Why There Are Words

Why There Are Words Presents “Provenance” August 11, 2016

Posted in readings by whytherearewords on July 18, 2016

Why There Are Words presents an evening of readings on the theme “Provenance.” Join us August 11, 2016 at Studio 333 on 333 Caledonia Street in Sausalito to hear the following acclaimed authors. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Nancy Au

Nancy Au

Nancy Au‘s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Necessary Fiction, Fiction Southeast, Word Riot, Identity Theory, Prick of the Spindle, and elsewhere. She was recently awarded the Spring Creek Project residency (Oregon State University), which is dedicated to artists and writers whose work is inspired by nature and science. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Anthropology, and is completing an MFA at San Francisco State University where she taught creative writing. She teaches at California State University Stanislaus.

Andrea Kneeland

Andrea Kneeland

Andrea Kneeland is the author of How to Pose for Hustler (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2015) and The Translations (Sententia Books, 2015). Her collection of fairy tales, The Birds & The Beasts, is forthcoming from Lazy Fascist Press later this year.

 

Janice Lee

Janice Lee

Janice Lee is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), and most recently, The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She also has several chapbooks: Red Trees, Fried Chicken Dinner (Parrot/Insert Press), The Other Worlds (Eohippus Labs), and The Transparent As Witness (Solar Luxuriance), a collaboration with Will Alexander. She is Editor of the #RECURRENT Novel Series, Assistant Editor at Fanzine, Executive Editor of Entropy, and CEO/Founder of POTG Design. She currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches at CalArts.

Richard Loranger

Richard Loranger

Richard Loranger is a writer, performer, visual artist, and all around squeaky wheel, currently residing in Oakland, CA. His recent book of flash prose, Sudden Windows (Zeitgeist Press, 2016), has been enthusiastically received. He is also the author of Poems for Teeth, The Orange Book, and nine chapbooks. Other recent work can be found in Oakland Review #2, Overthrowing Capitalism vol. 2 (Revolutionary Poets Brigade), and the anthology The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker (great weather for MEDIA). You can find more about his work and scandals at his website.

Sue Mell

Sue Mell

Sue Mell was born in Queens, New York, and holds an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Several of her stories have appeared in Narrative Magazine. Sue lives in San Francisco, where she freelances as a photo stylist and is currently working on a novel.

Alexandra-Naughton-c

Alexandra Naughton

Alexandra Naughton is a lil dusty possum and lives in Richmond. Her first novel, American Mary, was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms and has received rave reviews by readers worldwide. She is an extremely prolific writer: see her portfolio. She founded Be About It Press in San Francisco in 2010.

Jesse Prado

Jesse Prado

Jesse Prado lives in Hayward and blogs at thegreatcratsby.tumblr.com. His first poetry chapbook, I’ve Been On Tumblr, is critically acclaimed, and you can own one for yourself for ten dollars. Hit him up.

Natasha Saje

Natasha Saje

Natasha Sajé is Professor of English at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, and a long-standing faculty member at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program. She is the author of three books of poems, Red Under the Skin, Bend, and Vivarium, a book of poetry criticism, Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory (Michigan, 2014), and many essays.

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 and hosted by Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong for six years.

Why There Are Words Presents “Ever Since” July 14, 2016

Posted in readings by whytherearewords on June 10, 2016

Why There Are Words presents an evening of readings on the theme “Ever Since.” Join us July 14 2016 at Studio 333 on 333 Caledonia Street in Sausalito to hear the following acclaimed authors. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Mathieu Cailler

Mathieu Cailler

Mathieu Cailler’s poetry and prose have been widely featured in numerous national and international publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Epiphany, and The Saturday Evening Post. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he has been a finalist for the Glimmer Train New Writers Award, the New Rivers Press American Fiction Prize, and the Carve Magazine Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. He is also the recipient of a Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction and a Shakespeare Award for Poetry. He is the author of Clotheslines (Red Bird Press), Shhh (ELJ Publications), and the recently acclaimed collection of short stories, Loss Angeles (Short Story America Press 2016).

e collisonElizabeth Collison is the author of the novel Some Other Town (Harper Perennial, 2015). She has published stories in North American ReviewThe Barcelona Review, and Monkeybicycle and holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in San Jose.

Brennan DeFrisco

Brennan DeFrisco

Brennan DeFrisco is an MFA candidate in poetry at Antioch University Los Angeles. He was a National Poetry Slam Finalist in 2015, placing third in the country. He is co-founder of Lucky Bastard Press, where he co-edits with his muse, Allie Marini. He is a teaching artist with California Poets In The Schools and Digital Storytellers, facilitating poetry workshops for students across the Bay Area. He’s the author of A Heart With No Scars by Nomadic Press and co-author of Exquisite Duet by Hermeneutic Chaos Press, a collaboration with Allie Marini. His work can be found or is forthcoming in Words Dance, jmww journal, Gemini and others. He loves movies, poker, whiskey, Firefly, & a particularly beautiful, talented woman. He occupies Oakland, CA with her.

Kate Folk

Kate Folk

Kate Folk‘s stories have appeared in many journals and are forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, the Indianola Review, and Juked. She has received support for her writing from the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Originally from Iowa, she’s lived in San Francisco since 2008.

Maureen O’Leary

Maureen O’Leary

Maureen O’Leary is a writer and educator from Sacramento. She is the author of the novels How to Be Manly, The Arrow, and Coffeetown Press’ summer 2016 release The Ghost Daughter. She is the winner of Heyday Books’ Sacramento Valley Writing Contest for Poetry, and her work will be included in a forthcoming book about the people and environment of the region. Her short stories and poetry appear in the publications of Esopus, Night Train Journal, Brackish Vol. 2, Revolution John, Prick of the Spindle, The Gold Man Review, and in Shade Mountain Press’ anthology The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women.

Shoba Rao

Shoba Rao

Shobha Rao is the author of the collection of short stories, An Unrestored Woman, published in March 2016. Kirkus Reviews called An Unrestored Woman “stunning and relentless.” Booklist said of the collection, “Rao’s raw and breathtaking short story collection is set against [an] epic canvas, yet her character studies are intimate.”  She is the winner of the 2014 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, awarded by Nimrod International Journal. She has been a resident at Hedgebrook and is the recipient of the Elizabeth George Foundation fellowship. Her story “Kavitha and Mustafa” was chosen by T.C. Boyle for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories 2015. She lives in San Francisco.

Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor’s chapbook, The Misremembered World, was selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry Society of America’s inaugural chapbook fellowship. The San Francisco Chronicle called her first book, The Forage House, “stunning” and it was a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award. Her second book Work & Days, was hailed by critic Stephen Burt as “our moment’s Georgic.” Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, Harvard Review, The Times Literary Supplement, and other places. She chairs the poetry committee of the National Book Critics Circle, is currently the on-air poetry reviewer for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and was most recently visiting professor of English and creative writing at Whittier College. Her honors include a Pushcart Prize and awards and fellowships from MacDowell, The Headlands Center for the Arts, and The International Center for Jefferson Studies.

Kara Vernor

Kara Vernor

Kara Vernor’s fiction has appeared in Wigleaf, Necessary Fiction, PANK, The Los Angeles Review, Smokelong Quarterly, and many others. She has been a Best Small Fictions finalist, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference Estelle Frank Fellow. She is currently an Elizabeth George Foundation scholar at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and her first flash fiction chapbook, Because I Wanted to Write You a Pop Song, will be available from Split Lit Press in June 2016.

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 six years.

Why There Are Words Presents “Solidarity” June 9, 2016

Posted in readings by whytherearewords on May 16, 2016

Word lovers unite! Join us June 9, 2016, at Studio 333 on 333 Caledonia Street in Sausalito to hear the following acclaimed authors read from their works on the theme of “Solidarity.” Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Jayne Benjulian

Jayne Benjulian

Jayne Benjulian’s careers have been as varied and many as places she has lived: she served as chief speechwriter at Apple, investigator for the public defender in King County, Washington, and director of new play development at Magic Theater. She was an Ossabaw Island Project Fellow; a teaching fellow at Emory University, where she earned an MA; a lecturer in the Graduate Program in Theater at San Francisco State University; and a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Lyon, France. She holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. She lives in Massachusetts and hikes the Berkshire Hills with her long-haired German shepherd, Ophelia, but she misses her big, brash Pacific Ocean. Five Sextillion Atoms is her first collection.

Mark Ciabattari

Mark Ciabattari

Mark Ciabattari is the author of Dreams of an Imaginary New Yorker Named RizzoliThe Literal Truth: Rizzoli Eats the Apple of Earthly Delights (which Kirkus Reviews calls “a delightful postmodern romp, more Calvino than Kafka”), and Clay Creatures, which matches two stories—Ciabattari’s “The Urn” and a new translation of Luigi Pirandello’s “The Jar” by Maria Enrico. Montana-born and raised, he long resided in New York City; he and his wife Jane, also a writer, now live in Sonoma County.  His new collection, Preludes to History, is just out.

Joe Clifford

Joe Clifford

Joe Clifford is acquisitions editor for Gutter Books and and producer of Lip Service West, a “gritty, real, raw” reading series in Oakland, CA. He is the author of several books, including Junkie Love and Lamentation, as well as editor of Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Stories Based on the Songs of Bruce Springsteen. His latest novel, December Boys, the second in the Lamentation series (Oceanview Publishing), is out June 2016.

 

Leora Fridman

Leora Fridman

Leora Fridman is the author of My Fault, out this spring from Cleveland State University Press and winner of the 2015 CSU First Book Poetry Competition. She is also the author of the chapbooks Precious Coast (H_ngm_n Books), Obvious Metals (Projective Industries), On the Architecture and Essential Nature (The New Megaphone), and Eduardo Milán: Poems, a chapbook of translations from Toad Press. She attended Brown University, where she was awarded the Pembroke Poetry Prize, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers, where she was awarded a Graduate Fellowship and MFA Thesis Grant, taught College Writing and Poetry Writing, served as Assistant Director of the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, and curated the  jubilat/Jones Reading Series. She is a recipient of multiple grants and honors including a 2015 Vermont Studio Center fellowship, grants from the Center for Cultural Innovation, and a Dorot Fellowship.

Alyssa Oursler

Alyssa Oursler

Alyssa Oursler is a freelance writer from Maryland, currently living in San Francisco. Her creative non-fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Luna Luna Magazine, The East Bay Review, Thought Catalog and others, on top of placing second in Litquake’s 2015 writing contest. Alyssa also writes regularly about tech, travel, gender, money and more; her articles have been published on USA Today, Forbes, Business Insider, The Bold Italic, 7×7 and many others. She is currently working on her debut essay collection, “Fool’s Paradise.”

Karen Terrey

Karen Terrey

Karen Terrey earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in 2007.  She loves to collaborate with visual artists in critique groups and art salons on her creative process and use of image and form. Her poems have appeared in RHINO, EdgeWest Trestle Review, Sierra Nevada ReviewThe Meadow, Squaw Valley Review and Puerto Del Sol, among others. Her poetry chapbook, Bite and Blood, published by Finishing Line Press, is available in local bookstores. As a builder of literary community, she is the co-organizer for the Literary Arts & Wine Reading Series, a monthly event in downtown Truckee. She is a writing coach and editor, offering workshops, manuscript review, and coaching through her business, Tangled Roots Writing. She’s taught writing at Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe Community College and Sierra College. To see her poems and info on other events and workshops check out her blog.

Ruth Thompson

Ruth Thompson

Ruth Thompson is the author of three books of poetry: Crazing, Woman With Crows, and Here Along Cazenovia Creek. Poems from Crazing have appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Poetry Flash, and elsewhere. Woman With Crows was a finalist for AROHO’s To The Lighthouse Prize; it included poems that won the New Millennium Writings, Harpur Palate, and other prizes. Here Along Cazenovia Creek was choreographed and performed as Dancing the Seasons by the great Japanese dancer Shizuno Nasu. She received a BA from Stanford and a doctorate in English from Indiana University. She now lives in Hilo, Hawai’i, where she teaches writing, meditation, and yoga and is currently absorbed in creating poetry and dance videos with dancer Jenn Eng and videographer Don Mitchell. Ruth travels often to read and to teach workshops on writing from the body. She owns and operates Saddle Road Press, which has published such authors as Jayne Benjulian, Stefan Kiesbye, Tania Pryputniewicz, and Jessamyn Smyth.

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 six years.

Why There Are Words Presents “Begin Again” May 12, 2016

Posted in readings by whytherearewords on April 19, 2016

Why There Are Words presents an evening of readings on the theme “Begin Again.” Join us May 12, 2016 at Studio 333 on 333 Caledonia Street in Sausalito to hear the following acclaimed authors. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Paul Corman-Roberts

Paul Corman-Roberts

Paul Corman-Roberts’ most recent collection of poems We Shoot Typewriters (Nomadic Press, September 2015) was nominated for a Northern California Book Reviewers award. A Pushcart and Best of Web nominee, Corman-Roberts’ work has appeared in The Rumpus, subTerrain, Full of Crow, Connotation Press, The Cape Fear Review, Red Fez, and Corium among others. In addition to producing spoken word performance spectacles across the Bay Area, he is a core-founder of Oakland’s largest and oldest regular literary festival, the Beast Crawl.

Sherrie Flick

Sherrie Flick

Sherrie Flick is the author of the flash fiction chapbook I Call This Flirting, the novel Reconsidering Happiness, and the short story collection Whiskey, Etc. (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2016). Her work has appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Flash Fiction Forward, New Sudden Fiction, Ploughshares, and SmokeLong Quarterly. She teaches in the MFA and Food Studies programs at Chatham University.

Lily Iona MacKenzie

Lily Iona MacKenzie

A Canadian by birth, a high school dropout, and a mother at 17, in her early years, Lily Iona MacKenzie supported herself as a stock girl in the Hudson’s Bay Company, as a long distance operator for the former Alberta Government Telephones, and as a secretary (Bechtel Corp sponsored her into the States). She also was a cocktail waitress at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, briefly broke into the male-dominated world of the docks as a longshoreman (and almost got her legs broken), founded and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County, and eventually earned two Master’s degrees (one in Creative Writing and one in the Humanities). She has published reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, essays, and memoir in over 150 American and Canadian venues. Fling was published in July 2015 by Pen-L Publishing. Bone Songs, another novel, will be published in November 2016. Her poetry collection All This was published in 2011. She also taught writing at the University of San Francisco and was vice-president of USF’s part-time faculty union. When she isn’t writing, she paints and travels widely with her husband. She also maintains a blog.

Marian Palaia

Marian Palaia

Marian Palaia is, among other things, an author. Born in Riverside, California, she currently resides in San Francisco. Other places she has called (or does call) home: Montana, Hong Kong, Olympia, WA, Nepal, Saigon, Boulder, CO, and Kensington, MD. To support her writing habit, she has been a teacher, a bartender, a truck driver, “chip girl” in a poker room, and the littlest logger in Lincoln, Montana, where she and Ted Kazynski were neighbors, sort of. Her first novel, The Given World (Simon & Schuster, 2015), was a Kirkus Best Novel of 2015 (also Best Debut and Historical) and was a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction.

Sarah Van Arsdale

Sarah Van Arsdale

Sarah Van Arsdale’s fourth book of fiction, In Case of Emergency, Break Glass, will be published by Queen’s Ferry Press in April, 2016.  She is on the fiction faculty of the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA in Creative Writing Program. She serves on the board of the Ferro-Grumley Award in LGBT fiction, and she lives in New York.

Zarina Zabrisky

Zarina Zabrisky

Zarina Zabrisky is the author of three short story collections, including Explosion (Epic Rites Press, 2015) and a novel We, Monsters (Numina Press). She moved to San Francisco from Russia in 1998 and started to publish in English in 2011. Since then her work has appeared in six countries and has been featured and reviewed in over thirty magazines, including The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus, Guernica, PANK Magazine, Anthropology Now, and more. She has received literary awards and nominations, including Acker Award for Achievement in The Avant Garde. She is involved in protest art as a co-founder of The Arts Resistance, a collective resisting the war and injustice through the means of the arts.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when word lovers from the Bay Area and beyond crowd the house.  The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong for six years.

Why There Are Words Presents “Rhyme or Reason” April 14, 2016

Posted in readings by whytherearewords on March 14, 2016

“Rhyme or Reason.” The third track from Eminem’s eighth studio album in which the rapper sings along with the chorus of “Time of the Season.” Attributed to poet Edmund Spenser in a letter with Queen Victoria as the first to utter the words. This in response to his having composed the poem “The Faire Queen” in honor of Queen Elizabeth and expecting his promised L100, to which the High Treasurer of the time felt the sum was too much for a poem. The Queen, however, granted the money immediately after Spenser’s plea. Definitely found in Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors and in As You Like It. Join us April 14, 2016, at Studio 333 on 333 Caledonia Street in Sausalito to hear the following acclaimed authors give you their take on these words. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10

A.E. Conran

A.E. Conran

A.E. Conran is a freelance editor, bookseller, book talker, and children’s book club facilitator at Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA. Originally from England, she holds a BA (Hons) and MPhil in English from Leeds University. She is a member of the Tuesday Night Writers group, which hosts the bi-monthly Pints and Prose Reading series in Fairfax, and co-organizer of Better Books Marin, a craft-based children’s book conference now in its fourth year. Her first middle grade novel, The Lost Celt, was just launched on March 15. Katherine Applegate, Author of The One and Only Ivan and winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal said, “The Lost Celt is the best kind of children’s adventure story, full of …humor and heart. Not to be missed.”

Stefan Kiesbye

Stefan Kiesbye

Born on the German coast of the Baltic Sea, Stefan Kiesbye moved to Berlin in the early 1980s. He studied drama and worked in radio before a scholarship brought him to Buffalo, New York. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. His stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and in the Coachella Review, among others. His first book, Next Door Lived a Girl, won the Low Fidelity Press Novella Award, and has been translated into German, Dutch, and Spanish. Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone made EW’s Must List and was named one of the best books of 2012 by Slate editor Dan Kois, and was optioned for television by Warner Bros. The German edition of Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone was published by Tropen Verlag, the Spanish edition by Editorial Almadia. The gothic novel Messer, Gabel, Schere, Licht (Knives, Forks, Scissors, Flames) was published by Tropen Verlag in 2014. Ars Vivendi Verlag released the The LA Noir Fluchtpunkt Los Angeles (Vanishing Point) in February 2015. The Staked Plains, a novella, was recently published by Saddle Road Press. Kiesbye teaches creative writing at Sonoma State University.

Allie Marini

Allie Marini

Allie Marini holds degrees from Antioch University of Los Angeles and New College of Florida, meaning she can explain deconstructionism but cannot perform simple math. Her work has been a finalist for Best of the Net & nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is managing editor for the NonBinary Review, Unbound Octavo, & Zoetic Press, and co-edits for Lucky Bastard Press with her man, performance poet B Deep. She has previously served on the masthead for Lunch Ticket, Spry Literary Journal, The Weekenders Magazine, Mojave River Review & Press, & The Bookshelf Bombshells. Allie is the author of Unmade & Other Poems, (Beautysleep Press), You Might Curse Before You Bless (ELJ Publications) wingless, scorched & beautiful, (Imaginary Friend Press), Before Fire, (ELJ Publications), This Is How We End (Bitterzoet), Pictures From The Center Of The Universe (Paper Nautilus, winner of the Vella Prize), Cliffdiving (Nomadic Press), And When She Tasted of Knowledge (Nomadic Press), Southern Cryptozoology: A Field Guide To Beasts Of The Southern Wild (Hyacinth Girl Press), Here Comes Hell {dancing girl press}, and Heart Radicals, a collaborative collection with Les Kay, Janeen Pergrin Rastall, and Sandra Marchetti (ELJ Publications). Allie rarely sleeps, and her mother has hypothesized that she is actually a robot fueled by Diet Coke & Sri Racha. Find her on the web: @kiddeternity.

Nayomi Munaweera

Nayomi Munaweera

Nayomi Munaweera’s debut novel Island of a Thousand Mirrors was long-listed for the Man Asia Literary Prize and the Dublin IMPAC Prize. It won the Commonwealth Regional Prize for Asia and was short-listed for the Northern California Book Award. Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “Munaweera’s… lyrical debut novel [is] worthy of shelving alongside her countryman Michael Ondaatje or her fellow writer of the multigenerational immigrant experience, Jhumpa Lahiri.” The New York Times Book review called the novel, “incandescent.” Nayomi’s second novel What Lies Between Us was released in February 2016 and has already been reviewed to great acclaim in venues from the SF Chronicle to Buzzfeed.

Barbara Roether

Barbara Roether

Barbara Roether is a writer and teacher based in San Francisco. She grew up in Ohio and left rather quickly, and rather young. Her debut novel This Earth You’ll Come Back To explains why. She has lived and worked in Morocco and Indonesia. Before teaching, she worked in book publishing as an editor and freelance writer, and has contributed to many books on travel and religion. As an editor at HarperCollins, she created Signs of the Sacred, a series of visual books on religious ritual. She is the author of a poetry collection The Middle Atlas, while essays and short fiction have appeared in Tricycle, Yoga Journal, and various literary magazines. She holds an MFA from Bard College where she was the recipient of the Milton Avery Fellowship in the Arts.

Kathleen Winter

Kathleen Winter

Kathleen Winter is the author of Nostalgia for the Criminal Past (Elixir Press), winner of the Antivenom Poetry Prize and the Texas Institute of Letters 2013 Bob Bush Memorial Award.  Her poems have appeared in Tin House, AGNI, The New Republic, Gulf Coast, Poetry London, and other journals. She was awarded fellowships at the Dora Maar House, James Merrill House, Cill Rialaig Retreat, and Vermont Studio Center. During fall semester 2015, she was the Ralph Johnston Fellow at the Dobie Paisano Ranch, selected by the University of Texas and Texas Institute of Letters. She teaches at Napa Valley College and lives in Glen Ellen.

Katie Zeigler

Katie Zeigler

Katie M Zeigler is a writer and teacher living in Walnut Creek, CA. She holds a BA and MA in Literature from Stanford University and has had short fiction and non-fiction published in a variety of outlets, including A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, the Fish Anthology, and Stanford Magazine. She won the Stanford Magazine Fiction Contest and was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s short fiction contest. She is currently working on a young adult novel and teaches writing at Diablo Valley College.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, and is the brainchild of curator and host Peg Alford Pursell. This literary goodness has been going strong for six years and is expanding its mission in 2016 to publish those voices that must be heard. See WTAW Press for more information and to support this crucial activity!

Why There Are Words Presents “Slings and Arrows” March 10, 2016

Posted in readings by whytherearewords on February 16, 2016

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles…

Why There Are Words presents an evening of readings on the theme “Slings and Arrows.” Join us March 10, 2016 at Studio 333 on 333 Caledonia Street in Sausalito to hear the following acclaimed authors. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Michelle Adelman

Michelle Adelman

Michelle Adelman holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University, and BS and MS degrees in Journalism from Northwestern University. She has worked as a magazine writer and editor, a university instructor, and a high school English teacher and dean. She grew up in Connecticut and has lived in New York, San Diego, and the Bay Area, where she currently resides. Piece of Mind is her first novel.

Kate Asche

Kate Asche

Kate Asche writes poetry, essays, and short stories. A graduate of the UC Davis Creative Writing Program, she’s a writing teacher and literary community builder in Sacramento, CA. Her first poetry collection, the chapbook Our Day in the Labyrinth, was published by Finishing Line Press in September 2015 and she has poems forthcoming in Natural Bridge. Her poem “Incoming” was selected by Camille Dungy for the summer 2015 issue of Colorado Review, and her poem for two voices was a finalist for the 2011 Audio Prize at The Missouri Review. She has published poetry in Bellingham Review, RHINO, Pilgrimage, the 2012 anthology Late Peaches: Poems by Sacramento Poets, and elsewhere. Her creative nonfiction appears in Under the Gum Tree. She received two Elliot Gilbert Prizes in Poetry and an Academy of American Poets Award.

Cara Black

Cara Black

Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 14 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris. Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris—the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to international culture—and invitations to be the Guest of Honor at conferences such as the Paris Polar Crime Festival and Left Coast Crime. With more than 400,000 books in print, the Aimée Leduc series has been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew.

Lucille Lang Day

Lucille Lang Day

Lucille Lang Day is the author of ten poetry collections and chapbooks, including most recently Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems, co-winner of the 2014 Blue Light Poetry Prize, and Becoming an Ancestor, a full-length collection from Červená Barva Press. She is also the author of a children’s book, Chain Letter, and a memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story, which received a 2013 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award and was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. Her poems, stories, and essays have received nine Pushcart Prize nominations and have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies.

Frances Dinkelspiel

Frances Dinkelspiel

Frances Dinkelspiel is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California and the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California. Dinkelspiel is also an award-winning journalist who cofounded the local news site Berkeleyside. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, People magazine and elsewhere. She lives in Berkeley.

Jane Juska

Jane Juska

Jane Juska was born in 1933, reared in small-town Ohio, grew up at the University of Michigan and the University of California Berkeley.  She taught high school English for 33 years, college and prison for 5, then went in search of men to give her aid and comfort.  Her ad in the New York Review of Books—“Before I turn 68, I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like”—brought her undreamed of success.  She wrote two books about that search: A Round-Heeled Woman and Unaccompanied Women.   Since then her essays have appeared in Vogue and Self, in various anthologies and online.  Her book reviews have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.  In 2012 she left her Berkeley home for life in the mountains next door to the grandchildren and their parents.  She has at last completed a novel, Mrs. Bennet Has Her Say, published by Penguinrandomhouse, about Pride & Prejudice’s foolish mother as she might have been at 15. At present she is working on a last-ditch memoir about aging.

Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Naomi Ruth Lowinsky’s poetry is widely published. Her chapbook The Little House On Stilts Remembers was co-winner the 2014 Blue Light Poetry Prize. Her fourth full-length poetry collection, The Faust Woman Poems, follows one woman’s Faustian adventures during the 1960s and ’70s, through Women’s Liberation and the return of the Goddess. Her memoir, The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way, tells stories of her pushy muse. She is a Jungian Analyst and a member of the San Francisco Jung Institute where she has taught a poetry workshop, Deep River, for many years. She blogs about poetry and life at www.sisterfrombelow.com.

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 six years.

Why There Are Words Presents “The Heart of the Matter” February 11, 2016

Posted in readings by whytherearewords on January 15, 2016

Why There Are Words presents an evening of readings on the theme “The Heart of the Matter.” Join us February 11, 2016, at Studio 333 on 333 Caledonia Street in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

PeterCaroll5

Peter Caroll

Peter Neil Carroll, Belmont poet and historian, has published three collections of poetry, most recently Fracking Dakota: Poems for a Wounded Land (Turning Point, 2015) and A Child Turns Back to Wave: Poetry of Lost Places which won the Prize Americana. His poems have appeared recently in Catamaran Literary Review and Southern Humanities Review. Other books include a memoir titled Keeping Time. He has taught creative writing at the University of San Francisco, taught history and American Studies at Stanford and Berkeley, and hosted “Booktalk” on Pacifica Radio. He is Poetry Moderator for portside.org

Iris Jamahl Dunkle

Iris Jamahl Dunkle

Iris Jamahl Dunkle‘s latest poetry book, There’s a Ghost in this Machine of Air, about the untold history of Sonoma County, CA, was published in November 2015. Her debut poetry collection, Gold Passage, was selected by Ross Gay to win the 2012 Trio Award and was published by Trio House Press in 2013. Her chapbooks Inheritance and The Flying Trolley were published by Finishing Line Press in 2010 and 2013. Her poetry, essays and creative non-fiction have been published widely. She is currently co-writing a new biography on Jack London’s wife, Charmian London. She teaches writing and literature at Napa Valley College. She received her B.A. from the George Washington University, her M.F.A. in Poetry from New York University, and her Ph.D. in American Literature from Case Western Reserve University. She is on the staff of the Napa Valley Writers conference. She is the poet laureate of Sonoma County.

Jan Ellison

Jan Ellison

Jan Ellison is an O. Henry Prize winner and author of the debut novel, A Small Indiscretion, which was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. A graduate of Stanford, Jan left college for a year at nineteen to live and work in Europe and try her hand at writing. Twenty years later, her notebooks from that year became the germ of A Small Indiscretion. Jan’s essays about parenting, writing and travel have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Writer’s Digest and elsewhere. Jan grew up in L.A. and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband of twenty years and their four children.

Gina Frangello

Gina Frangello

Gina Frangello’s forthcoming novel, Every Kind of Wanting, will be released on Counterpoint in September 2016. Her last novel, A Life in Men (Algonquin, 2014), was selected for the Target Emerging Authors series, has been optioned by Universal Cable Productions/Denver & Delilah, and was a book club selection for NYLON magazine, The Rumpus, and The Nervous Breakdown. She is also the author of two other books of fiction: Slut Lullabies (Emergency Press, 2010), which was a Foreword Magazine Best Book of the Year finalist, and My Sister’s Continent (Chiasmus, 2006).  She has nearly 20 years of experience as an editor, having founded both the independent press Other Voices Books, and the fiction section of the popular online literary community The Nervous Breakdown. She has also served as the Sunday editor for The Rumpus, the Executive Editor for Other Voices magazine, and the faculty editor for TriQuarterly Online. Her short fiction, essays, book reviews, and journalism have been published in such venues as Salon, Dame, Ploughshares, the Boston Globe, BuzzFeed, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, Fence, FiveChapters, Prairie Schooner, the Chicago Reader, and in many other magazines and anthologies.

Allison Moore

Allison Moore

Alison Moore is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and a former Assistant Professor of English/Creative Writing in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona. She is the author of four books, Small Spaces between Emergences, (Mercury House, 1993), Synonym for Love (Mercury House, 1995), The Middle of Elsewhere (Phoenix International/University of Arkansas Press, 2004) and Riders on the Orphan Train (Roadworthy Press, 2012). She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in fiction, The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, and the J. Frank Dobie/Paisano Fellowship from the University of Texas at Austin. She tours nationally with a multi-media presentation about the orphan trains. That production is now the official outreach program for the National Orphan Train Complex Museum and Research Center in Concordia, Kansas.

Ginger Murchinson

Ginger Murchinson

Ginger Murchinson together with Thomas Lux, founded POETRY at TECH, where she served as associate director five years and has been one of its McEver Visiting Chairs in Poetry since 2009. A three-time Pushcart nominee, she is a graduate of Warren Wilson’s M.F.A. Program for Writers and Editor-in-Chief of the acclaimed Cortland Review. Her first chapbook of poems, Out Here, was published by Jeanne Duval Editions in 2008. She has published interviews with A.E. Stallings and Stephen Dobyns, and has poems published in Atlanta Review, Chattahoochee Review, Terminus Magazine, Poetry Kanto, and Mead and Connotations online. Her latest collection, A Scrap of Linen, A Bone, is a Tom Lombardo selection for the Poetry Series at Press 53, and is due out in Spring, 2016.

Rob Roberge

Rob Roberge

Rob Roberge is the author of the memoir Liar (Crown, 2016) and four previous works of fiction, including Drive and More Than They Could Chew, and the short story collection Working Backwards from the Worst Moment of My Life. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including ZYZZYVA, Chelsea, Black Clock, Other Voices, Alaska Quarterly Review, and the “Ten Writers Worth Knowing” issue of The Literary Review. He teaches at the UCR/Palm Desert low-residency MFA program. He’s the guitarist for the seminal punk band The Urinals.

 

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 six years.

Why There Are Words Celebrates its 6th Anniversary Jan. 14, 2016

Posted in readings by whytherearewords on December 14, 2015

Why There Are Words celebrates its sixth anniversary with a special show featuring brilliant authors with books published by brilliant independent presses. Come revel with us January 14, 2016, at Studio 333 on 333 Caledonia Street in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Carmiel Banasky

Carmiel Banasky

Carmiel Banasky is the author of the novel, The Suicide of Claire Bishop, published by Dzanc Books (2015), which Publishers Weekly called “an intellectual tour de force and a moving reflection on the ways we try to save ourselves and others,” in a starred review. Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Slice, Guernica, PEN America, The Rumpus, and NPR, among other places. She earned her M.F.A. from Hunter College, where she taught Creative Writing, and her B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Ucross, Ragdale, Artist Trust, I-Park, and other foundations. After four years on the road at writing residencies, she now teaches in Los Angeles. She is from Portland, Oregon.

Molly Giles

Molly Giles

Molly Giles has published four award winning short story collections–all with small presses–and a novel (which was published by Scribners and didn’t do nearly as well.) She has won an NEA, two Pushcart Prizes, several states’ art grants, and a National Critics Circle Award for Excellence in Book Reviewing. She taught at San Francisco State and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville for many years and presently teaches workshops and mentors through Book Passage. She has new stories in small magazines no one has ever heard of, but should: Word Riot, Cog, Corium, Ursa Minor, and Fiction Southeast.

Margaret Malone

Margaret Malone

Margaret Malone is the author of the story collection People Like You from Atelier26 Books. Her stories and non-fiction can be found in The Missouri Review, Oregon Humanities, Propeller Magazine, Timberline Review, latimes.com and elsewhere. A recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship and an Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship, Margaret is a co-host of the artist and literary gathering SHARE. She lives in Portland with her husband, filmmaker Brian Padian, and their two children.

Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr is the author of four novels, including Damascus, which the New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.”  He’s also written Fight Song and Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as Termite Parade, an Editors’ Choice on the New York Times Best Seller List. His novel All This Life was just published by Counterpoint/Soft Skull. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.

Natalie Serber

Natalie Serber

Natalie Serber is the author of Community Chest, (Two Sylvias Press), and Shout Her Lovely Name, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, a summer reading selection from O, the Oprah Magazine, and an Oregonian Top 10 Book of the Pacific Northwest. Her fiction has appeared in The Bellingham Review, Gulf Coast, Inkwell, and Hunger Mountain. Essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Oprah Magazine, The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian, The Rumpus, Salon, and Fourth Genre. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas latest book, Bridge, is a novella published by BOA Editions, and it won the 2015 PEN Center USA Award for Fiction. His first book, Door to Door, was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as winner of the Poets Out Loud Prize, and his second book, Dragging the Lake, was published by Carnegie Mellon . He has received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and won a Pushcart Prize. Robert lives with his wife in Oakland.

Genanne Walsh

Genanne Walsh

Genanne Walsh is the author of Twister, awarded the Big Moose Prize for the Novel from Black Lawrence Press and published in December 2015. Twister was also a finalist for the Brighthorse Prize. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and lives in San Francisco with her wife and dogs.

Colin Winnette

Colin Winnette

Colin Winnette is the author of several books, including the SPD best-seller Coyote (Les Figues Press) and Haints Stay (Two Dollar Radio), two of Flavorwire’s “Best Independent Press Books of 2015.” His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Lucky PeachLos Angeles Review of Books, The American Reader, Believer magazine, and Electric Literature. He lives in San Francisco.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been bringing literature to the people for six years.

Why There Are Words Presents “Gift Horse” December 10, 2015

Posted in readings by whytherearewords on November 13, 2015

Why There Are Words presents an evening of readings on the theme “Gift Horse.” Join us December 10, 2015, at Studio 333 on 333 Caledonia Street in Sausalito for our last event of 2015. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Jodi Angel

Jodi Angel

Jodi Angel is the author of two collections of short stories. Her first collection, The History of Vegas, was named a Best Book of 2005 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her second collection, You Only Get Letters from Jail, (2013), was published by Tin House Books and named as a Best Book of 2013 by Esquire. Her short stories have appeared in EsquireTin HouseOne StoryZoetrope: All-StoryElectric Literature Recommended Reading, and The Offing, among other publications and anthologies. Her short story, “Snuff,” was selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2014. She lives in Northern California with her wife and daughter.

Gint Aras

Gint Aras

Gint Aras (Karolis Gintaras Žukauskas) has been trapped on planet Earth since 1973. He is the author of two novels, Finding the Moon in Sugar (Infinity, 2009) and The Fugue, (Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, 2015). His prose and translations have appeared in The St. Petersburg Review, Quarterly West, Antique Children, Criminal Class Review, The Hellgate Review, Curbside Splendor, Šiaurės Atėnai, STIR Journal, Dialogo, The Good Men Projec,t and other publications. He earned his MFA from Columbia University. Currently employed as a community college professor, he lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his family.

Jean HeglandJean Hegland’s latest novel, Still Time, was released in September 2015 by Arcade/Skyhorse. In addition to receiving a starred review in Booklist, re-publication admirers include novelist Karen Joy Fowler, who calls it a “moving, beautiful story,” novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein, who says it is, “a high-wire act of literary daring,” and Shakespeare scholar David Crystal, who claims, “Still Time is a novel Shakespeare would be proud of.” Her first novel, Into the Forest, has been translated into eleven languages and is a frequent choice for campus- and community-wide reading programs. A film adaptation of Into the Forest starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2015. Midwest Book Review calls Jean’s second novel, Windfalls, “a profound look at motherhood,” while Publishers Weekly promises it is “a good prospect for reading groups.” Excerpts from her first book, The Life Within: Celebration of a Pregnancy, have appeared in a junior high school science textbook, a college English textbook, and a guided journal for pregnant women. Jean is an avid teacher and a frequent presenter at writing workshops and conferences, both in the US and abroad. She lives in Northern California.

Yang Huang

Yang Huang

Yang Huang grew up in Jiangsu, China and came to the U.S. to study computer science. While working as an engineer, she attended Boston College and earned an MFA from the University of Arizona. Her debut novel Living Treasures is shortlisted for The Rubery Book Award, a Pen/Bellwether Prize finalist, and an INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist. Her fiction and a feature-length screenplay have appeared in Asian Pacific American Journal, The Evansville Review, Futures, Porcupine Literary Arts Magazine, Nuvein, and Stories for Film. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and works for UC Berkeley as a computer engineer.

Christian Kiefer

Christian Kiefer

Christian Kiefer’s first novel, The Infinite Tides (Bloomsbury) appeared on best of the year lists from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist and was given rave reviews in The Washington Post, Oprah.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, Brooklyn Rain, Library Journal, Huffington Post, and elsewhere. T.C. Boyle called the novel “smart, lyrical [and] deeply moving” and noted its “emotional complexity and pure aching beauty.” Pam Houston called it “the most emotionally and syntactically sophisticated debut I have ever seen.” His second novel, The Animals (Liveright / W.W. Norton) was a best book of the year from Amazon.com and was praised by Richard Ford, Janet Fitch, and many others. Porter Shreve, writing about the novel in the San Francisco Chronicle, noted that “the book is not just a galloping great read; it’s a violent, tender, terrifying, genuine work of art.” He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for his short fiction, which has appeared in Santa Monica Review, Zyzzyva, Catamaran Literary Reader, and elsewhere. He writes and publishes poetry on a regular basis, and has a long second career in music, under the auspices of which he has collaborated with members of Smog, Sun Kil Moon, Wilco, Low, and The Band. He holds a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of California at Davis and teaches regularly at conferences including the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Catamaran Writing Conference, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, where he was a fellow, and currently serves on the faculty of the low-res MFA at Sierra Nevada College. Upcoming work includes the novella, One Day Soon Time Will Have No Place Left to Hide (Nouvella) and the novel, Kingdom of Wolves (Liveright / W.W. Norton). He lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada northeast of Sacramento, California with his wife and sons.

Renee Thompson

Renee Thompson

Renée Thompson is the author of two novels, The Plume Hunter and The Bridge at Valentine, which received high praise from Larry McMurtry and which was selected as the 2014 Community Book for Woodland Reads. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology series, Manifest West; Narrative; Crossborder; Literal Latte; Arcadia; Chiron Review, and elsewhere. Her fiction has been performed at the reading series Stories on Stage/Sacramento, and Stories on Stage/Davis. She is at work on a new novel.

Joshua Weil

Joshua Weil

Josh Weil is the author of the novel The Great Glass Sea and the novella collection The New Valley, both New York Times Editor’s Choices. A Fulbright Fellow and National Book Foundation 5-under-35 honoree, he has been awarded the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Sue Kaufman Prize from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the GrubStreet National Book Prize, the New Writers Award from the GLCA, and a Pushcart Prize. His writing has appeared in Granta, Tin House, One Story, Esquire, and The New York Times. He lives with his family in the Sierra Nevadas.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, and is hosted by curator/founder Peg Alford Pursell.

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

Posted in readings 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.

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