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New Writing Series Spring 2015

Sister Spit -- Wednesday, April 1, 2015 -- Visual Arts Presentation Lab (SME 149) at 4:30 pm


Sister Spit began in San Francisco in the 1990s as a weekly, girls-only open mic that was an alternative to the misogyny-soaked poetry open mics popular around the city (and the nation) at that time.Sister Spit became the first all-girl poetry roadshow at the end of the 90s, and toured regularly with such folks as Eileen Myles, Marci Blackman, Beth Lisick and Nomy Lamm. The tour was revived as Sister Spit: The Next Generation in 2007, and has toured the United States annually since. In this next incarnation, out of respect to the changing gender landscape of our queer and literary communities, Sister Spit welcomes artists of all genders, so long as they mesh with the tour's historic vibe of feminism, queerness, humor and provocation.

Sister Spit 2015 will be hosted with performance by:

VIRGIE TOVAR, a Latina femme, writer and activist. She is the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, November 2012). She holds a Master's degree in Human Sexuality with a focus on the intersections of body size, race and gender. She is certified as a sex educator and was voted Best Sex Writer by the Bay Area Guardian in 2008. Virgie and her work have been featured by Al Jazeera, NPR, Yahoo! Front page, MTV, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bust Magazine, and Huffington Post Live.

This year 's West Coast tour also features the following literary and performance artists:

THOMAS PAGE MCBEE writes the column "Self-Made Man" for The Rumpus and the new series "The American Man" for Pacific Standard . His writings on gender have appeared in the New York Times and via TheAtlantic.com , VICE (where he was the "The Masculinity expert"), BuzzFeed , and Salon . Thomas gives lectures on masculinity and media narratives across the country. He lives in New York City. His first book, Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man was recently released from SisterSpit Books / City Lights.

MYRIAM KLEIN STAHL is a visual artist and co- founder / lead teacher of the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School and is an Arts Commissioner in the City of Berkeley. Stahl 's work in the studio incorporates drawing and traditional printmaking as well as public and social practice installations.

KATE SCHATZ is a writer, editor, and educator. Her book of fiction, Rid of Me: A Story , was published in 2006 on Continuum Press as part of the acclaimed 33 1/3 series. Her writing has been published in Oxford American , Denver Quarterly , Joyland , and West Branch , among others, and her short story "Folsom, Survivor" was included as a 2010 Notable Short Story in Best American Short Stories 2011 . She is a co-founder and editor of The Encyclopedia Project . Her book Rad American Women A-Z , with Miriam Klein Stahl, is forthcoming on Lil Sister Spit / City Lights.

MYRIAM GURBA is the author of Dahlia Season (Manic d Press), a novella and short story collection that won the Publishing Triangle's Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. She is the author of the poetry collection Wish You Were Me (Future Tense Press) as well as several self-published 'zines and chapbooks. Gurba worked as an editorial assistant for the defunct lesbian periodical On Our Backs, and has toured North America with Sister Spit. In 2014 she won RADAR Productions' Eli Coppola Memorial Chapbook Contest, an annual poetry contest that produced a letterpress printing of her winning manuscript, Sweatsuits of the Damned.

MICA SIGOURNEY has specialized in physical theater, improvisation and site specific performance. Nine years ago he fled the proscenium stage and traditional venues and refocused his energies on go-go performance installations and the populace stages of the nightlife; five years ago he created drag persona VivvyAnne ForeverMORE! and since has performed on stages and festivals in San Francisco, L.A. New York, and London, and in the deYoung, the New Museum (NYC) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

TOM CHO is an artist with over 70 fiction pieces published in journals and anthologies. His collection of fictions, Look Who 's Morphing, was originally published in Australia to acclaim. It was shortlisted for various awards, including the 2010 Commonwealth Writers ' Prize for Best First Book. In 2014, it was released by Arsenal Pulp Press for North America and Europe. Tom has performed his work on the stages of many festivals, from Singapore Writers Festival to Sydney Mardi Gras. He has a PhD in Professional Writing and is currently writing a novel about the meaning of life. His website is at www.tomcho.com

Rodrigo Toscano and Cecil Giscombe -- Monday, April 20, 2015 -- Visual Arts Presentation Lab (SME 149) at 4:30 pm


Giscombe (bottom photo) credit: Madeline Giscombe

Raised in San Diego, experimental poet, playwright, and labor activist Rodrigo Toscano's experimental work often takes the form of conversation and physical movement that interrogates, and crosses, boundaries: the boundary between poetic and political action, between the made thing and its making, between speech and theater, between languages, between social change and its provocation. In an interview with poet Leonard Schwartz for Jacket magazine, Toscano stated, "One of the things that you can do in culture, and specifically poetic discourse, is bring what 's allegedly "high" philosophic discourse to bump up against everyday kind of speech...If you bring heterogeneous elements into your poetry you have a better chance at shooting the gaps of where you would want to liberate yourself." In a review of Collapsible Poetics Theater for Sustainable Aircraft, J. Gordon Faylor notes that the work "induces territories of dissent and identity, both of and beyond the stage; it suggests an ever-shifting set of our own subjectivities and those of the people (and objects) around us."

Rodrigo Toscano's book-length poem, Explosion Rocks Springfield, is being published by Fence Books this fall. His latest book is Deck of Deeds (Counterpath Press). Collapsible Poetics Theater (also by Fence Books) was a 2007 National Poetry Series Selection. He is the recipient of a New York State Fellowship in Poetry. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Against Expression, Diasporic Avant Gardes, and Best American Poetry. Toscano works for the Labor Institute in conjunction with the United Steelworkers and the National Institute for Environmental Health Science. He is currently Hurricane Sandy clean up Health & Safety training director and chief liaison between the National Day Laborers Organizing Network and USW, building self-sustaining worker coopts in green construction and toxic site abatement. He works out of a laptop, tethered to a Droid, residing in airports, occupying poetics in midflight. When on firm ground, he haunts the Greenpoint Township of Brooklyn.

"...To live or to have begun in "a border area" is a fact of consciousness; and/ or it is a strategy of reading that one carries into other situations. It overlaps. Race or ethnicity and even national identity are fluid in the grand schemes; but locally, crossing between certain locations is a complicated act (or set of complicated actions) and your stated destination--whether you think it matters or not--will mark you just like your point of origin does.

It often seems to me that one of the best uses to which prose can be put is describing poetry. Even so, the boundary between prose and poetry is like anything else--you step across, sneak over, migrate, "jump for England," are remitted, are bound over, extradited, you make do. You overlap and persist and admit to everything--you deny nothing but accept all designations..."

--C.S. Giscombe

C. S. Giscombe 's poetry books are Prairie Style , Giscome Road , Here , etc.; his book of linked essays (concerning Canada, race, and family) is Into and Out of Dislocation . His recognitions include the 2010 Stephen Henderson Award, an American Book Award (for Prairie Style ) and the Carl Sandburg Prize (for Giscome Road ). Two new books are forthcoming--Ohio Railroads (a poem in essay form) will be published in 2014 and Border Towns (essays on poetry, color, nature, television, etc.) will appear in 2015. He teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a long-distance cyclist.

David Brin -- Wednesday, April 29, 2015 -- de Certeau room (LIT 155) at 4:30 pm


David Brin is a scientist, tech speaker/consultant, and author. His new novel about our survival in the near future is Existence. A film by Kevin Costner was based on The Postman. His 16 novels, including NY Times Bestsellers and Hugo Award winners, have been translated into more than twenty languages. Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and the world wide web. David appears frequently on shows such as Nova and The Universe and Life After People, speaking about science and future trends. His non-fiction book -- The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? -- won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association. http://www.davidbrin.com/

The New Writing Series thanks the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination for supporting this reading.

Tan Lin and MariNaomi -- Wednesday, May 13, 2015 -- Visual Arts Presentation Lab (SME 149) at 4:30 pm


credit for Tan Lin (top image): Clare Churchouse

Tan Lin is the author of over ten books, most recently, of Heath Course Pak , Bib. Rev. Ed , Insominia and the Aunt ., and 7 Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004 The Joy of Cooking . He is the recipient of a 2012 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant, a Getty Distinguished Scholar Grant and a Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital Arts Writing Grant to complete a book on the writings of Andy Warhol. He is working on a sampled novel, Our Feelings Were Made By Hand. He is an Professor of English and Creative Writing at New Jersey City University.

"In 1997, inspired by the likes of autobio cartoonists Mary Fleener and Ariel Bordeaux, I started a hobby of drawing comics about my life--crushes I'd had, my spirituality (or lack thereof), relationships with my friends, family and lovers. I collected the comics into zines and gave them to my friends, sold them at conventions, and submitted them to anthologies. Somewhere along the line, my hobby became my career. My comics have been collected in two published books (with a third coming out this year), over fifty printed anthologies, not to mention countless (as I 've lost count) comics and essays that have appeared in online magazines. Even with the backing of publishers, I still self-publish zines, and I don 't intend to stop anytime soon."


MariNaomi is the author and illustrator of the award- winning graphic memoir Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22 , Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories, and the upcoming book Turning Japanese (2D Cloud, 2015). Her work has appeared in over fifty anthologies, including I Saw You: Comics Inspired by Real Life Missed Connections, Eisner-nominated No Straight Lines, Ignatz-winner QU33R and Action Girl Comics. Her comics and essays have been featured on The Rumpus, The Weeklings, LA Review of Books, Midnight Breakfast, Truth-out, SFBay.CA, The Comics Journal, The Bay Citizen, XOJane and more. Mari's work on the Rumpus won a SPACE award and an honorable mention in Houghton Mifflin's Best American Comics 2013.

In 2011, Mari toured with the literary roadshow Sister Spit. She splits her time between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In her spare time, Mari curates and maintains the Cartoonists of Color and LGBTQ Comics databases.

MFA Readings- Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - Visual Arts Presentation Lab (SME 149) at 4:30 pm


Marco Antonio Huerta : Mexican translator and post-conceptual poet. Won the Carmen Alardin Poetry Award in 2005. Is the author of the poetry collections La semana milagrosa (Conarte, 2006), Golden Boy (Letras de Pasto Verde, 2009), Hay un jardin (Tierra Adentro, 2009). During the summer of 2009 he decided to kill his own lyrical self. Magnitud/e (Gusanos de la nada, 2012) is a poem-in-progress written together with Sara Uribe and translated into English by John Pluecker. His work has been published in several periodicals and anthologies in Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, and the United States. He has performed on experimental writing gatherings such as Not Content, curated by Vanessa Place and Teresa Carmody (Los Angeles, 2010), the & Now Festivals (San Diego, 2011; Paris, 2012), and Los limites del lenguaje (Monterrey, 2012). His interest is now focused in language as a community builder, especially in virtual contexts.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: moteltampico

Sarah Ciston was recently named one of SF Weekly 's "Best Writers Without a Book." Her current projects include an interactive fictional audio tour of SF 's Mission District, forthcoming from Invisible City Audio Tours, as well as a lyric novel that considers the search for community on every scale by unpacking one inconspicuous word: "We." She also runs Bootleg Books, an editing and design studio for independent authors and publishers.

Ken Saragosa is a first year prose writer.

Kim Schreiber writes instruction manuals, less about how it works than how it breaks. She also writes questions, codes, recipes, and prayers, embedded with processes, constraints, restraints, texts, tweets, edits, and erasures. She translates the accidental poetry of scientists, of every day prose, of the serious Whole Foods shopper, of deadbeat Internet surfers, of love and our bodies. twitter: @que_es_

MFA Readings- Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - Visual Arts Presentation Lab (SME 149) at 4:30 pm


Maria Flaccaventohails from southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. With Paola Capó-Garcia she edits littletell, a new online literary and arts magazine. Her work can be found in The Fanzine, Bedfellows, Country Music, The Apiary, S/WORD, and the Madcap Review.

Jose Antonio Villarán González-Ortega perú, méxico, estados unidos: 1979.

Brett Zehner studied geography at The Ohio State University where he was an activist/researcher on public housing issues. He later turned down a CIA research analyst position to pursue work in the field of experimental poetics.

His writing has appeared in Dusie and Jupiter 88 and has a collaborative
novel out on Outpost 19. Currently he is collaborating on an
eco-documentary poetics project concerned with the atmosphere. He is also a musician and has recorded, toured, and performed with a number of bands ranging from garage, noise and found sound.

Gabriel Kalmuss-Katz has been bewildered and frustrated by, become smitten with, and written his way in and out of New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, New York City, Chicago, and now San Diego. He 's all torn up about leaving this place for the east coast, shortly after his thesis reading.

Kendall Grady is a poet! Her chapbook, This Will End in Tears, is forthcoming from The Museum of Expensive Things. She lives in San Diego with Miami and in her heart.

Ethan Sparks is somewhere between writing about living or living to write. He is a father of four, has performed as a musician off and on for fifteen years, putting out two albums with his partner in crime, Liz Capra. He writes about children in joy and in moments of trauma. He is a street performer and an abandoned building renovator. He has lived in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Cleveland and recently San Diego. His poetry revels in blue collar work and the invisible labor of the handyman. Ethan writes about homelessness because he has lived in parks and performed for veterans with schizophrenia. Ethan writes about survival because it can be a fragile thing. Ethan's poetry has been featured in the Allegheny Review (2012) and Birds in Shorts City (2015). He is finishing his MFA in Creative Writing at University of California San Diego where he also teaches World History in the Making of the Modern World program in Eleanor Roosevelt College. His writing spans genre, from speculative fiction, plays, horror to haptic poetry, but it's all really memoir.

The New Writing Series is brought to you by the Literature Department and the Division of Arts and Humanities

The New Writing Series thanks the Department of Visual Arts for providing us with the SME Presentation Space

For more information contact Professor Anna Joy Springer.