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’ 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 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.
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 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’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 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.
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 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.
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-ups, City of Veils and Kingdom of Strangers, have been international bestsellers, published in over thirty-five countries. She currently lives in San Francisco.
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 Review, Indiana 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 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 Fiction, Joyland, and California Sunday. She is currently at work on a novel. She lives in San Francisco.
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 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 Joyland, Midnight Breakfast, The Tusk, and Boing Boing, or on her website, prettyokmaggie.com.
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 Chances on February 14, 2013. Don’t take chances — get to Studio 333 at 7 pm when doors open for your seat. You won’t want to miss these readers. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze.
Stacy Bierlein is the author of the story collection A Vacation on the Island of Ex-Boyfriends and a co-editor of the short fiction anthology Men Undressed: Women Writers and the Male Sexual Experience. Her award-winning anthology of international fiction, A Stranger Among Us: Stories of Cross Cultural Collision and Connection, is used in university classrooms across the country. She is a founding editor of Other Voices Books and the Morgan Street International Novel Series. Her articles about writing, publishing, and the arts appear on various websites, including The Rumpus. She lives in Southern California.
Daniel Coshnear works in a group home, teaches writing in a variety of Bay area and North Bay university extension programs, and is the author of two collections of stories: Jobs & Other Preoccupations (Helicon Nine 2001) and the brand new Occupy & Other Love Stories (Kellys Cove Press 2012).
Syda Patel Day is the author of a novel, A Waterless River, forthcoming from Norton. She is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she was co-director of the Lowenstein Human Rights Law Clinic, where she won a Newberry Award, and the prestigious degree-end Lemkin Prize for excellence in legal writing. The Holtzmann Fellow at Yale University, she also won the Mary Cass Award for poetry. She taught law as the Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law School and was awarded the Coker Fellowship for teaching at Yale Law School. She’s won numerous awards, fellowships, and grants for her creative writing, including a Fulbright Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Fellowship, a Steinbeck Fellowship, a Story Magazine Prize, fellowships and residencies at Djerassi Center for the Arts, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. She has taught literature at the Urban School of San Francisco and U.C. Berkeley. She was a founder of Root Division, a community arts organization in the Mission district of San Francisco, was Co-Director of the Film Institute for Social Change, and was Vice President of Content at EdVantage and StudySync, an international education company, division of Bookhead Ed, Inc. and Houghton Mifflin. She is currently the Lucy Grealy Scholar at Bennington College Writing Seminars.
Kerry Donoghue‘s short stories have appeared in Southern Gothic Shorts, The Queen City Review, The Furnace Review, and The Black Boot. Two other stories have been published and illustrated by The Fiction Circus and the Pilot Project, one of which was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco and can be found biking around SF with her husband or on the hunt for donuts.
Marian Palaia lives mostly in San Francisco but sometimes in Missoula, Montana, and is currently a John Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University. She received her MFA from The University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she was awarded the 2012 Milofsky Prize and nominated for an AWP Intro award. “Củ Chi,” the first chapter of her novel Don’t Let Them Take You Back Broken, was published in the fall 2012 issue of The Virginia Quarterly Review and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize.
Jordan E. Rosenfeld is author of the debut novel of psychological suspense, Forged in Grace, forthcoming from Indie-Visible ink in 2013, and the writing guide Make a Scene. Her work has appeared in Night Train, The Pedestal, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times, Smokelong Quarterly, and on KQED Radio’s The California Report. She teaches online writing classes.
Ryan Van Meter is the author of the essay collection, If You Knew Then What I Know Now (2011). His work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Iowa Review, The Normal School Magazine, Ninth Letter, and Fourth Genre, among others, and has been selected for anthologies including Best American Essays 2009. A recent finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, he has also been awarded residencies by The MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.