May Grotto Notes

On May 13, 2014, in Newsletter, by Rachel Howard
New Books, McSweeney’s/Litcamp Series + ZYZZYVA!
Kathryn Ma's The Year She Left Us
Brand spanking new books are out by Matthew, Kathryn, Chris, and Faith, come to a ZYZZYVA Lovefest, and a NEW McSweeney’s/Litcamp series!
Hot off the presses, here is what we’re writing about (or what other people are writing about us), for April – May 2014:

E.B. Boyd talks with the military’s second-in-command in Afghanistan about how the war is going:
http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2014/04/23/pages/3363/index.xml

From Chris Colin, a feature on the obsessive and little-known world of private trains:
http://www.sunset.com/travel/train-00418000086496/

Sean Elder had a great time hanging out with Rosanne Cash for Newsweek:
http://www.newsweek.com/2014/04/04/bred-bone-248043.html

Ali Eteraz’s essay about Microsoft, Twitter, and languages, The Death of the Urdu Script, was re-published by The Annual of Urdu Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:
http://www.urdustudies.com/pdf/29/25Column29.pdf

Rachel Howard reviews Maggie Shipstead’s sexed-up ballet novel, “Astonish Me,” in the SF Chronicle:
http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Astonish-Me-by-Maggie-Shipstead-5396617.php

Vanessa Hua writes about Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, once a vital religious, educational, political, and social center for Spanish-speaking Catholics in San Francisco for Pomona Magazine:
http://magazine.pomona.edu/2014/spring/a-church-with-a-memory/

Jessica Carew Kraft covered a recent racial controversy in collegiate debate for the Atlantic:
http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/04/traditional-college-debate-white-privilege/360746/

In Pacific Standard, Rachel Levin writes about how technology is changing how we tip, who we tip — and how much:
http://www.psmag.com/navigation/books-and-culture/contributors-meet-people-behind-mayjune-2014-print-issue-79703/

Joshua Mohr’s essay on Buzzfeed, “The Beasts Inside the Hiss”:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/joshuamohr/my-ghostwriters-were-drugs

Janis Cooke Newman writes about Chelsea/Meatpacking District for the SF Chronicle:
http://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/In-N-Y-s-varied-Chelsea-urban-grit-meets-the-5375271.php#photo-6072779

Grace Rubenstein grapples with the places we hold sacred and women’s safety in the wilderness after two solo female hikers die:
http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2014/04/21/female-hiker-grapples-mysterious-mt-tam-deaths

Lorraine Sanders looks at online dating tricks, gamification and cash at play in the future of fundraising for FastCompany.com:
http://www.fastcompany.com/3028574/whos-next/online-dating-tricks-gamification-and-cold-hard-cash-is-this-the-future-of-funding

Julia Flynn Siler visits the 30,000-acre cattle ranch of one of Hawaii’s most influential families for the Wall Street Journal: http://www.juliaflynnsiler.com/articles

Bonnie Tsui profiles Julien Smith, the man who will change forever the way we work on the go, for the Atlantic’s “Future of Transportation” series:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2014/04/inside-quest-make-business-travel-lot-less-awful/8870/

Lizette Wanzer’s poems, “Precipice” and “Escheresque,” will appear in Vol. 14 of the Journal of Advanced Development:http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/ADJ/adj.htm

Meghan Ward is a model parent in Mutha Magazine: Meghan Ward is A MODEL PARENT

Emily Wolahan broke down why poetry is so confusing, at least to her:
http://npmdaily.tumblr.com/post/83066474146/emily-wolahan

LITCAMP & MCSWEENEY’S LAUNCH A NEW SERIES ON JUNE 6TH!

The Grotto’s own Lit Camp writers conference is partnering with McSweeney’s to launch the coolest literary series in town — and the only one with free beer (and food)! The Basement Series will combine published authors with emerging writers — with the published writers curating the work of the emerging talent.

Join us Friday, June 6 at 7 pm at the Sports Basement at 1590 Bryant Street for our inaugural event. Free beer, free food — and free temporary tattoos! Our published authors will be Grotto member Joshua Mohr and McSweeney’s author Courtney Moreno, reading along with new talent they’ve chosen — all on the theme of ‘Emergency,’ in honor of Courtney’s new novel, ‘In Case of Emergency.’

$5 – $10 sliding scale admission with proceeds split between Dave Eggers’ Scholar Match and scholarships for the Lit Camp writing conference.

Like The Basement Series on FB (http://www.facebook.com/thebasementseries) for more information, and to find out how to become one of the readers at our upcoming events.

MATTHEW CELEBRATES HIS NEWEST, “SUN BEAR” TOMORROW AT UNIVERSITY PRESS BOOKS

Book release party and (short!) reading for SUN BEAR at University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA, from 6-8 pm TOMORROW, Thursday, May 8th. Come by, have some wine and some food and hang out at one of the Bay Area’s best bookstores! The Facebook invite is here:http://www.facebook.com/events/226789204185840/

Congratulations to Matthew!

KATHRYN’S DEBUT NOVEL “A SWEEPING SUCCESS” – LAUNCHING ON MAY 13!

Kathryn’s debut novel launches on May 13! Publishers Weekly calls THE YEAR SHE LEFT US “a sweeping success…not to be missed.” Come hear Kathryn at:

BOOK LAUNCH
Tuesday, May 13 – 7:30 pm
The Booksmith, SF

Wednesday, May 14 – 7:00 pm
Book Passage Corte Madera

Monday, May 19 – 7:00 pm
Books Inc. Laurel Village, SF

Wednesday, May 21 – 7:30 pm
Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore, Berkeley

Saturday, May 24 – 2:00 pm
Levin & Co. Books, Healdsburg

Saturday, May 31 – 6:30 pm
Babylon Salon reading series, SF

Monday, June 2 – 7:00 pm
A Great Good Place for Books, Oakland

Tuesday, June 3 – 6:00 pm
Debut Brew Series (buy a book, they’ll buy you a beer)
Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol

Wednesday, June 4 – 7:30 pm
Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park

Thursday, June 5 – 7:00 pm
Bookshop West Portal, SF

Kathryn will also be reading in Portland, Seattle, and Bainbridge Island. Check out her full schedule of events on her website athttp://www.kathrynma.com/

Congratulations to Kathryn!

JOSH SELLS HIS NEW NOVEL TO COUNTERPOINT/SOFTSKULL

Relatively new Grottoite Josh Mohr has just sold his new novel, ‘All This Life,’ to Counterpoint/Softskull! ‘All This Life’ will also be Counterpoint/Softskull’s lead title (in hardcover) next spring.

Huge congratulations to Josh!

PO, DANIEL HANDLER, AND MICHAEL KRASY CELEBRATE THE 100TH ISSUE OF ZYZZYVA TOMORROW, MAY 8TH

Join Grotto co-founder Po Bronson, Daniel Handler, Michael Krasny, and tons of other local authors next Thursday May 8th to celebrate the 100th issue of ZYZZYVA: . Food & drink provided, promises to be a fun time. Artists & Writers tickets are $25, general public $50. It’s at the California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, at 6:30 pm. ZYZZYVA has long supported our west coast writing and arts community, and it’s time to support them.

Get tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/604984

STANDUP PLANET, DAMMIT FEATURED IN A NATIONAL BROADCAST PREMIERE ON MAY 14

STAND UP PLANET, DAMMIIT! Stand Up Planet lands on Ozy Magazine’s Good Shit section in advance of a national broadcast premiere on May 14! After a sold out premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival Stand Up Planet will begin airing nationally on Participant Media’s new TV channel, Pivot TV and simultaneously on LinkTV and on KCET on May 14, followed by the Stand Up Planet comedy showcase. The trailer and clips and additional airtimes can be found athttp://www.standupplanet.org.

Grotto’s Rachel Levin, contributing editor to Ozy Magazine, caught our Grotto sneak peek screening and assigned an article on Stand Up Planet, landing us in Ozy’s “Good Shit” section:http://www.ozy.com/good-sht/stand-up-planet-dammit/30929.article. Stand Up Planet was created by Grotto writers David Munro and Xandra Castleton, directed by David Munro, co-written and Executive Produced by Grotto Emeritus Mark Decena, with Zahra Noorbash as researcher and more.

Kudos to Xandra, David, Mark, and Zahra!

VANESSA READING FROM “NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH” AT BOOKS INC OPERA PLAZA ON MAY 15

Grottoite Vanessa Hua and others will read from Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God: 73 Women on Life’s Transitions on May 15 at the Books Inc Opera Plaza in San Francisco at 7 pm, an anthology that playwright and activist Eve Ensler calls “a testament to what is possible when we show up for our sisters.”

More information at http://www.booksinc.net/event/nothing-truth-so-help-me-god-launch-party-books-inc-opera-plaza

CHRIS AND ROB ON THE TODAY SHOW TO TALK ABOUT LIFE

Still wondering what to talk about in life? Chris and Rob debase themselves on network television in order to answer that question. Buy their new book to make it stop. And see Chris Colin & Rob Baedeker on the Today Show!http://www.today.com/id/26184891/vp/55054177#55054177

SAVE THE DATE! DON’T MISS THE SHEBOOKS SHEBANG ON MAY 23RD

Shebooks Shebang! Please join the writers and editors of Shebooks.net at their launch party onFriday, May 23, at 518 Valencia St., 6-8 p.m. There will be readings! Raffles! Wine! And your opportunity to donate to our Kickstarter campaign to support women writers. Shebooks are short e-books by and for women, available by subscription starting May 10 at http://www.shebooks.net!

FAITH’S E-BOOK LAUNCHES IN SHEBOOKS WITH A RAD COVER

Faith Adiele’s self-explanatory e-book, The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems, has the distinction of possessing the best title and one of the best covers in the Shebooks.net lineup – check it out yourself at http://shebooks.net/ladyproblems

ZAHRA DIRECTS A 17-YEAR-OLD’S ONE-WOMAN SHOW AT STAGE WERX ON MAY 27

Grotto member, Zahra Noorbakhsh directs 17-year-old Bay School senior, Claire Zager, in her musical, one-woman show debut at the Stage Werx Theater,May 27th, Tuesday at 8pm. Zager is a writer and performer headed to Manhattan College’s Theater Program, but before she’s off, she’s got a few things to say as a self-identified non-expert on all things teen, sex and confidence, in the comedy, “What If I Die a 52 Year Old Virgin?” Tickets and more info available at http://stagewerx.org/

THERE’S STILL TIME TO TAKE A SPRING CLASS AT THE GROTTO – MEMOIR, SHORT STORY, AND SPIRITUAL WRITING!

Our spring writing classes run right till the beginning of June, so there’s still time to sign up for memoir, the short story, even a class on spiritual writing.

Visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster for more information.

YALITZA AWARDED THE STEINBECK FELLOWSHIP IN CREATIVE WRITING AT SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY

Grottoite Yalitza Ferreras was selected for a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing at San Jose State University for the 2014-2015 academic year. She will be working on The Lady of the House, her novel in progress. More information athttp://as.sjsu.edu/steinbeck/index.jsp

Congratulations to Yalitza!

REYHAN AND ANDY’S MODERN FARMER WINS A NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARD

Modern Farmer, the new magazine where a few former Grottoites Reyhan Harmanci & Andy Wright went to work last year, won a National Magazine Award this week. So inspiring! A completely new magazine — about food production — wins an Ellie right out of the gate. Read more about it athttp://mashable.com/2014/05/02/modern-farmer/

Well-deserved kudos for Reyhan and Andy!

MAW HAS NEW POEMS UP ON ZOCALO PUBLIC SQUARE

Grottoite Maw Shein Win has new poems up on Zocalo Public Square! For more information, seehttp://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2014/04/25/the-wheelchair/chronicles/poetry/ andhttp://www.fullofcrow.com/poetry/archives/maw-shein-win-april-2014/. She is also a recent recipient of the Arkadii Dragomoshchenko Prize for Innovative Poetry: http://www.sumlitsem.org/contest.html.

Congratulations to Maw!

MAURY’S ZERO GRAVITY MUSICAL TO BE PRODUCED BY THE PLAYGROUND FESTIVAL

Grotto dweller Maury Zeff’s zero gravity musical Love Spacewalked In was one of six short plays chosen to be produced in the Best of PlayGround Festival. It will run twelve nights in May at the Thick House Theatre in San Francisco. More info athttp://playground-sf.org/bestof/

Kudos to Maury!

ALI’S ESSAY ABOUT MICROSOFT, TWITTER, AND LANGUAGES IN THE ANNUAL OF URDU STUDIES

Ali Eteraz’s essay about Microsoft, Twitter, and languages, The Death of the Urdu Script, was re-published by The Annual of Urdu Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Check it out athttp://www.urdustudies.com/pdf/29/25Column29.pdf

CHRIS WRAPS UP A REPORT FOR OXFAM, OUT THIS MONTH

Christopher Cook just finished a big report for Oxfam that will be out in mid-May, part of a global campaign. Meanwhile he’s been working as campaign manager for Charlie Hardy for U.S. Senate in Wyoming (http://www.runwithcharlie2014.com), and developing some new political essays and book ideas. His communications consultancy, Progressive Message (http://www.theprogressivemessage.org) continues to take on new clients, so drop him a line anytime.

HOW DO YOU SAY “STYLE” IN HAWAIIAN? ASK CONNIE – AND THERE’S A NEW BOOK PROPOSAL WORKSHOP

Connie Hale travels to O’ahu in May to do a “Sin and Syntax” workshop at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival, then to lead a writers retreat on the fabled North Shore. She will be joined there by Grottoites Zoe FitzGerald Carter, Laura McClure, and Bridget Quinn, who are all writers in residence at the five-day retreat. That means they will sit on the beach, listen to the surf, and follow unexpected storylines.http://campmokuleia.com/specialevents.html

For editors seeking new ways to collaborate with writers, Connie is teaching a workshop called “Catnip For Agents: How Editors Can Help Authors Craft Irresistible Book Proposals.” The three-hour intensive shows how editors and coaches can help authors develop sophisticated proposals that demonstrates a savvy understanding of the publishing world. Tuesday, June 3; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fee: $75-85. Visit editcetera to register:http://www.editcetera.com/berkeley-u.php?current=two.

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JD’s Art Picks for MAY 2014

Lots and lots of gala artfair events and MFA graduation exhibitions – May is probably the biggest art month of the year!

MFA GRADUATION EXHIBITIONS

Don’t miss the MFA exhibitions happening in the next weeks! Here are links to those at the San Francisco Art Institute, CCA, Mills, Stanford, and UC Berkeley:

http://www.sfai.edu/principal
http://www.cca.edu/calendar/2014/2014-mfa-thesis-exhibition
http://mcam.mills.edu/exhibitions/current3.php
http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibition/mfa2014
http://events.stanford.edu/events/404/40425/

ARTMRKT THIS MONTH AT FORT MASON!

Over 70 galleries from around the country will be exhibiting the best of modern and contemporary art at this year’s fair. There will be strong representation by some of San Francisco’s finest galleries including: Catharine Clark Gallery, Brian Gross Fine Art, Patricia Sweetow Gallery, Rena Bransten, Gallery Wendi Norris, Hashimoto Contemporary, Modernbook, Steven Wolf Fine Arts, Eleanor Hardwood Gallery, Ever Gold Gallery, and Fouladi Projects. Adding to this strong local base will be surrounding area galleries such as, Quint Contemporary, and Traywick Contemporary. In addition, there is a solid representation of Los Angeles galleries which currently includes: Mark Moore Gallery, Edward Cella Art + Architecture, Kopeikin Gallery, New Image Art, Walter Maciel Gallery, and Charlie James Gallery.

There will be a variety of works on view made with traditional and new mediums; from oil on canvas to software-enabled works. Some specialized highlights include; Electric Works, Paulson Bott Press, and Shark’s Ink have strong focuses in prints while Mindy Solomon, Pentimenti Gallery, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery will feature inventive sculptures. Exciting emerging art will be featured by newer galleries such as: Romer Young Gallery, Aureus Contemporary, and Ampersand while well-known artists will be exhibited at established galleries such as: Nancy Hoffman Gallery, Richard Levy Gallery, Forum Gallery, and Greg Kucera. Also, for the fourth year, the San Jose Institute of Art will present a selection of works from their exhibiting artists as well as editions from their prestigious Print Center.

More information at http://artmarketsf.com/

REX RAY AT GALLERY 16 – ends this FRIDAY!

For Rex Ray, the joy of making and viewing art is his continuing motivation. Drawing inspiration from his acknowledged influences—the Arts and Crafts Movement, Abstract Expressionism, organic and hard-edged abstraction, pattern and textile design, and Op Art—Ray playfully combines these formalist concepts with decorators’ tips gleaned from lowbrow publications and sources of popular culture in his pursuit to create beautiful things. Gracefully bridging the gap between fine and applied art, he distinguishes himself in each realm.

As a fine artist, Rex Ray works in a wide range of media, including painting, collage, print works, and photography. His collages grew out of the simple pleasure of cutting shapes from magazine pages, assembling and gluing them to paper to create visually pleasing works that have since developed into sophisticated resin-covered panels. In his large-scale canvas paintings, like the one on view at MCA DENVER, he conceives abstracted landscapes from biomorphic shapes and distinct color combinations as a fresh adaptation of an aesthetic that sympathizes with twentieth-century Modernism.

Ray’s work exudes beauty with a subversive edge that stems from an attitude grounded in alternative subculture. He was an early admirer of punk and new wave music. Music holds a special place in his life. A former record store employee and devoted collector, he has worked with leading contemporary musicians, contributing designs for many album covers and concert posters for artists such as Radiohead, Björk, Nine Inch Nails, Deee-Lite, and David Bowie.

Rex Ray was born in Germany in 1956. He lives and works in San Francisco’s Mission District. Before moving to California in 1981, he was a longtime resident of Colorado Springs and he still maintains his connection to Colorado. In 1988, he received a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, CA. His paintings, collages, and designs have been widely exhibited at galleries and museums, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA, San Jose Museum of Modern Art, CA, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA. He is an accomplished graphic designer with a client list that includes Apple, Sony Music, and The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY. [Written by Cydney Payton]

Rex Ray
Gallery 16, April 4 – May 9, 2014
501 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
http://www.gallery16.com/index.php?page=exhibitions&exhibit=upcoming

SFMOMA PRESENTS MARK DI SUVERO AT CRISSY FIELD – only two more weeks!

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

YOGA: THE ART OF TRANSFORMATION AT THE ASIAN ART MUSEUM

This fascinating exhibition has been lauded by the New York Times as groundbreaking in its perspective on the ancient art of yoga. “As diverse artworks on view confirm, ancient adepts of yoga, especially of its inner and mystic disciplines, aroused as much fear as admiration in a world convinced that supernatural influences impinged constantly on mundane existence,”remarked art critic Kenneth Baker. Yoga: The Art of Transformation goes beyond postures and delves into how yoga has evolved into a global phenomenon through an exploration of its visual history. Borrowed from 25 museums and private collections in Europe, the U.S. and India, the artworks featured in the exhibition date from the 2nd to the 20th centuries. Images ranging from benevolent deities and gurus to Tantric goddesses and sinister yogis reveal how yoga practices — and perceptions of them — have transformed over time and across communities. Exhibition highlights include stunning masterpieces of Indian sculpture and painting; pages from the first illustrated book of yoga postures (asanas); and a Thomas Edison film, Hindoo Fakir (1902), the first American movie ever produced about India. The Asian Art Museum is the only U.S. West Coast venue for this exhibition, which is on through May 25th. More information athttp://www.asianart.org/exhibitions_index/yoga

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, through May 25, 2014. More information at http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibition/possible

PUBLIC INTIMACY AT YBCA/SFMOMA

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, Downstairs Galleries. Through June 29th. 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

WHY ARTISTS WORK FOR FREE…

An interesting blog post to take five minutes to read: ‘WHY ARTISTS WILL ALWAYS WORK FOR FREE”
http://andiosho.blogspot.com/2014/05/why-artists-will-always-work-for-free.html

Guilty Pleasures: Sunday deem sum at Yank Sing.http://www.yanksing.com/home.php A global heatmap showing where almost 80 million people biked and 20 million people went running athttp://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#9/-120.90000/38.36000/blue/bike An artsy Dogpatch afternoon at the Museum of Craft & Design and The Workshop Residence: ( http://www.sfmcd.org/ andhttp://workshopresidence.com/ ) And while you’re there, you can’t miss the quirky flavors like lavender, basil, or chocolate vodka ice cream at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous’s corner ice cream parlorhttps://foursquare.com/v/mr-and-mrs-miscellaneous/4bf313f7370e76b0c956bd4a Fargo – the funnily violent and violently funny original movie by the Coen Brothers, and now, the series.http://www.fxnetworks.com/fargo

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.

William Faulkner

http://www.sfgrotto.org
 

April Grotto Notes

On April 9, 2014, in Newsletter, by Rachel Howard
Comedians on Film, A Haunted Empire + Smart Talk
Grottofilms' David Munro and Xandra Castleton, Zahra Noorbakhsh, and Mark Decena make the documentary
David, Xandra, Mark + Zahra make a film about funny, Yukari on the Post-Jobs Empire, and Susan’s Genetics
Hot off the presses, here is what we’re writing about (or what other people are writing about us), for March – April 2014:

Maw Shein Win publishes new poems:
http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2014/03/28/cinematic-distance-5-films/chronicles/poetry/

Bonnie Tsui goes behind the scenes at Facebook to see how scientists are pointing the way to kindness on social media, for Pacific Standard:
http://www.psmag.com/navigation/nature-and-technology/friends-benefits-facebook-sociologists-social-media-74781/

Lavinia Spalding’s essay on learning to cook in South Korea in her twenties appears in the current issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray, on newsstands now.

Julia Scheeres reviews a novel based on the Jonestown massacre in the New York Times Book Review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/books/review/children-of-paradise-by-fred-daguiar.html?_r=0

Lorraine Sanders gets a taste of new ice cream technology that’s helping kids have more fun learning science for Fast Company:
http://www.fastcompany.com/3027292/innovation-agents/cold-fusion-welcome-to-the-liquid-nitrogen-blasting-old-timey-ice-cream-sh

Hand gun in the laundry room, too much quinoa in the pantry: Stephanie Rosenbaum reveals what the housesitter really thinks of you and your stuff in issue 12 of Kinfolk magazine.

For San Francisco Chronicle, Susanne Pari reviews A SLIVER OF LIGHT: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran:
http://m.sfgate.com/books/article/A-Sliver-of-Light-by-Bauer-Fattal-and-Shourd-5358129.php

Peter Orner on his ailing father and Mavis Gallant:
http://therumpus.net/2014/02/lonely-voice-28-all-lives-are-interesting-my-father-and-mavis-gallant/?

Kimberley Lovato discovers a love of her redheaded roots for American Way Magazine:
http://hub.aa.com/en/aw/emerald-isle-ireland-redhead-roots

Susan Ito’s essay appears in Three Minus One, an anthology of parents’ stories of love and loss, and which accompanies the film Return to Zero:
http://returntozerothemovie.com/blog/the-book-three-minus-one/

Vanessa Hua writes about her breakthrough publication and the writing life for Write Despite:
http://writedespite.org/tag/vanessa-hua/

Rachel Howard plays cards with a sly lover in Berfrois:
http://www.berfrois.com/2014/03/another-game-by-rachel-howard/

From Oakland’s own Snap Judgment: The tale of how Jeff Greenwald and his nine-year-old cousin fell in with the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitive:?http://www.snapjudgment.org/little-girl-who-traveled-americas-most-wanted

For the New Yorker web site, Alastair Gee considers whether California might soon cease to exist:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2014/03/to-fix-problems-in-california-an-investor-suggests-breaking-it-up.html

Yalitza Ferreras has an essay about being the first in her family to graduate from college in the anthology, Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education:
http://www.amazon.com/Wise-Latinas-Writers-Higher-Education/dp/0803245939

Chris Colin has features this month on private train fanaticism and the mysteries of Treasure Island, in Sunset and San Francisco Magazine, respectively – great photos!
http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-uncanny-isle

Josh Bettinger has new poems out in Cream City Review, Salt Hill Journal, and Sakura Review:
http://salthilljournal.net/

DAVID, XANDRA, MARK, AND ZAHRA’S “STAND UP PLANET” GETS SFIFF PREMIERE APRIL 28, AND BROADCASTS ON MAY 14

Stand Up Planet, a one-hour Gates Foundation-funded documentary about a new generation of comic rebels changing the world one joke at a time, will screen Monday, April 28 at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and make its TV debutMay 14 on Jeff Skoll’s new Pivot TV channel. Grottofilms’ David Munro and Xandra Castleton created the show, which David directed and Xandra co-wrote, in collaboration with Grotto emeritus Mark Decena who co-wrote and produced through his company Kontent Films. and resident Grotto comedian Zahra Noorbakhsh, whose knowledge of the stand up world was indispensable.

The film is hosted by comedian Hasan Minhaj and features appearances by Bill Cosby, Norman Lear, and Carl Reiner, in addition to a host of super funny and talented American and international comics. In addition to Pivot, SUP will be simulcast on LA independent station KCET and cable network Link TV, whose parent company KCETLink is the producing network.

For tickets to the SFIFF screening, go to:
http://www.sffs.org/festival-home/attend/film-guide/stand-up-planet#.UztE5IJ21as

For more information about the project, including airdates and showtimes, go to:
http://www.standupplanet.org orhttp://www.pivot.tv

YUKARI’S “HAUNTED EMPIRE: APPLE AFTER STEVE JOBS” GARNERS CONTROVERSIAL ATTENTION

Yukari Iwatani Kane’s book, “Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs,” debuted on March 18 and immediately garnered controversial attention after Apple’s CEO Tim Cook spoke out against it. Based on interviews with nearly 200 sources in Apple’s world in the U.S., Asia, and Europe, the narrative non-fiction book examines how Apple is handling the loss of its visionary founder while also dealing with the many challenges of a fast-growing, globally dominant company. (http://yukarikane.com/haunted-empire/)

SUSAN’S “THE MOUSE ROOM” NOW OUT ON THE SHEBOOKS LABEL

Grottoite Susan Ito was a struggling college student working at a genetics lab when she met her birth mother for the first time. A quirky memoir, at once funny and heartbreaking, The Mouse Room is full of big questions about parenting, DNA, and what makes us who we are. Buy it at on the Shebooks Label at http://shebooks.net/the-mouse-room#.U0LN9q1dW9Q

LAURA’S SHEBOOKS.NET MAKING ITS MARK IN THE PUBLISHING WORLD

Longtime Grotto dweller Laura Fraser’s new publishing company, Shebooks.net, has already published 24 short e-books, and sold over 2500 copies!

Congratulations to Laura!! Check out the offerings athttp://shebooks.net

TALK SMARTER *AND* HARDER, WITH CHRIS’ NEW BOOK

Homo sapiens have been speaking for hundreds of years — and yet basic communication still stymies us. We stagger through our exchanges merely hoping not to crash, never considering that we might soar. But no more. With Grotto dweller Chris Colin and Rob Baedeker’s What to Talk About, you’ll learn to speak — fluently, intelligently, charmingly — to family, friends, coworkers, lovers, future lovers, horse trainers, children, even yourself.

This absurd-but-serious manual comes out this month with Chronicle Books. Amazon has already named it one of its Best Humor & Entertainment Books, and Chris and Rob will be discussing it on NPR’s Here & Now next week. If you’ve ever thought of reading a book, or giving a gift, now’s a great time to get started!

Check it out at http://www.amazon.com/What-Talk-About-Christopher-Colin/dp/1452114501

And don’t miss the trailer! athttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFgDu0laaxo&feature=youtu.be

TIME TO SIGN UP FOR A SPRING WRITING CLASS!

Spring has arrived — and so has our amazing schedule of Spring Classes! We’ve got tons of new offerings in addition to our usual weekly and weekend classes in fiction, nonfiction, memoir, novel-writing — everything you’re looking for to get your writing on track after the winter doldrums. Check out all of our Spring Session classes at:
http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster

KATHRYN’S “THE YEAR SHE LEFT US” GETS A STARRED PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW – OUT IN MAY

Grottozian Kathryn Ma’s novel, “The Year She Left Us,” got a starred review from Publishers Weekly: “Ma’s first novel is a sweeping successs…with a fascinating protagonist. This is a family saga of insight, regret, and pathos, and it is not to be missed.” Look for Kathryn’s book in May!

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-06-227334-5

CAROLINE PICKS MARIA POPOVA’S BRAIN AT THE HATTERY ON FRIDAY, APRIL 10

Grotto-ite Caroline Paul interviews Maria Popova, the brain behind the wildly popular culture blog Brain Pickings, on stage at The Hattery, April 10 at 7 PM. Brain Pickings is a one-woman discovery engine for interestingness, “bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are.” They’ll discuss hunting and gathering on the internet, lessons on creativity, and musings such as the curious minds (and sleep habits) of famous writers past and present. Buy tickets here:
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/brain-pickings-an-evening-with-maria-popova-tickets-10928097233?aff=hatterysite

Conversation with Maria Popova of Brain Pickings
The Hattery
414 Brannan Street
San Francisco
April 10th, 7 – 8.30 PM

VANESSA AWARDED THE EMERGING WRITER FELLOWSHIP AT ASPEN SUMMER WORDS CONFERENCE

Grottoite Vanessa Hua was selected for an Emerging Writer Fellowship at the Aspen Summer Words conference this June. She read from her novel-in-progress on Wednesday, April 2, at San Jose State University, at the Steinbeck Fellowship year-end reading. Kudos to Vanessa!

http://library.sjsu.edu/events/2013-2014-steinbeck-fellows-read-their-work-progress

ALI’S SHORT STORY IN STORYSOUTH AND HIS POEMS PUBLISHED BY BEDLAM PUBLISHING

Grottorati Ali Eteraz’s short story “Iron Bowl” appears in storySouth and his poems “Three Excerpts from the Aborted Status Updates of E.” have been published by Bedlam Publishing. Congratulations to Ali!

See storySouth at http://storysouth.com/2014/03/iron-bowl.html
See his poems at http://www.bedlampublishing.com/LoudZoo_01.pdf

JAMES DIVES DEEP INTO THE DEADLY SPORT OF ABALONE HUNTING FOR SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE

A half dozen divers die hunting abalone off the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts every year. Terry Maas, a 69-year-old real estate mogul from Los Gatos, is trying to save them. Grotto dweller James Nestor investigates for San Francisco Magazine:http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-last-thing-you-see-you-black-out

DRINKS, AUCTION, DELECTABLES, & SPELLING! THE EIGHT ANNUAL SPD SPELLING BEE IS APRIL 28TH

Join Grottoite Ethel Rohan on Monday, April 28th for the eighth annual SPD BEE, A Spelling Bee to Benefit Small Press Distribution. THE SPD BEE is an old-fashioned spelling bee but with alcohol, tasty nibbles, and more fun! Crown Point Gallery is the beautiful setting for this event. Proceeds support the work of SPD, the nation’s only remaining non-profit distributor of literary small press books.

Emcee: Comedic Josh Kornbluth has toured internationally, written and starred in several feature films. His most recent show, Sea of Reeds, has performed widely in the Bay Area and beyond. Judge: Geoffrey Nunberg, NPR commentator, professor at UC Berkeley, and board member of the American Heritage Dictionary. Other spelling bees include Anise Gross, Summer Brenner, and more. Get full details and your tickets here:http://www.spdbooks.org/pages/events/default.aspx

JULIA AT “WTF, SF?” A PANEL ABOUT THE CHANGING SAN FRANCISCO LANDSCAPE

On Wednesday, April 2nd, Grotto dweller Julia Flynn Siler, author of Lost Kingdom and The House of Mondavi, appeared on a panel with Gary Kamiya, San Francisco magazine executive editor and author of Cool Grey City of Love,) the Reverend Cecil Williams (pastor emeritus of Glide Memorial Church and co-author of Beyond the Possible) John Law (founder of Burning Man Festival and co-author of Tales of San Francisco Cacophony Society) and Joel Selvin (SF Chronicle culture editor from 1972-2009) to discuss the changing landscape of San Francisco today. It was sponsored by Green Apple Books; more information at http://www.greenapplebooks.com/event/wtf-sf

WENDY DEBUTS “MEANWHILE IN SAN FRANCISCO: SAN FRANCISCO, THE CITY IN ITS OWN WORDS” – READING TONIGHT, APRIL 7 AT BOOKSMITH!

Grotto friend and artist Wendy McNaughton’s recent book, “San Francisco, The City in its Own Words,” is number three on the Chronicle bestseller list. From San Francisco Chronicle reviewer “If Studs Terkel, the great oral historian, had taken up drawing, his work might have looked something like what Wendy MacNaughton has created in her irresistibly bighearted new book…Like Terkel, MacNaughton gives voice to ordinary people from all walks of life, dignifying them in the process. Her pleasing, unfussy ink-and-watercolor portraits of San Franciscans – “illustrated documentaries,” as she calls them – capture library patrons, farmers’ market vendors, Giants fans, Mission hipsters and old friends hanging out in Chinatown. “This is our front yard. I’m not trying to get out of here,” says a smiling young man in MacNaughton’s section on Sixth Street, whose lives of struggle she contrasts with a Fifth Street populated by programmers, businesspeople and tourists.http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Meanwhile-in-San-Francisco-by-Wendy-5358128.php

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FROM OUR FRIENDS AT THE BOOKSMITH
1644 Haight Street, San Francisco
415-863-8688http://www.booksmith.com
Events are free of charge unless otherwise noted

Monday, April 7
7:30 PM
WENDY MacNAUGHTON
MEANWHILE IN SAN FRANCISCO: The City in Its Own Words
and
JULIA ROTHMAN
HELLO, NEW YORK: An Illustrated Love Letter to the Five Burroughs

East Coast or West Coast? New York or San Francisco? Whichever way you lean, Wendy MacNaughton and Julia Rothman battle to give you ever more reasons for sticking with your preferred city this evening when they deliver their passionate tributes to their own cities.
More info at http://booksmith.com/event/wendy-macnaughton-meanwhile-san-francisco-julia-rothman-hello-new-york

Wednesday, April 9
7:30 PM
TOM FITZGERALD + LORENZO MARQUEZ
EVERYONE WANTS TO BE ME OR DO ME:

Tom & Lorenzo’s Fabulous & Opinionated Guide to Celebrity Life & Style
Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez were your typically paired-off gay couple of ten-plus years: no kids, lots of antiques, single-digit body fat, and one cat too many, when they decided to throw a couple curveballs at life. They launched a blog called “Project Rungay,” which punctured the self-importance and silliness of the fashion and celebrity worlds. The pair’s gentle snark and wit quickly amassed a cult following, and the blog became TomandLorenzo.com, which now receives 10 million page views a month and 6-7 million monthly visitors.

More at http://booksmith.com/event/tlo-tom-fitzgerald-and-lorenzo-marquez-everyone-wants-be-me-or-do-me-tom-lorenzo%E2%80%99s-fabulous-op

Thursday, April 10
7:30 PM
ARLO CRAWFORD
A FARM DIES ONCE A YEAR

The rhythms of a farm are familiar to Arlo Crawford: rise, eat, bend, pick, sort, sweat, sleep. Raised on New Morning Farm, seventy-five acres in south-central Pennsylvania where his parents have grown organic produce since the 1970s, Crawford chronicles his homecoming and one full season on the farm, from the smallest triumphs and inevitable setbacks to celebrated harvests and sold-out markets, in A FARM DIES ONCE A YEAR: A Memoir.
More at http://booksmith.com/event/arlo-crawford-farm-dies-once-year

Wednesday, April 16
7:30 PM
ELIZABETH SCARBORO
MY FOREIGN CITIES
and
LOUISE ARONSON
A HISTORY OF THE PRESENT ILLNESS

Two writers, two books that take you behind the scenes at the hospital in very different ways. One a memoir, one fiction, both filled with stories, large and small, that bring these corridors to life and give a window into their complexity. Elizabeth Scarboro and Louise Aronson will talk about their vantage points as doctor/patient-writers, and how their work fits into the larger conversation of health care reform.

More at http://booksmith.com/event/louise-aronson-history-present-illness-and-elizabeth-scarboro-my-foreign-cities

Thursday, April 24
7:30 PM
ANDREW SEAN GREER
THE IMPOSSIBLE LIVES OF GRETA WELLS

“The premise of this novel isn’t that a woman travels through time: it’s that ‘the impossible happens once to each of us’…What this wonderful novel teaches us is how magic works.” — John Irving
From the critically acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller The Confessions of Max Tivoli comes The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, a rapturously romantic story of a woman who finds herself transported to the “other lives” she might have lived. Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was a Today book club selection and received a California Book Award.

More at http://booksmith.com/event/andrew-sean-greer-impossible-lives-greta-wells-0

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JD’s Art Picks for APRIL 2014

THE SILICON VALLEY CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR DEBUTS THIS THURSDAY

This spring, Silicon Valley Contemporary opens its doors at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center,April 10 – 13, 2014. The first of its kind in the tech industry mecca, Silicon Valley Contemporary places emphasis on the relationship between art and technology in a growing effort to engage the arts patrons of tomorrow.

In recent years, art and technology have successfully merged to further creativity, broadening our understanding of artistic practices and making art visible in mediums previously reserved for technologists including networked culture, interactivity, creative use of digital surfaces, and the space between image and motion.Those in the technology sector are turning to artists to address design and function issues with initiatives like Google’s DevArt, while the art world continues to embrace technology as a creative practice as in Rhizome “Seven on Seven,” both pointing to progress made in bridging two notoriously insular cultures.

Silicon Valley Contemporary aims to be at the center of a conversation on art and technology in effort to connect the collectors of tomorrow with the most relevant work of today. At the heart of this initiative is the appointment of Paul Young, Director of Young Projects (Los Angeles), as curator of the fair’s Moving Image Experience, a presentation of artists whose work ranges from single channel video works that span animated, narrative and performance based pieces, to computer based installations, 3D works and interactive projects, including the “Mutual Wave Machine” by Suzanne Dikker, Matthias Oostrik, Peter Burr, Diederik Schoorl, Matthew Patterson Curry, and Oliver Hess, presented by Marina Abramovic Institute on exhibit throughout the fair.

Silicon Valley Contemporary Exhibition Dates and Times:
Thursday, April 10, 7-9:30pm | Opening Night Preview | Black Card & VIP Pass holders
Saturday, April 12, 11am – 8pm
Sunday, April 13, 11am – 6pm
San Jose McEnery Convention Center 150 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95113
More information at http://siliconvalleycontemporary.com/tech-savvy-art-collector/

REX RAY AT GALLERY 16

For Rex Ray, the joy of making and viewing art is his continuing motivation. Drawing inspiration from his acknowledged influences – the Arts and Crafts Movement, Abstract Expressionism, organic and hard-edged abstraction, pattern and textile design, and Op Art – Ray playfully combines these formalist concepts with decorators’ tips gleaned from lowbrow publications and sources of popular culture in his pursuit to create beautiful things. Gracefully bridging the gap between fine and applied art, he distinguishes himself in each realm.

As a fine artist, Rex Ray works in a wide range of media, including painting, collage, print works, and photography. His collages grew out of the simple pleasure of cutting shapes from magazine pages, assembling and gluing them to paper to create visually pleasing works that have since developed into sophisticated resin-covered panels. In his large-scale canvas paintings, like the one on view at MCA DENVER, he conceives abstracted landscapes from biomorphic shapes and distinct color combinations as a fresh adaptation of an aesthetic that sympathizes with twentieth-century Modernism.

Ray’s work exudes beauty with a subversive edge that stems from an attitude grounded in alternative subculture. He was an early admirer of punk and new wave music. Music holds a special place in his life. A former record store employee and devoted collector, he has worked with leading contemporary musicians, contributing designs for many album covers and concert posters for artists such as Radiohead, Bjork, Nine Inch Nails, Deee-Lite, and David Bowie.

Rex Ray was born in Germany in 1956. He lives and works in San Francisco’s Mission District. Before moving to California in 1981, he was a longtime resident of Colorado Springs and he still maintains his connection to Colorado. In 1988, he received a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, CA. His paintings, collages, and designs have been widely exhibited at galleries and museums, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA, San Jose Museum of Modern Art, CA, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA. He is an accomplished graphic designer with a client list that includes Apple, Sony Music, and The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY. [Written by Cydney Payton]

Rex Ray
Gallery 16, April 4 – May 9, 2014
501 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
http://www.gallery16.com/index.php?page=exhibitions&exhibit=upcoming

YOGA: THE ART OF TRANSFORMATION AT THE ASIAN ART MUSEUM

This fascinating exhibition has been lauded by the New York Times as groundbreaking in its perspective on the ancient art of yoga. “As diverse artworks on view confirm, ancient adepts of yoga, especially of its inner and mystic disciplines, aroused as much fear as admiration in a world convinced that supernatural influences impinged constantly on mundane existence,”remarked art critic Kenneth Baker. Yoga: The Art of Transformation goes beyond postures and delves into how yoga has evolved into a global phenomenon through an exploration of its visual history. Borrowed from 25 museums and private collections in Europe, the U.S. and India, the artworks featured in the exhibition date from the 2nd to the 20th centuries. Images ranging from benevolent deities and gurus to Tantric goddesses and sinister yogis reveal how yoga practices — and perceptions of them — have transformed over time and across communities. Exhibition highlights include stunning masterpieces of Indian sculpture and painting; pages from the first illustrated book of yoga postures (asanas); and a Thomas Edison film, Hindoo Fakir (1902), the first American movie ever produced about India. The Asian Art Museum is the only U.S. West Coast venue for this exhibition, which is on through May 25th. More information athttp://www.asianart.org/exhibitions_index/yoga

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, through May 25, 2014. More information at http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibition/possible

PUBLIC INTIMACY AT YBCA/SFMOMA

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, Downstairs Galleries. Through June 29th. 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

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: A French breakfast – Nutella spread on toasted, halved baguette. A hysterical look at how engineers experience the corporate world at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg&list=RDBKorP55Aqvg . Ahi tuna tartare on chewy ricecakes, and homemade frozen custard and crullers at the renewed Fog City Dinerhttp://fogcitysf.com/. A brilliant look at the tech industry with the new HBO “Silicon Valley” series. The Northern Lights. Enough said.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2579940/The-light-millenium-Stunning-timelapse-video-reveals-finest-Aurora-Borealis-display-Britain-decade.html

Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.

Desmond Tutu

 

February Grotto Notes

On February 12, 2014, in Uncategorized, by Rachel Howard
Natalie, Meghan, and Ayesha’s Newest + Top Dog!
Natalie Baszile debuts her new novel
New Books by Natalie, Meghan and Ayesha, Po’s “Top Dog” in paperback, Maw’s poetry, and lots more!
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:
http://www.forkliftohio.com/index.php?page=inventory-27

Meghan Ward on The Hottest Social Networks of 2014 for Writerland:
http://meghanward.com/blog/2014/01/09/hottest-social-networks-of-2014/

What does Chinatown look like today? Bonnie Tsui answers on the cover of The New York Times Sunday Travel section:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/travel/chinatown-revisited.html?ref=travel

Lorraine Sanders asks whether $100 video chats can help teen girls beat the blues (and more) for FastCompany.com:
http://m.fastcompany.com/3025174/innovation-agents/how-blush-coaches-young-women-to-get-past-their-problems-for-50-100-per-se

Ethel Rohan’s non-fiction piece in Brevity Magazine:
http://brevitymag.com/current-issue/never-seen-the-like/

Caroline Paul doesn’t need the self-driving car – yet:
http://techpageone.dell.com/downtime/lost-rites-self-driving-car/#.UumZ3z1Gp_A

Kimberley Lovato learns the art of ‘pomelo’ on the island of Vis, Croatia:
http://digital.marinmagazine.com/marinmagazine/february_2014?pg=102&pm=1&u1=texterity&linkImageSrc=%2Fmarinmagazine%2Ffebruary_2014%2Fdata%2Fimgpages%2Ftn%2F0102_zfrjdm.gif%2F#pg102

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:
http://www.ozy.com/rising-stars-and-provocateurs/the-joy-of-cooking-with-samin/4428.article

Jessica Carew Kraft investigates in-agency camps remaking the lowly design internship for Communication Arts Magazine:
http://www.commarts.com/columns/creative-recruiting.html

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:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2014/01/is-apples-e-book-fight-worth-the-trouble.html

Zahir Janmohamed writes in the New York Times on Pranlal Patel, the 104 year old Indian photographer celebrated for his pictures of women:
http://nyti.ms/1kaNMhe

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:
http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/ARA-Gut-South-Korea-roots-move-dancer-Dohee-Lee-5146167.php

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:
http://squareup.com/market/gigantic-sequins

Lindsey Crittenden’s feature on the healing powers of mineral water is online:
http://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/healing-power-water

Chris Colin’s expose on life and Santana’s drummer and his underthings, now online:
http://medium.com/p/cb85553ef943

Zoe Fitzgerald Carter’s review of Diane Johnson’s memoir “Flyover Lives” in the San Francisco Chronicle:
http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Flyover-Lives-by-Diane-Johnson-5154049.php

Monica Campbell reports for PRI’s The World on why foreign video gamers are considered America’s new pro athletes:
http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-01-28/why-foreign-video-gamers-are-now-considered-americas-new-pro-athletes

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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

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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.

Samuel Beckett

http://www.sfgrotto.org
 

January Grotto Notes

On January 4, 2014, in Newsletter, by classes
2013 Bests, Shebooks, Hannah’s Novel + Lit Camp!
The New SheBooks Label Debuts!
Happy 2014! New books by Laura and Hannah, Lit Camp submissions dueJanuary 15th, many best of 2013 Grotto picks and lots more!!
Hot off the presses, here is what we’re writing about (or what other people are writing about us), for December 2013 – January 2014:

E.B. Boyd writes about the wedding industry in Kabul for Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/3020717/the-afghan-weddings-surge

Zoe FitzGerald Carter argues in favor of physician assisted suicide for The Orlando Sentinel:
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-physician-assisted-suicide-front-burner-pro-20131212,0,4497539.story

Lindsey Crittenden gets into hot water for a feature article on hot springs, in the Jan/Feb issue of Spirituality and Health.

Connie Hale writes about the verb form favored by Timothy Leary and Bob Dylan:
http://sinandsyntax.com/blog/tangled-up-in-verbs/#comments

Vanessa Hua write about what Chinese medicine can teach new mothers for Nautilus magazine:
http://nautil.us/blog/what-chinese-medicine-has-to-teach-us-about-new-mothers

Yukari Kane writes about the latest development in the Apple-Samsung patent trial for Japanese business magazine, Diamond Weekly:
http://dw.diamond.ne.jp/articles/-/7722

Diana Kapp writes about how to raise your kids to have an “Attitude of Gratitude” for the WSJ:
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303773704579270293660965768

Jessica Carew Kraft investigates the dumpsters of local grocery stores to compile a food waste scorecard in the East Bay Express:
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/measuring-food-waste/Content?oid=3776564

If you happen to be thinking now’s a good time to try one of those juice cleanse things, Rachel Levin wants to tell you — it’s not:
http://www.ozy.com/c-notes/confessions-of-a-juice-cleanser/4191.article

Kimberley Lovato celebrates the chilled out thrills of Whistler B.C. for Virginia Living Magazine:
http://kimberleylovato.com/admin/uploads/9a22f1d53bb6cad4dc68b1133d824644.pdf

In the Currency section of NewYorker.com, Cathryn Jakobson Ramin covers the F.D.A’s controversial decision to approve a new and highly addictive opioid analgesic:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2013/12/zohydro-why-did-the-fda-approve-a-new-pain-drug.html

Ethel Rohan explores self-love in Edna O‚Brien‚s latest story collection, The Love Object:
http://www.writing.ie/interviews/a-search-for-self-love-in-edna-obriens-masterful-the-love-object/

De Rigueur, Bee’s Knees, Gin & Sin: These and other long-lost drinks get a well-illustrated revival in The Art of Vintage Cocktails by Stephanie Rosenbaum, published this month by Egg & Dart Press.

Lorraine Sanders quizzes SF’s resident selvedge denim expert, Kiya Babzani, to compile the ultimate denim guide for Men’s Journal:
http://www.mensjournal.com/expert-advice/a-guide-to-denim-20131201

HowSound interviewed Julia Scott to find out what it was like to lie in a 60-year-old iron lung for her story about a polio survivor:
http://howsound.org/2013/12/the-last-of-the-iron-lungs/

Lavinia Spalding’s essay on the year the lama came for Christmas, on AOLTravel:
http://news.travel.aol.com/2013/12/20/when-santa-rinpoche-came-to-town-holidays/

Bonnie Tsui writes about the beauty of making good mistakes, in the January issue of O the Oprah magazine.

Anne Zimmerman documents one man’s quest to recreate the perfect Tom & Jerry, a 19th-century rum and brandy-soaked classic (recipe included!):
http://punchdrink.com/articles/christmas-drinking-in-search-of-tom-jerry/

Kathryn Ma laments her lack of the Kindle:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathryn-ma/kindle-envy_b_4531434.html

LAURA DEBUTS “THE RISOTTO GURU,” HER NEWEST ON THE SHEBOOKS LABEL

Grottoite Laura Fraser’s new e-book, The Risotto Guru, is out! A Sardinian wedding feast, seaside pasta with wild fennel, meeting a risotto master: Laura Fraser journeys from the SpaghettiOs of her childhood to savor the best of Italian cuisine and the culture that cooked it up. Laura’s book is part of the launch of her new company Shebooks, short e-books for women. Download it for only $2.99 and check out http://www.shebooks.net.

HANNAH’S FIRST NOVEL PUBLISHED ON JANUARY 2ND!

Grottorati Hanna Mitchell’s first novel, The Defections, was published by the UK publisher Quercus Books on January 2nd. Set in Seoul, South Korea, The Defections is the story of a rebellious young interpreter who falls for a married British diplomat. Their love affair is doomed as he is forced to investigate her relationship to a North Korean defector and suddenly all that she has done to get closer to him becomes her undoing.

It has been reviewed by the British writer David Peace as “A book of betrayals and borders, real and imagined, and of deceptions and desires, which beautifully and dramatically evokes the spectres of Korea’s past and the divisions of its present in ways reminiscent of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American or Ian McEwan’s The Innocent.” Read more at http://www.quercusbooks.co.uk/book/The-Defections-by-Hannah-Michell-ISBN_9781782062554#.UseGQ_b1Y78

Huge congratulations to Hannah!

PETER, TOM, FRED and DANIEL MAKE BEST OF THE YEAR LISTS

The latest books by Grottorati Tom Barbash, Peter Orner, Daniel Alarcon, and Fred Vogelstein have made the best books of 2013 lists – below is a sampling. Congratulations to all!

Tom Barbash:

An Amazon Top Ten Story Collection of the Year:http://www.amazon.com/b?node=7756035011

The Wall Street Journal’s “Year in Fiction 2013″ list
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304367204579268303742637632

NPR Best Books of 2013: http://apps.npr.org/best-books-2013/

Chicago Tribune: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-12-29/features/chi-biblioracle-awards-2013-20131229_1_lord-bird-john-heilemann-printers-row-journal

SFGate: http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/100-recommended-books-of-2013-5082950.php

Amazon 2013 Best Books of the Year: Top 100 in Print: http://www.amazon.com/b/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&linkCode=ur2&node=7734007011&plgroup=1&plpage=1&tag=kancitmam-20

Peter Orner:

An Amazon Top Ten Story Collection of the Year:http://www.amazon.com/b?node=7756035011

NPR Best Books of 2013: http://apps.npr.org/best-books-2013/

The Wall Street Journal’s “Year in Fiction 2013″ list:
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304367204579268303742637632

SFGate: http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/100-recommended-books-of-2013-5082950.php

Daniel Alarcon:

PEN/Flavorwire: http://pen.org/blog/favorite-books-2013-flavorwire

Public Radio International (PRI):http://pri.org/stories/2013-12-20/books-can-have-soundtracks-too-heres-one-daniel-alarc-ns-highly-acclaimed-novel

SFGate: http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/100-recommended-books-of-2013-5082950.php

San Jose Mercury News:http://www.mercurynews.com/books/ci_24705095/bay-areas-best-books-2013-cant-be-limited

Timeout: http://www.timeout.com/newyork/books/best-of-2013-best-books-of-2013?pageNumber=2

Fred Vogelstein:

http://gizmodo.com/gizmodos-best-books-of-2013-1480273037

http://www.bookish.com/articles/lean-in-hatching-twitter-and-the-best-business-books-of-2013

LESS THAN TWO WEEKS LEFT TO APPLY TO LITCAMP!

There are less than two weeks left to apply to Lit Camp, the writers conference co-sponsored by the Grotto and Litquake. Lit Camp 2014 faculty include authors Andrew Sean Greer, Susan Straight, Emily Rapp, Karen Joy Fowler, Tom Barbash, Peter Orner, Jane Ciabattari, and Janis Cooke Newman, agents Amy Williams, Mollie Glick, and Danielle Svetcov, and editors from Little Brown, Gray Wolf, McSweeney‚s, The Rumpus, and Zyzzyva.

Only 40 writers of fiction, memoir, and narrative nonfiction will be accepted to attend this four-day conference of morning workshops, panels, and yoga held at beautiful Mayacamas Ranch in the rolling hills of Calistoga.

Conference dates: Thursday, May 15 through Sunday, May 18, 2014
Submission deadline: January 15, 2014

For more information, visithttp://www.litcampwriter.org
Follow Lit Camp on FB http://www.facebook.com/litcampwriters

THE NEW YORK TIMES HIGHLIGHTS DANIEL AS “A HOT NEW TALENT”

The Sunday Books section of the New York Times highlighted Grotto dweller Daniel Alarcon last month as “a Hot Talent in Peru and America.” Deborah Treisman, the fiction editor at The New Yorker (which has published several of his stories) noted: “There is always a kind of dark, haunted quality to his writing, a kind of noir undercurrent in which he is playing on the conventions of pulp fiction and cleverly combining it with the Latin American political novel, which is something I had not seen before.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/books/daniel-alarcon-is-a-hot-talent-in-peru-and-america.html?_r=0

REGISTER NOW FOR WINTER CLASSES

Our Winter Classes begin the week of January 14and classes are filling fast. This session we‚re offering everything from the novel to memoir, flash fiction to blogging, screenwriting to creating a writing habit.

We‚ve got day-long weekend workshops, as well as ongoing weekly evening classes. All of our classes are taught by Grotto authors, and all of our classes are held at our South of Market office. See what our students say about us on Yelphttp://tinyurl.com/kau7sj2

For full class descriptions and information on registering, visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster

JOIN US ON JANUARY 26 FOR SPORTS DEBASEMENT: WHEN WRITERS GET PHYSICAL

What happens when writers leave their laptops and venture into the great outdoors? Find out on Sundayevening, January 26 when seven Grotto authors read hilarious and harrowing tales of their encounters with the physical world.

We‚re holding this event at the very cool Sports Basement on Bryant Street ˜ just up the road from our offices. Reading will be Grottoites Tom Barbash, Po Bronson, Rhodes Fishburn, Laura Fraser, Diana Kapp, James Nestor, and Caroline Paul. There will be food and drink ˜ and raffle prizes.

Raffle prizes will include a Ski Rental Package for the Season ($150 value), Lift Ticket to a local ski resort (up to $95 value), and a $100 Sports Basement Gift Card.

Plus, 20% of the purchase price of everything you buy that night will be donated to Dave Eggers’ Scholar Match!

$5-$10 sliding scale admission. You don‚t want to miss this.

For more information, visithttp://www.facebook.com/events/688809121152600/

NEW GROTTO FELLOWS ANNOUNCED FOR 2014!

We are pleased to announce the Grotto Fellows for 2014

Kate Folk
Josh Bettinger
Lisa Gray
Susanna Kwan
Candace Eros Diaz
Saramanda Swigart

This year the selection of the Grotto Fellows has been more of a whole community event than ever before. We had over 60 applicants and many were extremely talented and interesting writers. We had amazing support this year from members and fellows who read submissions for us.  Thank you for your help, readers! We will be planning a public reading for outgoing 2013 Grotto Fellows in February. Thanks also to Diana Kapp who joined the fellowship team late in the year and helped pull it all together.

Thank you readers: Susan Ito, Marie C. Baca, Louise Nayer, Alie Eteraz, Alastair Gee, Monica Campbell,Yalitza Ferreras,Vanessa Hua, Gretchen Schrafft, Kirsten Menger-Anderson,Connie Hale and Zahra Noorbakhsh

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! SUBMIT TO LAVINIA SPALDING’S BEST TRAVEL WRITING, VOLUME 10

Call For Submissions! Grottoite Lavinia Spalding is accepting submissions for The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 10, to be published by Travelers’ Tales in fall of 2014. Please send your best true travel tales for consideration by March 1st, 2014. Stories can already be published, provided you retain the rights. Please see complete submission guidelines at http://www.laviniaspalding.com

VANESSA’S WORK APPEARS IN THE RECENT DAILYLIT’S COLLECTION

Grotto dweller Vanessa Hua’s excerpt from her novel-in-progress appears in DailyLit’s collection, “You Don’t Look Like Your Pictures: Stories of Love from the Digital Age.”  Contributors include authors Adam Haslett, Deni Béchard and Tova Mirvis. Read it at http://dailylit.com/book/262-line-please

CHRISTOPHER AND HIS PROGRESSIVE MESSAGE CONSULTANCY RUNNING A STATEWIDE CAMPAIGN

Longtime Grotto dweller Christopher Cook is excited to report that he has been hired as Campaign Director for a candidate for United States Senate (more details when formally announced). Chris and his Progressive Message consultancy will be running the statewide campaign in hopes of turning a red state blue this year. Keep in touch with him throughhttp://www.christopherdcook.com, and http://www.theprogressivemessage.org.

CONNIE LEADS THE SECOND ANNUAL HAWAII WRITERS RETREAT THIS MAY 4-9

Imagine walking on the beach at dawn, exploring new paths in your writing in the morning, scribbling in the shade of a casuarina tree in the afternoon, listening to Hawaiian music in the evening, and sleeping to the sound of waves each night. Think your writing might burst open like a yellow plumeria? The Mokule‚ia Writers Retreat welcomes writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, and memoir for six days and five nights at a 30-acre camp on a remote beach on OŒahu. Grottoite Connie Hale is joined by veteran writing teachers and Hawaiian cultural legends. This is her home turf, and she will also take you to sacred corners of the island, with a little yoga, swimming, and beachcombing thrown in. Families and companions welcome. Contact connie@sinandsyntax.com for info or registration or visit http://sinandsyntax.com/mokuleia-writers-retreat/

FROM OUR FRIENDS AT THE BOOKSMITH

Friday, January 10
7:30 PM at The Booksmith on Haight Street

The best possible way to begin a literary new year:

CHANG-RAE LEE
On Such a Full Sea

From the beloved award-winning author of Native Speaker and The Surrendered, ON SUCH A FULL SEA is a highly provocative, deeply affecting story of one woman‚s legendary quest in a shocking, future America. It’s our pleasure and privilege to welcome its author this evening. You will not want to miss meeting and hearing him — or reading this spectacular, hard-to-put-down tale.

Read more: http://booksmith.com/event/chang-rae-lee-such-full-sea

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JD’s Art Picks for JANUARY 2014

FOG DESIGN + ART AT FORT MASON JANUARY 17-19

Presented in collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the new FOG Design+Art Fair will feature important 20th-century and contemporary design dealers from across the country and beyond as well as a selection of leading modern and contemporary art galleries. Furniture, fine art, and design objects representing design movements from the last century to today will be presented in a dynamic layout designed to complement the exhibitor offerings. Special preview gala benefitting SFMOMA programs on January 16th. More information at http://fogfair.com/

AMIKAM TOREN AT JESSICA SILVERMAN GALLERY

A respected figure in Europe, Toren gets his first show in the States at the new venue of one of the Bay Area’s most ambitious galleries. He presents paintings from the ’80s and ’90s of abstracted letters, the pigment of each derived from a single day’s issue of the London Times. Amikam Toren: “Of The Times” and Other Historic Works,” ThroughJan. 19. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Jessica Silverman Gallery, 488 Ellis St., S.F. (415) 255-9508http://www.jessicasilvermangallery.com.

DISSIDENT FUTURES AT THE YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

LAST MONTH! Dissident Futures is an investigation into possible alternative futures, particularly those that question or overturn conventional notions of innovation in biological, social, environmental, and technological structures. Either through active engagement with future studies or through intuitive investigation, the artists and designers in Dissident Futures envision a future that expands beyond our conventional expectations. Loosely structured around three thematic strands˜the utopian, the speculative, and the pragmatic˜the exhibition furthers our understanding of how artists are addressing potentiality and the unknown, from the most desired future to the most feared. ThroughFebruary 2, 2014. More information athttp://www.ybca.org/dissident-futures

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

Guilty Pleasures: Dirt-cheap holiday candy (chocolate covered marshmallow Santas!) marked down at Walgreens; Will Ferrell in “Elf;” dim sum at the Hong Kong Lounge; strange artifacts and design finds at HD Buttercup; a Breaking Bad marathon; “This is the End,” one of the funniest celebrity movies ever, and the infectious 24 hours of “Happy” from Pharrell Williams athttp://24hoursofhappy.com/

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
Jack London

http://www.sfgrotto.org
 

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

———————————————–
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

 

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.

———————————————————————————-
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

 

August Grotto Notes

On November 7, 2013, in Newsletter, by classes

 

The Best Women's Travel Writing, Vol 9, Edited by Lavinia Spalding
THIS MONTH, we have Connie’s Re-Issued Sin and Syntax, Lavinia’s Travel Anthology, Bonnie’s Shark-Fin Soup 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 July-August 2013:

Jenny Bitner’s short story appears in the Red Bridge Press anthology, Writing that Risks: New Work from Beyond the Mainstream:
http://www.redbridgepress.com/books.html

Christopher Cook examines tech-driven dispute resolution trends in California Lawyer: http://www.callawyer.com/clstory.cfm?eid=929527&wteid=929527_Taking_Mediation_Online

Constance Hale writes about a trove of 19th-century newspapers that are changing our grasp of Hawaiian history and language:
http://bit.ly/12Tqkex

Rachel Howard is back reviewing Bay Area dance with a report on Bandaloop’s “Harboring” in the SF Chronicle:
http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Harboring-review-Bandaloop-ties-into-nautical-4675034.php

Vanessa Hua writes about Harry Kingman, Yankee ball player turned missionary and activist who battled for free speech and civil rights, in Pomona magazine: http://magazine.pomona.edu/2013/summer/four-games/

Diana Kapp chronicles her toughie 10-year-old daughter’s ascent of Mt. Whitney in the Wall Street Journal:
http://stream.wsj.com/story/latest-headlines/SS-2-63399/SS-2-281375/

Rachel Levin road trips like a rock star with Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers:
http://www.sunset.com/travel/backroads-road-trip-00418000083699/

In ‘Ramadan Redux,’ Susanne Pari writes about how how fasting brought her closer to her father in Medium:
https://medium.com/nostalgia-tales/f18549b73a5c

Lorraine Sanders looks at telepsychiatry’s potential for combatting patient drop-off onFastCompany.com:
http://www.fastcompany.com/3013991/tech-forecast/telepsychiatry-aims-to-combat-patient-drop-off

Julia Scott explains how outfitting tiny honeybees with even tinier radio transmitters could help solve colony collapse disorder, in Nautilus Magazine: 
http://nautil.us/issue/3/in-transit/tracking-honeybees-to-save-them

Lavinia Spalding covers travel – from carbon offsets to hotel chains that include yoga amenities to travel tips from yoga teachers – in the latest issue of Yoga Journal, on newsstands now.

Ethan Watters considers what the new diagnostic manual for psychiatry says about the future of mental health care:http://www.psmag.com/health/real-problem-with-dsm-study-mental-illness-58843/

TONIGHT, ANNE DISCUSSES SCENT, LOVE, FOOD, AND PLEASURE WITH ALYSSA HARAD AT GREEN APPLE BOOKS

ON August 1 (that’s TONIGHT!) at 7PM, Grottoite Anne Zimmerman will be in conversation with memoirist Alyssa Harad at Green Apple Books: Grottoite Anne Zimmerman, author of An Extravagant Hunger: The Passionate Years of M.F.K. Fisher will discuss scent, love, food, and pleasure with Austin-based memoirist Alyssa Harad, author of Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride:
http://www.greenapplebooks.com/event/author-reading-alyssa-harad

More info here: http://ht.ly/nt3JO

LAVINIA’S NEWEST TRAVEL ANTHOLOGY, FEATURING LAURA, NATALIE, KIMBERLY, AND RACHEL IS OUT THIS MONTH! COME TO THEAUGUST 19 LAUNCH

Grottoite Lavinia Spalding’s new book, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 9, is out this month! This year’s anthology includes outstanding essays by several grotto members: Laura Fraser, Natalie Baszile, Kimberley Lovato, and Rachel Levin. Read more about it here:

http://laviniaspalding.com/book/the_best_womens_travel_writing_volume_9

Mark your calendars for the book’s first event: Monday, August 19th at Weekday Wanderlust, the monthly travel reading series held at Hotel Rex. More info and RSVP here:
http://www.facebook.com/events/393235270777117/

CONNIE’S SIN AND SYNTAX RE-RELEASED THIS MONTH

For writers who want more spunk than Strunk:

After 15 years and more than 90,000 copies sold, Grotto dweller Connie Hale’s Sin and Syntax is launching anew on August 13. The updated second edition features a new subtitle (“How to Craft Wicked Good Prose”), innovative exercises and prompts (“catechisms”), and potshots at Lectric Shave commercials and Sarah Palin’s syntax. It‚s been called “the hippest grammar guide ever written,” but Connie Hale just wants to encourage writers make a little mischief in their sentences. Updates and chances to win the book at http://www.sinandsyntax.com.

BONNIE WRITES ABOUT WHAT SHARK FIN SOUP MEANS FOR CHINA, AND THE WORLD, IN THE NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY REVIEW

“Somebody got married, and slurp — there we were, eating the stringy soup at an elaborate 10-course affair in a private party room in Chinatown… We ate it because everyone else did, and everyone else ate it for the same reason.” Grotto dweller Bonnie Tsui parses evidence of changing shark fin consumption in China, and its implications for every commodity from beef and cars to electricity and water, in the weekend New York TimesSunday Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/30/opinion/sunday/souring-on-shark-fin-soup.html?_r=1&

JULIA AWARDED AN EXCELLENCE IN RADIO AWARD

Grottoite Julia Scott’s 30-minute radio documentary, BON VOYAGE, has won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association’s Excellence In Radio Award. BON VOYAGE, which aired on the BBC World Service and across the U.S. last year, tells the story of a gay couple who decide to throw a huge ‘Bon Voyage’ party when one of them is diagnosed with cancer.

Listen to BON VOYAGE here: http://www.prx.org/pieces/85312-bon-voyage

Congratulations to Julia!

MATTHEW IN THE MCSWEENEY POETRY SERIES AT SPUR ON AUGUST 5

Come celebrate our most recent edition to the McSweeney’s Poetry Series: Victoria Chang’s THE BOSS in San Francisco for an intimate reading with Grottoite Matthew Zapruder and Victoria Chang, whose new collection of poetry Publisher’s Weekly calls “linguistic mastery [that] is consistently clever and moving.” There will be drinks and the event is totally free! Come celebrate poetics in the workplace with us!

What: A Celebration of Victoria Chang’s THE BOSS
When: August 5th, 6pm-7pm
Where: SPUR, 654 Mission Street

http://www.facebook.com/events/491460807596748/

PETER TALKS ABOUT HIS LATEST SHORT STORY COLLECTION AT HOTEL REX ON AUGUST 6

Peter Orner will be in conversation with Isaac Fitzgerald for the Epicenter book launch of Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge, Aug. 6 at 7 PM, Hotel Rex:

http://www.litquake.org/calendar-of-events/peter-orner-isaac-fitzgerald

And the August issue of Harper’s had this to say about Peter’s new book:

“Peter Orner is a true writers’ writer, which is to say a writer writers complain to writers about readers not reading. His novel The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (a title, one senses, Orner had to fight hard to retain) ranks high among the best works of fiction about Africa ever written by an American, and his collection Esther Stories contains work to rival that of David Means and Tobias Wolff. Orner’s latest collection, LAST CAR OVER THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE (Little, Brown, $25), is bundled into four sections and includes more than fifty pieces of fiction – “stories” is too grand a word for many of them – and yet tops out at a slender 208 pages. In other words, this is one of the oddest, most diffracted story collections to come along in some time. Imagine Brief Interviews with Hideous Men written by Alice Munro.

http://harpers.org/archive/2013/08/new-books-49/

JULIA INTERVIEWED IN GUERNICA MAGAZINE

Guernica interviewed Grotto Dweller Julia Scheeres about racial racial utopias, the mass “suicide” in Jonestown in 1978, and coming of age in an abusive Christian reform school. Check out the interview athttp://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/untold-stories/

JD’S “UNDERNEATH” AT ELECTRONIC PACIFIC AT SOMARTS UNTIL AUGUST 17

KQED writes, “Electronic Pacific succeeds not only as a well-conceived group exhibition, but also in offering audiences a moment to consider what we say, how we say it, and to whom, as globalization propels us toward an uncertain future.” Grotto dweller JD Beltran and collaborator/partner Scott Minneman continue to exhibit their newest interactive work at “Electronic Pacific” at SOMArts this month. “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. Through August 17th, 2013.http://www.somarts.org/electronicpacific/

LAST BLAST FOR SUMMER CLASSES & A FALL PREVIEW

We’re down to our final month of summer classes, which include the excellent Blogging for Beginners. Our Fall Session will officially begin the week of September 22nd. But if you just can’t wait to get started, we’ve got a special 4-hour/40 buck workshop scheduled forSaturday, September 14 designed to teach you how to craft wicked good prose.

All the details on all the classes can be found at http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster

And if you want to hear about the new Fall Session first – and get invaluable writing tips from our teachers – subscribe to Class Notes, our monthly e-newsletter here http://www.sfgrotto.org/contact

BOOKSMITH EVENTS THIS MONTH

Friday, August 2 BOOKSWAP: Summer Blockbuster Edition – Eat, Drink, Talk, (Swap) Books
6:30 – 9:30 PM
Summer is for blockbusters, and August’s Bookswap is getting the Hollywood treatment. Bring a book you love that you think should be a movie (whether it’s already been adapted or not is irrelevant), be ready to tell us all why, and we’ll have a rowdy, white elephant swap. Your $25 ticket gets you dinner, lots of drinks, swag, free books, and a closed bookstore all to yourself (and a few dozen of your new best friends.) Tickets available in the store and at Brown Paper Tickets online. Read more:http://booksmith.com/event/bookswap-summer-blockbuster-edition
Co-sponsored by Litquake

Tuesday, August 6 LAUNCH PARTY!
7:30 PM; S.G. BROWNE
BIG EGOS. Read more: http://booksmith.com/event/s-g-browne-big-egos-launch-party

Thursday, August 8 LAUNCH PARTY!
7:30 PM, GARY KAMIYA, COOL GREY CITY OF LOVE: 49 Views of San Francisco
Most of us have periods of romance with the cities where we live. For Gary Kamiya, life-long San Francisco Bay Area resident — and co-founder of Salon — the romance has never died. As a tribute to that romance he‚s penned a kaleidoscopic love letter to the city in Cool Grey City of Love, which combines the deep knowledge of an old-timer with the wide-eyed curiosity of a newcomer. Read more: http://booksmith.com/event/gary-kamiya-cool-gray-city-love-launch-party

Thursday, August 15
7:00 PM (note time change) SHIPWRECK: Competitive Erotic Fanfiction. Presented by The Booksmith and Write Club SF! Good theatre for bad literature? Marital aid for book nerds? Competitive erotic fan-fiction at its finest? Shipwreck is all of these things. Six Great Writers will destroy one Great Book (this time, The Wizard of Oz), one Great Character at a time, in service of the transcendent and the profane (and also laughs). Marvel as beloved characters are plucked from their worlds and made to do stuff they were never meant to do in places they were never meant to see. $10, includes drinks. Tickets available in the store and at Brown Paper Tickets online. Read more: http://booksmith.com/event/shipwreck-competitive-erotic-fanfiction-literate-perverts-wizard-oz-edition

Tuesday, August 20
7:30 PM, BEN ALAMAR in conversation with OSCAR VILLALON on SPORTS ANALYTICS: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers. Read more: http://booksmith.com/event/ben-alamar-talks-oscar-villalon-sports-analtytics

Monday, August 26
7:30 PM, JOYCE MAYNARD, AFTER HER. Read more:http://booksmith.com/event/joyce-maynard-after-her

————————————————————————–

JD’s Art Picks for AUGUST 2013

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 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

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 athttp://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: The hysterically funny “This Is The End,” with movie stars playing themselves when the apocalypse approaches. Tacos from the El Tonayense Taco Truck at Harrison and 19th, or anything from the nightly selection of foodtrucks at SOMA StrEATFood Park at 11th and Harrison. (The Lobster Crunch at We2Sushi is to die for). Rock of Ages, enjoyed again on DVD (Tom Cruise practiced his singing 5 hours a day for several months with Axl Rose’s vocal coach.) The retro candy selection near the checkout counter at Bristol Farms in the Westfield Center. The Korean News Station comeback to the infamous KTVU intern fiasco:http://slothed.com/2013/07/23/korean-news-station-pokes-fun-at-ktvu-with-fake-american-pilot-names-after-southwest-airlines-landing-gear-failure/

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.

Joyce Carol Oates

 

July Grotto Notes

On July 3, 2013, in Uncategorized, by classes

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:

http://www.literarymama.com/creativenonfiction/archives/2013/06/sailors.html

Zahir Janmohamed on being a writer of color in America for Guernica:

http://www.guernicamag.com/daily/zahir-janmohamed-writer-of-color/

Peter Orner in the Millions: On reclusion, writing, and social media.

http://www.themillions.com/2013/06/under-all-this-noise-on-reclusion-writing-and-social-media.html

Marie C. Baca’s humor piece “Mixed Martial Arts and crafts” appears in Defenestration Magazine:

http://www.defenestrationmag.net/2013/06/mixed-martial-arts-crafts-by-marie-c-baca/

Chris Colin submitted to a digital detox, at a tech-free summer camp for grownups.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/06/into-the-woods-and-away-from-technology.html

Christopher Cook investigates how Big Food coopted America’s top nutrition group, for The Progressive:

http://www.christopherdcook.com/uploads/Nutrition__Inc._July_2013.pdf

Lindsey Crittenden’s piece on agreeing to disagree on matters of faith appears in the July/August issue of Spirituality & Health:

http://spiritualityhealth.com/julyaugust-2013-issue

Vanessa Hua’s novel-in-progress received an Honorable Mention in the Leapfrog Press fiction contest, and At Length published an excerpt:

http://www.leapfrogpress.com/contest.htm

http://atlengthmag.com/prose/the-sea-palaces/

Remember Manka’s? Rachel Levin profiles Point Reyes’ new restaurant-worth-the-drive: Sir and Star at The Olema, for Food & Wine:

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/the-olema-life-death-and-rebirth-of-a-restaurant-legend

Kimberley Lovato on staying connected in an overly connected world in Together Magazine:

http://www.kimberleylovato.com/admin/uploads/205ad650a21b8c5f9a436cda67d83b0a.pdf

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:

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1681762/developing-world-comedians-turn-poverty-into-a-joke#1

James Nestor discovers island life 45 minutes from Tokyo for the New York Times:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/travel/chasing-waves-south-of-tokyo.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Susanne Pari’s ‘Double Vision’ gives a short take on the recent Iranian presidential election in the ‘Them and Us’ section of Medium:

https://medium.com/us-and-them/3b97b34985e6

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 …

http://www.bostonreview.net/world/zahir-janmohamed-narendra-modi-india-gujarat-man-who-refuses-wear-green

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 zoecarter@mac.com or connie@sinandsyntax.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.

Alice Munro

 

March Grotto Notes

On March 5, 2013, in Uncategorized, by classes

HOT OFF THE PRESSES FROM THE GROTTO!

Here’s what people have been writing about, as well as what people have been writing about us, for February/March 2013:

E.B. Boyd looks at Nextdoor, a new social network that connects you with your neighbors. http://w.sanfranmag.com/san-francisco/story/defend-your-startup-nextdoor

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman on some surprising differences between how men and women approach competition:  http://www.salon.com/2013/02/17/why_are_men_so_foolish/

Chris Colin tells the unlikely story of a tiny cattle town, settled in part by family, in the current issue of Afar: http://www.afar.com/magazine/a-lone-star-story

Christopher Cook explores the economics of San Francisco’s minimum wage in The Public Press: http://www.sfpublicpress.org

Mark Decena’s short film, “Where We Live” premieres in the nation’s capital at the DC Environmental Film Festival:

http://dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org/films/show/977

Laura Fraser on Patagonia, Writer-in-Residence, Victoria magazine: March/April issue on the stands.

Alastair Gee on the drones taking to American skies in The Economist: http://econ.st/Xbjbmx

Alexandra Kostoulas’s short story, “Kalavrita: A Lament in Five Parts” appears in Œ¶œâŒΩŒ≠œÇ or Voices of Hellenism Anthology:  http://www.voicesofhellenism.org/current-issue.html

Jessica C. Kraft proposes using your brain’s natural patterns to change negative behaviors and create healthy new ones in Esperanza Magazine: http://www.hopetocope.com/Item.aspx/939/making-breaking-habits

Ethel Rohan reviews Stephanie LaCava’s intriguing memoir at Black Warrior Review: http://bwr.ua.edu/?p=987

Julia Flynn Siler profiles the designer behind the iconic wine labels of Harlan Estate, Opus One, and Domaine Chandon for the Wall Street Journal: http://www.juliaflynnsiler.com/articles

Lavinia Spalding explores the benefits of a primarily plant-based diet in the March issue of Yoga Journal, online and on newsstands now: http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/3196

Bonnie Tsui looks at what turns Crip gang-leaders and Hamas freedom fighters to non-violence, and what can come of it:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2013/02/what-ex-gang-members-and-former-political-extremists-have-common/4681/

Ethan Watters on the strangeness of the western mind in Pacific Standard Magazine:

http://www.psmag.com/magazines/pacific-standard-cover-story/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/

DON’T MISS READINGS FOR PO’S NEW BOOK AT BERKELEY ARTS & LECTURES AND BOOK PASSAGE

Grotto co-founder Po Bronson’s newest book is on fire! Copies of “Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing” are selling out at bookstores, excerpts from the book are appearing everywhere, and Po and his co-author Ashley Merryman are in the midst of a tour of readings booked all over the country.

Just in case you missed Po’s reading and talk about his new book at the Commonwealth Club last week, he has two more literary evenings coming up in the Bay Area in the next couple of weeks.  The first is at Berkeley Arts & Lectures, on March 7, at 7:30; the second is at Book Passage in Corta Madera, on March 13, 7 p.m.   More details on these events as well as other local presentations can be found on Po’s blog at http://topdogbook.com/

CHECK OUT ETHAN’S LATEST – THE FEATURED COVER STORY FOR THE PACIFIC STANDARD

Don’t miss Grotto co-founder Ethan Watter’s latest, a fantastic featured cover story for the Pacific Standard. As one commenter remarked, “Outstanding perspective on a sensitive subject. I have long thought that focusing on an insistence on commonality between race because of guilt for colonial history was missing the point that there are cultural differences which do influence behavior. Now we have a valid framework to examine how cultural differences can collide and, through a proper examination of cultural difference, to begin to resolve problems that we have not had any mental equipment to figure out solutions to. These are groundbreaking ideas with so much promise to help us understand our divided world better.” (Jeremy Slawson) As Ethan notes, “It’s about how strange the western mind is.”  Read more about it here: http://www.psmag.com/magazines/pacific-standard-cover-story/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/

SPRING WRITING CLASSES – HOT OFF THE PRESSES!

We have just (and we mean just) finished uploading our brand-spanking new selection of spring writing classes – all taught at our fabulous workspace in South Park. Lots of cool stuff – whether you’re looking to finally start that novel, want to dabble in flash fiction, work on memoir, or begin a nonfiction book. We’ve even got a couple of classes on just getting words on the page.

Our spring session officially opens on Sunday, April 14. But we advise you visit http://www.sfgrotto.org/classes/current-class-roster, look over our classes, and sign up now. Grotto classes fill fast.

Just check out what they say about us on Yelp http://www.yelp.com/biz/san-francisco-writers-grotto-classes-san-francisco

HE WRITES AND HE SINGS! HELP CHRIS COLIN’S BAND WIN UPCOMING BATTLE OF THE BANDS ON MARCH 14!

Your life — something’s missing, right? Come solve all your problems on Thurs., March 14, as Baby & the Luvies compete to win the Haight Ashbury Street Fair Battle of the Bands. If they get the most and loudest support that night at the Milk Bar (1840 Haight St), they get to play at the actual Haight St Fair this summer. Stupid system? Totally! Is 11pm awfully late to hear a nine-piece soul band? Yes! Come on out. Big fun show. Chris will buy the loudest cheerer the drink of his or her choice.

http://www.facebook.com/events/316015605187104/

SHE WRITES AND SHE SINGS, TOO! DON’T MISS ZOE AT CAFE LEILA ON MARCH 30TH

Grottozian Zoe FitzGerald Carter will be performing original songs (and some covers) at Cafe Leila in Berkeley from 7:00 to 10:00 on March 30th with her new band, Do Wrong Right.

Cafe Leila’s web address: http://cafeleila.com

STILL A FEW SPOTS IN LAURA’S WRITING ADVENTURE IN UMBRIA, ITALY

La bella vita: There is still room in Grottoite Laura Fraser’s writing workshop and culinary adventure in Umbria, Italy, May 4-11. Special discount if you are share a room with a friend or two. Intimate setting, fabulous meals, cooking classes, 16th-century villa in the rolling countryside for hikes. http://www.eat-write-travel.com/umbria.html

LAST CHANCE FOR A BED ON THE BEACH: MOKULE’IA WRITERS RETREAT APRIL 7-12

Dream new narratives as the waves lull you to sleep. Write stories you didn’t know were in you, under the gentle guidance of Laura Fraser. Craft your pieces with the tips shared by University of Hawai‘i poet Steven Goldsberry. Let Connie Hale help you invent new structures for your stories. Listen to Puakea Nogelmeier recite poems in the Hawaiian language, and translate them into beautiful English. Travel back in time with musician Aaron Mahi, who shares legends about O‘ahu’s North Shore. All this plus meals, yoga, a remote beach, sea turtles, hikes to sacred sites, and the fellowship of other professional writers. April 7-12, 2013. $500-1000, all inclusive. Read the write-up in the San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/hawaii/alohafriday/article/Hawaii-camps-for-creativity-Island-settings-4298461.php

More information at http://www.campmokuleia.com/specialevents.html Be there. Aloha.

SAVE THE DATE FOR REGRETURATURE III – APRIL 25!

Everybody has to start somewhere – this is what happens when good writers start bad. Join us as we sheepishly read work that probably should never see the light of day, all for a good cause.

Thursday, April 25. 8 pm at the Swedish American Hall in SF. More embarrassing details to come…..

http://www.facebook.com/events/404300406311628/

And in case you missed it last year, here’s some shots capturing just how much fun it was last year‚Ķ
(shot of course, by the fabulous Chris Hardy)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lit-quake/sets/72157629452023856/

JULIA TALKS ABOUT “A THOUSAND LIVES” ON ON BAY SUNDAY AND GETS A GLOWING REVIEW IN SALON FOR “JESUS LAND”

Grotto dweller Julia Scheeres was interviewed on Bay Sunday about  A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Jonestown, which was recently released in paperback,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdSnGp7C4O4&list=UU_q32MIuxh3rjawg5iHteCQ, and Salon published a glowing review of the new audio book for her memoir, Jesus Land: http://www.salon.com/2013/02/14/losing_her_religion.

LOOK OUT FOR THE NEWEST FROM CHRIS IN THE SF PUBLIC PRESS AND THE PROGRESSIVE

Grottoite Christopher Cook has pieces coming out soon in the San Francisco Public Press and The Progressive. Meanwhile, he’s building up his communications consultancy, Progressive Message and taking on new clients. He’s currently helping Food First with its communications. Chris is getting promising praise for his new road memoir, Postcards for Kerouac, and is seeking the right agent or publisher for it (any tips welcome!). Chris is also now working as a professional tutor, and welcomes more clients. If you (or your kid) need help with writing, editing, proofreading or coaching, get in touch with him through his website, http://www.christopherdcook.com/

JD AWARDED THE JOHN H. HAUBERG FELLOWSHIP, LAUNCHES A NEW ARTS COMMISSION BOOK, AND MORE

Grottozian JD Beltran was just awarded the prestigious John H. Hauberg Fellowship for a studio residency at the internationally renowned glass arts Pilchuck School, north of Seattle. Initiated in 2001 to honor Pilchuck founder John H. Hauberg, the Fellowship brings established professional artists to collaborate, experiment, and create a professional body of work during two weeks in the spring. During the first half of May, JD will create new work combining film and video imagery with glass, and collaborate in projects with fellow residents. All of the fellows subsequently will exhibit the work in a show in San Francisco in the Fall. More information on the Hauberg Fellowship is here: http://pilchuck.com/residencies/hauberg_v2013.aspx

JD also has just been selected to be the curator of the Public Art Master Plan for the Yerba Buena Community Benefits District. She will be responsible for the selection of major permanent and temporary artworks for the Yerba Buena District, affecting the permanent city landscape in the main arts and museum district of the city of San Francisco.

In April 2013, the San Francisco Arts Commission will launch their new book publication “Arts for the City: Civic Art and Urban Change, 1932-2012,” by HeyDay Press (Berkeley 2013). JD Beltran co-authored the Foreword and authored the Postscript for the book, and as Interim Director and subsequently, President of the San Francisco Arts Commission, curated the featured photographers and co-edited and co-produced the book. See more about the book here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16670272-san-francisco

JD and collaborator Scott Minneman will launch their latest project, the Cinema Snowglobe, at the opening of the new Exploratorium on April 17th. This project also will be featured at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art during its closing weekend on June 1-2, 2013. Listen to an audio interview by The Kitchen Sisters about the making of the Cinema Snowglobe that was featured on KQED/NPR: http://blogs.kqed.org/makingof/stories/the-cinema-snowglobe/

More on recent news and information on JD’s work is at http://jdbeltran.com/news/news.html

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JD’s Art Picks for March 2013

FIRE SALE AT JAKUB CALUSEQUE’S OAKLAND STUDIO

Jakub Calouseque, the artist who did the fantastic mural at the Grotto and two paintings in Laura Fraser’s office, is having a kind of fire sale at his Oakland studio. Don’t miss it if you want to snag one of his fabulous pieces of art at a stupid price. March 16 and 17 – Saturday and Sunday Jakub‚Äôs open studio and Oakland Film Center Liquidation sale with 30 studios closing and disposing unwanted inventories. Come and join the fun that will culminate with John Behrens electrifying performance with Tesla coil arcing (Saturday at 6 PM only). More info at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oakland-Film-Center-Liquidation-Sale/513075368711455
or http://www.facebook.com/events/427639553981394/

GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING AT THE DEYOUNG MUSEUM

Don’t miss a rare showing of one of the most beloved paintings in the world. “The heavily anticipated “Girl With a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings From the Mauritshuis,” which opens Saturday at the de Young Museum, does not disappoint. It will remind visitors how great artworks can unstring our sense of time.” (Kenneth Baker) An intimate show that’s sure to be popular, you should get your tickets soon! Through June 2. De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F. (415) 750-3600. http://www.deyoungmuseum.org.

“ABOUT FACE” AT PIER 24 EXTENDED

“About Face,” an exhibition now showing at the stunning Pier 24 photography gallery, focuses on the tradition of portrait-based photography. On view are nearly one thousand photographs drawn primarily from the Pilara Foundation’s permanent collection. “Revelations” – the Diane Arbus retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – inspired the purchase of the Foundation’s first photograph, a portrait from her challenging and emotive “Untitled” series. The emotional intensity characterizing this photograph has informed subsequent acquisitions for the collection, which are aptly highlighted by the huge, meditative gallery space. “About Face” encompasses wide-ranging approaches to portraiture from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day, from August Sander’s “Face of Our Time” to Richard Avedon’s “The Family,” to Jim Goldberg’s “Rich and Poor” and Larry Sultan’s “SF Society,” all of which consider the socio-economic divide in San Francisco. Through a series of 66 self-portraits by Lee Friedlander from the past 50 years, one encounters many of the themes that have come to characterize his practice. Self-examination is also the focal point in selected works by Cindy Sherman, Gillian Wearing, Yasumasa Morimura, and Tomoko Sawada, in which the artists alter their appearances to challenge traditional notions of identity. By advance appointment only. More information at http://www.pier24.org/exhibition/current.html

Guilty Pleasures: The Asian candy selection (and selection of Asian groceries in general) at Manila Oriental Market in the Excelsior District; the garlic shrimp plate and the chorizo tostada at La Corneta, some of the best Mexican food in the Mission; a heavenly slice of Meyer lemon pie at Mission Pie; and gawking at the woman who with plastic surgery turned herself into Barbie at http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/04/23/the-real-life-ukrainian-barbie-doll/;

A good half of the art of living is resilience.

Alain de Botton