Filtering by: Story Is the Thing

Story is the Thing
Feb
21
7:00 PM19:00

Story is the Thing

"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

Reading starts at 7:30 pm.
Light refreshments and conversation at 7:00 pm.

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Join us for our quarterly reading series, Story is the Thing, where stunning, emerging voices can be heard alongside works from contemporary local masters.

Reading starts at 7:30 pm. Light refreshments and conversation at 7:00 pm.

Jeanne Althouse
Flash fiction by Jeanne Althouse has appeared in numerous literary journals. Her most recent flash story collection, Boys in the Bank, published by Red Bird Chapbooks, came out in November 2018. Her story “Big Lies” was a finalist in the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction contest and “Goran Holds his Breath” was nominated by Shenandoah for the Pushcart Prize.

Jamel Brinkley
Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories (Graywolf Press/A Public Space Books), a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in fiction and recipient of the 2019 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Best American Short Stories 2018, A Public Space, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Tin House, and other places. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he's currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University.

Tsun Yuan Chen
Tsun Yuan Chen is a retired Head and Neck Surgeon, born in Mainland China, studied in Taiwan and Tokyo, before arriving on these shores. He now divides his time between San Francisco, Umbria and Provence with his life partner, at home everywhere and nowhere, making alienation a fine art of his life, while maintaining an esprit from the East.

Andrea Donderi
Andrea Donderi grew up in Montreal and arrived in California via Toronto, Chicago, and Bloomington, Indiana. She recently moved from a ramshackle backyard cottage on the peninsula to a house with chickens in Oakland. Andrea writes manuals for the guts of the Internet as well as essays and fiction.

David Wystan Owen
D. Wystan Owen is the author of Other People's Love Affairs: Stories (Algonquin Books), an Amazon "Best Fiction & Literature of 2018" selection. His work has appeared in A Public Space, LitHub, The Threepenny Review, The American Scholar, and elsewhere. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he now lives in Northern California where he serves as publisher of The Bare Life Review.

Kathy Wang
Kathy Wang grew up in Northern California and is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Business School. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two children.




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Story is the Thing
Oct
18
7:30 PM19:30

Story is the Thing

"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

Reading starts at 7:30 pm.
Light refreshments and conversation at 7:00 pm.

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Join us for our quarterly reading series, Story is the Thing, where stunning, emerging voices can be heard alongside works from contemporary local literary

Reading starts at 7:30 pm. Light refreshments and conversation at 7:00 pm.

Vibha Akkaraju
Vibha Akkaraju has been writing on and off for about 15 years, while raising her 3 daughters. She wrote for Big Apple Parent many years ago and more recently has had several pieces published in India Currents. Currently, she is working on a book of essays. Her kids and husband, once a distraction, are now her biggest cheerleaders.

Anita Felicelli
Anita Felicelli is the author of the short story collection Love Songs for a Lost Continent (Stillhouse Press), which won the 2016 Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Her stories have appeared in The Normal School, Joyland, The Rumpus, Kweli Journal, Eckleburg, and elsewhere. Her essays, reviews, and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in the New York Times (Modern Love), Slate, Salon, SF Chronicle, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Babble, Romper, and Electric Literature. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UC Berkeley School of Law, a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and a Voices of Our Nations alum. Her work has placed as a finalist in multiple Glimmer Train contests and received a Puffin Foundation grant, two Greater Bay Area Journalism awards, and Pushcart Prize nominations. She lives in the Bay Area with her family.

Meghan Flaherty
Meghan Flaherty's first book, Tango Lessons was published in June 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She received her MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts in literary nonfiction. Her essays and translations have appeared in The Iowa Review, Psychology Today, and online at The New York Times, The Rumpus, Catapult, Asymptote, and elsewhere. She lives with her husband, baby, and rescue mastiff in northern California.

Kimberly Ford
Kimberly Ford earned her Ph.D. in Spanish and French Literature and has published short fiction and essays in everything from The Believer to Redbook to Brain, Child. Her story “Generation” was published in The Threepenny Review and was shortlisted for an O. Henry Prize. She is also the author of the best-selling Hump: True Tales of Sex after Kids. Having largely turned from writing back to full-time reading, she works as an editor and runs literary seminars.

Audrey Kalman
Audrey Kalman writes literary fiction with a dark edge about what goes awry when human connection is missing from our lives. She is the author of two novels—What Remains Unsaid (2017) and Dance of Souls(2011)—as well as a book of short stories, Tiny Shoes Dancing (2018). Her story “The Bureau of Lost Earrings” was shortlisted for Pithead Chapel’s 2016 Larry Brown Short Story Award and many online and print journals have published her short fiction and poetry. She is working on another novel. Find out more at www.audreykalman.com.

Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Ingrid Rojas Contreras is the author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree(Doubleday, 2018). She was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric LiteratureGuernica, and Huffington Post, among others. She received fellowships from Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the San Francisco Writer's Grotto. She currently teaches writing to immigrant high school students as part of a San Francisco Arts Commission initiative bringing artists into public schools. She is the book columnist for KQED.

Siamak Vossoughi
Siamak Vossoughi is an Iranian-American writer living in San Francisco. His collection, Better Than War, received a 2014 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. He has had some stories appear in Missouri Review, Kenyon Review, Glimmer Train, and the Rumpus. He is at work on a novel. 

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Story is the Thing
Jun
21
7:30 PM19:30

Story is the Thing

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Join us on Thursday, June 21st for our quarterly reading series - Story is the Thing - that highlights established authors and stars on the rise. This evening, we'll showcase a dynamic and diverse group of seven writers reading on the theme "Kindness": Dinika Amaral, Idris Anderson, Tristen Chang, Betsy Franco, Carrie La Seur, Elaine Castillo, and Peg Alford Pursell.

“We are real only in moments of kindness" -cited by Meave Brennan in her author's note from "The Long-Winded Lady."

Reading starts at 7:30 pm. Light refreshments and conversation at 7:00 pm.

Dinika Amaral was born and raised in Bombay, India. Her work has appeared in Guernica, The Times of India, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Golden Handcuffs Review, Denver Quarterly, the Massachusetts Review, and in the Iowa Review (winner of the Tim McGinnis award). Presently, a Steinbeck Fellow, she is working on an unlinked story collection and a novel.

Idris Anderson’s second collection of poems Doubtful Soundwas selected by Sherod Santos for the Hollis Summers Prize of Ohio UP, and was just published in March 2018. Her first collection of poems Mrs. Ramsay's Knee was selected by Harold Bloom for the May Swenson Poetry Award. She has won a Pushcart Prize (2010) and the New York Yeats Society Poetry Prize. She has published poems in AGNI Crab Orchard Review, The Hudson Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Paris Review, Plume, Southern Review, and other journals.

Tristen Chang grew up in Woodland, California, and received her MA in English from UC Davis. Her work has appeared in various journals and she was twice a finalist for Glimmer Train's short story award. Recently, she won first place in Six Fold's fiction contest and was awarded the Tennessee Williams scholarship in fiction. She now lives in San Francisco and teaches creative writing.

Betsy Franco is an award winning author of over eighty books, including her novel Naked, her YA, Metamorphosis Junior Year, and her picture books and poetry collections. She wrote the screenplay for Naked, which has been optioned for a film, and she was screenwriting mentor for Metamorphosis, featured at the Mill Valley Film Festival and the basis of a sold-out play. She loves working with teens and is inspired by her creative sons, James, Tom, and Dave.

Carrie La Seur practices energy and environmental law on behalf of farmers, ranchers, and Native Americans, and is a seventh generation Montanan. In 2016 she helped found The House of Books, a co-op bookstore in downtown Billings, MT. In 2006, Carrie founded the legal nonprofit Plains Justice, which provides public interest energy and environmental legal services in the northern plains states and played a key role in halting several new coal plants, enacting clean energy reforms, and launching the Keystone XL pipeline campaign. Her writing has appeared in Grist, the Guardian, Harvard Law and Policy Review, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Rumpus and Salon.

Elaine Castillo was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and received her MA in creative and life writing from Goldsmiths, University of London. She lives in Milpitas, California. America is Not the Heart is her first novel.

Peg Alford Pursell is the author of Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, a collection of fiction and hybrid prose with praise from Peter Orner, Joan Silber, Antonya Nelson, and others, and featured by Poets & Writers magazine’s second annual 5 over 50, December 2017. Her second book, A Girl Goes into the Forest, is forthcoming from Dzanc Books in 2019. Her work has appeared in Permafrost, the Los Angeles Review, Joyland Magazine, and other journals and anthologies. She is the founder and director of the national reading series Why There Are Words and of WTAW Press.

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Story Is the Thing
Feb
22
7:30 PM19:30

Story Is the Thing

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Join us on Thursday, February 22nd for our quarterly reading series - Story is the Thing - that highlights established authors and stars on the rise. This evening, we'll showcase a dynamic and diverse group of seven women writers reading on the theme "Everything": Sumbul Ali-Karamali, Vanessa Hua, Ksenia Lakovic, Kate Petersen, Anne Raeff, Kaitlin Solimine, and Alia Volz.

Sumbul Ali-Karamali is the author of "The Muslim Next Door: the Qur'an, the Media, and that Veil Thing,"Bronze Medal Winner of the 2009 Independent Publisher's Awards, and "Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam." Read more about her at www.muslimnextdoor.com.

Vanessa Hua is the author of DECEIT AND OTHER POSSIBILITIES, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and a finalist for the California Book Award. A columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, she has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She received a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award, a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights Reporting, as well as honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and Asian American Journalists’ Association. Her novel, A RIVER OF STARS, is forthcoming (Ballantine, August 2018.)

Ksenia Lakovic grew up in Belgrade, Serbia, earned a PhD at UCLA, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has recently completed her first novel, about life in Belgrade between the 1990s and today, and the Yugoslav diaspora.

Kate Petersen lives in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in New England Review, Kenyon Review, Zyzzyva, Epoch, Paris Review Daily, LitHub, and elsewhere. She is a former recipient of a Wallace Stegner fellowship and a Pushcart Prize, and currently teaches at Stanford University as a Jones Lecturer in creative writing.

Anne Raeff’s stories and essays have appeared in New England Review, ZYZZYVA, and Guernica among other places. Her first novel CLARA MONDSCHEIN’S MELANCHOLIA was published in 2002 (MacAdam/Cage). Her short story collection, THE JUNGLE AROUND US won the 2015 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and will be published in October 2016. She is proud to be a high school teacher and works primarily with recent immigrants. She lives in San Francisco with her wife and two cats.

Kaitlin Solimine's debut novel, EMPIRE OF GLASS, was a finalist for the 2017 Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. Her fiction and non-fiction has been published in National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Guernica Magazine, Kartika Review, The Huffington Post, China Daily, and numerous anthologies. Kaitlin is co-founder of Hippo Reads, a network connecting academic insights and scholars to the wider public. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and daughter where she was a 2016 SF Grotto Writing Fellow and is Associate Producer of the childbirth documentary, Of Woman Born.

Alia Volz is a native daughter of San Francisco. You'll find her work in The Best American Essays 2017, Golden State 2017: Best New Writing from California, The New York Times, Tin House, Threepenny Review, Nowhere Magazine, Utne Reader, New England Review and the anthology Dig If You Will The Picture: Writers Reflect on Prince. SF Weekly named her among “Best Writers without a Book in San Francisco.” To make up for that, she's currently working on a book.

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Story is the Thing
Nov
16
7:30 PM19:30

Story is the Thing

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
— -Muriel Rukeyser
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The fifth installment of the Story Is the Thing Quarterly Reading Series is only a month away! Join us on November 16th at 7:30 PM for an evening of storytelling with seven local literary stars, reading on the theme "The Unsent Letter." We'll start with light refreshments at 7:00 PM.

Readers this time will be David Denny, Joyce Kiefer, Michael David Lukas, Chiseche Salome Mibenge, Marian Palaia, Austin Smith, and Rebecca Winterer. 

David Denny's fiction has recently appeared in Narrative, Catamaran, and New Ohio Review. His short story collection, The Gill Man in Purgatory, is now available from Shanti Arts. He is also the author of three poetry collections: Man Overboard, Fool in the Attic, and Plebeian on the Front Porch. More information at daviddenny.net.

Joyce Kiefer is a lifelong Bay Area resident.  She majored in English and Journalism at San Jose State. She has had poetry published in several award winning collections including Cradle Songs: An Anthology of Poems on Motherhood, and Lavanderia: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash and Word. Joyce has also had feature pieces published in the San Jose Mercury News and was a regular contributor to The Columnists. She contributes travel pieces to Bay Area Family Travel and has had memoir pieces appeared in By the Bay and Cooking Up Stories." Joyce enjoys writing memoir, travel experience, and wry commentary on the small things in life that turn out to be bigger than we think. Read her blog: http://lifeinthepursuit.blogspot.com.

Michael David Lukas is the author of the international bestselling novel The Oracle of Stamboul, which was a finalist for the California Book Award, the NCIBA Book of the Year Award, and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize, and has been published in fifteen languages. His second novel, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo, is forthcoming from Spiegel & Grau in March 2018. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a student at the American University of Cairo, and a night-shift proofreader in Tel Aviv. A graduate of Brown University, he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and the Santa Maddalena Foundation, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and VQR. He lives in Oakland, California.

Michael David Lukas is the author of the international bestselling novel The Oracle of Stamboul, which was a finalist for the California Book Award, the NCIBA Book of the Year Award, and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize, and has been published in fifteen languages. His second novel, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo, is forthcoming from Spiegel & Grau in March 2018. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a student at the American University of Cairo, and a night-shift proofreader in Tel Aviv. A graduate of Brown University, he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and the Santa Maddalena Foundation, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and VQR. He lives in Oakland, California.

Chiseche Salome Mibenge is the author of Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender From The War Narrative (UPenn Press, 2013). She studied Law in Zambia, her country of birth and received her PhD in International Human Rights Law from Utrecht University in 2010. She is a human rights educator, writer, and editor and blogs at chisechemibenge.com. Chiseche is an awardee of the Columbia Journal of Literature and Art winter 2017 contest for her short story, The Protected Party.

Marian Palaia's first novel, The Given World, (Simon and Schuster, 2015) was shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize for Fiction, longlisted for The PEN/Bingham First Novel Prize, a finalist for the VCU/Cabell Award, and recognized by Kirkus as a Best Novel of 2015. She lives in San Francisco, California and in Missoula, Montana with her Mongolian Barking Shepherd, Tupelo. 

Austin Smith grew up on a family dairy farm in northwestern Illinois. His poems and stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harpers, Poetry Magazine, Narrative Magazine, Threepenny Review, ZYZZYVA, Yale Review, Sewanee Review, Ploughshares and New England Review, amongst others. His first collection of poems, Almanac, was chosen for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets and published in 2013. A second collection, Flyover Country, will be published by Princeton in the fall of 2018. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction, Smith teaches poetry, fiction, documentary journalism and environmental literature classes at Stanford University. 

Rebecca Winterer is the author of The Singing Ship, awarded the Del Sol Press 2016 First Novel Prize and selected as a finalist for the Black Lawrence Press 2016 Big Moose Prize. Shes received fellowships at the Millay Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and Yaddo; and has had a story published by Puerto del Sol.  She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College. Raised in Queensland, Australia, she now lives in San Francisco, California with her husband.

Tickets: $10.00 per person

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Story is the Thing: Forbidden Places
Aug
3
7:30 PM19:30

Story is the Thing: Forbidden Places

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
— Muriel Rukeyser

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Be a part of the fourth installment of Story Is the Thing: a lovely evening of storytelling with seven Bay Area authors reading on the theme "Forbidden Places."  

There will be wine, cheese, and cupcakes at 7:15 pm -- the program will begin at 7:30 pm.

Readers this time will be Joan Frank, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Ethel Rohan, Elaine Ray, Fyza Parviz, Ron Chapman, and Nicola Maye Goldberg.

Joan Frank is the author of six books of fiction and a book of collected essays. All the News I Need, her fourth novel, won the 2016 Juniper Prize for Fiction. Joan's last story collection, In Envy Country, won the Richard Sullivan Prize and the Gold ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award. Her book of essays, Because You Have To: A Writing Life, won the Silver ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award. A MacDowell Colony Fellow and recipient of many grants and honors, Joan also frequently reviews literary fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle. She lives in the North Bay with her husband, playwright Bob Duxbury.

Lucy Jane Bledsoes new novel, A Thin Bright Line, which the New York Times says triumphs as an intimate and humane evocation of day-to-day life under inhumane circumstances, was published in October. She's the author of five other novels, a collection of narrative nonfiction, and a collection of short stories. Her fiction has won a Yaddo Fellowship, the 2013 Saturday Evening Post Fiction Award, the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize, the Sherwood Anderson Prize for Fiction, a Pushcart nomination, a California Arts Council Fellowship, an American Library Association Stonewall Award, and two National Science Foundation Artists & Writers Fellowships. Her stories have been translated into Japanese, Spanish, German, Dutch, and Chinese. Her next novel, The Evolution of Love, will be published in 2018.

Ethel Rohan's debut novel is The Weight of Him (St. Martin's Press, February 2017). She is also the author of two story collections, Goodnight Nobody and Cut Through the Bone, the former longlisted for The Edge Hill Prize and the latter longlisted for The Story Prize. An award-winning short story writer and 1 of 14 recently longlisted for The Sunday Times EFG Award, the world's richest prize for a single short story, her work has appeared in The New York Times, World Literature Today, The Washington Post, Tin House Online, GUERNICA Magazine, and many more. Raised in Ireland, she lives in San Francisco.

Elaine Ray is a writer based in Stanford, California. Her story Pidgin is the winner of the Gival Press 2016 Short Story Award. In 2015, Elaine completed the Online Certificate Program in Novel Writing offered by Stanford Continuing Studies. She is currently working on the final draft of a novel titled WANTED. Elaine has spent most of her career as a journalist, working for many years as an editorial writer for the Boston Globe and as an editor and writer for Essence magazine. She is currently a communications director at Stanford University. Her blog, My Father's Posts, is a collection of her own commentary and the writings of her father, who was a journalist in Harlem in the 20s, 30s and 40s.

Fyza Parviz originally hails from Peshawar Pakistan and has been living in the Bay Area for 14 years. She is a Software & Electrical Engineer by profession and loves to read, write, attend events, and create literary experiences. She is also on the Leadership Team for the Annual Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley and is pursuing her Masters in Liberal Arts from Stanford. She is currently developing an engaging Online Social Platform for writers and readers. Her short stories, essays, and reviews have been published in PaperCuts Magazine and LitSeen.

Ron Chapman is a comedian, improviser, and actor who loves reading aloud.

Nicola Maye Goldberg is the author of Other Women (Sad Spell Press, 2016). She is a graduate of Bard College, where she received the Mary McCarthy Prize. Her work has appeared in the Winter Tangerine Review, the Quietus, Queen Mob's Tea House, and elsewhere. She is currently an MFA candidate in fiction at Columbia University.

Tickets: $10.00 per person

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Story Is The Thing: Kepler's Quarterly Reading Series
May
25
7:30 PM19:30

Story Is The Thing: Kepler's Quarterly Reading Series

Join us for the third installment of Story Is the Thing for a lovely evening of storytelling as seven Bay Area authors reading on the theme "To Find a Home.

There will be wine, cheese and cupcakes at 7:15 -- the program will begin at 7:30.

Readers this time will be Lauren Alwan, Chris Drangle, Manjula Martin, Kalpana Mohan, Elizabeth McKenzie, Shanthi Sekaran and Jon Sindell.

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