|Hot off the presses, here is what we’re writing about (or what other people are writing about us), for January – February 2014:
Maw Shein Win was published in Forklift, Ohio (Issue #27) A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, & Light Industrial Safety:
Meghan Ward on The Hottest Social Networks of 2014 for Writerland:
What does Chinatown look like today? Bonnie Tsui answers on the cover of The New York Times Sunday Travel section:
Lorraine Sanders asks whether $100 video chats can help teen girls beat the blues (and more) for FastCompany.com:
Ethel Rohan’s non-fiction piece in Brevity Magazine:
Caroline Paul doesn’t need the self-driving car – yet:
Kimberley Lovato learns the art of ‘pomelo’ on the island of Vis, Croatia:
Rachel Levin hangs out with cookbook-author-to-be Samin Nosrat and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton–as they squeeze chard balls and dance around the kitchen:
Jessica Carew Kraft investigates in-agency camps remaking the lowly design internship for Communication Arts Magazine:
Diana Kapp talks snow, melting glaciers and Global Warning with Olympic downhill gold-medal hopeful Ted Liggety for SnoWorld Magazine.
Yukari Kane writes about Apple’s e-book fight for NewYorker.com:
Zahir Janmohamed writes in the New York Times on Pranlal Patel, the 104 year old Indian photographer celebrated for his pictures of women:
Vanessa Hua profiles Dekila Chungyalp, director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Sacred Earth program, for Spirituality & Health.
Rachel Howard meets the Korean shaman-singer Dohee Lee for the SF Chronicle:
Laura Fraser explores the world of shamanism in “Spirit Journey,” in February’s Prevention magazine (she also has a piece in this month’s O, the Oprah Magazine).
Kate Folk’s short story about paranormal events appears in issue 5.1 of Gigantic Sequins:
Lindsey Crittenden’s feature on the healing powers of mineral water is online:
Chris Colin’s expose on life and Santana’s drummer and his underthings, now online:
Zoe Fitzgerald Carter’s review of Diane Johnson’s memoir “Flyover Lives” in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Monica Campbell reports for PRI’s The World on why foreign video gamers are considered America’s new pro athletes:
NATALIE DEBUTS “QUEEN SUGAR” TONIGHT AT CCA, AND AT BOOKSMITH NEXT TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11
Congratulations to longtime Grottoite, Natalie Baszile, whose debut novel, Queen Sugar, has just launched! Queen Sugar tells the story of Charley Bordelon, a young widow from Los Angeles who learns, to her shock, that she has inherited a sugarcane plantation in rural south Louisiana. With her 11-year-old daughter in tow, Charley packs her bags and heads to the tiny town, Saint Josephine, where she moves in with her grandmother and tries to figure out how to be a sugarcane farmer. “In Queen Sugar, two bulwarks of American literature—Southern Fiction and the transformational journey—are given a fresh take. . . “ writes O Magazine. “[The novel] is a sensory experience, a tableau vivant that Baszile skillfully paints in a palette simultaneously subtle and bold.”
Natalie first two readings will read be Friday, February 7th at 4:30 p.m. at California College of the Arts Writer Studio, 195 De Haro Street, San Francisco, and the book launch on Tuesday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m., at The Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street, San Francisco. If you can’t make those, here’s a list of other upcoming readings:http://nataliebaszile.com/news-events/
Congratulations to Natalie!
MEGHAN WARD DEBUTS “RUNWAY: CONFESSIONS OF A NOT-SO SUPERMODEL,” ON THE SHEBOOKS LABEL *TODAY* FEBRUARY 7
Grottoite Meghan Ward’s new e-book, “Runway: Confessions of a not-so supermodel,” will be out February 7, just in time for fashion week. Modeling in Paris seemed like a great way to make some quick money and sample the glamorous life before going to college—until 18-year-old Meghan discovered that the world of high fashion is every bit as morally unsavory as it’s cracked up to be. Download the whole story for only $2.99 onhttp://www.shebooks.net.
Kudos to Meghan!
AYESHA’S NEWEST COLLECTION DEBUTS *TODAY* FEBRUARY 7!
On the heels of the groundbreaking collection, “Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women” comes Grottoite Ayesha Mattu’s new book: “Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex & Intimacy”. The 22 writers in this collection offer frank, moving and funny glimpses into their hearts – and bedrooms. Join the editors and writers for the festive San Francisco launch party on Friday, February 7th at 7 pm at California Institute of Integral Studies. Comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh will emcee, and light refreshments will be served. “An insightful, thoroughly charming read.” – Publishers Weeklyhttp://www.ciis.edu/Public_Programs/Public_Programs_Events/Salaam_Love_SP14.html
For more information, see:http://loveinshallah.com/about/
Congratulations to Ayesha!
PO’S “TOP DOG: THE SCIENCE OF WINNING & LOSING” OUT IN PAPERBACK ON FEBRUARY 18th
Grotto co-founder Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s latest, Top Dog: The Science of Winning & Losing, is out in paperback on February 18th. Olympians, professional athletes, and their coaches are already carrying Top Dog around in gym bags. It’s in the briefcases of Wall Street traders and Madison Ave. madmen. Professional risk takers – from Silicon Valley venture capitalists to Vegas gamblers – are racing to master its ideas. Educators and philosophers are debating it the halls of academia. More information athttp://www.topdogbook.com/
See for yourself what this game-changing talk is all about.
MAW’S “RUINS OF A GLITTERING PALACE” IN THE POETRY CENTER’S CHAPBOOK EXCHANGE
“Ruins of a glittering palace,” by Grotto dweller Maw Shein Win, is included in the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange. Created and developed by Melissa Eleftherion and Elise Ficarra for the Poetry Center at SF State University, the PCBE is “a space for poets to convene, correspond, and collaborate via the currency of the poetry community: chapbooks.” Her chapbook, which includes paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Mark Dutcher, can be downloaded here: http://poetrychapbooks.omeka.net/items/show/7 and the collection can be accessed at: http://poetrychapbooks.omeka.net/.
THERE’S STILL TIME TO TAKE A GROTTO CLASS
Most of our weekly Winter Session classes have begun, but we’ve still got plenty of weekend workshops scheduled to last you till spring. Whether you’re looking for something to help you with character development, writing the short story, or you’re ready to try our enormously popular Yoga for Writers workshop, you’ll find it (and more) athttp://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster.
ZOE SPEAKS AT THE TENTH ANNUAL SAN FRANCISCO WRITERS CONFERENCE WITH CONNIE
Grottoite Zoe FitzGerald Carter will be appearing at the tenth annual San Francisco Writers Conference,February 13-17 at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. She will be discussing memoir, the power of writing groups, and the “writer’s life” with fellow Grottoite, Connie Hale. For registration and a full schedule of events, go to: http://sfwriters.org
CHRIS CAMPAIGNS FOR DEMOCRAT CHARLIE HARDY
Christopher Cook is in Wyoming working as campaign manager for an exciting campaign for U.S. Senate, for Democrat Charlie Hardy. Charlie is running after serving nearly 30 years as a priest and educator throughout Wyoming and in Latin America. Check out the campaign athttp://www.runwithcharlie2014.com. Chris says they’d love your support to help turn Wyoming blue after 33 years of Republican control.
EXPLORE THE MAGIC OF PLACE WITH CONNIE: MOKULE’IA WRITERS RETREAT, MAY 4 – 9, REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE IN MARCH!
Six days, five nights, on O‘ahu’s last remote coast, for $1,100. Workshops, yoga, beachcombing, Hawaiian music, writing in the shade of ironwoods and palms, visits to sacred sites, sleeping to the sound of the surf. Led by the Grotto’s Connie Hale, other faculty include travel editor Larry Habegger, UH creative writing professor Steven Goldsberry, memoirist Rebecca Walker, novelist Darien Gee, and master of Hawaiian chant Sam ‘Ohukani‘?hi‘a Gon. Writers in residence include Grottoites Bridget Quinn and Laura McClure. Space limited to 24 talented writers. http://campmokuleia.com/specialevents.html
JD’s Art Picks for FEBRUARY 2014
THE POSSIBLE AT THE BERKELEY ART MUSEUM
The Possible is an experimental exhibition that reconceives the museum as a site for creative convergence. You will have the chance to be a part of this evolving exhibition by engaging directly with an exciting array of visiting artists.
As an open platform for shared creativity and the exploration of diverse artistic techniques, The Possible combines studio, classroom, library, gallery, and stage. A multisensory library provides context and inspiration, while the galleries are reconfigured as a series of workspaces: a ceramics studio, dye lab, print shop, and recording studio. Collaborating with one another and the public, a diverse range of guest artists will use these studios to create new work in a public forum. The finished works will filter into a gallery installation, building the exhibition over time. We hope to inspire a spirit of experimentation, improvisation, and play by providing opportunities for artists to go deeper into familiar mediums, experience new practices, and work collaboratively. The studios will function as classrooms during a series of Sunday public workshops and audiences will also be invited to participate in discussions, performances, and field trips during the course of the exhibition. And bring the whole family to Kids Club, a special gallery devoted to engaging children in the creative process that is at the heart of this project.
Come and help us explore what is possible! At the Berkeley Art Museum, January 29, 2014 – May 25, 2014. More information athttp://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibition/possible
PUBLIC INTIMACY AT YBCA/SFMOMA OPENS ONFEBRUARY 21
Disrupting expected images of South Africa, the 25 contemporary artists and collectives featured in Public Intimacy eloquently explore the poetics and politics of the everyday. This collaboration with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents pictures from SFMOMA’s collection of South African photography alongside works in a broad range of media, including video, painting, sculpture, performance, and publications—most made in the last five years, and many on view for the first time on the West Coast. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa, Public Intimacy reveals the nuances of human interaction in a country still undergoing significant change, vividly showing public life there in a more complex light. Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, Feb 21–Jun 29, Downstairs Galleries. Opening Night Party, Friday, Feb 21, 8–10 PM. More information athttp://www.ybca.org/public-intimacy
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
JAMES TURRELL AT THE LA COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART
Not to be missed. I’m taking a special trip to Los Angeles to see this one. You have to book tickets to see it ahead of time, though! James Turrell: A Retrospective explores nearly fifty years in the career of James Turrell (b. 1943, Los Angeles), a key artist in the Southern California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 70s. The exhibition includes early geometric light projections, prints and drawings, installations exploring sensory deprivation and seemingly unmodulated fields of colored light, and recent two-dimensional work with holograms. One section is devoted to the Turrell masterwork in process, Roden Crater, a site-specific intervention into the landscape just outside Flagstaff, Arizona, presented through models, plans, photographs, and films. Through April 2014.http://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/james-turrell-retrospective
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. Through May 26, 2014. Read more athttp://www.sfgate.com/art/article/Mark-di-Suvero-review-Grand-at-any-scale-4539763.php#photo-4663615
Guilty Pleasures: the gi-normous subs at Merigan Sub Shop on 2nd Street;Andres Amador’s stunning, unbelievable beach “paintings” athttp://www.viralnova.com/beach-art/; any wood-fired pizza at the Fireside Pizza truck at Streatfood; Shinichi Maruyama’s time-lapse photography of nudes at http://www.shinichimaruyama.com/;Annabelle’s Rocky Road candy bars at Bristol Farms gourmet grocery store; best space images of 2013 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23691292; and the devil baby attacks innocent pedestrians athttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUKMUZ4tlJg
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.