Why There Are Words

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

Posted in readings, Sausalito 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, Sausalito 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 Presents “Untoward”, October 8, 2015

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on September 14, 2015

Why There Are Words 

Why There Are Words presents presents an evening of readings on the theme “Untoward.” Join us on October 8, 2015 at  Studio 333 in Sausalito to hear what the following authors find inappropriate, unexpected, inconvenient. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Jane Ciabattari

Jane Ciabattari

Jane Ciabattari is the author of the short story collections Stealing the Fire and California Tales, co-founder of Flash Fiction Collective, National Book Critics Circle vice president/online (and former president), and a columnist for BBC.com and the Lit Hub. Her award-winning stories have been published widely, most recently in 100-Word-Story and New Flash Fiction Review. She studied creative writing at Stanford and, in graduate school at San Francisco State.

Daphne Gottlieb

Daphne Gottlieb

Daphne Gottlieb stitches together the ivory tower and the gutter just using her tongue. She is the award-winning author of ten books including the new collection of short stories, Pretty Much Dead. Previous works include Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in her Own Words, a collection of letters from Death Row by the “first female serial killer” to her childhood best friend. She is also the author of five books of poetry, editor of two anthologies, and, with artist Diane DiMassa, the co-creator of the graphic novel Jokes and the Unconscious. She is the winner of the Acker Award for Excellence in the Avant-Garde, the Audre Lorde Award for Poetry, the Firecracker Alternative Book Award, and is a five-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.

Jordan Rosenfield

Jordan Rosenfield

Jordan E. Rosenfeld is author of two novels and four writing guides, most recently A Writer’s Guide to Persistence (Writer’s Digest Books) and the brand new novel Women in Red (Booktrope, 2015). Her articles and essays have appeared widely in publications such as AlterNet, DAME, Modern Loss, the New York Times, Ozy, Purple Clover, The Rumpus, Role/Reboot, THIS Magazine, the Washington Post, and many more.  She is the creator of Word by Word, a literary radio show on KRCB radio.

 

Elizabeth Rosner

Elizabeth Rosner

Elizabeth Rosner is a bestselling novelist, poet, and essayist living in Berkeley. Her third novel, Electric City (Counterpoint Press), was published in Fall 2014 and named among the best books of the year by NPR. Her acclaimed poetry collection, Gravity (Atelier26 Books), was also published in Fall 2014. Her first novel, The Speed of Light (Ballantine), was translated into nine languages. Short-listed for the Prix Femina, the book won several literary prizes in both the US and Europe, including the Prix France Bleu Gironde; the Great Lakes Colleges Award for New Fiction; and Hadassah Magazine’s 2002 Ribalow Prize, judged by Elie Wiesel. Blue Nude (Simon & Schuster), her second novel, was named one of the best books of 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosner’s essays have appeared in the NY Times Magazine, Elle, the Forward, Hadassah Magazine, and numerous anthologies; her poems have appeared in Poetry, Southwest Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Catamaran, and many others.  Her book reviews appear frequently in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Alia Volz

Alia Volz

Alia Volz is a Spanish Interpreter raised in San Francisco and educated in Havana. She’s written for Tin House, Threepenny Review (Forthcoming 2016), Utne Reader, Huizache, The Rumpus, Narratively, ZYZZYVA and other fine lit rags.

Siamak Vossoughi

Siamak Vossoughi

Siamak Vossoughi was born in Tehran, grew up in Seattle, and has lived in San Francisco for twenty years. He has had some stories published in Kenyon Review Online, the Missouri Review, The Rumpus, Washington Square, and Glimmer Train. He is a recipient of the 2014 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, for his short story collection entitled Better Than War, published September 2015.

Naomi Williams

Naomi Williams

Naomi J. Williams is the author of Landfalls (FSG), which was long-listed for the 2015 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Zoetrope: All-Story, A Public Space, Ninth Letter, and many others. A five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and one-time winner, she has an MA in Creative Writing from UC Davis. She lives in Davis, CA, and is hard at work on a second novel.

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 Presents “Stumbling”, September 10, 2015

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on August 17, 2015

Why There Are Words 

Why There Are Words presents “Stumbling,” an evening of readings that slip right into the path of pure fabulousness. Make your way to Studio 333 in Sausalito. on September 10, 2015. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Val Brelinski

Val Brelinski

Val Brelinski is the author of the debut novel, The Girl Who Slept with God. Born and raised in Nampa, Idaho, the daughter of devout evangelical Christians, from 2003 to 2005, she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where she was also a Jones Lecturer in fiction writing. She received an MFA from the University of Virginia, and her recent writing has been featured in VQR and The Rumpus. She received prizes for her fiction from the San Francisco Chronicle, The Charlottesville Weekly, and The Boise Weekly, and was also a finalist for the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She lives in Northern California and currently teaches creative writing at Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program.

Jennifer Hacker

Jennifer Hacker

Jennifer Clover has been a schoolteacher, a health educator, a gemologist and jewelry designer, a bookseller, a veterinary hospital receptionist, and a professional salesperson. Her commitment to writing is the reason she gets out of bed in the morning. She writes short stories, personal essays, and is currently working on a novel and a collection of short stories based on her fourteen years managing the front office of a veterinary eye practice. She has been published in Hippocampus Journal, Persimmon Tree, the San Francisco Chronicle and Lake Journal.

David Corbett

David Corbett

David Corbett is the award-winning author of the writing guide The Art of Character (“A writer’s bible” – Elizabeth Brundage) and five novels, including 2015’s The Mercy of the Night and its companion novella, The Devil Prayed and Darkness Fell. George Pelecanos of The Wire remarked, “Corbett, like Robert Stone and Graham Greene before him, is crafting important, immensely thrilling books.” His short fiction has twice appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, and his non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, Narrative, Zyzzyva, Bright Ideas, and numerous other outlets.

Rebecca Foust

Rebecca Foust

Rebecca Foust is the recipient of fellowships from The Frost Place, the MacDowell Colony, and the Sewanee Writer’s Conference and the winner of the 2014 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Award. Her fifth book, Paradise Drive, won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry and was recently SF Chronicle Review of Paradise Drive in the Sunday edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. She is the Poetry Editor for Women’s Voices for Change and an Assistant Editor for Narrative Magazine. 

Janis Cooke Newman

Janis Cooke Newman

Janis Cooke Newman is the author of the recently released novel, A Master Plan for Rescue (Riverhead). She is also the author of Mary, which was an LA Time Book Prize Finalist and chosen Best Historical Novel of the Year by USA Today, and the author of the memoir, The Russian Word for Snow. She is the founder of the Lit Camp writers conference.

Juan Alvarado Valdivia

Juan Alvarado Valdivia

Juan Alvarado Valdivia is a Peruvian American writer who was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised in Fremont, CA. He received his MFA in creative writing from Saint Mary’s College of California. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in The Acentos Review, Black Heart Magazine, and Label Me Latina/o. His first book, ¡Cancerlandia!: A Memoir was just published by the University of New Mexico Press. He lives in Oakland with his sweetheart.

Fran Wilde

Fran Wilde

With an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College, a University of Virginia honors thesis on Milton, and a Masters in interaction design, Fran Wilde’s career genre-hops from classics, to programming and game design, to speculative fiction. Her first book, the high-flying fantasy Updraft (Tor/Macmillan) has received starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal, and is a Library Journal Debut of the Month and a Publishers’ Weekly Fall 2015 Top 10 Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror book. In addition to Updraft and two more novels from Tor, her poetry has appeared in The Marlboro Review, Poetry Baltimore, and Tor.com; her short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s Magazine, on Tor.com, and in Nature Magazine. She’s taught poetry and writing for the Johns Hopkins CTY Program, at the Baltimore County School for the Arts, Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, and at the upcoming Paradise Lost Writers Workshop.

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 Presents “Reach”, August 13, 2015

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on July 12, 2015

Why There Are Words presents the following authors reading from their works on the theme of “Reach.” Join us August 13, 2015, at Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. It’s no stretch to say you’ll be glad you did!

Jon Boilard

Jon Boilard

Born and raised in Western Massachusetts, Jon Boilard has been living in Northern California since 1986. His second novel, The Castaway Lounge (Dzanc Books), was published in the summer of 2015, and his debut novel, A River Closely Watched (MacAdam Cage 2012), was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award in the fall of 2012. He is currently putting together a collection of his short stories, many of which have been published in literary journals in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

Melissa Cistaro

Melissa Cistaro

Melissa Cistaro’s stories have been published in numerous literary journals, including the New Ohio Review, Anderbo.com, and Brevity as well as the anthologies Cherished and Love and Profanity. She works as a bookseller and event coordinator at Book Passage in Northern California. She graduated with honors from UCLA and followed her literary pursuits through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and the Tin House Writer’s Workshop in Portland. Between the years of raising her children, writing, bookselling, teaching horseback riding, and curating a business in equestrian antiques she completed her first memoir, Pieces of My Mother (Sourcebooks, May 2015).

M. Allen Cunningham

M. Allen Cunningham

M. Allen Cunningham‘s newest book, Partisans: A Lost Work by Geoffrey Peerson Leed, a found manuscript by the vanished writer, appeared in spring 2015. Partisans was one of six titles shortlisted for the 2014 Flann O’Brien Award. Cunningham is the author of the illustrated limited edition short story collection Date of Disappearance, the novels The Green Age of Asher Witherow and Lost Son, and two volumes of nonfiction, The Flickering Page: The Reading Experience in Digital Times and The Honorable Obscurity Handbook, which Cynthia Ozick has called “ingenious, variegated, touching, important, wholly absorbing, inspiring and inspiriting.” He is the recipient of grants from the Whiting Foundation, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council, fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission (2007 and 2013) and Literary Arts (2012), and residencies at Yaddo (2010 and 2014). His work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Glimmer Train, Alaska Quarterly Review, Tin House, Epoch, and other distinguished literary magazines, and his short stories have been featured in live performance by the New Short Fiction Series of Beverly Hills. Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler calls Cunningham “a lushly talented young writer,” ForeWord Magazine has named him “one of America’s most promising voices,” and he was cited in the Dzanc Books list of 20 Writers to Watch. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he writes occasional book reviews and cultural commentary, leads public discussions for the Oregon Humanities council, and is at work on two new books. He is the founder and publisher of Atelier26 Books.

Carol Harada

Carol Harada

Carol Harada is a somatic healing practitioner at The Fluent Body and a proud member of Laguna Writers community in San Francisco. She incorporates awareness of healing and creative processes into her short stories and novel-in-progress. She has been published in Bryant Literary Review; Flash Flood Journal; Lake: a Collection of Voices, volumes 4, 5, and 6; and Birdland Journal. She co-edits Birdland Journal, an online bimonthly showcasing Laguna Writers and Birdland Retreats writers.

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.

Bonnie ZoBell

Bonnie ZoBell

Bonnie ZoBell‘s new linked collection from Press 53, What Happened Here, is centered on the site PSA Flight 182 crashed into at North Park, San Diego, in 1978 and features the imaginary characters who live there now. Her fiction chapbook The Whack-Job Girls was published in March 2013. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, the Capricorn Novel Award, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. She received an MFA from Columbia University, currently teaches at San Diego Mesa College, and is working on a novel.

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 Presents “The Stranger” July 9, 2015

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on June 16, 2015

Why There Are Words presents the following acclaimed authors reading from their works on the theme of  “The Stranger.” Join us for a night like no others July 9, 2015, at Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Jayne Benjulian

Jayne Benjulian

Jayne Benjulian’s poems have appeared in Agni, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, Women’s Review of Books, Nimrod International, and elsewhere; her essays, in HowlRound and The California Journal of Women Writers. She has taught at Emory University, San Francisco State University, and University of San Francisco, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Lyon, France. She holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. In previous incarnations she was chief speechwriter at Apple, director of new play development at Magic Theatre, and investigator for the Public Defender in King County, WA.

Liam Callanan

Liam Callanan

In addition to his new story collection, Listen (Four Way Books, 2015), Liam Callanan is the author of the novels The Cloud Atlas, a finalist for an Edgar Award, and All Saints, a Target Bookmarked Breakout book. A frequent essayist for print and public radio, he has taught at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Los Angeles, he now calls Wisconsin home.

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet’s The Greenhouse was awarded the 2014 Frost Place Prize and published by Bull City Press in September 2014. Her first book, 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 Kenyon Review, 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.

Robin McLean

Robin McLean

Robin McLean‘s debut collection Reptile House won the 2015 BOA Editions Fiction Prize and was also a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Prize in 2011 and 2012. According to Publishers Weekly, Reptile House “moves seamlessly from adultery to kidnapping, from assassination plots to extreme geothermal events, all in a voice that is spare and darkly poetic” offering “strangely realistic glimpses into conflicts that are equal parts surreal and hyper-realistic.” A figure skater first—having learned to skate and walk at the same time—she believes crashing on ice prepared her for writing fiction. She teaches at Clark University and splits her time between Newfound Lake in Bristol, New Hampshire, and a 200-year-old farm in western Massachusetts.

Marie Mutsuki Mockett

Marie Mutsuki Mockett

Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born and raised in California to a Japanese mother and American father, and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Her memoir, Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, was published by Norton and is a Barnes and Noble Discover Pick, and IndieNext Pick and a New York Times Critic’s Choice. Her first novel, Picking Bones from Ash, was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and a finalist for the Paterson Prize. She has written for The New York Times, Salon, National Geographic, Glamour, and other publications and has been a guest on Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered on NPR.

Patrick O'Neil

Patrick O’Neil

Patrick O’Neil is the author of the memoir, Gun Needle Spoon (Dzanc Books, June 2015), and the excerpted in part French translation, Hold-Up (13e Note Editions). His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including: Juxtapoz, Sensitive Skin, Salon.com, The Weeklings, Razorcake, Fourteen Hills, and Word Riot. He has been nominated twice for Best of the Net, and is a regular contributor to the recovery website After Party Chat. Patrick holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. He lives in Hollywood, California, and teaches at Antioch University and Los Angeles Valley College. For more information please visit his website.

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 Presents “Impulse” June 11, 2015

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on May 20, 2015

Why There Are Words presents an evening of the following six award-winning authors reading their works on the theme of “Impulse.” Don’t hold back! Join us June 11, 2015, at Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Jan Ellison

Jan Ellison

Jan Ellison lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband of twenty years and their four children. Jan’s first published short story won a 2007 O. Henry Prize. Her work has also been short-listed for the Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. She grew up in Tujunga, California, in a house made of river rock and timber, and is a graduate of Stanford and San Francisco State’s MFA program. Jan left Stanford for a year at nineteen to live on a shoe-string in Paris and work in an office in London. She scribbled notes on yellow legal pads, and years later those notes provided the inspiration for her debut novel, A Small Indiscretion, published in January 2015 by Random House.

Christian Kiefer

Christian Kiefer

Christian Kiefer is the author of the novels The Animals (Liveright / W.W. Norton) and The Infinite Tides (Bloomsbury). He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Davis and serves on the faculty of American River College where he is editor-in-chief of Ad Lumen Press. His poetry and short fiction have appeared recently in Zyzzyva and Catamaran Literary Review. 

Jeff Leong

Jeff Leong

Jeffrey Thomas Leong is a former public health administrator and attorney for the City and County of San Francisco. He recently earned his MFA in poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His poems and writing have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron Review, Bamboo Ridge, and Hyphen Magazine. He is currently translating the Chinese wall poems at the Angel Island Immigration Station and writing his personal family history. In past lives he has been a singer-songwriter, disc jockey, high school teacher, and open mic host. He lives with his wife and daughter in the East Bay.

Maggie Messitt

Maggie Messitt

An independent narrative and immersion journalist, Maggie Messitt has spent the last decade reporting from inside underserved communities in southern Africa and Middle America. She lived in northeastern South Africa for 8 years, during which time she was the founding director of a writing school for rural African women, editor of its community newspaper and international magazine, and a freelance reporter.  The Rainy Season: Three Lives in the New South Africa, a work of literary journalism, is her first book. Since returning to the United States, her reportage and essays have been published in Creative Nonfiction, Essay Daily, Memoir Journal, Mother JonesRiver Teeth, Narratively, and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance magazine, among others. Recently named a 2015 Kenyon Review Peter Taylor Fellow and 2015 Scholar-in-Residence at Bowers Writers House, she is completing her PhD in creative nonfiction and working on her next book, a hybrid of investigation and memoir.

Barbara Klein Moss

Barbara Klein Moss

Barbara Klein Moss is a graduate of Syracuse University and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Her collection of stories, Little Edens, was published by W.W. Norton in 2004. Her fiction has appeared in New England Review, The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, Southwest Review, and The Best American Short Stories 2001. Her stories have been shortlisted for the O. Henry Prize and The Best American Short Stories 2002 and twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Maryland State Arts Council. Her debut novel, The Language of Paradise, was published by Norton in April, 2015. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

Ann Packer

Ann Packer

Ann Packer is the acclaimed author of two collections of short fiction, Swim Back to Me and Mendocino and Other Stories, and two bestselling novels Songs Without Words and The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, which received the Kate Chopin Literary Award among many other prizes and honors.  Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and in the O. Henry Prize Stories anthologies, and her novels have been translated into a dozen languages and published around the world. The Children’s Crusade (Scribner, April 2015) is her latest novel. She lives in San Carlos, 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, 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 and Joyland, with Daniel Handler, May 14, 2015

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on April 15, 2015

Why There Are Words presents a collaboration with Joyland, along with special guest Daniel Handler. Join us May, 14 2015, at Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

Based on the idea that fiction is an international movement supported by local communities Joyland is a literary magazine that selects stories regionally. Editors work with authors connected to locales across North America.

Kara Levy, editor

Kara Levy, editor

Kara Levy has been the San Francisco editor of Joyland for six years. A former Steinbeck fellow at San José State University, she earned her MFA at Columbia University. Her stories have been published in the Alaska Quarterly Review, TriQuarterly, and the Mississippi Review, and she was a winner of Narrative’s 30 Below contest.

Zoe Ferraris

Zoe Ferraris

 

Zoë Ferraris moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. She lived in a conservative Muslim community with her then-husband and his family, a group of Saudi-Palestinians. In 2006, she completed her MFA in Fiction at Columbia University. Her debut novel, Finding Nouf, won the LA Times Book Award. That novel and its follow-upsCity of Veils and Kingdom of Strangers, have been international bestsellers, published in over thirty-five countries. She currently lives in San Francisco.

Ruth Galm

Ruth Galm

Ruth Galm’s debut novel, Into the Valley, will be out from Soho Press in 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.

Rachel Khong

Rachel Khong

Rachel Khong is the senior editor of Lucky Peach, and has worked for the publication since its inception in 2011. In addition to Lucky Peach, her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, The Rumpus, American Short FictionJoyland, and California Sunday. She is currently at work on a novel. She lives in San Francisco.

Marian Palaia

Marian Palaia

Marian Palaia is the author of The Given World, a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” pick for summer 2015, forthcoming in April from Simon and Schuster. Marian has lived in San Francisco, on and off, since 1985, and has also lived in Maryland, Montana, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, and Nepal, where she was a Peace Corps volunteer. In past lives, she has been a teacher, a truck driver, a bartender, and the littlest logger in Lincoln, Montana.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Maggie Tokuda-Hall has an MFA in writing and a tendency to spill things. She splits her time between writing for kids and adults, and her debut picture book, And Also an Octopus, is due out next year. You can find her short fiction on JoylandMidnight Breakfast, The Tusk, and Boing Boing, or on her website, prettyokmaggie.com.

Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler

SPECIAL GUEST Daniel Handler is the author of five novels, most recently Why We Broke Up, which won a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the just-published We Are Pirates. As Lemony Snicket, he is responsible for numerous books for children, including the thirteen-volume A Series Of Unfortunate Events, the four-volume All The Wrong Questions, and The Dark, which won the Charlotte Zolotow Award.  He has received commissions from the San Francisco Symphony and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is collaborating with artist Maira Kalman on a series of books for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, including Girls Standing on Lawns and Hurry Up and Wait.  His regular column for The Believer, “What The Swedes Read,” investigates the Nobel Prize for Literature, and he continues to serve as the adjunct accordionist for the Magnetic Fields, among other musical projects. His books have sold more than 60 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages, and have been adapted for screen and stage, including a Netflix television version of the entirety A Series of Unfortunate Events, currently in development.

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 Presents “Sure”, April 9, 2015

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on March 17, 2015

Why There Are Words presents “Sure,” an evening of readings free of doubt about their quality from these unwavering authors. Join us, and be convinced. April 9, 2015, Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

George Higgins

George Higgins

George Higgins is the author of a book of poems, There, There, (White Violet Press, 2013). His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Nimrod, Pleiades, Fugue and many other literary journals. He is the recipient of a Holden Fellowship in the Warren Wilson MFA Program, a Cave Canem Fellowship, and a scholarship to the Westchester Poetry Conference in 2014. He practices law with the Alameda County Public Defender, performs dramatic improvisation at Berkeley Rep and with the long form troupe the (i)ncidentalists. He lives in Oakland, California.

Alexandra Kostoulas

Alexandra Kostoulas

Alexandra Kostoulas is a writer and editor living in San Francisco.  She has an MFA in Creative Writing and English from Mills College and a BA in Literature and Creative Writing from the College of Creative Studies at UCSB. She runs The Jack Grapes Method Writing Program in San Francisco and has over a decade of experience teaching English and Writing at the college level. She has just finished a poetry manuscript called “Leaving Los Angeles” that tells the story of a young woman poet’s coming of age and is finishing her novel, “Persephone Stolen,” that weaves in tales of the Persephone myth, the immigrant experience and stolen artifacts.

Eve Pell

Eve Pell

Eve Pell, the author of “Love, Again – The Wisdom of Unexpected Romance, and the nationally acclaimed “WE USED TO OWN THE BRONX,” reported for three award-winning PBS documentaries and is an award-winning writer published in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Nation, Ms., Runners World, and other publications. She has been a staff reporter at the Center for Investigative Reporting and a private eye; she taught journalism at San Francisco State University and is a grandmother and winner of the Dipsea race.

Connie Post

Connie Post

Connie Post is the Poet Laureate Emerita of Livermore. (2005 to 2009).  Her work has appeared in Calyx, Kalliope, Cold Mountain Review, Crab Creek Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Big Muddy, and Valparaiso Poetry Review.  She won the 2009 Caesura Poetry Award. Her first full-length book Floodwater was released by Glass Lyre Press in 2014 and won the Lyrebird Award.

Mindela Ruby

Mindela Ruby

Mindela Ruby writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, some of which is published in Literary Mama, Connotation Press, FRiGG, Arcadia, and other journals. She completed a PhD at University of California and teaches writing at a community college. Her novel, Mosh It Up, was released in 2014 and has been called “a literary marvel” by the author of The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien.

Jon Sindell is the author of the short fiction collection The Roadkill Collection (Big Table Publishing) and over seventy published short stories. Jon is a fulltime personal humanities tutor and a writing coach for business professionals. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and near fledglings, curates the San Francisco reading series Rolling Writers, and ends his bios with a thud.

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 Presents the “Time” Readings, March 12, 2015

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on February 19, 2015

Why There Are Words presents the event “Time,” the occasion in your schedule to enjoy the following distinguished authors read from their works. Join us March 12, 2015, at Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. Here are the readers for this highly anticipated program.

 

Peter Coyote

Peter Coyote

Peter Coyote has performed as an actor for some of the world’s most distinguished filmmakers, including: Barry Levinson, Roman Polanski, Pedro Almodovar, Steven Spielberg, Walter Hill, Martin Ritt, Steven Soderberg, Diane Kurys, Sidney Pollack, and Jean Paul Rappeneau; and is an Emmy-Award winning narrator of over 120 documentary films, including Ken Burns, National Parks, Prohibition, The West, the Dust Bowl, and the acclaimed The Roosevelts. His memoir of the 1960’s counter-culture, Sleeping Where I Fall, received universally excellent reviews, appeared on three best-seller lists, sold five printings in hardback, and was re-released with a new cover and afterword in May 2009. A chapter from that book, “Carla’s Story,” won the 1993/94 Pushcart Prize for Excellence in non-fiction. His new book, The Rainman’s Third Cure: An Irregular Education, about mentors and the search for wisdom will be released April 14, 2015 by Counterpoint. He is an ordained Buddhist priest who has been practicing for 40 years and is currently preparing for his transmission ceremony, granting him independence from his teacher, this summer. He is and has been engaged in political and social causes since his early teens. He considers his 1952 Dodge Power Wagon to be his least harmful addiction.

Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month and the co-founder of the online lit journal 100 Word Story. His stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest, The Southwest ReviewPANK, Gargoyle, eclectica, Puerto del Sol, the Berkeley Fiction Review, and Word Riot, among many others. His collection of one hundred 100-word stories, Fissures, will be out in the spring of 2015, and he’s just completed a novel, The Traveler.

T. Geronimo Johnson

T. Geronimo Johnson

Born and raised in New Orleans, T. Geronimo Johnson received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his M.A. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from UC Berkeley. He has taught writing and held fellowships—including a Stegner Fellowship and an Iowa Arts Fellowship—at Arizona State University, the University of Iowa, UC Berkeley, Western Michigan University, and Stanford. His first novel, Hold it ‘Til it Hurts, was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Johnson is currently a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Nancy Levine

Nancy Levine

Nancy Levine is author of the bestselling four-book series beginning with The Tao of Pug (Penguin). She studied autobiographical storytelling with the late monologuist Spalding Gray and was a featured writer in HBO’s New Writer’s Project, workshopping her one-woman show “Leaving Scarsdale” at the HBO Workspace in Los Angeles. Her second book Homer for the Holidays (Penguin) won the award for Best Humor Book from the Dog Writers Association of America. She is currently at work on her fifth book, a novel called “Inheritances.” Originally from New York City, Nancy now lives in Woodacre, California.

Ann Pancake

Ann Pancake

Ann Pancake’s first novel, Strange As This Weather Has Been (Counterpoint 2007), was one of Kirkus Review’s Top Ten Fiction Books of the Year, won the 2007 Weatherford Prize, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion Book Award and the 2008 Washington State Book Award. Her collection of short stories, Given Ground (University Press of New England, 2001) won the Bakeless Prize, and a new collection, Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley (Counterpoint) will be available in February 2015. She has also received a Whiting Award, an NEA grant, and a Pushcart Prize. Her fiction and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies like Orion, The Georgia Review, Poets and Writers, and New Stories from the South, the Year’s Best. She teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University.

Natasha Saje

Natasha Saje

Natasha Sajé is the author of three books of poems, Red Under the Skin (Pittsburgh, 1994), Bend (Tupelo, 2004), Vivarium (Tupelo, 2014), and a critical book about poetry, Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory, (Michigan, 2014). Her honors include the Robert Winner and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Awards from the Poetry Society of America, the 2002 Campbell Corner Poetry Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship to Slovenia, and a Camargo Fellowship in France. Sajé has been teaching in the low residency Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program since 1996, and is a professor of English at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, where she directs the Weeks Poetry Series.

Jessica Treadway

Jessica Treadway

Jessica Treadway’s novel Lacy Eye will be published by Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group in March 2015. Her story collection Please Come Back To Me received the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by University of Georgia Press in 2010. Her previous books are Absent Without Leave and Other Stories and a novel, And Give You Peace. A professor at Emerson College, she has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Foundation.

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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