule performing concerts all over the country.

Lynn Freed

Lynn Freed’s books include six novels, a collection of stories, and a collection of essays.  Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, Southwest Review, The Georgia Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Narrative Magazine, among others.  She is the recipient of the inaugural Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN/O. Henry Award, fellowships, grants and support from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Guggenheim Foundation, among others.  Born in South Africa, she now lives in northern California.

Cary Groner

Cary Groner has worked as a journalist for more than two decades. In 2009, he earned his MFA from the University of Arizona, where he began writing short stories and worked on two novels. His stories have won numerous awards and appeared in venues that include Glimmer Train, American Fiction, Mississippi Review, Southern California Review, Tampa Review, and Sycamore Review. His debut novel, Exiles, won the Hackney Literary Award and was published by Spiegel & Grau / Random House this past June. Cary and his wife live in the San Francisco Bay area.

Faith Holsaert

Faith S. Holsaert  was active in the civil rights movement and co-edited the nonfiction book Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC (University of Illinois Press, 2010). She has published fiction since 1979, in Fugue, Washington Review, Phoebe, The Long Story, Antietam Review and others She has appeared online at the kingsenglish.org and mountainechoes.com. She received her MFA in fiction from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. For many years, she lived in West Virginia where she raised her son and daughter. She lives in Durham, NC with her partner, with whom she shares seven grandchildren. She is working on her third novel.

Nick Krieger

Nick Krieger is the author of the memoir Nina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender. His writing has earned several travel-writing awards, has been published in multiple travel guides, and has appeared in numerous outlets including The Rumpus, Town & Country, 365Gay, and Original Plumbing. He is passionate about activism through art, creative self-expression, and queering all that he can. He holds an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco.


Dean Rader

Dean Rader‘s debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize. It is also a finalist for the 2010 Bob Bush Memorial First Book Award and it is the winner of the 2010 Writer’s League of Texas Poetry Prize. His poem “Ocean Beach at Twilight: 14″ was named one of the Best Poems of 2010 by Verse Daily. He is currently curating a new blog called 99 Poems for the 99 Percent. He is a professor at the University of San Francisco, where he won the 2010/2011 Distinguished Research Award.

Ian Tuttle

Ian Tuttle is the author of StretchyHead – Fictional Stories in Real Places. His toy camera photography has been exhibited internationally and he got admitted to business school by quoting Samuel Becket. He believes that you can tell a lot about a person from a short bio, and suspects most of it will be your own projection. But isn’t that the aim of literature? To hang a screen for your projections?


Why There Are Words November 10: Witness

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on October 18, 2011

The month of October brought all kinds of literary goodness, both in Sausalito and San Francisco as part of Litquake. Can one simultaneously be recovering and ready for more? Are you? The theme is Witness, and we’ll be in Sausalito’s Studio 333 at 7 PM, November 10, with books, beer, wine, and blame!  $5 is all you need to witness.

 

W. Ross Ayers

W. Ross Ayers is a writer and entrepreneur. He founded and runs the San Francisco Writers Community and co-publishing studio. He likes bad beer, bad bourbon, and clove cigarettes, and lives in and loves San Francisco. His book Blood, Guns and Whores – An All American Tale of a Boy and His Dog is a “coffee table novel” of micro chapters and illustrations.

Jasmin Darznik was born in Tehran, Iran.  A former attorney, she

Jasmin Darznik

received her Ph.D. from Princeton University.  Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other publications.  She is a professor of English at Washington and Lee University and has also been a visiting professor of Iranian literature at the University of Virginia.  The Good Daughter is her first book and will be published in twelve countries.

 

Albert Flynn DeSilver

Albert Flynn DeSilver is an internationally published poet, an artist, publisher, and founder of The Visionary Writers MFA. He served as Marin County’s first poet laureate from 2008-2010. For many years he taught as a California Poet in the Schools, and currently works in the Teen and Family program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and is the CEO of a Homecare Agency in Napa and Sonoma Counties. His most recent work is a memoir titled “Beamish Boy,” which chronicles his spiritual journey, from violence and self-annihilation to self-realization, creativity, and a life in poetry and writing. He lives in Woodacre, California.

Pam Houston is the award-winning author of Cowboys Are My Weakness,

Pam Houston

Waltzing the Cat, A Little More About Me, and Sight 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. Pam teaches in the graduate writing program at University of California, Davis. Her new collection of short stories, Contents May Have Shifted, is forthcoming in 2012.

 

Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr is the author of the novels Termite 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 as The New York Times Book Review, 7×7, the Bay Guardian, ZYZZYVA, The Rumpus, among many others.  He lives in San Francisco and teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.

Linda Joy Myers is the author of The Power of Memoir—How

Linda Joy Myers

to Write Your Healing Story, Becoming Whole, and the award-winning memoir Don’t Call Me Mother, which won the BAPIA Gold Medal prize. She has won prizes for fiction, memoir and poetry: First Prize, Jessamyn West Fiction Contest; Finalist, San Francisco Writing Contest for Secret Music, a novel about the Kindertransport; First Prize, poetry, East of Eden Contest, and for memoir writing First Prize Carol Landauer Life Writing Contest. Hernext book is Truth or Lie: On the Cusp of Memoir and Fiction. The founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers and co-President of the Women’s National Book Association, she is an instructor at Writers Digest and gives workshops nationally and online.

 

Tracy Winn

Tracy Winn’s linked story collection, Mrs. Somebody Somebody won the 2010 Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fellowship, and was a finalist for the Julia Ward Howe Award and the Massachusetts Book Awards. Her stories have appeared most recently in Alaska Quarterly Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and New Orleans Review. A Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers graduate, she is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, and the MacDowell and Millay Colonies.

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.


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.

May 13 Reading, Complications

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on April 16, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Ethel Rohan

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.

April 8, 2010 reading: Crazy!

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on March 24, 2010

It’s spring — go crazy! Join us at Studio 333 for Why There Are Words Thursday April 8, 7 pm. Hear the following authors read their work on the theme “crazy.”

Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash is the author of the novel The Last Good Chance, winner of the California Book Award and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, as well as the New York Times bestselling non-fiction book, On Top of the World. His short stories have appeared in Tin House, One Story, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Narrative, Story, StoryQuarterly, and other publications. He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow, and a member of the San Francisco Writers Grotto.

Allison Landa is a Berkeley-based writer whose fiction, nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Word Riot, CherryBleeds, CleanSheets, Defenestration, and Pindeldyboz. A MacDowell Colony Fellow, she has also held artist residencies at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and the Julia and David White Artists’ Colony. She received her MFA in creative writing from St. Mary’s College of California.

Ryan Sloan

Ryan Sloan received his MFA in Fiction from New York University, and lives in Berkeley. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Sloan’s work has appeared in LA Weekly, Nerve, Opium Magazine, The Modern Spectator, and Painted Bride Quarterly. He’s working on his first novel, titled “The Plagiarists.”

Wendy Tokunaga

Wendy Nelson Tokunaga is the author of the novels Love in Translation and Midori by Moonlight. Japan and Japanese culture have been major influences on her life and this is reflected in much of her writing. Her novel, No Kidding, won the Literary/Mainstream Fiction category in Writer’s Digest’s Best Self-Published Book Awards in 2002. She’s also the author of two children’s non-fiction books, and has had short stories published in various literary journals. Wendy earned her MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco.

Ethan Watters

Ethan Watters is the author of, most recently, Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, a book that’s had him appear on, among other venues, The Daily Show. He’s also the author of Urban Tribes, an examination of the mores of affluent “never marrieds,” and coauthor of Making Monsters, a groundbreaking indictment of the recovered memory movement.  A frequent contributor to NPR, The New York Times Magazine, Discover, Men’s Journal, Details, Wired, and PRI’s This American Life, he’s also appeared on such national media as Good Morning America, Talk of the Nation, and CNN. His work has been featured in the Best American Science and Nature Writing series. Ethan is co-founder of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto where he sometimes teaches writing classes. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.

Aggie Zivaljevic

Aggie Zivaljevic was born in Sarajevo, in the former Yugoslavia. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson and is the recipient of three scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her fiction has appeared in Crab Orchard Review and Speakeasy. Her story “Village at the Bottom of the Lake,” an excerpt from a novel-in-progress, was a finalist for Sherwood Anderson Short Fiction Award. She lives in San Jose and spends her days at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, runs the Kepler’s Writing Group, and hosts the Kepler’s blog for writers, “The Well Read Donkey.”

Breaking Away — March 11 reading

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on February 22, 2010

Why There Are Words is drawing raves and a full house of Marin, Sonoma, SF, and East Bay residents. Make plans now for March 11 to hear the following six authors read from their work on the theme of “Breaking Away.”  Studio 333, 7 PM, $5 donation at the door.

Justin Allen

Justin Allen has written on music, culture, travel, and politics for the Sacramento News and Review, Midtown Monthly, Ashcan Magazine, and The San Francisco Public Press. His short fiction has appeared in Sussurrus, Transfer, and Right Hand Pointing. He has been self-publishing ‘zines and chapbooks since the late 90s. His most recent chapbook is Satellite Memories. He studied creative writing at San Francisco State University and resides in Oakland.

Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile is the author of the novel-in-progress, “The Grinding Season,” the story of a woman and her daughter who leave Los Angeles and strike out for Louisiana where the woman has inherited a sugar cane farm. “The Grinding Season” won the Hurston Wright College Writer’s Award and was a runner up for the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley competition for novels-in-progress. Natalie has had artists’ residencies at the Ragdale Foundation where, in 2008, she was awarded the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship. Excerpts of “The Grinding Season” have been published in CAIRN and ZYZZYVA. She is a fiction editor at The Cortland Review and a member of the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto. Natalie is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers where she received a Holden Minority Scholarship. She has a MA in Afro-American Studies from UCLA and a BA in English from UC Berkeley. Natalie lives in San Francisco with her husband and two daughters.

Ann Dickinson

Ann Dickinson has blogged about the San Francisco Bay watershed for KQED, held the Sara Shallenberger Brown Fellowship in Environmental Literature at the University of Virginia, and spent a year as a research assistant studying ecology in a Panamanian rainforest. She works in the public information office at a local water agency and is at work on a Gothic natural history novel set in Victorian England.

Dylan Landis

Dylan Landis

Dylan Landis is the author of Normal People Don’t Live Like This, a Newsday best book of 2009. She has published short stories in Tin House, Bomb and Best American Nonrequired Reading, won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and, in a past life, was a newspaper reporter. Spiritually Californian, she lives in DC. See her website for more info.

Leslie Larson

Leslie Larson

The New York Times called Leslie Larson’s second novel, Breaking Out of Bedlam, “A kick.” Publishers Weekly said, “Delightful…Plenty of heart and humor.” And the San Francisco Chronicle called it “A good read: funny, sad and easy.” Leslie s critically acclaimed first novel, Slipstream, was a BookSense Notable Book, a Target Breakout Book, winner of the Astraea Award for Fiction, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Her work has appeared in Faultline, the East Bay Express, Writer magazine, and the Women’s Review of Books, among other publications. She has been a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook and an instructor at the Macondo Writers Workshop and San Diego Ink. She lives in Berkeley. See her website for more.

Ransom Stephens

Ransom Stephens

Ransom Stephens is a professor of particle physics turned writer and speaker. He has worked on experiments at SLAC, Fermilab, CERN, and Cornell, discovered a new type of matter, and was on the team that discovered the top quark. He is the author of over 200 articles on impossible subjects like quantum physics, the future of publishing, and parenting teenagers. His first novel, The God Patent, is set in the battle between science and religion over the nature of the soul and the origin of the universe. Ransom lives in Petaluma. He has a website.

Post-February reading — video, photos, etc

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on February 15, 2010

The February 11 Loves, Lusts, and Good Strong Likes was an amazing event.

You can see a few photos here (facebook album). Better, Evan Karp’s got video. People are saying many good things about the reading series, and it’s been packed both events now. But I’m especially touched by what Evan writes about the Feb. 11 reading:

i won’t comment much except to say i have high expectations for this series in a different way than the myriad others i frequent. it’s like going to a classier restaurant than you would usually go to (if you went to restaurants) and expecting the quality to be exponentially better than you’re used to, and, fearing your own disappointment, you’re taken aback by the neat and well-mannered and timely and even sincere waitress and the food surpasses everything and the ambiance is like, i don’t know, coming from inside of you or something it’s so in tune, or you are, or there just isn’t a difference (and why should there be?). There shouldn’t! If you haven’t been to Studio 333, understand: this gallery is an ideal place for an epicenter of N Bay culture, and WTAW really seems to be laying the foundation for a much-desired community series.

Well-attended again (packed, actually), the room was full of people from all sides of the bay, but predominantly, I think, N Bay’ers. Amy Tan and Bombo even made it out—talk about a good crowd! As you may have already seen, readers were Lauren Becker, James Warner, Tanya Egan Gibson, Judy French, Joan Frank, and Stephen Elliott.

Thanks, Evan!

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