In October 2013, for the first time ever, we move our date to the third Thursday — October 17 — just so we can bring our fabulousness to the ultra-fabulousness that is Litquake. Come endure the fabulousness if you dare. Studio 333 in Sausalito, October 17, 2013. Curated by Peg Alford Pursell. Doors open at 7 pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10. Bring extra cash for books and booze.
Sally Ball is the author of Wreck Me and Annus Mirabilis. Her poems have appeared online at Narrative and Slate; in print in the American Poetry Review, Forklift Ohio, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Yale Review; and other magazines, as well as in The Best American Poetry anthology. An assistant professor of English at Arizona State University, she is also associate director of Four Way Books. She has received fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the James Merrill House, and the Ucross Foundation. She has also taught at the Frost Place Conference on Poetry.
Vikram Chandra’s first novel, Red Earth and Pouring Rain, published in 1995, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book and the David Higham Prize for Fiction. His collection of short stories, Love and Longing in Bombay, was published in 1997. Love and Longing in Bombay won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Eurasia region) and was short-listed for the Guardian Fiction Prize. The book was included in “Notable Books of 1997” by the New York Times Book Review, in “Best Books of the Year” by the Independent (London), in “Best Books of the Year” by the Guardian (London), and in “The Ten Best Books of 1997” by Outlook magazine (New Delhi). Sacred Games, a novel, was published in 2006. The book was awarded the Hutch Crossword Prize for Fiction in English (the “Indian Booker”) for 2006; it was also the winner of a 2007 Salon Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Sacred Games was included in numerous annual lists including “Books of the Year,” The Independent (UK); “Books of the Year,” Financial Times (UK); “10 Best Asian Books of 2006,” Time (Asia Edition); “Best Fiction of 2006,” Guardian (USA); “The Fiction List for 2006,” Bloomberg.com (USA). He has published in the Paris Review and the New Yorker. His work has been translated into nineteen languages. He currently divides his time between Bombay and Berkeley, California, where he teaches creative writing at the University of California.
Russell Dillion was born in New York in the mid-seventies and just hasn’t been able to get over it. After attending a number of schools, he received degrees from Emerson and Bennington College, later ending up in San Francisco for nearly a decade. Now, back in New York he only eats burritos facing west and continues to co-edit the magazine Big Bell. Poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Lumberyard, H_NGM_N, Forklift Ohio, 5 am, Parthenon West, Mi Poesia, and Bright Pink Mosquito, among others. A chapbook, Secret Damage, was released from Forklift Ink in 2009, and his full-length collection, Eternal Patrol, appeared from Forklift Books in the summer of 2013.
Rae Gouirand’s first collection of poetry, Open Winter, was selected by Elaine Equi for the 2011 Bellday Prize, and won a 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award and the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Award. Her new work has appeared most recently in American Poetry Review, PANK, Handsome, VOLT, The Brooklyner, Gertrude, and The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide. An adjunct lecturer in the Department of English at UC-Davis, she leads numerous private and grant-funded workshops in poetry and prose throughout the Central Valley and the cross-genre online workshop SCRIBE LAB.
Matt Hart is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012) and Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013), as well as several chapbooks. Additionally, his poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Big Bell, Cincinnati Review, Coldfront, Columbia Poetry Review, H_NGM_N, Harvard Review, jubilat, Lungfull!, Post Road, and r.kv.r.y among others. His awards include a Pushcart Prize and a 2013 individual artist grant from The Shifting Foundation, and fellowships from both the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.
Kate Milliken’s story collection, If I’d Known You Were Coming, won the 2013 John Simmons Iowa Short Fiction Award, judged by Julie Orringer. Her stories previously appeared in Zyzzyva, Meridian, New Orleans Review, Fiction, and the Santa Monica Review, among others, as well as earned several pushcart nominations and fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Tin House Summer Writing Workshops. Before completing her MFA at the Bennington College Writing Seminars, Kate wrote for television and commercial advertising. She now teaches both privately and on behalf of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program as well as at Book Passage in Corte Madera. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, briefly raised on a farm in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, and eventually bouncing between her mother’s house in Los Angeles and her father’s home in Chicago, Kate, now settled with her husband and two kids in the suburban wilds of Mill Valley, California.
Melissa Pritchard is the nationally renowned author of four short story collections: The Odditorium, Disappearing Ingenue, The Instinct for Bliss, and Spirit Seizures; and four novels: Phoenix, Selene of the Spirits, Late Bloomer, and Palmerino, forthcoming in 2014. She is also the author of Devotedly, Virginia, a biography of Arizona philanthropist Virginia Galvin Piper. Spirit Seizures, a New York Times Notable Book, received both the Flannery O’Connor and Carl Sandburg Awards. The Instinct for Bliss, also a New York Times Notable Book, received the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and Disappearing Ingenue, a Doubleday “Fiction for the Rest of Us,” selection, was chosen to appear on National Public Radio’s 2002 Summer Reading List. The Odditorium, selected as an Oprah Winfrey “Book of the Week,” received rave reviews nationally and was also a Library Journal and San Francisco Chronicle Book of the Year, 2012. Her short stories are frequently anthologized and cited in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, Best of the West, Best American Short Stories, the Prentice Hall Anthology of Women’s Literature and numerous other anthologies and college textbooks. Her fiction has appeared in over sixty renowned literary journals, including The Paris Review, A Public Space, Agni, Ecotone, The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, Conjunctions, Gettysburg Review and Image: Art, Faith, Mystery. Her book reviews, essays, and journalism pieces have appeared in The Wilson Quarterly, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, the Nation, the New York Times Book Review and Chicago Tribune Books. Her essay, “A Solemn Pleasure,” published in Conjunctions by guest editor, David Shields, has been reprinted in The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death, W.W. Norton, 2011. A recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Howard Foundation at Brown University, the Illinois Arts Council, Writer’s Voice YMCA, Scotland’s Hawthornden Castle, the Bogliasco Foundation (Liguria, Italy), and the Ledig-Rowohlt Foundation (Chateau de Lavigny, Switzerland), Melissa teaches at Arizona State University and has served as judge for The Flannery O’Connor Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.
Jane Smiley is the author of thirteen works of fiction, including The Age of Grief, The Greenlanders, Ordinary Love and Good Will, A Thousand Acres, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, Moo, Horse Heaven, which was short-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton, which won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. and Good Earth, as well as many essays for such magazines as Vogue, The New Yorker, Elle, Outside, Harper’s The American Prospect, Practical Horseman, The New York Times Magazine and The New York Times travel section, Victoria, Mirabella, Allure, The Nation, The Guardian Sport Monthly, Real Simple, Playboy, and others. She has written on politics, farming, horse training, child-rearing, literature, impulse buying, getting dressed, Barbie, marriage, and many other topics. She is also the author of the four books of nonfiction, including A Year at the Races, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, and from Penguin Lives Series, a biography of Charles Dickens. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001. In December 2006, Jane received the Pen USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California, as do several of her horses.
Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay — everywhere — to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong for three years. Join us again in November on our regularly scheduled night!