October Grotto Notes

On November 7, 2013, in Newsletter, by classes
THIS MONTH, we have Ethel’s Newest, Caroline’s Lost Cat on KALW, Grotto Fellowships, Fall Classes, LitCamp, 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 September-October 2013:Meghan Ward interviews Tom Barbash, author of the new bestselling short story collection Stay Up With Me:
http://meghanward.com/blog/2013/09/09/author-interview-tom-barbash/

Fantasizing about food, sex and serial killers, a very modern Hansel and Gretel try to find their way out of the woods in Jenny Bitner’s story in the Fabulist:
http://www.the-fabulist.org/2013/09/06/hansel-me/

E.B. Boyd reports on U.S. Marines advising security forces in Afghanistan:
http://www.fastcompany.com/3015328/afghanistan/afghanistan-the-worlds-most-complicated-consulting-gig

Zoe FitzGerald Carter reviews Katy Butler’s book, Knocking On Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death for the San Francisco Chronicle:http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Knocking-on-Heaven-s-Door-by-Katy-Butler-4831200.php

How to restart your life, with just a cave of hidden gold and a lunchbox-sized submarine, from Chris Colin:
http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-gear/design-and-tech/Sea-Change-David-Lang-and-OpenROV.html?page=all

How Rep. Pelosi defied her district and history, from Christopher Cook:
http://www.sfbg.com/2013/09/17/pelosi-defies-history-and-her-district

Laura Fraser revisits Yellowstone with her dad, who was a fishing guide there in 1950, “A River Runs Through Us,” October Sunset.

Constance Hale encourages punctuation play:
http://bit.ly/1dQsaTY

Vanessa Hua writes about her father and the immigrant health paradox in Pacific Standard:
http://www.psmag.com/health/become-like-us-65334/

Susan Ito’s memoir excerpt “Powdermilk Biscuits” in Kartika Review, in which she anticipates a date with her birthmother and finds the true meaning of comfort food:
http://kartikareview.com/?portfolio=issue-16-fall-2013-2

Diana Kapp on the new 8-minute chow down known as Family Dinner in the Wall Street Journal:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323981304579079720375700820.html

In advance of their 2014 book, “Psychology Today” officially launched “Supersurvivors: The Blog!” Lee Daniel Kravetz and David B. Feldman now appear weekly, writing about the thrilling new science of resilience:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/supersurvivors. Join the supersurvivalist,https://www.facebook.com/SupersurvivorsTheBook.

Stay-at-home dads have more fun, don’t they? Rachel Levin shares her playground observations, on Ozy:
http://www.ozy.com/c-notes/a-moms-take/2699.article

Kimberley Lovato briefly tours the petit town of Kosice, Slovakia for National Geographic Traveler:
http://www.kimberleylovato.com/admin/uploads/3ede71d804f155206ba8feb0ff1d15b7.pdf

Mac McClelland profiled RuPaul for Rolling Stone‚sSeptember 26 issue.

Caroline Paul can now marry in the eyes of the federal government, but that doesn’t mean she’s game to do it:
http://therumpus.net/2013/09/now-that-we-can-maybe-we-wont/

Bridget Quinn on swimming and sibling rivalry. “At Swim, Two Girls” included in Best American Sports Writing 2013:
http://www.hmhbooks.com/hmh/bestamerican/sports

With a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Cathryn Jakobson Ramin looks into The Hormone Hoax for MORE Magazine:
http://www.dropbox.com/s/fn9bte5mq0oj7hn/MOR1013_B%2BMPharmacies.pdf

Lorraine Sanders reports on the surprising market for a fleece named after lady parts onFastCompany.com:
http://www.fastcompany.com/3018513/buyology/vagisoft-the-surprising-market-for-a-fleece-named-after-ladyparts

Julia Scott suggests our lettuce is likely to outlive us with her account of experimental “Superlettuce” in Modern Farmer:
http://modernfarmer.com/2013/09/superlettuce/

Bonnie Tsui finds out what’s cooking for Mars, in the September/October issue of Pacific Standard:
http://www.psmag.com/health/gastronauts-65373/

JD Beltran covers the Potrero Flats art scene and Southern Exposure’s 39th Birthday for the Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jd-beltran/39-forever-a-39-year-vete_b_3963699.html

VERA BYRD FINNEY ARRIVES IN THE WORLD

Grotto dweller Anne Zimmerman and her husband Sean Finney, founding editor of Canteen magazine, welcomed their daughter Vera Byrd Finney into the world this past month. “She’s a beauty & a delight!” Huge congratulations to Anne, Sean, and Vera!

ETHEL ROHAN’S NEWEST STORY COLLECTION, “GOODNIGHT NOBODY,” ENJOYS ENTHUSIASTIC PRAISE; DON’T MISS THE BOOK LAUNCH ON OCTOBER 10

Grotto dweller Ethel Rohan’s second story collection “GOODNIGHT NOBODY,” was published Monday, September 30 amidst enthusiastic praise from San Francisco Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, HTMLGiant, and elsewhere. From the San Francisco Chronicle: “Rohan’s bright, engaging fictions immerse us in the lives of characters from her native Ireland to her adopted home of San Francisco, and points in between. Some satisfied criteria for stories, some for poetry, while the most successful contained elements of both…Rohan excels at these disappointed lonely women, wised-up but still vulnerable and yearning inside.”

Don’t miss Ethel reading from her compelling new work at GOODNIGHT NOBODY’s launch party, Bookshop West Portal on Thursday, October 10, 6:30 pm. Bookshop West Portal is located at 80 West Portal Avenue, San Francisco: http://www.bookshopwestportal.com/

CAROLINE READS FROM LOST CAT ON WEST COAST LIVE THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5

Grottozian Caroline Paul will be speaking about writing, collaboration, temporary insanity, and her book “Lost Cat, A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology” on West Coast Live, thisSaturday October 5th. The show airs locally on KALW FM from 10 am to 12 pm. Check out the KALW broadcast schedule here: http://kalw.org/schedule/kalw

JULIA READS AT STORYFARM THIS SATURDAY, OCT 5, AND THEN AT LITQUAKE ON OCTOBER 19

Grotto dweller Julia Scheeres will be reading at Storyfarm on Oct.5 at 7 p.m.(http://www.storyfarmsf.org) and appearing on a Litquake panel “The Art of the Memoir” on Oct. 19 at 12:30 (http://zspace.org/guest-shows/litquake-the-art-of-the-memoir) with several other Grotto memoirists.

LITQUAKE HAPPENS THIS MONTH FROM OCTOBER 11-19! GROTTO LITCRAWL IS AT MISSION BOWLING AT 6 PM ON OCTOBER 19

Don’t miss the literary festivities of the annual LITQUAKE FESTIVAL, which launches on October 11. On Saturday, October 19th, the Grotto hosts “Lost and Found” at the Mission Bowling Club, 3176 17th St. (21+ after 7 pm)

Life: Always slipping away at the worst times and turning up where we least expect it (couch cushions, usually). Come hear six disparate takes on what‚s lost and what‚s found. Featuring Elizabeth Bernstein, Chris Colin (host), Rosa del Duca, Susan Ito, Gerald Jones, Caroline Paul, and Matthew Zapruder. More information athttp://litcrawl.org/sf/events/23-the-writers-grotto-presents-lost-found/

The Litquake Calendar of events can be found at http://www.litquake.org/ (with the lovely faces of the Grotto’s own Peter Orner and Tom Barbash on the home page!)

GROTTO FELLOWS CHOSEN THIS MONTH!

Would you like to be a part of our community and work at the Grotto for six months? Each year we choose six promising writers to become Grotto Fellows. The reading period for our 2014 Fellowship program will be October 1-31st. Please send us your writing or spread the word to other writers who are interested in this opportunity. Complete information at http://www.sfgrotto.org/grotto-fellowship

SHEBOOKS SPONSORS A MEMOIR WRITING CONTEST

Shebooks — the e-book publishing platform Grottoite Laura Fraser founded with Peggy Northrop, current editor of Sunset — is getting underway with a memoir writing contest co-sponsored with Good Housekeeping. The winner is awarded $2000 and publication in Good Housekeeping; runners-up get published in Shebooks, which officially launches in November with 30 great short books by women, for women. Go tohttp://www.shebooks.net for info!

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND – BAGELS & BLOODIES HAIR OF THE DOG WORKSHOPS

Join us on October 13, for Bagels & Bloodies, ourSunday morning writing workshops. We begin at9:30 am with bagels, schmear and Peets coffee. Then you choose one of four 3-hour workshops – the novel, short story, memoir, or personal essay. We reconvene at 1 pm for Bloody Marys – because we’ve earned it!

This year’s teachers are Joshua Mohr (the novel), Tom Barbash (the short story), Jeff Greenwald (memoir), and Laura Fraser (personal essay).

$85 for the workshop, the bagels, and the bloodies!

This event is part of Litquake.

For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/events/158995147641547/

DON’T MISS FRED’S “AND THEN STEVE SAID, ‘LET THERE BE AN iPHONE,'” IN THIS SUNDAY’S NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE

Grottoite Fred Vogelstein tells the fascinating tale of the evolution of and super-secretive, nerve-wracking launch preparations for the very first iPhone in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/magazine/and-then-steve-said-let-there-be-an-iphone.html?hp

CONNIE COACHES ON FREELANCE SURVIVAL AT UC BERKELEY EXTENSION OCT. 26

Trying to figure out the unfigurable world of freelance writing and editing? Grotto dweller Constance Hale leads a one-day seminar on Saturday Oct. 26 to help you examine the changing media landscape and develop strategies to survive and thrive. Deepen your understanding of what magazines, newspapers, books and websites look for, and discuss how social media and blogging fit in. You will also consider how to support dream projects with good work that pays the bills. Guests like Grottoite Monica Campbell share the unvarnished truth, and innovative course materials help you define your goals, sharpen your skills and develop a personal strategy. $275. For information and registration:http://bit.ly/19UqMgm

THERE’S STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR A FALL WRITING CLASS

Our fall session has begun, but we’ve still got weekend and weekly classes starting all this month — the novel, personal essay, the short story, even how to write a book proposal.

All of our classes are taught by working writers, and we’ve garnered a five-star review on Yelp. See what our students say about us on Yelp http://www.yelp.com/biz/san-francisco-writers-grotto-classes-san-francisco

For more information, visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster

LIZETTE AWARDED AN OREGON WRITING RESIDENCY

Grotto Emeritus Lizette Wanzer has been awarded a five-week Fellowship Residency at Playa Summer Lake in Oregon, for spring 2014. Congratulations to Lizette! Read more about it at http://www.playasummerlake.org/location

CHRISTINE WRITES ABOUT FIVE BROKEN CAMERAS IN THE RUMPUS

Also don’t miss the latest by Grotto dweller Christine Baniewicz on the Oscar-nominated Palestinian documentary Five Broken Cameras, and the importance of making art at all costs: http://therumpus.net/2013/10/5-broken-cameras-we-know-how-to-live/

LIT CAMP APPLICATION PERIOD NOW OPEN!

We’ve just opened the application period for Lit Camp, the writers conference sponsored by the Grotto and Litquake. Join Andrew Sean Greer, Susan Straight, Emily Rapp, Tom Barbash, Karen Joy Fowler, plus a host of agents and editors for four days of workshops, panels, and yoga at Mayacamas Ranch in Calistoga.

Thursday, May 15 through Sunday, May 18, 2014.

Submission deadline: January 15, 2014.

For more information, visit http://www.litcampwriters.org

Follow Lit Camp on FB http://www.facebook.com/litcampwriters

CHRIS WORKING ON PIECES FOR MOTHER JONES AND NATIONAL NURSE MAGAZINE

Christopher Cook has pieces coming out soon for Mother Jones and National Nurse magazine. He’s been working to stop evictions in San Francisco, quoted recently saying, “These evictions are ruining people’s lives for a profit, it’s completely heartless and unnecessary.” Chris appeared on TV commenting on Rep. Pelosi’s push for war in Syria, which he wrote on for the Bay Guardian. His consultancy Progressive Message (http://www.theprogressivemessage.com) has been taking on new clients, including campaigns, research think tanks, and authors.

CONNIE CORRECTS GRAMMAR ALL OVER THE COUNTRY

Connie Hale led 32 writers through a day of “grammar for grownups” at the Grotto in September; they left with a copy of the new Sin and Syntax and prizes like Shakespeare Insult Gum and Morning After Mints. (If you missed the hilarity, we’ll do it again Nov. 16 – see the Note above.) In San Luis Obispo, she worked with a group of high school teachers on how to encourage the best writing from teenagers, and awarded copies of the paperback Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch at the Central Coast Writers Conference. Then she took it all to the teenagers themselves, leading a rhetoric workshop at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn. In answer to one student defending “intentional muddiness” she offered George H. W. Bush (bad) and Cormac McCarthy (brilliant). http://bit.ly/1dQswdr

RECOMMENDED:

SPCA 140TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY

Come celebrate the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s 140th Birthday this Saturday, October 5th (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.). There will be a Carnival-themed street fair on Alabama Street where you can enjoy a beer garden, carnival games, kids’ activities, food trucks, and live entertainment including a performance by cast members from Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon. Dress up your pooch and enter our doggie costume contest for a chance to win fabulous prizes! Costume contest registration opens at 11 a.m., and the doggie costume contest begins at 1:15 p.m. On Sunday, October 6th (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.), free adoptions continue, plus you can satisfy your sweet tooth while helping our Foster Program at the Foster Bake Sale in our adoption center. Details athttp://www.sfspca.org/1868.

HEADLANDS’ FALL OPEN HOUSE & PICNIC

Don’t miss this wonderful, exclusive quarterly opportunity to tour the artist studios at Headlands’ Fall Open House & Picnic, October 27th, 12 noon to 5pm. Free. More information at http://www.headlands.org/event/fall-open-house-annual-picnic

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JD’s Art Picks for OCTOBER 2013

THE LONG CONVERSATION AT SOUTHERN EXPOSURE, THROUGH OCTOBER 26

The Long Conversation presents work and a performance series by current and former Bay Area artists whose practices are rooted in the strategies of the West Coast, alternative, idea-based, experimental and time-based artwork pioneered in the 1970s. Organized in conjunction with Southern Exposure‚s 39th Birthday, the exhibition features actions, videos, performances, installations and events presented both on and off-site. Artists featured include Amy Balkin, Renée Gertler & Josh Greene, Cliff Hengst, Rhonda Holberton, David Ireland, Bessma Khalaf, Paul Kos, Pawel Kruk, Tony Labat, Mike Lai, Lynn Hershman Leeson in collaboration with Mark Hellar, Jennifer Locke, Nathan Lynch, Whitney Lynn, Mads Lynnerup, Mail Order Brides, Tom Marioni, Jim Melchert, Lucas Murgida, Christian Nagler, Rigo 23, Moira Roth & Anne Walsh, Jon Rubin, Alice Shaw, Peter Simensky, Anne Walsh, and Michael Zheng.

This cross-generational project includes artists working in the Bay Area since the 1970s as well as a new generation of artists staking a claim within experimental, conceptual and engaged methods. Their post-studio practices are often performative, endurance-based or centered around a displaced object or action. With the current proliferation of cultural producers and images, along with the disruptive and quickly changing character of the region, The Long Conversation revisits the strategy of thinking as a premise for making. Curated by Courtney Fink. Valerie Imus, Gay Outlaw and Chris Sollars. Through October 26, 2013. Gallery Hours:Tuesday ˆ Saturday, 12ˆ6 PM. More information athttp://soex.org/currentexhibitions.html

SFMOMA’S OFF-SITE SECA AWARD EXHIBITION THROUGH NOVEMBER 17

The purpose of the SECA Art Award is to provide recognition to innovative and talented Bay Area artists whose work has not been accorded substantial institutional recognition. For the first time in the history of SFMOMA’s biennial award program honoring Bay Area artists, the museum has commissioned the four recipients of the 2012 SECA Art Award to create work outside the traditional gallery context. Their site-responsive projects ˜ ranging from drawing to performance, sound, video, and sculpture ˜ will appear in the following locations: Zarouhie Abdalian in downtown Oakland; Josh Faught at the Neptune Society Columbarium in San Francisco; Jonn Herschend on the SFMOMA website; and David Wilson in front of the museum’s Third Street building, leading to various sites throughout the city. Documentation of the projects will be featured on this website and in the accompanying exhibition catalogue, available in November. Through November 17th. More information at http://www.sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/570

CITY OF DISAPPEARANCES AT THE WATTIS GALLERY

In a city with a transient population, like San Francisco, it’s uncommon to meet someone who has lived here since birth. Populated by foreigners passing through, high-tech commuters, and more dogs than children, the percentage of home-owners is well below the national average. Yet despite an ability to identify such tendencies, cities like San Francisco (or London) remain unstable and elusive, subject to physical as well as ideological shifts and disappearances˜whether sudden and violent like an earthquake or gradual like the fading of a memory.

The exhibition City of Disappearances dramatizes this shared resemblence of the world’s cities by borrowing the title of Iain Sinclair’s psycho-geographic “anthology of absence” written by and about London. The exhibition imagines a transposition and exchange of the living-imaginary of London conjured in Sinclair’s book with the fictions and myths of San Francisco. This conceptual and metaphorical exchange will be followed by a real one as the exhibition travels to London in 2014, where it will be renamed Infinite City after Rebecca Solnit’s almanac of San Francisco. CCA Wattis Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Kent and Vicki Logan Galleries, through December 14, 2013. More information athttp://www.wattis.org/exhibitions/city-disappearances

PIER 24’S 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 at http://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

Guilty Pleasures: The mesmerizing fog study by Simon Christen athttps://vimeo.com/69445362; those sci-fi jetpacks about to become a reality athttp://www.gizmag.com/martin-jetpack-p12/29215/; gawking at Elizabeth Taylor’s ostentatious Bulgari emeralds, sapphires, and other jewels at the De Young Museum; the SPCA costumed dog contest at http://www.meetup.com/SFSPCA/events/139504222/

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt

 

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