Why There Are Words

Why There Are Words April 12: “Break”

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on March 10, 2012

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme: Break April 12 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. Break: an interruption in continuity; a second chance. These seven authors will BREAK through what we think we know about this topic. Join us! And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter announcing upcoming readings each month. (We never share your email with anyone!)



Shannon Cain

Shannon Cain’s debut short story collection, The Necessity of Certain Behaviors, is the recipient of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Her stories have been awarded the Pushcart Prize, the O. Henry Prize, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. They have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, The Colorado Review, the New England Review, American Short Fiction, Mid-American Review, and Southwords: New Writing from Ireland. She is the co-editor, with Lisa Bowden, of Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq (Kore Press, 2008) and co-adapter of Coming In Hot, the stage adaptation of the book. She is the Artist-in-Residence for the City of Tucson’s Ward One and the fiction editor for Kore Press. Her current creative project is Tucson, the Novel: An Experiment in Literature and Civil Discourse.



Stan Goldberg

Stan Goldberg is the author of Lessons for the Living: Stories of Forgiveness,Gratitude, and Courage at the End of Life, which received six national and international awards and was translated into Chinese, Indonesian, and Portuguese. He has published seven books, written numerous articles, and delivered more than 100 lectures and workshops throughout the United States, Latin America, Canada, and Asia on topics ranging from change, to flyfishing, to end of life issues.  He is Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University, and devotee of the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and Native American Flute. In 2009 he was named Volunteer of the Year by the Hospice Volunteer Association.



Leo Litwalk

Leo Litwak’s novel Waiting for the News received the National Jewish Book Award and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award. He has published two novels and two works of nonfiction. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York Times Book Review, Esquire, Look Magazine, and Best American Short Stories. He is a recipient of John Simon Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and first prize in the 1990 O. Henry Prize Stories collection. Professor at San Francisco State University for more than thirty years, he lives in San Francisco.



Meredith Maran

Meredith Maran is a book critic, award-winning journalist, and the author of several bestselling nonfiction books including My Lie, Class Dismissed, and What It’s Like to Live Now. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, she reviews books for People, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Boston Globe, and writes for a number of magazines. Since publishing a poem at age six in Highlights for Kids, she’s dreamed of publishing her first novel. A Theory of Small Earthquakes is it.



Sommer Schafer

Sommer Schafer is a candidate in the MFA program at San Francisco State University. She lives in San Rafael and is currently working on two collections of stories: My Father’s Memoirs, about a family coming to terms with a father’s mental illness and subsequent death, and Hope, about the citizens of a small town in Alaska. You can read her first publication, “The Table,” forthcoming later this year in Barge Journal.



Linda Gray Sexton

Linda Gray Sexton has published several widely acclaimed novels as well as two memoirs about her life and relationship with her mother, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Anne Sexton. Her first memoir, Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back To My Mother, was named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book. Her recent memoir, Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide, is about her struggle with her own mental illness and the legacy of suicide left to her by her mother, who took her own life when Sexton was twenty-one. Unlike her mother’s story though, hers is a story of triumph. She lives in Northern California.



Mary Paynter Sherwin

Mary Paynter Sherwin’s work has appeared most recently in The Midway Journal, Drash: Northwest Mosaic, and Unswept. She was also recently named one of the Northwest’s most innovative poets by Rattapallax. Mary is pursuing an MFA at Saint Mary’s College of California and lives in Oakland with her husband, David.

April 8, 2010 reading: Crazy!

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on March 24, 2010

It’s spring — go crazy! Join us at Studio 333 for Why There Are Words Thursday April 8, 7 pm. Hear the following authors read their work on the theme “crazy.”

Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash is the author of the novel The Last Good Chance, winner of the California Book Award and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, as well as the New York Times bestselling non-fiction book, On Top of the World. His short stories have appeared in Tin House, One Story, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Narrative, Story, StoryQuarterly, and other publications. He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow, and a member of the San Francisco Writers Grotto.

Allison Landa is a Berkeley-based writer whose fiction, nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Word Riot, CherryBleeds, CleanSheets, Defenestration, and Pindeldyboz. A MacDowell Colony Fellow, she has also held artist residencies at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and the Julia and David White Artists’ Colony. She received her MFA in creative writing from St. Mary’s College of California.

Ryan Sloan

Ryan Sloan received his MFA in Fiction from New York University, and lives in Berkeley. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Sloan’s work has appeared in LA Weekly, Nerve, Opium Magazine, The Modern Spectator, and Painted Bride Quarterly. He’s working on his first novel, titled “The Plagiarists.”

Wendy Tokunaga

Wendy Nelson Tokunaga is the author of the novels Love in Translation and Midori by Moonlight. Japan and Japanese culture have been major influences on her life and this is reflected in much of her writing. Her novel, No Kidding, won the Literary/Mainstream Fiction category in Writer’s Digest’s Best Self-Published Book Awards in 2002. She’s also the author of two children’s non-fiction books, and has had short stories published in various literary journals. Wendy earned her MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco.

Ethan Watters

Ethan Watters is the author of, most recently, Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, a book that’s had him appear on, among other venues, The Daily Show. He’s also the author of Urban Tribes, an examination of the mores of affluent “never marrieds,” and coauthor of Making Monsters, a groundbreaking indictment of the recovered memory movement.  A frequent contributor to NPR, The New York Times Magazine, Discover, Men’s Journal, Details, Wired, and PRI’s This American Life, he’s also appeared on such national media as Good Morning America, Talk of the Nation, and CNN. His work has been featured in the Best American Science and Nature Writing series. Ethan is co-founder of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto where he sometimes teaches writing classes. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.

Aggie Zivaljevic

Aggie Zivaljevic was born in Sarajevo, in the former Yugoslavia. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson and is the recipient of three scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her fiction has appeared in Crab Orchard Review and Speakeasy. Her story “Village at the Bottom of the Lake,” an excerpt from a novel-in-progress, was a finalist for Sherwood Anderson Short Fiction Award. She lives in San Jose and spends her days at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, runs the Kepler’s Writing Group, and hosts the Kepler’s blog for writers, “The Well Read Donkey.”

Breaking Away — March 11 reading

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on February 22, 2010

Why There Are Words is drawing raves and a full house of Marin, Sonoma, SF, and East Bay residents. Make plans now for March 11 to hear the following six authors read from their work on the theme of “Breaking Away.”  Studio 333, 7 PM, $5 donation at the door.

Justin Allen

Justin Allen has written on music, culture, travel, and politics for the Sacramento News and Review, Midtown Monthly, Ashcan Magazine, and The San Francisco Public Press. His short fiction has appeared in Sussurrus, Transfer, and Right Hand Pointing. He has been self-publishing ‘zines and chapbooks since the late 90s. His most recent chapbook is Satellite Memories. He studied creative writing at San Francisco State University and resides in Oakland.

Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile is the author of the novel-in-progress, “The Grinding Season,” the story of a woman and her daughter who leave Los Angeles and strike out for Louisiana where the woman has inherited a sugar cane farm. “The Grinding Season” won the Hurston Wright College Writer’s Award and was a runner up for the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley competition for novels-in-progress. Natalie has had artists’ residencies at the Ragdale Foundation where, in 2008, she was awarded the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship. Excerpts of “The Grinding Season” have been published in CAIRN and ZYZZYVA. She is a fiction editor at The Cortland Review and a member of the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto. Natalie is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers where she received a Holden Minority Scholarship. She has a MA in Afro-American Studies from UCLA and a BA in English from UC Berkeley. Natalie lives in San Francisco with her husband and two daughters.

Ann Dickinson

Ann Dickinson has blogged about the San Francisco Bay watershed for KQED, held the Sara Shallenberger Brown Fellowship in Environmental Literature at the University of Virginia, and spent a year as a research assistant studying ecology in a Panamanian rainforest. She works in the public information office at a local water agency and is at work on a Gothic natural history novel set in Victorian England.

Dylan Landis

Dylan Landis

Dylan Landis is the author of Normal People Don’t Live Like This, a Newsday best book of 2009. She has published short stories in Tin House, Bomb and Best American Nonrequired Reading, won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and, in a past life, was a newspaper reporter. Spiritually Californian, she lives in DC. See her website for more info.

Leslie Larson

Leslie Larson

The New York Times called Leslie Larson’s second novel, Breaking Out of Bedlam, “A kick.” Publishers Weekly said, “Delightful…Plenty of heart and humor.” And the San Francisco Chronicle called it “A good read: funny, sad and easy.” Leslie s critically acclaimed first novel, Slipstream, was a BookSense Notable Book, a Target Breakout Book, winner of the Astraea Award for Fiction, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Her work has appeared in Faultline, the East Bay Express, Writer magazine, and the Women’s Review of Books, among other publications. She has been a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook and an instructor at the Macondo Writers Workshop and San Diego Ink. She lives in Berkeley. See her website for more.

Ransom Stephens

Ransom Stephens

Ransom Stephens is a professor of particle physics turned writer and speaker. He has worked on experiments at SLAC, Fermilab, CERN, and Cornell, discovered a new type of matter, and was on the team that discovered the top quark. He is the author of over 200 articles on impossible subjects like quantum physics, the future of publishing, and parenting teenagers. His first novel, The God Patent, is set in the battle between science and religion over the nature of the soul and the origin of the universe. Ransom lives in Petaluma. He has a website.

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