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 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 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.
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.
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 Jones, River 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 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 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.