Save the Date for Wednesday, January 15th, 7 p.m.: Yuba Lit Presents Three Fearless (and Funny) Spirits

Three Fearless (and Funny) Spirits: Fiction Writers Who Face the World with Humor and Heart

At the Wild Eye Pub, 535 Mill St., Grass Valley.

Wednesday January 15th, 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30.

$8 advance tickets, available soon, or $10 at the door. Cabaret-style seating; delicious dinner and drink options available.

Featuring

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TOMAS MONIZ: Tomas’s new novel, Big Familia, is the sweet and gentle story of Juan Gutierrez, a single dad living in gentrifying Berkeley (on the edge of Oakland), letting go of his teenage daughter while trying (really trying!) to open himself up to a man who loves him. The characters defy all stereotypes and the first-person narration speaks from the heart. Tomas, who lives in Berkeley but frequently visits family in Nevada City, edited Rad Dad, Rad Families, and the kids book Collaboration/Colaboración. Recently shorter work has appeared in Barrelhouse and Longleaf Review.

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NANCY AU: Nancy’s debut fiction collection is Spider Love Song & Other Stories, about characters, many of them Chinese American, marginalized by race, age, and sexuality, who boldly endeavor to create new worlds that honor their identities and heritage. Nancy’s essays and stories appear in many journals including Craft Literary, Redivider, Gulf Coast, Catapult, Foglifter, and Michigan Quarterly Review. She lives in Oakland, teaches at CSU Stanislaus, and is co-founder of The Escapery, a writing and art unschool.

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JUDIE RAE: Judie’s new novel is The Haunting of Walter Rabinowitz, the lively story of a post-grad student exacting revenge on her notoriously womanizing professor. A beloved writing teacher at Sierra College, Judie is the author of four books for young people, including a Nancy Drew Mystery. She also authored a college thematic reader, Rites of Passage, and two poetry chapbooks, The Weight of Roses and Howling Down the Moon. Her essays have appeared in The Sacramento Bee, as well as on San Francisco’s NPR station KQED. She has also written for Outside California, Tahoe Quarterly, and Sacramento Magazine.

Yuba Lit Is Back with Christian Kiefer’s PHANTOMS, Thurs. Sept. 12 at the Wild Eye Pub

Dear literature-loving friends,

Yuba Lit is back in a big way. I hope you can join the Yuba Lit community on Thursday, September 12th for an eye-opening reading and discussion with acclaimed Auburn novelist Christian Kiefer. The conversation is sure to be locally relevant and timely, bringing lost history to light. Near the end of World War II, hundreds of Japanese Americans were sent from the Placer County towns of Penryn, Loomis, and Newcastle to desolate internment camps at Tule Lake and beyond. Most of these Americans never returned to the homes from which they were torn.

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Kiefer’s novel Phantoms is dedicated to these families: The Asazawas, the Nakashimas, the Yoshidas, and many more. And it imagines the experience of a fictional family, the Takahashis, whose son Ray fought in World War II while his parents and siblings were sent to the camps. Decades later, a Vietnam veteran, John Wilson, returns to the Placer County land he and Ray both knew as home, and begins to piece together the entwined history of their families: The Wilsons who rented their property to the skilled Japanese-American farmers, and the Takahashis, who were sent away on buses, their lives forever changed.

The critical reception for Phantoms has been rapturous. A starred Kirkus review raves: “It’s a complex narrative structure, but this allows Kiefer to constantly overlay past and present and to recognize, through John [Wilson], the cycles in which his character, and in fact the country, remains trapped—cycles of racism, cycles of war, and cycles of young men who return home guilty of crimes, the full ramifications of which they couldn’t possibly understand . . . It will break your heart, and in the breaking, fill you with bittersweet but luminous joy.”

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This novel is so beautifully written, and the historical context around it so profound, that I wanted Christian Kiefer to be the sole featured writer for this return of Yuba Lit. At the same time, we are eager for the return of the Yuba Lit community and its talents! So, this Yuba Lit will start with our ever-popular opening audience flash readings: Bring a poem or a page of your own and draw a raffle ticket to read in Yuba Lit’s famous opening audience flash round! Five audience members will be chosen. 

This Yuba Lit will be held at The Wild Eye Pub, 535 Mill St., Grass Valley. A no-host bar and dinner will be available, with cabaret-style seating; we encourage Yuba Lit patrons to support the pub with your purchase of food and drink. Tickets are $10 at the door, $8 in advance, with online tickets available soon at wildeyepub.com.

You can also RSVP on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2936748599883983/ RSVPs help us greatly with planning.

Please, bring your questions for Christian Kiefer about his luminous and revelatory book. He is deeply researched on the history of Japanese-American experience in Placer County. This will be a fascinating reading and an illuminating conversation. I so hope to reconnect with you on September 12th.

Yours in the love of literature,

Rachel Howard

Yuba Lit founder

www.yubalit.org

www.facebook.com/yubalit

 

Sept. 12th: Don’t Miss Christian Kiefer reading Phantoms

Yuba Lit Presents: Christian Kiefer reads and discusses Phantoms

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Years after both wars, a Vietnam veteran named John Wilson begins to piece together the story of Ray Takahashi, a young Japanese American soldier who fought in World War II while his family was forced to abandon their Placer County farm for an internment camp. What sins and mysteries are the Takahashis and their former neighbors, the Wilsons, hiding?

Of Kiefer’s latest novel, a starred review from Kirkus raves: “It’s a complex narrative structure, but this allows Kiefer to constantly overlay past and present and to recognize, through John, the cycles in which his character, and in fact the country, remains trapped—cycles of racism, cycles of war, and cycles of young men who return home guilty of crimes, the full ramifications of which they couldn’t possibly understand . . . It will break your heart, and in the breaking, fill you with bittersweet but luminous joy.”

Hear acclaimed Auburn novelist Kiefer read and discuss his deeply researched new book—and ask him a question of your own during the Q and A.

Plus: Bring a poem or a page of your own and draw a raffle ticket to read in Yuba Lit’s famous opening audience flash round! Five audience members will be chosen.

Christian Kiefer’s previous novels are The Animals and The Infinite Tides, and a novella, One Day Soon Time Will Have No Place Left to Hide.

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Thursday, September 12th, 7 p.m.

Doors open at 6:30

The Wild Eye Pub, 535 Mill St., Grass Valley

No-host bar and dinner available

Tickets: $10 at the door, $8 in advance, available at wildeyepub.com

http://www.yubalit.org

Save November 7th for Yuba Lit: New Angles on America

Yuba Lit: New Angles on America

Featuring:

From the Bay Area, Devi Laskar, The Atlas of Reds and Blues

“A poignant meditation on racism and police brutality experienced by people of color . . . The Atlas of Reds and Blues provides no easy answers. Laskar’s fine and moving novel is a step toward her own release, and with it she simultaneously offers readers a way out, too.” ―The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

From Boston, James Charlesworth, The Patricide of George Benjamin Hill

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Charlesworth’s debut novel takes a sweeping sideways look at American ambition and even the great American novel. However, the tone is never cynical in this family tragedy. Rather, there is a beautiful sadness as well mournful anger as Charlesworth evokes the loss following consequential choices.”—Booklist, starred review

 

From Nevada City, Ben Preston, reading from a novel-in-progress

Preston’s novel dramatizes the Polish laborers’ strike that became the Bay View Massacre in 1886 Milwaukee.

 

Thursday, November 7th, 7 p.m. at The Stone House, Nevada City. $10 at the door. RSVP to save your seat: yubalit@gmail.com.

Special Discount to Janet Fitch, and–Save the Date for Christian Kiefer September 12th!

Dear literature-loving friends,
I hope you enjoyed the benefit reading with Robert Hass, Sharon Olds, 2019 Pulitzer winner Forrest Gander and memorable others as much as I did. It was a particular joy to reconnect with Yuba Lit regulars at the event.
Another special literary opportunity is coming up in Sacramento on Friday, July 26th–and we’ve got a special discount for it. “An Evening with Janet Fitch” at Sacramento Stories on Stage will feature the bestselling novelist (you probably know her much-lauded White Oleander) sharing her newest book, Chimes of a Lost Cathedral, in conversation with Capital Public Radio’s Beth Ruyak. Actress Katie Rubin will read passages from Fitch’s novel–and Nevada City’s own Beaucoup Chapeaux will offer music! The trip to Sacramento will be very much worth it. And if you use the code YUBALIT19 at checkout, you will get 10 percent off tickets.
Here’s the link to more information and ticket sales: https://communityofwriters.org/events/event/an-evening-with-janet-fitch/
Meanwhile, exciting news: Save the date for Yuba Lit with Auburn novelist Christian Kiefer reading and discussing his new novel Phantoms on Thursday, September 12th. It’s an eloquent and all-too-timely story of Japanese internment and its aftermath in Placer County. Read on below for Publisher’s Weekly’s rave review. Venue into and more about this September Yuba Lit coming soon.
Yours in the love of literature,
Rachel
Yuba Lit founder
www.yubalit.org
From Publisher’s Weekly:
Kiefer’s sweeping novel (after One Day Soon Time Will Have No Place to Hide) examines the ways war shapes the lives of ordinary people. Upon returning to Placer County, Calif., after serving in Vietnam, John Frazier is at loose ends: 21 and gripped by recollections of violence and a drug habit he’s trying to kick, he’s unable to imagine his future. But when he runs into his long-lost aunt Evelyn Wilson, John is improbably sucked into the mystery of what happened to Ray Takahashi, Evelyn’s Japanese-American former neighbor, who disappeared soon after returning from WWII. With John in tow, Evelyn meets with Ray’s mother to reveal a secret she’s kept for 26 years—that, unbeknownst to Ray, Evelyn’s daughter, Helen, gave birth to his baby after he came back from the war. At Evelyn’s insistence, Helen gave up the infant to an orphanage partly due to the “disgrace” of a mixed-race child. As John grapples with his own ghosts, he investigates Ray’s life: his idyllic childhood growing up with the Wilson children, his romance with Helen, the Takahashi family’s transfer to an internment camp and the prejudice they encountered. After Evelyn exposes her secret, the sinister forces underlying Ray’s disappearance begin rising closer to the surface. Kiefer’s story sheds light on the prejudice violence ignites and on the Japanese-American experience during a fraught period of American history, and makes for engaging and memorable novel.

Pulitzer-Winning Poet Forrest Gander and an All-Star Benefit Reading in Grass Valley Friday June 21st

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Dear friends in literature,
I am so delighted to be writing to you once more! Yuba Lit is coming back after our long hiatus, and in a very exciting way. In September, Yuba Lit will once again start presenting its own curated nights of live readings for our community. In the meantime, Yuba Lit is thrilled to serve as sponsor for the spectacular 2019 Poetry Benefit Reading for the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, bringing their all-star faculty right to Grass Valley. If you have attended this benefit in the last two years, you know it features the finest poets in the country and is not be be missed. This year, we are happy to announce, the reading will include Forrest Gander, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, along with Brenda Hillman, David Tomas Martinez, Jane Miller, Sharon Olds, Gregory Pardlo, and special guest Robert Hass. Collectively, these poets have won three Pulitzers, one National Book Award, one National Book Critics Circle Award, and many other honors.
The 2019 Poetry Benefit will take place 7 p.m. Friday, June 21st, at the St. Joseph’s Cultural Center, 410 S. Church St., Grass Valley. And as part of the Yuba Lit community, you can get a 10 percent discount if you order online with the discount code YubaLit19. Here is the link to buy advance tickets with the discount: https://communityofwriters.org/events/event/2019-poetry-benefit-reading/
I hope you will join Yuba Lit for this extraordinary opportunity to hear seven of our nation’s finest poets. And I hope you will keep tuned for Yuba Lit’s own programming to start again in September 2019.
I’ve missed our gatherings and I can’t wait to be back in touch with you and to re-gather to hear live literature straight from its creators.
Yours in the love of literature,
Rachel
Yuba Lit Founder
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Left to right: Forrest Gander, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, David Tomas Martinez, Jane Miller, Sharon Olds, and Gregory Pardlo
More on Forrest Gander’s Pulitzer Prize:

Yuba Lit Recommends: Sierra Writers Conference January 26th

Dear friends in literature,
Though Yuba Lit is on hiatus until June 2019, plenty of exciting literary activity is happening in the Grass Valley/Nevada City area! We wanted to alert you to one major opportunity. On January 26, 2019, Sierra Writers will hold its annual conference, this year titled “PROCESS: Pre-write to Promotion.” Among the teachers you will find many past Yuba Lit readers. The keynote speaker is the masterful fiction writer (and California Book Award winner) Josh Weil. You can also choose from workshops and critique sessions with Mary Volmer, Sands Hall, and Eugene Berson. Registration is an amazing deal: Just $65, and $45 if you snag it early-bird.
As the conference website says:

“Ready to hone your craft – collaborate with other writers – get professional advice about your work

Writers all … come to the Sierra Writers Conference to work on your process, join a community of writers, and participate in professional critique sessions. Join us for a day of learning, sharing, growing and being inspired to craft your words into the stories, articles and books that only you can write.”

Here’s the website link so that you can get all the information you need:
Hope you will take advantage of this conference.
Yours in the love of literature,
Rachel Howard
Yuba Lit founder

Yuba Lit Presents Guggenheim-Winning Poet Matthew Zapruder OCT 11th—and Invites the Community to Be Part of WHY POETRY

Yuba Lit is thrilled and honored to present Guggenheim-winning poet and former New York Times Magazine poetry editor Matthew Zapruder reading and discussing his book WHY POETRY Thursday October 11th, at the Stone House in Nevada City. Why Poetry makes an impassioned but plainspoken case that good poetry can be understood deeply by anyone—if we liberate ourselves from misguided ways we’ve been taught to read it.

The evening will begin at 7 p.m., with a small-bites menu and no-host bar offered by the Stone House, and a signing afterwards, a festive format well-known to Yuba Lit’s regular audiences. But because Zapruder advocates a special role for poetry to bring meaning to our every day lives, Yuba Lit is also looking for local community members to be part of this event before Zapruder even arrives.

Inspired by the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud national poetry recitation contest, Yuba Lit is seeking audience members to recite their favorite poem from memory. The best recitation will be voted by audience applause, and the winning poetry out loud participant will receive a free copy of Matthew Zapruder’s book, and a gift certificate to Harmony Books. Interested poetry reciters should write yubalit@gmail.com to save their spot in the opening contest.

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Yuba Lit founder and producer Rachel Howard said she is excited to hear locals share their favorite poems, and eager for the rare opportunity to host Zapruder.

“Matthew Zapruder is truly a leading poet and poetry advocate of our day and such a generous, down-to-earth, and charismatic reader,” she said. “I love Why Poetry for the way it fires up people who already appreciate poetry, and the way it makes poetry personal and alive for people who probably would love poetry, if only they hadn’t learned early in life to fear reading poetry ‘wrong.’ Ultimately, Why Poetry is a book about the power of close attention to awaken our sense of truth, and I think that’s a message our culture needs right now.”

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Yuba Lit founder Rachel Howard. Photo by Andrea Roach.

Reviews for Why Poetry were widespread and glowing. Wrote Newsday, “Poetry frustrates people . . . Every now and then one of the poets, in turn, steps up helpfully to explain how to read the stuff. In his friendly new book, Why Poetry, poet, editor and teacher Matthew Zapruder does this very thing with unusual clarity and generosity.”

Said literary website The Millions: “Why Poetry is part-inspiration, part-guidebook, and part literary memoir. . . . Zapruder’s spiritual undercurrent raises Why Poetry into something rare: the cogent and lively argument that poetry truly matters, fueled by passion rather than pretense.”

In addition to Why Poetry, Zapruder is the author of the poetry collections Sun Bear, Come on All You Ghosts, The Pajamaist, and American Linden. He is an editor-at-large with Wave Books and a professor at St. Mary’s College of California.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 11th. The Stone House is located at 107 Sacramento St., Nevada City. A $10 donation payable by cash or check at the door supports Yuba Lit’s production costs. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Patrons are encouraged to reserve a seat by writing to yubalit@gmail.com with their name and number of guests.

Yuba Lit is a fiscally sponsored project of the Nevada County Arts Council, a not-for-profit organization, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. The series also has a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/yubalit.

Save the Date for Matthew Zapruder and Why Poetry, Thursday October 11th!

Much-lauded poet Matthew Zapruder’s Why Poetry is now out in paperback, and this is good news both for poetry diehards and the poetry befuddled. (No shame in being the latter!)

For poetry diehards: “Why Poetry is part-inspiration, part-guidebook, and part literary memoir. . . . Zapruder’s spiritual undercurrent raises Why Poetry into something rare: the cogent and lively argument that poetry truly matters, fueled by passion rather than pretense.” (The Millions)

And for the poetry befuddled: “Poetry frustrates people . . . Every now and then one of the poets, in turn, steps up helpfully to explain how to read the stuff. In his friendly new book, Why Poetry, poet, editor and teacher Matthew Zapruder does this very thing with unusual clarity and generosity.” (Newsday)

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Matthew Zapruder.

Yuba Lit is thrilled that Zapruder will share Why Poetry at a special Yuba Lit on Thursday, October 11th, at 7 p.m. at the Stone House, 107 Sacramento St., Nevada City. The evening will open with five Nevada County poets offering one poem and one sentence on why, to them, poetry matters. Then Matthew Zapruder will read, followed by live Q and A with Yuba Lit founder, novelist and memoirist Rachel Howard.

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Yuba Lit founder Rachel Howard holding Why Poetry. Photo by Andrea Roach.

Wine and a small bites menu will be available from the Stone House. Admission at the door is $10, which supports Yuba Lit’s production costs, and is tax deductible, as Yuba Lit is fiscally sponsored by Nevada County Arts, a 501c3 not-for-profit.

Your RSVP is greatly appreciated, as it helps Yuba Lit with event planning! RSVP to save your seat by emailing yubalit@gmail.com with your name and number of guests.

We hope to see you Thursday, October 11th at the Stone House for Why Poetry!

Yuba Lit July 26th! An Update to Our Lineup

Dear literature-loving friends,
We’re grateful to the Union for running news of next Thursday’s Yuba Lit today. And, we have an update to the lineup. Unfortunately, David Rutschman needed to cancel. Very, very fortunately, poet Gene Berson will be reading instead. Yuba Lit regulars know Gene’s poems and love them well. He first shared a virtuosic poem at Yuba Lit via our opening audience flash-readings, blew us all away, then returned as a featured reader and later one of the Yuba Lit “Poets Among Us.” His collection, raveling travel, was recently published by Open Book Press. We are delighted that Gene will read and sign his collection next Thursday at 7 p.m. alongside Travis Davis, Liz Collins, and–visiting from San Francisco–Shauna Hannibal, of whose new collection the SF Chronicle says, “I couldn’t put the book down and felt by the end like I’d made a sexy new friend who could see, unsettlingly, into my private obsessions.”.
We have wonderful ambiance for this reading: historic Reiki Kitchen, in Nevada City’s old Chinatown directly across from Sopa Thai–and we’ll have use of their lovely patio for an intermission of wine and mingling. Please RSVP by replying to this email with your name and number of guests–the RSVPs greatly help our planning! Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. for this 7 p.m. reading at Reiki Kitchen, 313 Commercial St., Nevada City. $10 at the door covers Yuba Lit’s production costs. We’re grateful to Nevada County Arts for their fiscal sponsorship, which means that your charitable donation is tax-deductible! And if you’d like to volunteer or donate, we’d love to hear from you.
Read on for more about July 26th’s lineup. Please reply to RSVP if you can make it! Bring a poem or page of your own if you’d like a chance to be part of the opening audience flash readings. Hope to see you at the Reiki Kitchen.
Yours in the love of literature,
Rachel
Yuba Lit Founder

Gene Berson grew up in the Bay Area and currently lives in the Northern California foothills. He has a BA and MA in English literature from SF State. Recent work can be read at Canarylitmag.org and Sisyphuslitmag.org. His book raveling travel was recently published by Open Book Press. Says poet Charles Entrekin of raveling travel: “These are poems and prose from a San Francisco poet, with echoes and rhythms of Whitman, Kerouac and Ginsberg.Berson engages the reader on a journey. And what we find is the real solace we can take from beauty.”

 


Shauna Hannibal is the author of Hannibal (Forklift Books, 2017), her debut collection of poetry with praise from Laura Kasischke and Dean Young. Her work has appeared in jubilat, Big Bell, Forklift, and Ohio. Says the San Francisco Chronicle of Hannibal’s new collection: “I couldn’t put the book down and felt by the end like I’d made a sexy new friend who could see, unsettlingly, into my private obsessions.”

A fine artist working in pastel and mixed media, Liz Collins is a 20-year member of the Nevada County Writer’s Block, a writing group, and is finishing a novel and a poetry collection. She has lived in Nevada City for 25 years.

Travis Davis has a chapbook, Hands Grabbing for the Light that Moves Through Them, published by SP CE poetry studio in Lincoln, NE (now known as The Aliens art studio). His poem “First September in Tuolumne” will soon be published by Canary Lit. He moved from Wyoming to Nevada City last fall.

Plus: the return of the audience flash readings! Bring a poem of your own for a chance to read!

And! No-host bar, intermission for mingling and community on the lovely Reiki Kitchen patio.