Murkiness, muddiness, confusion, part truth, part fiction. We live between two poles. Join us May 8 when the following readers will read from their works exploring the theme Contradiction. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. Studio 333 in Sausalito.
Natalie Baszile is the author of the debut novel Queen Sugar. An early version of Queen Sugar won the Hurston Wright College Writer’s Award, was a co-runner up in the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley Novel-in-Progress competition, and excerpts were published in Cairn and ZYZZYVA. She has had residencies at the Ragdale Foundation where she was awarded the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship, Virginia Center for the Arts, and Hedgebrook. Her non-fiction work has appeared in The Rumpus.net, Mission at Tenth, and in The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9. She is a former fiction editor at The Cortland Review, and is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. She has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers where she was a Holden Minority Scholar.
Belo Cipriani is the writer-in-residence at Holy Names University and the spokesperson for Earl, the new reading application for the Apple OS. His first book, Blind: A Memoir, is a multiple award-winner and has been listed on various high school and college reading lists. His writing has appeared in Business Insider, Yahoo, Matador, The Good Men Project, and elsewhere. He keynoted the 2011 A.D.A celebration in San Francisco, has guest lectured at Yale University, and is a sought speaker at GLBT, disability, Latino and literary organizations around the country. He is also one of very few blind Capoeira players in the world.
Maria Hummel is the author of the poetry collection House and Fire, winner of the 2013 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, and two novels: Motherland (Counterpoint, 2014) and Wilderness Run (St. Martin’s, 2003). Her poetry and prose have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Narrative, The Sun, and The Believer. Her work was also featured in the 2012 Pushcart Prize anthology and the centenary anthology The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine. A former Stegner Fellow in Poetry, Hummel teaches at Stanford University.
A native Angeleno and graduate of Columbia University and UCLA Film School, David Kukoff has eleven produced film and television credits to his name. He has published two books on film and television writing, has been the subject of features in Variety, Entertainment Weekly, and The Hollywood Reporter, and has taught writing at Northwestern University. Though he does not currently reside in Laurel Canyon, he has spent the better part of his adult life trying to get himself, as Joni Mitchell put it, “back to the garden.” Children of the Canyon is his first novel.
Alice LaPlante is an award-winning fiction writer and teacher of writing. Her novel Turn of Mind, was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Wellcome Prize for Literature and the California Book Award as well as the silver medal for Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers prize. She was a Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University and has taught creative writing at both Stanford and San Francisco State University. Her new book, Circle of Wives, explores the mystery that is at the heart of every marriage through a story about a polygamous doctor.
Jessica Levine is the author of the debut novel The Geometry of Love (She Writes Press, April 2014). Her stories, essays, poetry, and translations have appeared in many journals, including Green Hills Literary Lantern, North American Review, The Southern Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. She earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Delicate Pursuit: Literary Discretion in Henry James and Edith Wharton (Routledge, 2002) and has translated several books from French and Italian into English.
Porter Shreve is the author of four novels: The Obituary Writer, Drives Like a Dream, When the White House Was Ours, and the recently published The End of the Book. His novels have been named New York Times Notable Book, Chicago Tribune Book of the Year, San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book, among others. He is coeditor of six fiction and essay anthologies and a forthcoming book with Pearson on Creative Writing Craft. He has taught at the University of Michigan, and in the MFA programs at the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Purdue and the University of San Francisco.
Jane Vandenburgh‘s latest book is The Wrong Dog Dream. She is the award-winning author of two novels, Failure to Zigzag and The Physics of Sunset, as well as the nonfiction works, Architecture of the Novel, A Writer’s Handbook, and The Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century, A Memoir. She has taught writing and literature at U. C. Davis, the George Washington University, and, most recently, at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Callfornia. A native of Berkeley, she has returned to live with her family in the West, and with Wayne Thiebaud, her new dog.
Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay — everywhere — to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its fifth year.
Why There Are Words presents poets published in the The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry and special guest novelist Amrit Chima on April 10. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. Studio 333 in Sausalito. Join us for this one of a kind event.
Amrit Chima is the author of the debut novel Darshan (an IndieReader fiction selection). She’s a former freelance travel writer with featured articles in Global Traveler Magazine and on Untapped Cities with syndication on Flavorwire. Born into a family with a history of inspiring migratory adventures, she has followed suit, traveling to over thirty countries, most notably India and Fiji, both of which are settings in Darshan. She holds an MFA from Emerson College in Boston, and after two years in Budapest, teaching English, she is now back home in the San Francisco Bay Area. She spends her free time working on her second novel, as well as curating a new reading series called anthology.
Susan Cohen is the author of Throat Singing. Her new poems appear or are forthcoming in Connotation Press, Hunger Mountain, The Los Angeles Review, Mudfish18, Salamander, Sou’wester, and Harpur Palate which awarded her the 2013 Milton Kessler Memorial Prize, one of her many honors from literary journals. She lives in Berkeley, taught at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and was a contributing writer for the Washington Post Magazine before rediscovering poetry while on a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University, then earning an MFA from Pacific University. She’s also co-author of Normal at Any Cost, a book about height that won awards from the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the National Association of Science Writers.
Lucille Lang Day is the author of a memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story, which received a 2013 PEN Oakland – Josephine Miles Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2013 Northern California Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. She has also published a children’s book and eight poetry collections and chapbooks, including The Curvature of Blue, The Book of Answers, and Infinities. Her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in more than 100 literary magazines, such as Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, The Hudson Review, The Paterson Literary Review, and The Threepenny Review. She earned her MFA in creative writing at San Francisco State University and her PhD in science/ mathematics education at UC Berkeley. The founder and director of a small press, Scarlet Tanager Books, she also served for many years as the director of the Hall of Health, an interactive museum in Berkeley. She converted to Judaism in 1974. Twitter: @LucilleLDay.
Colleen McKee grew up with Russian Jews and Southern Baptists in a log cabin in rural Missouri (and lived to tell the tale). Colleen is the author of four collections of poetry, fiction, and memoir–including her new book, called Nine Kinds of Wrong. She now lives in Oakland and teaches at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
Lee Slonimsky is the author of four books of poems, the most recent Logician of the Wind (2012) from Orchises Press in Virginia. A fifth, Wandering Electron, is forthcoming from Spuyten Duyvil Press in New York City in the fall of 2014. Along with Santa Rosa CA poet and radio host Katherine Hastings, he is the co-author of a chapbook, Slow Shadow/White Delirium, published in the fall of 2013 by Word Temple Press. Lee’s individual poems and essays have appeared in Best of Asheville Poetry Review, The Carolina Quarterly, The Classical Outlook, Measure, New Ohio Review, The New York Times, North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry Daily, 32 Poems, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and other journals. And he is co-author, along with his wife, Hammett Prize winning novelist Carol Goodman, of Lee Carroll’s Black Swan Rising urban fantasy trilogy.
Melissa Stein is the author of the poetry collection Rough Honey, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. Her work has appeared in Southern Review, Harvard Review, New England Review, Best New Poets 2009, and many other journals and anthologies. She is a freelance editor and writer in San Francisco.
Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet’s The Greenhouse is forthcoming from Bull City Press in 2014. Her first book of poems, Tulips, Water, Ash was selected for the Morse Poetry Prize and published by University Press of New England. Her poems have been awarded a Javits fellowship and a Phelan Award, and have appeared in journals including Cream City Review, At Length, Quarterly West, Blackbird, The Iowa Review, 32 Poems, and Third Coast and in the anthologies Best New Poets and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She writes, edits, and teaches in Oakland, California.
Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay — everywhere — to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong into its now fifth year.
Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following award-winning writers reading from their works on the theme “Edge” on April 11, 2013 (during the “cruelest month.”) Get down to Studio 333, where you can mix memory and desire, breed lilacs out of the dead land, etc. Doors open at 7 pm & we begin at 7:15. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze.
Jayne Benjulian’s poetry appears in the literary journals The Seattle Review, Zone 3, Sequoia, Verdad, and Barrow Street among others. Her essays and interviews with playwrights and artists are published in magazines, theater playbills, and HowlRound, the online theater zine. She was Fulbright Lecturer in American Language & Literature in Lyon, France, and from 2008-2011, Director of New Play Development at Magic Theatre. She is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
Claire Blotter writes and performs poetry with movement, sound, and body rhythms. Her work has been published in Barnwood, Gargoyle, the We’Moon Datebooks, California Quarterly, and Canary, among others. She represented San Francisco in poetry slams in the early ’90′s, placing second in National Team Competitions in Boston and Chicago. Her award winning video documentary, “Wake Up Call: Saving the Songbirds,” has been screened in 11 film festivals from Mill Valley to Chicago. She also taught writing and theater at S.F. State University, John F. Kennedy University, Dominican University, and the College of Marin. Her third chapbook, Moment in the Moment House, will be published by Finishing Line Press in early 2013.She teaches in the Independent Study, California Poets in the Schools, and Poetry Out Loud Programs in Marin County.
David Corbett is the author of four novels: The Devil’s Redhead, Done for a Dime (a New York Times Notable Book), Blood of Paradise (nominated for numerous awards, including the Edgar), and Do They Know I’m Running (Spinetingler Award, Best Novel—Rising Star Category 2011). His short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, with two stories selected for Best American Mystery Stories. In 2012, Mysterious Press/Open Road Media re-issued all four of his novels plus a story collection in ebook format, and in January 2013 Penguin published his textbook on the craft of characterization, The Art of Character (“A writer’s bible that will lead to your character’s soul.” —Elizabeth Brundage).
The year she turned 50, Rebecca Foust took a look at her bucket list and realized she needed to get moving. She earned her MFA from Warren Wilson in 2010, the same year her first and second books were published. God, Seed won the Foreword Book of the Year Award and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. All That Gorgeous Pitiless Song won the Many Mountains Moving Book Prize and was nominated for the Poet’s Prize. New poems are in the Hudson Review, JAMA, Sewanee Review, Woman’s Review of Books, and Zyzzyva . She also writes book reviews and essays, and she reads fiction as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine.
Jennifer Gennari is the author of My Mixed-up Berry Blue Summer (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012), an Association of Booksellers for Children Spring 2012 New Voices title and American Library Association Rainbow List title. Her poems have appeared in Marin Poetry Center anthologies. A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts and a former reporter, she lives on a houseboat in Sausalito with her husband and (occasionally) their four daughters.
Laleh Khadivi is the author of The Age of Orphans and The Walking. She is the recipient of a number of prizes and some very excellent teaching and guidance concerning the reading and writing of fiction. Her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and The Virginia Quarterly Review.
Joshua Mohr is the author of four novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written the novels Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, and Termite Parade, an editors’ choice on The New York Times Bestseller List. He lives in San Francisco and teaches in the MFA program at USF. His latest novel is Fight Song, published in February 2013.
Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents seven award-winning writers reading from their works on the theme “Serendipity” on March 14, 2013. Get down to Studio 333 to discover what literary fortune awaits in this Chinese Year of the Snake! Doors open at 7 pm & we begin at 7:15. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze.
Rahimeh Andalibian is the author of the memoir, The Rose Hotel, which chronicles the story of her Iranian Muslim family and their fight to strive after being uprooted from their homeland to California during the Iranian Revolution of l979. The Rose Hotel has received rave reviews and recently topped Amazon’s #1 bestseller list in the memoir category. She has worked as a licensed clinical psychologist in Laguna Beach and New York City, conducting intergenerational family therapy sessions with individuals, children, couples, and families. She employs creative expression and storytelling to support others in understanding their suffering and break through encrusted communication patterns to create positive change in themselves and the world.
Daniel Levin Becker is Reviews Editor of The Believer and a member of the Paris-based Oulipo collective. His first book, Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature, was published by Harvard University Press in 2012.
Beth Bosworth won the 2012 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for her short fiction collection The Source of Life and Other Stories, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. She has taught at the New School for Social Research, CUNY’s NYC Technical College, and for many years at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, where she is also founding editor of the Saint Ann’s Review. Her publications include a novel, Tunneling, and a collection of short stories, A Burden of Earth. Her stories have appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Seneca Review, Forward, IMAGE, Hanging Loose, Guernica, and elsewhere.
Laurie Ann Doyle admits to being born in Bakersfield way before it was shrouded in smog. She’s won the Alligator Juniper National Fiction Award, as well as nominations for a 2012 Pushcart Prize and Best New American Voices 2008. Her short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in over a dozen literary publications, including Arroyo Literary Review, Dogwood Journal, and Farallon Review. She teaches writing at UC Berkeley, co-hosts San Francisco’s eclectic reading series Babylon Salon, and is hard at work on a book of stories touching on love, death, and a few points in between.
Recipient of the 2004 Ferro-Grumley and Violet Quill awards for his first novel, Through It Came Bright Colors (Harrington Park Press), Trebor Healey is also the author of a collection of poems, Sweet Son of Pan, (Suspect Thoughts, 2006), as well as a short story collection, A Perfect Scar & Other Stories (Harrington Park Press, 2007). He co-edited (with Marci Blackman) Beyond Definition: New Writing from Gay and Lesbian San Francisco (Manic D Press, 1994) and co-edited (with Amie M. Evans) Queer & Catholic (Routledge, 2008). His novels Faun (Lethe Press) and A Horse Named Sorrow (University of Wisconsin Press) were released this fall.
Ron Nyren’s fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, The North American Review, Glimmer Train Stories, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and is a former Stegner Fellow, a former editor of Furious Fictions: The Magazine of Short-Short Stories, and co-author, with Sarah Stone, of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. He currently works as a freelance writer and teaches for Stanford Continuing Studies.
Elaine Russell’s first adult novel, Across the Mekong River (2012), developed from an interest in the Hmong community in Sacramento and a subsequent trip to Laos. The novel was a finalist in the Carolina Wren Press 2010 Doris Bawkin Award, the Maui Writer’s Conference 2003 Rupert Hughes Writing Competition, and the Focus on Writers 2001 Friends of the Sacramento Library Awards. Other published works include short stories for adults and children and the Martin McMillan middle-grade adventure series (2004 and 2012). Elaine graduated with a BA in History at UC Davis and an MA in Economics at CSU Sacramento. After working for many years as an environmental consultant, she turned to writing full time.
Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme Ignored September 13 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. A stellar night of readings with seven incredible authors? Now that’s something you can’t ignore!
David Booth is the author Peer Participation and Software, a book about crowd-sourcing and democracy (MIT Press, 2010). His fiction has appeared in many print and online journals, including Washington Square, The Missouri Review, and The Farallon Review. David was a creative writing instructor at the University of San Francisco for 10 years. He now teaches humanities at Gateway High School in San Francisco’s Fillmore District. He has just completed the first draft of a novel called “The History of Adoption” that explores child adoption and the teaching of literacy to adolescents in the United States.
Traci Chee is an always-writer and sometimes-teacher. She has a graduate degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University and is looking forward to earning her teaching credential. In recent years her work has been published in The Big Stupid Review and ABJECTIVE. Her collection of short stories Consonant Sounds for Fish Songs is forthcoming from Aqueous Books. She lives in Northern California, where she keeps a fast dog and a weekly blog. She likes fish and ships.
Lindsey Crittenden is the author of two books: The Water Will Hold You: A Skeptic Learns to Pray and The View From Below: Stories. Her personal essays—on everything from visiting a group of lifers at San Quentin to the pitfalls of too much California sunshine—have appeared in The New York Times, Image, Real Simple, Bon Appétit, East Bay Express, and Best American Spiritual Writing. Her fiction has won national awards and been published in Glimmer Train, Bellingham Review, Quarterly West, and other publications. She teaches writing at UC Berkeley Extension and through the Glen Online, blogs weekly, and is at work on a novel.
Erich Origen is a New York Times bestselling humorist. His first book, Goodnight Bush, which he co-created with friend Gan Golan,a bedtime story about the Bush Administration, became a breakout hit in 2008, and the book’s words were sung by jubilant choirs across the country. His second book (also created with Golan), The Adventures of Unemployed Man, a superhero parody about the economic crisis, was an international bestseller and one of the best-reviewed graphic novels of the year. The duo’s latest book is Don’t Let the Republican Drive the Bus! Origen has a special connection to this book’s soul: His mother was a charter bus driver whose livelihood was devastated by Republican union-busting. He studied film and television at the University of Southern California, where he won the Bernard Kantor Award for Academic Excellence. You can follow his blog here.
Caroline Paul is the author of Fighting Fire, a memoir of her career as a San Francisco firefighter, and East Wind, Rain, an historical novel that takes place on the Hawaiian island of Niihau at the start of World War II. Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology will be published in April 2013.
Sarah Stone is the author of the novel The True Sources of the Nile and co-author of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly, The Future Dictionary of America, the Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers, Dedicated to the People of Darfur: Writings on Fear, Risk, and Hope, and A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, among other places.She has taught in Seoul, in Bujumbura, at San Francisco State University, at the University of California, Berkeley, and in the MFA in Writing and Consciousness, first at New College of California and later at California Institute of Integral Studies. She teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
Rebecca Wilson is the author of the memoir A House with No Roof —After My Father’s Assassination, A Memoir, (Counterpoint Press, 2011), with an introduction by Anne Lamott. She was born in San Francisco and raised in Bolinas, California. She graduated from Scripps Women’s College Phi Beta Kappa and traveled to Scotland on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. During her time in Scotland she published her first book, Sleeping with Monsters: Conversations with Scottish and Irish Female Poets.