Why There Are Words

Why There Are Words Presents “Last Time” November 12, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on October 11, 2015

Why There Are Words presents an evening of readings on the theme “Last Time.” Join us November 12, 2015, at Studio 333 on 333 Caledonia Street in Sausalito to hear what is surely not the last you will want to read from these acclaimed authors. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Terra Brigando

Terra Brigando

Terra Brigando‘s first novel, Rooms for Ghosts, was released from Wordcraft of Oregon in August. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, where her thesis won runner-up in the Amanda Davis Thesis Award. Her work has appeared in Bloom, Word Riot, The Cortland Review, and others.

Michael Collins

Michael Collins

Michael Collins poems have received Pushcart Prize nominations and appeared in more than 40 journals and magazines, including Grist, Kenning Journal, Pank, and Smartish Pace. His first chapbook, How to Sing when People Cut off your Head and Leave it Floating in the Water, won the Exact Change Press Chapbook Contest in 2014. A full-length collection, Psalmandala, was published later that year (ELJ Publications, 2014). His latest is the chapbook, Harbor Mandala (Finishing Line Press, July 2015).

Ruth Gaim

Ruth Galm

Ruth Galm is the author of the debut novel, Into the Valley (Soho Press, August 2015).  Her writing has also appeared or is forthcoming in the Kenyon ReviewIndiana Review, and Joyland.  She holds an MFA from Columbia University and is a past resident of the Ucross Foundation.  She was born and raised in San José, California, spent time in New York City and Boston, and now lives in San Francisco.

Annie Guthrie

Annie Guthrie

Annie Guthrie is a writer from Tucson. Her first book of poems, The Good Dark, was published this month of October by Tupelo Press. She teaches creative writing courses in Oracular Writing at the University of Arizona Poetry Center and offers apprenticeships in project and manuscript consultation. She has work published in several journals including 1913, A Journal of Forms; Cutbank; Drunken Boat; Fairy Tale Review; ManyMountains Moving; Omniverse; H_NGM_N; Ploughshares; Tarpaulin Sky, and more. She has received several awards including an Academy of American Poets Prize, an Arizona Commission on the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, and TPAC Individual Artist Grant. Guthrie is also a jeweler. She published a book on the craft of jewelry making, “Instant Gratification” with Chronicle Books and has a studio at the Splinter Brothers Warehouse.

Tania Malik

Tania Malik

Tania Malik was born in New Delhi, and raised in India, Africa, and the Middle East. She was educated in boarding schools in the foothills of the Himalayas, and graduated from the University of Delhi with a degree in Geography. She has had a varied career in the travel marketing and non-profit industries. Her writings have appeared in the Baltimore Review, Bound Off, Salon.com and other publications. Her debut novel, Three Bargains, received a Publishers Weekly Starred review, and a Booklist Starred review. The New York Times said, “…Ms. Malik cleverly complicates the traditional rags-to-riches story.” While the San Francisco Chronicle called it “… an impressive feat of storytelling.” She lives in the Bay Area with her family.

Lori Ostlund

Lori Ostlund

Lori Ostlunds novel After the Parade (Scribner, September 2015) is on the shortlist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and is a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. Richard Russo recently invited her to Maine, where he interviewed her as the first event in a new national Authors Guild Literary Series. Her first book, a story collection entitled The Bigness of the World, won the Flannery O’Connor Award, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and the California Book Award for First Fiction. Stories from it appeared in the Best American Short Stories and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories. Scribner will reissue the collection in early 2016. Lori has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award and a fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Most recently, her work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, The Southern Review, and the Kenyon Review. She is a teacher and lives in San Francisco.

Townsend Walker

Townsend Walker

Townsend Walker draws inspiration from cemeteries, foreign places, violence and strong women. A novella, La Ronde, was published by Truth Serum Press in August 2015. Some seventy short stories have been published in literary journals and are included in eight anthologies. Awards: first place in the SLO NightWriters contest, second place in Our Stories contest, two nominations for the PEN/O.Henry Award. Four stories were performed at the New Short Fiction Series in Hollywood. He lives in San Francisco.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay, the South Bay–everywhere–to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong for five years.

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.


 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.


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.



August 12 Reading: “Weather”

Posted in Uncategorized by whytherearewords on July 17, 2010

Next event is August 12, 2010, with the following six authors reading their work on the theme of “Weather.” Readings begin at 7 PM, at Studio 333 in Sausalito. $5.

Rosaleen Bertolino

Rosaleen Bertolino‘s short stories have recently appeared in Pure Frances, Tiferet, The Chicago Reader, West Marin Review, and Southern California Review. She is currently at work on a novella. For a complete list of her publications, etc. etc., check out her website.

Josie Brown‘s latest novel, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, (Simon & Schuster) is a Target Emerging Authors

Josie Brown

pick for Summer 2010. Her other novels are True Hollywood Lies (HarperCollins) and Impossibly Tongue-Tied (HarperCollins). As a journalist, her celebrity interviews and relationships trends articles have been featured in numerous magazines and online media, including Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, Redbook and Complete Woman magazines, as well as AOL, Yahoo, AskMen.com, Divorce360.com, and SingleMindedWomen.com.

Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos‘s first collection of short stories, Don’t Smell the Floss, has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. His fiction has been published in Fishwrap, Schtick, Undershorts, and The Fanzine. He is also an accomplished painter with a history of exhibiting both nationally and internationally. Find out more about him at his website.

Jeff Gillenkirk is an author and journalist whose articles and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times,

Jeff Gillenkirk

Washington Post, Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Parenting magazine, The Nation, Mother Jones, America, and other publications. His non-fiction book, Bitter Melon: Inside America’s Last Rural All-Chinese Town, won the Commonwealth Club’s Silver Medal award for best California history. Home, Away is his first novel.

Margaret Kaufman

Margaret Kaufman is both a writer of fiction and poetry, and has published stories in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Marlboro Review, Missouri Review, The Mariner, Nimrod, and Pearl. Books of poetry include letterpress limited editions of Aunt Sallie’s Lament, Praise Basted In, and Deep in the Territory, (Janus Press). Sarah’s Sacrifice was published by The Gefn Press, London. Snake at the Wrist and, her most recent collection, Inheritance (2010) were both published by Sixteen Rivers Press. She teaches at the Fromm Institute, University of San Francisco, and conducts poetry workshops in Kentfield.

Townsend Walker‘s stories take readers on journeys into the lives of a female assassin, an Italian detective who

Townsend Walker

solves a murder with tortellini, soldiers with memories of smashed birds and bodies, an English bureaucrat, vengeful women, and teenagers in love. The stories are set in places he knows: Rome, London, New York, Boston, Munich, San Francisco, and Levelland.  Townsend’s stories have been published in over two dozen literary journals, print and on-line, and read on the radio.


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