Hot off the presses, here is what we’re writing about, or what other people are writing about us, for June-July 2013:
Laura Fraser on “The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks,” in Marie Claire.
Susan Ito remembers almost drowning with her father in Literary Mama’s Father’s Day issue:
Zahir Janmohamed on being a writer of color in America for Guernica:
Peter Orner in the Millions: On reclusion, writing, and social media.
Marie C. Baca’s humor piece “Mixed Martial Arts and crafts” appears in Defenestration Magazine:
Chris Colin submitted to a digital detox, at a tech-free summer camp for grownups.
Christopher Cook investigates how Big Food coopted America’s top nutrition group, for The Progressive:
Lindsey Crittenden’s piece on agreeing to disagree on matters of faith appears in the July/August issue of Spirituality & Health:
Vanessa Hua’s novel-in-progress received an Honorable Mention in the Leapfrog Press fiction contest, and At Length published an excerpt:
Remember Manka’s? Rachel Levin profiles Point Reyes’ new restaurant-worth-the-drive: Sir and Star at The Olema, for Food & Wine:
Kimberley Lovato on staying connected in an overly connected world in Together Magazine:
David Munro, Xandra Castleton and Mark Decena “turn poverty into a joke” with their new docu-series “Stand Up Planet!” with accompanying Fast Company story by Michael Coren:
James Nestor discovers island life 45 minutes from Tokyo for the New York Times:
Susanne Pari’s ‘Double Vision’ gives a short take on the recent Iranian presidential election in the ‘Them and Us’ section of Medium:
PETER’S LATEST STORY COLLECTION, OUT NEXT MONTH, GETS A STARRED PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY REVIEW
Grotto dweller Peter Orner’s new collection of stories, “Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge” will be published in August by Little, Brown. It recently received a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly, which wrote, “In his second story collection, Orner fires jewel-toned shards of fiction into a stunning whole.” And Goodreads writes, “The long-awaited second collection of stories from a writer whose first was hailed as ‘one of the best story collections of the last decade’ (Kevin Brockmeier). In LAST CAR OVER THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE, Peter Orner presents a kaleidoscope of individual lives viewed in intimate close-up. A woman’s husband dies before their divorce is finalized; a man runs for governor and loses much more than the election; two brothers play beneath the infamous bridge at Chappaquiddick; a father and daughter outrun a hurricane–all are vivid and memorable occasions as seen through Orner’s eyes. LAST CAR OVER THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE is also a return to the form Orner loves best. As he has written, ‘The difference between a short story and a novel is the difference between a pang in your heart and the tragedy of your whole life. Read a great story and there it is–right now–in your gut.’”
Read the review at http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-316-22464-2
Huge congratulations to Peter!
MAW READS AT THE BEAST CRAWL THIS SATURDAY, JULY 6 IN UPTOWN OAKLAND
Join Grottoite Maw Shein Win for Beast Crawl on Saturday, July 6th. She will be reading with Cam Awkward-Rich, Sam Sax, Nick Johnson, and Benjamin Perez (5 — 6 pm, Leg One) for Lyrics & Dirges at Awaken Cafe, 1429 Broadway in Uptown Oakland. Beast Crawl‚s second annual free literary festival features more than 140 writers in a single night, spread out over three hours and twenty-six local galleries, bars, restaurants, cafés, and storefronts, including The Uptown, Telegraph Beer Garden, Awaken Café, Farley’s East, and many more. Check out http://beastcrawl.weebly.com/ for more details!
ELIZABETH AND MAW ARE DISASTER TOURISTS AT THE MAKE-OUT ROOM ON JULY 7
Come to the Make-Out Room this Sunday, July 7 to hear Grottoites Elizabeth Bernstein and Maw Shein Win read at the Portuguese Artist Colony‚s July event, themed “Disaster Tourist.” Elizabeth and Maw will read with Alix Lambert, Daniel Heath and Seth Fischer. The evening also features live music and live writing from panelists who are given a prompt chosen by the audience. Details: Sunday, July 7, at 5 pm. The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd Street, SF. Sliding scale $5-$10. More info at http://portugueseartistscolony.blogspot.com/
JD’S “UNDERNEATH” IN ELECTRONIC PACIFIC AT SOMARTS OPENING JULY 11
Grotto dweller JD Beltran and collaborator/partner Scott Minneman will exhibit their newest interactive work at the exhibition “Electronic Pacific” at SOMArts which opens next week. “Underneath” is an interactive artwork on Beltran + Minneman’s award-winning Magic Story Table that blends a map of the world, text, animation, sound, film, and video. The result is a fascinating, surprising, curious, and sometimes very funny exploration of what lies beneath the tensions and misunderstandings that occur between cultures. Opening on July 11, and exhibiting through August 17th, 2013. http://www.somarts.org/electronicpacific/
GET WHAT’S MISSING FROM YOUR LIFE – CHRIS AND BABY & THE LUVIES ON JULY 19 AT THE MILK BAR
Your life: Something’s been missing. Empty feeling you can’t put a finger on. Late-night tears. THE SOLUTION IS NOW. Go watch Grottoite Chris Colin’s ten-piece soul band Baby & the Luvies play at Milk Bar, in the Haight, on July 19. Does music happen too late? Yes. Is it sort of annoying how you have to stand? Yes. Should you go anyway on account of dancing and life is short? Not even going to answer that. Info here: http://www.songkick.com/concerts/16762469-peach-kings-at-milk-bar?utm_source=1471&utm_medium=partner
ZAHRA EMCEES FOR LIT-TEASE AT THE SWEDISH AMERICAN HALL ON JULY 19
Can’t wait till October to get a dose of the Lit Crawl? Treat yourself to a sneak peak at Lit Tease — our first ever Lit Crawl fundraiser July 19. Featured at the Swedish American Hall will be master of ceremonies author and ever-hilarious comedian Grottoite Zahra Noorbakhsh, performances by mini version of Conspiracy of Beards, and the Mark Growden Trio as well as a cross-section of 2013 Lit Crawl curators, including The Day My Nipple Fell Off, AfroSurreal, Global Poetry in Translation, Hyphen magazine, A Strange Object, Tupelo Press, the International Poetry Library and more.
PLUS! Litquake’s first-ever book fair featuring publications by this year’s Lit Crawl collaborators and live auction featuring items suggested by some of your favorite authors — including cocktails at the Latin American Club with the ever-charming Lisa Brown and Daniel Handler; a night out at the Lexington with RADAR’s Michelle Tea; and your book club at short story maestro Peter Orner’s house! Book your ticket to this mini-version of the Crawl’s controlled literary chaos now! http://bit.ly/180LU7m
MARIANNA PERFORMS AT THE SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL ON JULY 20
Grottoite Marianna Cherry performs at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival with Gamelan Sekar Jaya and the Club Foot Orchestra: Legong Dance of the Virgins, a silent color movie filmed in Bali in the 1930s with an original musical score by Richard Marriott and I Made Subandi and performed live by an orchestra of Western and Balinese instruments. This is one of only four existing two-color Technicolor films (which predates the Wizard of Oz), and it’s shot on location in one of the most beautiful places on earth by the cinematographer who shot Ben Hur. The original soundtrack is gorgeous. Get tix today! Saturday, July 20, 2:15 pm at The Castro Theater, San Francisco.
“The music in itself has the grandeur of a concert.” “This exceptional event, which is more than a mere novelty, engulfs the senses and sets the imagination soaring.” – San Francisco Chronicle. Tickets and information:
http://www.silentfilm.org/festival/festival-2013-programs/legong-dance-of-the-virgins You can also help Club Foot and GSJ make the event possible, and get reserved seats and VIP passes here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gsj/legong-dance-of-the-virgins
THERE’S STILL TIME TO TAKE A SUMMER WRITING CLASS
The Grotto has plenty of classes that begin in July & August. From memoir to fiction to blogging – weekend workshops and weekly evening classes. To see what’s on tap, visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster
MAC’S STORY A FINALIST FOR A NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARD AND MOLLY NATIONAL JOURNALISM PRIZE
Grotto dweller Mac McClelland’s story on online-shopping warehouses was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in the Feature Writing Incorporating Profile Writing category, and a Molly National Journalism Prize. Check out the award at http://fij.org/national-magazine-award-finalist/ and you can read the story itself at http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/mac-mcclelland-free-online-shipping-warehouses-labor
Congratulations to Mac!
ZAHIR WRITES FROM AN INSIDER’S PERSPECTIVE ON NARENDRA MODI IN THE BOSTON REVIEW
Don’t miss Grottoite Zahir Janmohamed’s essay on Narendra Modi, chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat and aspirant for prime minister in next year’s national elections. Zahir was in Gujarat during the 2002 riots, in which Modi likely played a key role. Zahir’s personal angle on the story elevates what might otherwise be a conventional review of a politician’s biography. It’s well worth a read …
And in case you didn’t know, Zahir is writing a book on the 2002 riots.
CHRIS PROMOTES THE FOOD SOVEREIGNTY PRIZE AND WRITES ABOUT TIM REDMOND
Grottozian Christopher Cook’s Progressive Message consultancy (http://www.theprogressivemessage.org) is helping promote the Food Sovereignty Prize — a campaign supporting community-driven food solutions to hunger and poverty. Check out their site at http://foodsovereigntyprize.org/. Chris wrote this in-depth piece on the growing corporate control of SF media and ouster of Guardian editor Tim Redmond: http://progressive.org/ouster-of-sf-bay-guardian-editor. Check out his latest at http://www.christopherdcook.com
PROSE PILATES IN AUGUST, WITH CONNIE
OK, it’s summer, and you are probably thinking more about the flab on your belly than the flab in your paragraphs. That said, if you are a writer, editor or copy editor who wants to limber up your language and tighten up those sentences, you are welcome to join the Prose Pilates workshop taught by Grottoite Connie Hale under the auspices of Copyediting, the newsletter with the tagline “where language matters.” It’s an audio conference/webinar, to be held August 8 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am (Pacific). We won’t be doing our thing with Yanni in the background, but we will have fun. http://www.copyediting.com/buyproduct/prose-pilates
BECOME A LEAF PEEPER IN NEW ENGLAND WITH ZOE AND CONNIE THIS FALL, OCT 4-6
First-Person Plural: Crafting stories from our lives
A writing workshop with Grottoites Zoe Carter and Connie Hale
Greensboro and Hardwick, Vermont
In this intimate and unusual workshop, held October 4 through 6, writers will work under the guidance of Zoe FitzGerald Carter and Constance Hale, who have published memoirs and essays in Vogue, Health, Honolulu, The Atlantic, and O. The workshop begins Friday night, at The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, where Connie and Zoe will read from their work and lead a conversation about memoir. After a Vermont breakfast at the Carter’s lakeside cabin on Saturday, Zoe and Connie will lead writers through of a mix of guided writing, critique sessions, coaching, and private writing time. Then we will hang out by the fire, eat, drink, make music and be merry. On Sunday, Connie’s aunt will make her famous waffles, and we will dig into the writing again. Late Sunday afternoon, all participants will have the opportunity to read at the Galaxy; then we’ll decamp to Claire‚s restaurant for a special farm-to-table dinner. The workshop is open to writers of all levels and genres. The fee of $250 includes meals on Saturday as well as breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Lodging is available for an additional fee. http://www.sinandsyntax.com/greensboro-writers-retreat/
SAVE THE DATES! AN OCTOBER 4-6 WORKSHOP THIS FALL IN VERMONT
Grottoites Zoe FitzGerald Carter and Connie Hale will be leading a writing workshop in Greensboro, Vermont, for those who find inspiration in the fall colors of New England. The workshop, “First-Person Plural: Crafting stories from our lives” was a hit last year and is being expanded into an entire weekend of writing, readings in a local bookstore, and gourmet farm-to-table food. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you are interested in attending.
JD’s Art Picks for July 2013
SFMOMA PRESENTS MARK DI SUVERO AT CRISSY FIELD
Don’t miss the stunning sculptural installations of internationally renowned sculptor Mark Di Suvero, now at Crissy Field. “Di Suvero’s massive I-beams summon associations to the skeletons of skyscrapers on the downtown San Francisco skyline, and the struts that streak through local interiors after seismic retrofit,” writes Kenneth Baker. Read more at http://www.sfgate.com/art/article/Mark-di-Suvero-review-Grand-at-any-scale-4539763.php#photo-4663615
ENJOY YOUR FILL OF SHAKESPEARE THIS SUMMER
Shakespeare remains the official playwright of the season, of course, with Bard festivals breaking out everywhere from Santa Cruz to Ashland. Still, the Bay Area theater scene is such a vibrant and eclectic place that this summer’s most highly anticipated shows run the aesthetic gamut from Jon Robin Baitz and Neil LaBute to Harold Pinter and Oscar Wilde. http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_23282673/summer-theater-2013-ian-mckellen-and-patrick-stewart
DON’T MISS IAN MCKELLEN, PATRICK STEWART, AND BILLY CRUDUP IN HAROLD PINTER’S NO MAN’S LAND AT THE BERKELEY REP
Internationally acclaimed for their performances on stage, screen and television, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will star at Berkeley Rep in a revival of Harold Pinter‚s celebrated play. In No Man‚s Land, we wonder if two writers really know each other. Or are they performing an elaborate charade? The ambiguity — and the comedy — intensify with the arrival of two other men, drawing the audience into a place between the present and time remembered, between reality and fantasy. Since its premiere in 1975 and its acclaimed 2008 London revival, No Man’s Land has been hailed as one of Pinters “indisputable modern classics” (Telegraph). Now these terrific actors take on this towering drama, helmed by award-winning director Sean Mathias, first for Berkeley Rep audiences, and then for Broadway where they will perform the play in rep with Waiting for Godot this fall. Don’t miss this strictly limited engagement. More info at http://www.berkeleyrep.org/season/1213/7148.asp
THE OAKLAND MUSEUM REOPENS ITS NATURAL SCIENCE GALLERY
In combining artworks, sculpture, and historical artifacts, the new Oakland Museum looks like “a purebred prototype of future cross-disciplinary exhibition practice,” arts writer Kenneth Baker writes. “The redesigned presentation, which includes paintings and photographs, centers on seven ecologically distinct and threatened areas of the state. They range from familiar and famous zones such as Yosemite, Mount Shasta and Oakland to unheralded or little-studied areas such as the Cordell Bank — an underwater mountain off the Central Coast discovered only 30 years ago and now a national marine sanctuary — and the Sutter Buttes of the Central Valley, where state and private land interests contend in ways resonant with larger environmental issues.” As museum director Lori Fogarty remarked, “[W]e place [the work] in a whole new context that shows both California’s biodiversity and the urgent environmental issues, but also shows the relationship between the natural world and the cultural world.” Read more about it here: http://www.sfgate.com/art/article/Oakland-Museum-of-Calif-Grand-reopening-4543144.php
Guilty Pleasures: SFO pride at http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=622233611129492, orange sherbet push-ups from a Walgreen’s freezer on a hot day, a cool sidewalk at http://weburbanist.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Zipper_Art_4b.jpg, any pizza at Beretta, and David Bowie’s Space Oddity, redux, by a real astronaut in real space at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo
I can’t play bridge. I don’t play tennis. All those things that people learn, and I admire, there hasn’t seemed time for. But what there is time for is looking out the window.