Last night, April 20, I had the singular experience of reading for Why There Are Words-Los Angeles, joining a dream lineup: Antonia Crane, Siel Ju, Paula Priamos, and Rob Roberge, hosted and emceed by Patrick O'Neil in his very own very awesome live/work space in downtown L.A. I couldn't have been more impressed with the event.
I was mesmerized by the other authors' readings, and that's no small thing for me. I founded Why There Are Words seven years ago in the Bay Area, and have literally listened to hundreds of readings there alone, and as an active participant in supporting writers, regularly attending readings all over the place, near and far, listening to hundreds and hundreds more. My attention did not waver last night. I was honored to be part of that event.
I'm proud of WTAW-Los Angeles, and I know it's only going to grow-- and grow and grow. Patrick O'Neil was and is the right choice for the curator. Last night demonstrated that in spades. Before I began reading I spoke a little about that, but let it go down here on record.
Why There Are Words is organized by working writers, and that's essential. Working writers who appreciate and care deeply about the writing process and about the importance of having one's words shared and out there. Yet, it's not just any working writer who's part of WTAW. I want and have selected those writers who have a certain humility, who aren't driven by a false sense of or are looking to perpetuate hierarchy, but who are always, always developing as writers and human beings. Who are exceptional writers themselves. Who have some sense of how writing saves them--and their readers, again and again. Ultimately, that's Why There Are Words.
Props to 7X7 Magazine for including me on their Spring Reads: 7 New Books by Bay Area Authors to Read Right Now.
Our list isn't complete without a short story collection—and Peg Alford Pursell's is piercing. With vivid characters and striking situations of loss and longing, this collection of lyrical prose is bound to sucker-punch you right in the soul. Yes, it hurts—but it's also dazzling, beautiful, and will give you those shimmery post-read chills.
Meanwhile I had a blast reading at the Make Out Room in San Francisco with James Warner's InsideStoryTime last night.
Copperfield's Books in Northern California, specifically in Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa, is now carrying my book, Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow. That, naturally, makes me very happy. I want browsing customers to stroll by and feel drawn in by the gorgeous detail of the painting by David Kroll. There's something special and significant about the experience of happening upon a book in a physical location that I regret is much more rare than I wish it were.
For those that are confined to online experiences, perhaps because of distance, you can now purchase a signed copy of the book from me here. Be sure to tell me how you want "Show Her a Flower" inscribed. I'd love to send you the book, signed as you like.
On March 23, I enjoyed a wonderful book event at The Booksmith in San Francisco, an "in conversation with" Grant Faulkner. The Booksmith is one of my favorite stores in the Bay Area, and I've hosted "in conversations" with other writers I love and admire there, always to appreciative and interested audiences. The staff is friendly, interested, intelligent. Still, nothing prepared me for this lovely reproduction of my book cover drawn on the door as an artistic backdrop for the evening of my event. This was such a welcoming and supportive act of goodwill. In these times when an author often does most of the heavy lifting in getting her book into the hands of readers, friendly advocates like The Booksmith mean so much.
Poet, musician, and artist Marcia Pelletiere, a fellow alum of my MFA program, made a video for one of the prose poems in Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow. The piece is not a book trailer, but her artistic interpretation of something from my book that spoke to her. Huge thanks to Marcia! The poem was also published in The Cortland Review.
Nobody could have asked for a more heartfelt and gorgeous book launch than what I enjoyed last night at Why There Are Word Sausalito. I'll cherish the night forever.
Delighted to have "Girl on a Hobby Horse" published in the Valentine issue of Vestal Review. Vestal Review is "the world’s oldest magazine dedicated exclusively to flash fiction."
The story is included in my forthcoming book, Show Her a Flower, a Bird, a Shadow (pre-order here, if you will!) The following line is cited in Antonya Nelson's blurb for the book: I wished it would rain, to quench something.
Many thanks to editors Mark Budman and Susan O'Neill.
So looking forward to this event next Thursday with these amazing artists. Many thanks to the hard-working staff of the museum of americana. If you're in the neighborhood, please join us for what promises to be an unforgettable night.
Thanks to Grant Faulkner for a shout-out acknowledging Why There Are Words in his Poets & Writers' city guides for lit in San Francisco. Grant's guide covers a lot of literary territory. Check it out!
For seven years I've been organizing and hosting Why There Are Words in Sausalito. When I started the reading series back in 2010 I had a modest goal of getting twenty people in the room to hear a handful of area writers read their work, whether published or a work in progress. I had no idea that the seventh year would bring an expansion of the series to five other cities: NYC, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Austin, and Portland. I had no idea that I'd go on to found WTAW Press. Tonight, Jan. 12, 2017, is a special night in the WTAW organization's history, as I host the anniversary celebration and announce the Press's first authors and titles we'll publish this year. I can't wait!