September Grotto Notes

On November 7, 2013, in Newsletter, by classes
THIS MONTH, we have Tom’s newest, Zahra doing comedy at Fort Mason, Fall Classes, Lit Camp, and lots more! Read all about it below…
Hot off the presses, here is what we’re writing about (or what other people are writing about us), for August-September 2013:

Lindsey Crittenden writes about two new memoirs – Katy Butler’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door & Monica Wesolowska’s Holding Silvan – on the dimensions of a good death in wrenching situations: Spirituality & Health’s Sept/Oct issue.

Constance Hale describes literary devices that class up your sentences:
http://chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2013/08/07/parataxis-and-hypotaxis/

Vanessa Hua in American Short Fiction on guilt, parenting, and writing:
http://americanshortfiction.org/2013/08/29/bourbon-and-milk-guilt-cocktails/

Susan Ito’s “Living in Someone Else’s Closet” in the new anthology, Family Troubles: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family
http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Family-Trouble,675750.aspx

Zahir Janmohamed examines what the politics of eating meat in Gujarat, India, tells us about that state’s Hindu Muslim divide:
http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/20/butter-chicken-in-ahmedabad/

Diana Kapp goes inside San Quentin to report on the first start-up tech incubator inside a prison. She asks: Would you hire these guys?
http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-inmates-and-the-entrepreneur

Jessica Carew Kraft on how to beat the human brain’s built-in negativity bias, summer issue, Esperanza Magazine:
http://writingkraft.com/2012/10/05/power-to-the-positive-prone-to-pessimism-how-to-transform-your-negative-thinking

National parks in the summer? Nooo thank you. Rachel Levin returns to the Sawtooths instead:
http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/travel/your-own-private-idaho.html

Kimberley Lovato offers a bite of Canada’s favorite dessert for National Geographic Traveler:
http://www.kimberleylovato.com/admin/uploads/4b1bb8573a849eb0705fa4b590c17bdb.pdf

Ethel Rohan’s brief essay “Hide and Seek” on revealing herself in her stories:
http://www.writing.ie/readers/hide-seek-by-ethel-rohan/

Lorraine Sanders explores technology that makes your butt look better in a pair of Levi’s for SF Chronicle:http://www.sfgate.com/style/article/Levi-s-lab-Revel-line-sew-up-curve-appeal-for-4738824.php

Shanthi Sekaran gleans writerly wisdom from 3amdiaper changes in Mutha Magazine, Michelle Tea’s new parenting mag:
http://muthamagazine.com/2013/08/life-sentence-shanthi-sekaran-on-writing-motherhood-and-the-truth/

TOM BARBASH’S NEWEST, “STAY UP WITH ME,” DEBUTS WITH A HUGE SPASH!

Grotto dweller Tom Barbash’s newest story collection “Stay Up With Me,” comes out nextTuesday, September 10, and it’s already deemed as one of the books to be anticipated this fall by New York Magazine. From the New York Times Book Review: “…there’s something addictive about these stories – like potato chips or a stiff drink. Barbash is a true craftsman who sweats over every sentence, and that artistry makes you want to read the next story.”

And from Entertainment Weekly: “Author Tom Barbash’s short story collection is full of gripping tales of heartbreak and secrecy…Reading this collection cover to cover is akin to following strangers home and staying with them just long enough to glimpse their most devastating secrets.”

Don’t miss Tom reading from his exciting new work – the schedule of local readings and links to the events are below:

Book Passage, Corte Madera, Tuesday, Sept 10
http://www.bookpassage.com/event/tom-barbash-stay-me?utm_source=Book+Passage+Events%3A+Tom+Barbash&utm_campaign=Tom+Barbash%3A+8.21.13&utm_medium=email

Mrs. Dalloway’s, Berkeley, Wednesday, Sept 11
http://www.mrsdalloways.com/events/tom-barbash-ann-packer

The Booksmith, Haight Street, Thursday, Sept. 12
http://www.booksmith.com/event/tom-barbash-stay-me

Copperfield’s, Petaluma, Friday, Sept. 13
http://www.copperfieldsbooks.com/event/tom-barbash

Huge Congratulations to Tom!

ZAHRA PERFORMS AT SOUTHSIDE THEATER TODAY,SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7!

Grottoite Zahra Noorbakhsh performs in “Dis/orient/ed Comedy: All Asian. All Female. All Funny.” TODAY, Sept.7th, Saturday at 9:30pm. Southside Theater at Fort Mason Center. Enjoy pre-show refreshments at 9pm. Discount pre-sale tix are available online only at http://www.DisorientedComedy.com

FALL CLASSES AT THE GROTTO ARE FILLING FAST!!

We’re very excited about our fall schedule. Lots of new classes. Lots of guest teachers. Beginning the week of September 22, we’ll be offering everything from flash fiction to a November novel marathon, personal essay to the nuts & bolts of building a great memoir. You’ll find weekly and one-day workshops on how to get an agent and beginning blogging, as well as developing your comedic voice, screenwriting, and YA fiction.

Check everything out at http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster. But don’t delay, many of our classes are already more than half-filled.

GET READY FOR LIT CAMP 2014

We’ll start accepting submissions for Lit Camp 2014, the writers conference co-sponsored by the Grotto and Litquake, on October 1. Meantime, you can take a sneak peek at some of the faculty (we’re still confirming staffers) we’ll have on hand at the Lit Camp website http://litcampwriters.org. You can also follow Lit Camp on FaceBook athttp://www.facebook.com/litcampwriters

Lit Camp 2014 will take place Thursday, May 15 – Sunday, May 18 at Mayacamas Ranch in Calistoga, CA. Hope to see you there!

MAW PERFORMS AT LADYFEST ON SEPT 13, HOSTS A LITERARY EVENING ON SEPT 21, AND READS FOR POETS FOR CHANGE ON SEPT 28

Grotto dweller Maw Shein Win will be performing with Amar Chaudhary as part of poetry and music duo Pitta of the Mind along with other musical acts to kick off “Ladyfest 2013″ on Friday, September 13th at The Web located at 355 12th Street at Webster Street, Oakland, California. All proceeds will benefit Bay Area non-profits A Safe Place and St. James Infirmary. Check out http://bayarealadyfest.wordpress.com/ for more details.

On Saturday, September 21st at 8 pm, she will be hosting “An Evening of Poetry and Prose” with readings by fantastic Bay Area writers Pia Chatterjee, Genny Lim, Kenneth Wong and Nellie Wong. This event will take place at The San Francisco Buddhist Center at 37 Bartlett Street. A $5 to $30 donation is requested and proceeds will benefit Dalit youth in India for Jai Bhim International. RSVP at http://www.facebook.com/events/225500220930682/. And on Saturday, September 28th, Maw will be reading for “Backyards: Poets for Local Change 2013″ hosted by Sharon Coleman and Jeanne Lupton as part of the world-wide reading “100,000 Poets for Change”. This reading will take place at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru Street in Alameda and begins at 7 pm. More details at http://www.facebook.com/events/469509556458334/. Free!

VANESSA READS HER WORK AT KEROUAC ALLEY ON SEPTEMBER 29

Grottoite Vanessa Hua, whose novel excerpt appears in the latest issue of ZYZZVZA, will read with Jacque J. Rancourt and Anne Raeff on Sunday, Setember 29, 2 p.m. at Kerouac Alley, between Vesuvio and City Lights, in a celebration of the bookstore’s 60th anniversary and the magazine’s fall issue.

PETER AND MICHAEL KRASNY DISCUSS PETER’S NEWEST, “LAST CAR ON THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE”

If you missed Grotto dweller Peter Orner’s recent dialogue with Michael Krasny on Forum, you can still check it out online. Peter talks with Krasny about his latest book, “Last Car on the Sagamore Bridge,” and his process of writing during the program’sAugust 27th podcast, available at the KQED online archive at
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kqeds-forum/id73329719 ”Last Car” has been reaping in terrific reviews. The Miami Herald stated, “A new story collection reaffirms Chicago-born author Peter Orner’s storytelling mastery,” and from Publishers Weekly: “In his second story collection, Orner fires jewel-toned shards of fiction into a stunning whole.”

Congratulations to Peter!

CONNIE CO-TEACHES A VERMONT WORKSHOP IN OCTOBER, AND ENCOURAGES YOU TO GET SOME SIN

Zoe Carter and Grotto dweller Connie Hale will be offering an workshop for writers who want to appreciate the fall colors and focus on personal essays with a dozen other professional writers. Zoe and Connie kick off the Greensboro Writers Retreat with a bookstore reading Friday night. Saturday andSunday are devoted to writing, workshopping, and revising, with participants reading at the bookstoreSunday, followed by a farewell dinner at a farm-to-table restaurant. More on the scene, the food, the characters here: http://sinandsyntax.com/greensboro-writers-retreat/

Connie Hale’s all-new edition of Sin and Syntax has made waves across the country – or at least air waves. She was a guest on “West Coast Live” out of Berkeley, “Writers on Writing” out of Irvine, “All Sides with Ann Fisher” in Ohio, and “Central Time” in Wisconsin. Listen up: http://sinandsyntax.com/news-reviews-and-interviews/

ETHEL HOSTS A DYNAMIC WRITERS WORKSHOP IN MAGNIFICENT LISMORE CASTLE, WATERFORD, IRELAND THIS DECEMBER

Grotto dweller Ethel Rohan will teach a “Brilliance of Brevity” workshop in Lismore Castle, Waterford, as part of Abroad Writers Conference. This three day master class will focus on the crafting of electric and concise narratives. The workshop runs December 11-13th, 2013, and is for writers of both fiction and creative non-fiction. The class goal is to hone the art of selectivity and write one’s best and briefest work. In-workshop writing will encourage fearless enjoyment of the process and the careful construction of the stories we’re most burning to tell.

Participants will study and write amidst a fun and dynamic collective spark, and in a magnificent castle. Other writers teaching at Lismore Castle as part of the Abroad Writers Conference include: Robert Olen Butler; Karen Joy Fowler; Mariel Hemingway; Claire Keegan; Jane Smiley; Lily Tuck; and many more. Ethel Rohan is an award-winning writer and the author of two story collections, her latest titled Goodnight Nobody. She invites writers at all levels to join her in Lismore Castle and says, “We will do great things together.” For further details please visit http://www.ethelrohan.com. To register please email founding Director Nancy Gerbault at abroadwriters@yahoo.com.

CHRIS RUNS COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE FOOD SOVEREIGNTY PRIZE CAMPAIGN

Christopher Cook’s Progressive Message consultancy has been running communications for the Food Sovereignty Prize campaign, highlighting sustainable and grassroots solutions to poverty and hunger instead of corporate industrial agriculture (http://foodsovereigntyprize.org/). He has also helped launch a new campaign fighting evictions of tenants in San Francisco, called Eviction Free Summer–recently publicizing landlord Rick Holman’s removal of Mission residents (http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2013/08/28/mission-eviction-leaves-activists-without-home-base). Reach him throughhttp://www.christopherdcook.com.

GERRY CREATES AN E-BOOK PUBLISHING COMPANY: ATOMIC DROP PRESS

Grottoite Gerry Jones and a couple of collaborators have created their own e-book publishing company, Atomic Drop Press. They’ll be republishing some of his own earlier books, along with work by others – mostly humorous and fairly odd. They’re hooked into Amazon and all the other major e-book dealers through Smashwords, and will offer print-on-demand soon. Check it out at http://www.atomicdroppress.com

Congratulations to Gerry!

ALSO RECOMMENDED:

Two Terrific Literary Events at the SF JCC

Dara Horn author of “A Guide for the Perplexed” onSeptember 23 (https://www.jccsf.org/arts-ideas/lectures/literary/dara-horn/)

Robin Sloan author of “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore on September 24(https://www.jccsf.org/arts-ideas/lectures/literary/robin-sloan-mr-penumbra/)

Both events are only $15.

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JD’s Art Picks for SEPTEMBER 2013

GALLERY GULCH DEBUTS IN SAN FRANCISCO’S POTRERO DISTRICT

This weekend, a new slew of sparkling new art gallery spaces debuts in the area formerly known as “Multimedia Gulch” — it’s now become Gallery Gulch. These new venues underscore an exciting economic revival in the corridor south of Market Street and north of Potrero Hill. The San Francisco gallery scene has now shifted to the area rimming the base of Potrero hill, with gleaming new spaces and artist and designer workshops and outlets opening in several former industrial buildings. ThisSaturday, September 7th, four new gallery spaces open their doors within steps of each other on Utah Street and Potrero Avenue; Jack Fischer, Catharine Clark, Brian Gross, and George Lawson join pioneer Todd Hosfelt in inaugurating this new arts district (Todd Hosfelt opened his space on Utah street late last year). And just a stone’s throw away is California College of the Arts’ new Wattis Institute space on Kansas Street and Yves Behar’s fuseproject art gallery, fused space, on 16th St. Rounding out the perimeter a few blocks south are Steven Wolf Fine Arts and Guerrero Gallery, on 19th St. And if you venture a few more blocks west, there’s the always-interesting Southern Exposure at 3030 20th Street.

Don’t miss out on the fun of inaugurating this new district with the first annual Potrero Art Walk, today,Saturday, September 7th. The locations and websites of the participating spaces are below:

Arch Art Arts & Crafts Store
99 Missouri Street
http://www.archsupplies.com/

Brian Gross Fine Art
248 Utah Street
http://www/briangrossfineart.com

Catharine Clark Gallery
248 Utah Street
http://www.cclarkgallery.com

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
360 Kansas Stree
t
http://www.wattis.org

Creativity Explored Studio Space
1 Arkansas Street, Studio E
http://www.creativityexplored.org

Front Coffee Shop
150 Mississippi Street
http://www.frontsf.com/

fused space
1401 16th Street
http://www.fusedspace.com

George Lawson Gallery
315 Potrero Ave
http://www.georgelawsongallery.com

Hosfelt Gallery
260 Utah Street
http://www.hosfeltgallery.com

Jack Fisher Gallery
311 Potrero Avenue
http://www.jackfischergallery.com

SF Center for the Book Art Gallery
375 Rhode Island Stree
t
http://www.sfcb.org

Steven Wolf Fine Arts
2747 19th Street
http://www.stevenwolffinearts.com

Southern Exposure
3030 20th Street
http://soex.org/index.html

PIER 24′S NEW EXHIBITION

Pier 24 Photography, one of the world’s premier exhibition spaces for photo-base work, presents A Sense of Place, an exploration of how photographs shape the perception of our environments. Together, the exhibited works shift in scale from room size installations to small, quiet photographs, transporting the viewer through a variety of locations, memories, and emotive experiences. Highlights include Lee Friedlander’s America by Car, a series documenting both the everyday and specific eccentricities in the United States from the confines of his car, shifting the viewer to a variety of places from the familiar frame of a car window. Erik Kessels’ installation 24 HRS in Photos creates a cascading room filled – floor to ceiling – with printed versions of every picture uploaded to Flickr during a 24-hour period, allowing the viewer to both visually and physically experience the overwhelming number of photographs shared online. The pictures assembled in A Sense of Place demonstrate what photography does best: engage our attention with the everyday – to what we might otherwise bypass – inspiring us to take another, closer look at the places that surround us. 

Artists include: Robert Adams, Doug Aitken, Uta Barth, Edward Burtynsky, Eric William Carroll, John Chiara, Jan De Cock, Moyra Davey, Thomas Demand, Jose Manuel Fors, Lee Friedlander, Paul Graham, Andreas Gursky, Todd Hido, Rinko Kawauchi, Veronika Kellndorfer, Erik Kessels, Lucia Koch, Richard Learoyd, Richard Misrach, Asako Narahasi, Stephen Shore, Cinthya Soto, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jeff Wall, and selections from the Sack Photographic Trust. Through May 2014. More information athttp://www.pier24.org/exhibition/current.html

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 athttp://www.sfgate.com/art/article/Mark-di-Suvero-review-Grand-at-any-scale-4539763.php#photo-4663615

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: Driving across the new Bay Bridge; the brilliant Kit-Kat candy bar riff on Android’s new KitKat update athttp://www.android.com/kitkat/ and http://kitkat.com/; watching the original Stars Wars film; a Disneyland time-lapse on Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/66288274?goback=%2Egde_2243583_member_266963415#%21; re-reading The Great Gatsby and watching both film versions to see which one was better in translating the book to film.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.

Charles Bukowski

 

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