Save the Date for Sept. 14th: The Art of the Short Story

Yuba Lit’s September presentation is coming together! Please mark your calendar for Yuba Lit: The Art of the Short Story, Thursday September 14th at 7 p.m. at the National Hotel in Nevada City. Yuba Lit will take over the National’s richly historied dining room for a night of masterful short stories featuring Nevada City’s own acclaimed Josh Weil (The Age of Perpetual Light) and Louis B. Jones (Radiance, Particles and Luck), and Bay Area writer Marilyn Abildskov (The Men in My Country). Each will read one of their stories, and then discuss the writing of short stories in a Q and A. And as always, Yuba Lit will feature five audience flash readers: Any audience member who brings a poem or a page will be given a raffle ticket for a chance to share their work for three minutes at the mike.

Seating will be cabaret-style (at tables) for this reading, and the National’s bar will be open before the show and at intermission for mingling. Admission is $10, with fifty percent of proceeds going to PEN Center USA. Save the date, and see you for a night of beguiling storytelling at the National on September 14th!

Unknown.jpegimages.jpeg

PS: Check out this rave review in Kirkus for Josh Weil’s new collection, The Age of Perpetual Light. A little taste:

“A rich, often dazzling collection of short stories linked by themes while ranging widely in style from Babel-like fables to gritty noir and sci-fi. [. . .] Weil’s stories are engrossing, persuasively detailed, and written with a deep affection for the way language can, in masterful hands, convey us to marvelous new worlds.”

Thrilled that Friday night’s poetry reading with six nationally acclaimed poets is on the cover of The Union’s Prospector!

http://www.theunion.com/entertainment/an-evening-of-acclaimed-poetry-pulitzer-prize-winners-former-u-s-poet-laureate-among-writers-at-miners-foundry-friday/

Yuba Lit looks forward to the reading tomorrow night, Friday June 23rd, 7 p.m., at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City. Here is the link for tickets:

https://communityofwriters.org/events/event/2017-benefit-poetry-reading/

PS: While we’ve got you, save the date for Thursday, September 14th, for Yuba Lit: The Art of the Short Story, featuring Josh Weil, Louis B. Jones, and Marilyn Abildskov. More details coming soon.

Leading U.S. Poets in Nevada City

Dear friends in literature,

I hope you enjoyed the May Yuba Lit that Angela Sells curated for us as much as I did. What mother-daughter wisdom and power from Staajabu and Dr. Chochezi! And what naughty fun from novelist Judie Rae, and masterful scene tension from Caille Millner. Thank you so much for coming. The best thing about Yuba Lit is always the gathering of community.

I’m writing to follow up on our Yuba Lit summer plans. We’re putting all our get-out-the-word energies into a remarkable night of live poets benefitting the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. And as we let you know at our last Yuba Lit, you can get 10 percent off.

Note this date: Friday, June 23rd.
And this venue: The Miner’s Foundry in Nevada City.

Now tuck away this info: SPECIAL 10% OFF for YUBA LIT AUDIENCE MEMBERS

Now take a look at this lineup:

franciscoaragon_newbioimage2016_credit-mikecook.png
Francisco Aragon: Author of Puerto del Sol and Glow of our Sweat; editor of the groundbreaking anthology The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry.

forrest_gander_courtesy_blue_flower_arts.jpeg
Forrest Gander: Author of, among many collections, Core Samples from the World and Eye Against Eye; Pulitzer Prize finalist.

robert-hass.jpg
Robert Hass: Former Poet Laureate of the United States; winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.

Hillman-e1378530559835.jpg
Brenda Hillman: Author of, among many collections, Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire; winner of the Los Angeles Times Books Prize and the William Carlos Williams Prize.

10.22.15._Readings.Poetry.SharonOlds.headshot.jpg
Sharon Olds: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award; author of, among many collections, Stag’s Leap and Odes

gregorypardlo.jpg
Gregory Pardlo: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize; author of the collections Totem and Digest.

To cap all that off, the evening will be emceed by Nevada City’s own beloved Molly Fisk.

These writers are truly the leading lights of contemporary American poetry. Here’s the link for buying tickets using the 10% off code, YubaLit17:

https://communityofwriters.org/events/event/2017-benefit-poetry-reading/

I’m still gobsmacked by our good fortune in having these poets reading in Nevada City. I hope you’ll help us get the word out–share the benefit link on all your social networks. And I hope to see you on June 23rd!

Yours in the love of literature,

Rachel
Yuba Lit Founder
www.rachelhoward.com

PS: The line for the benefit tickets again:
https://communityofwriters.org/events/event/2017-benefit-poetry-reading/

 

May 12th Yuba Lit Spotlights Women Writers

For our May installment, Yuba Lit is thrilled to present acclaimed fiction writer Caille Millner, author of The Golden Road: Notes on my Gentrification, a memoir based on her experience as an African-American woman growing up in a Latino neighborhood in San Jose. Her short fiction has appeared in Zyzzyva and Joyland, as well as in The Best American Short Stories anthology of 2016—as edited by Junot Diaz. Her essays have been in Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Her awards include the Barnes and Noble Emerging Writers Award and the undergraduate Rona Jaffe award for fiction.

Millner will be joined by powerhouse mother/daughter duo Staajabu (which translates to “wonder” in Swahili) and Dr. V.S. Chochezi. Also known as Straight Out Scribes, Staajabu and Chochezi have published 7 books of activist poetry and performed their work throughout the nation. They have also produced and coordinated a number of literary arts programs in the greater Sacramento area since 1991. Inspired by their dynamism, The Crocker Art Museum invited Straight Out Scribes to write poems that corresponded to the Walter O. Evans collection of African American art, resulting in the 2014 collection African Reflections.

The evening’s third featured reader is local poet and novelist Judie Rae, whose non-fiction essays have appeared in the Sacramento Bee, Sierra Heritage, Tahoe Quarterly, and Outside California. She has also published three young adult novels and her poetry has been published in Nimrod, Wisconsin Review, Canary Online Literary Magazine, and Mudfish. In 2014, Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, The Weight of Roses, available now at the Open Book.

In addition to our three featured readers, audience members are encouraged to bring a page or a poem for our opening flash readings. Any audience member who brings a poem or a page will be given a raffle ticket; five readers will be drawn from the raffle, and given the mike for three minutes each to read their work.

Yuba Lit starts 7 p.m. on Friday, May 12th at The Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley. Fifty percent of the $5-$10 sliding scale cover (no one turned away for lack of funds) will benefit the ACLU. Local wine from Nevada City Winery and Szabo Winery will be served and Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters will offer coffee, tea, and fresh food for sale. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at tinyurl.com/womenofyubalit. For more about Yuba Lit, visit http://www.yubalit.org.

More on Yuba Lit’s May Readers:

Caille

Caille Millner is, in addition to an acclaimed fiction and non-fiction writer, an editorial writer and Datebook columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. On the editorial board, she covers a wide range of topics including business, finance, technology, education and local politics. For Datebook, she writes a weekly column on culture. She is the recipient of the Scripps-Howard Foundation’s Walker Stone Award in Editorial Writing and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Editorial Writing Award.

SOS

Staajabu was born in Philadelphia, and raised in Camden, NJ. She is a writer, editor, producer, poet, health advocate, graphic artist, Air Force veteran, UC Davis retiree and serves on the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Commission. Dr. V.S. Chochezi was born in Riverside, CA and raised in Camden, NJ. She earned a BA from Delaware State College, an MA from CSUS Sacramento and a doctorate in Education from Drexel University in Sacramento. She is a writer, poet, editor, photojournalist, and college professor.

Judie Rae

Judie Rae, Nevada County local, earned her Masters of Professional Writing from USC. Aside from concentrating on her own projects, she helps other writers achieve their goals by teaching writing-related courses for seniors through the Osher Foundation. She also serves on the literary committee for the Nevada County Arts Council, which seeks to provide a venue where local writers and poets can have their works heard.

A community reading series celebrating great writing in the Sierra foothills, Yuba Lit launched September 2015 with a program featuring novelists Joshua Mohr and Christian Kiefer, and poet Molly Fisk. Subsequent Yuba Lits have featured novelists Janis Cooke Newman, Louis B. Jones, and Josh Weil, memoirists Frances Stroh and Cris Mulvey, and poets Indigo Moor and Eugene Berson among many other readers, consistently drawing robust audiences.

Fifty percent of Yuba Lit’s May proceeds will benefit the ACLU.

Yuba Lit was founded and is produced by Nevada City memoirist and fiction writer Rachel Howard. Co-producer Dr. Angela Sells, a non-fiction author and women’s studies professor, is lead producer for May. If you’d like to volunteer or join our mailing list, please email Rachel at rachel (dot) howard (at) gmail (dot) com. You can learn more about Rachel at www.rachelhoward.com.

Yuba Lit’s website is www.yubalit.org. You can keep in touch with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yubalit.

Thanks to our home venue, The Open Book, and to Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters. Learn more about our May beneficiary, the ACLU, at www.aclu.org.

March 2nd Yuba Lit Spotlights RAD DADS: Writers on Fatherhood

Acclaimed five-time novelist Joshua Mohr will return to the Yuba Lit stage Thursday, March 2nd, to read from his new memoir, Sirens, which the San Francisco Chronicle has hailed as “incredibly alive.” Chronicling a childhood swilling fuzzy-navels as a latchkey kid through an adulthood marked by the ever-present lure of relapse, Sirens is “harrowing and intense,” says the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. It is also a tribute to the transformative power of fatherhood.

Mohr will be joined by two writers whose work also explores fatherhood. An Oakland-based novelist with roots in Grass Valley, Tomas Moniz is the editor of the award winning zine RAD DAD, whose anthology RAD FAMILIES: A CELEBRATION honors the messy, the painful, the playful, the beautiful, the myriad ways we create families by gathering honest stories from a diverse group of parent-writers willing to be vulnerable about their failures and regrets.

The evening’s third featured reader is Will Dane, who co-runs The Open Book bookstore and co-founded The Open Book Press. He will read from a novel-in-progress about fatherhood and the search for true love. In addition, audience members are encouraged to bring a page or a poem of their own writing. Ten audience members will be chosen by raffle to take the mike for three minutes to read their own poem or page.

Yuba Lit starts 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 2nd, at The Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley. Fifty percent of the $5-$10 sliding scale cover (no one turned away for lack of funds) will benefit Planned Parenthood. Local wine from Nevada City Winery and Szabo Winery will be served and Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters will offer coffee, tea, and fresh food for sale. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at www.tinyurl.com/raddads. For more about Yuba Lit, visit http://www.yubalit.org.

More on Yuba Lit’s March Readers:

josh mohr cropped.jpg

Joshua Mohr is the author of the memoir Sirens, as well as five novels including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written Fight Song and Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as Termite Parade, an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. His novel All This Life won the Northern California Book Award. He is the founder of Decant Editorial.

tomasmoniz.jpg

Tomas Moniz is the founder, editor, and writer for the award-winning zine Rad Dad. In Fall 2016, PM Press released the culminating anthology, Rad Families: A Celebration. His novella Bellies and Buffalos is a tender, chaotic road trip story of friendship, family and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. He’s the recipient of the 2016 Mary Tanenbaum Award and founder of two literary reading series. He’s been making zines since the late nineties, and will send you copies, but you have to write him a postcard: PO Box 3555, Berkeley CA 94703. He promises to write back.

 Will Dane.JPG

Will Dane co-runs the Open Book used bookstore and the Open Book Press, in Grass Valley. He teaches a fiction workshop through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Sierra College, and will be reading from a novel-in-progress that is closely based on his experiences raising a teenage son and finding true love in the modern age.

A community reading series celebrating great writing in the Sierra foothills, Yuba Lit launched September 2015 with a program featuring novelists Joshua Mohr and Christian Kiefer, and poet Molly Fisk. Subsequent Yuba Lits have featured novelists Janis Cooke Newman, Louis B. Jones, and Josh Weil, memoirists Frances Stroh and Cris Mulvey, and poets Indigo Moor and Eugene Berson among many other readers, consistently drawing robust audiences.

Fifty percent of Yuba Lit’s March proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood.

Yuba Lit is produced and hosted by Nevada City memoirist and fiction writer Rachel Howard and co-produced by poet Angela Sells.  If you’d like to volunteer or join our mailing list, please email Rachel at rachel (dot) howard (at) gmail (dot) com.  You can learn more about Rachel at www.rachelhoward.com.

Yuba Lit’s website is www.yubalit.org. You can keep in touch with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yubalit.

Thanks to our home venue, The Open Book, and to Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Save the Date for March 2nd Yuba Lit

Thursday, March 2nd, 7 p.m., at The Open Book:

RAD DADS!

Featuring Seattle writer Joshua Mohr, whose new memoir SIRENS offers a beautiful portrait of the transforming power of fatherhood and “an entirely candid, compelling memoir of addiction and the long, fraught road of recovery.” (Kirkus Reviews)

AND

Oakland novelist (with roots in Grass Valley) Tomas Moniz, editor of the award winning zine RAD DAD, whose anthology RAD FAMILIES: A CELEBRATION honors the messy, the painful, the playful, the beautiful, the myriad ways we create families by gathering honest stories from a diverse group of parent-writers willing to be vulnerable about their failures and regrets.

These are two dedicated dads and powerful, poignant, funny writers. This is sure to be a RAD Yuba Lit.

Sold-out House for UNITED WE STAND

Standing room only sold-out crowd for Yuba Lit’s UNITED WE STAND: Writers Respond to Trump!

Yuba Lit stood strong with Writers Resist!

Rousing, inspiring, and searching readings from Angela Sells and Will Dane, Indigo Moor, Sands Hall, Jordan Fisher Smith, and our incredible array of audience flash-readers. Thank you to Angela for bringing James Baldwin’s wisdom back before us, to Indigo for conjuring Yusef Komunyakaa, to Sands for leading us all to sing Woody Guthrie and reclaim “America the Beautiful.” So good to be in community last night. And as many in the audience and behind the mike said, this is just the beginning for those of us–so many of us–who believe in compassion, equality, and justice. As Mary Volmer reminded us: Every. Voice. Counts.

Great thanks to Andrea Roach for these photos:

 

img_4315

IndigoYLJan.jpg

sandsyljan

January 20th Yuba Lit: UNITED WE STAND

Literary writers serve a crucial role in turbulent times, dedicating their work to truth and understanding. As the new president takes office, Yuba Lit is proud to present a special reading with three esteemed authors whose work searches for truth and investigates values threatened by the Trump presidency: diversity, gender equality, care for the environment, religious freedom, and respect for all. Sacramento poet Indigo Moor, Nevada City novelist Sands Hall, and Nevada City environmental writer Jordan Fisher Smith will each share their own work, then offer a passage from a favorite writer sustaining them through this time. The program begins Friday, January 20th at 7 p.m. at The Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley. Advance tickets are available at this link: https://theopenbook.yapsody.com/event/index/59294/yuba-lit

In addition to these three acclaimed readers, poet/nonfiction writer Angela Sells and Open Book proprietor Will Dane will offer a short dialogue. The evening will also feature flash-readings from audience members whose work responds to the prompt, “AFTER THE ELECTION.” Any audience member who brings a poem or a page they feel responds to that topic will be given a raffle ticket; ten readers will be drawn from the raffle, and given the mike to read their work.

Yuba Lit: UNITED WE STAND starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 20th at The Open Book, 671 Maltman Dr., Grass Valley. Fifty percent of the $5-$10 sliding scale cover (no one turned away for lack of funds) will benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center. Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters will offer coffee, tea, and fresh food for sale. Yuba Lit will serve local wine from Nevada City Winery and Szabo Winery at intermission.

More on Yuba Lit’s UNITED WE STAND Readers:

sandshall
SANDS HALL is a writer, theatre artist, professor, and musician. Her work includes the novel, Catching Heaven; a book of writing essays and exercises, Tools of the Writers Craft; the plays Fair Use and Little Women (an adaptation of the Alcott novel); essays and short stories; and a CD of her original songs, Rustler’s Moon. She works with the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and spends each fall in Lancaster, PA, teaching English and creative writing at Franklin & Marshall College. The rest of the year she lives in Nevada City, CA. At Yuba Lit, she will read from her feminist novel-in-progress. http://www.sandshall.com

jordanfishersmith

A former park and wilderness ranger, JORDAN FISHER SMITH is the author of Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight Over Controlling Nature, which was recently long-listed for the prestigious PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Booklist describes Smith as “a galvanizing storyteller fluent in the conflict between environmental science and politics.” His first book, Nature Noir, was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of 2005 pick, and an Audubon Magazine Editor’s Choice. Smith’s magazine work has appeared in TIME.com, Men’s Journal, Aeon, Discover, and elsewhere, and been nominated for awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He lives in Nevada City.

Indigo.jpg
Sacramento poet and playwright INDIGO MOOR won the Cave Canem prize for his second book of poetry, Through the Stonecutter’s Window. U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey has said of Moor’s first poetry collection, Tap-Root, “These are poems that tremble and ache with urgency as Moor longs for, returns to, leaves behind, and elegizes his South—a landscape of hardship, beauty, work, and the sweet music forged out of survival.” Three of his short plays, Harvest, Shuffling, and The Red and Yellow Quartet debuted at the 60 Million Plus Theatre’s Spring Playwright’s festival. His stageplay, Live! at the Excelsior, was a finalist for the Images Theatre Playwright Award and is being made into a feature film. Moor won the Indiana University Prize for Emerging Writers, and formerly served as Vice President of the Sacramento Poetry Center. He is currently at work on his third collection, In the Room of Thirsts & Hungers.

A community reading series celebrating great writing in the Sierra foothills, YUBA LIT launched September 2015 with a program featuring novelists Joshua Mohr and Christian Kiefer, and poet Molly Fisk. Subsequent Yuba Lits have featured novelists Janis Cooke Newman, Louis B. Jones, and Josh Weil, memoirists Frances Stroh and Cris Mulvey, and poets Indigo Moor and Eugene Berson among many other readers, consistently drawing robust audiences.

Fifty percent of Yuba Lit’s January proceeds benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Yuba Lit is produced and hosted by Nevada City memoirist and fiction writer Rachel Howard and co-produced by poet Angela Sells. If you’d like to volunteer or join our mailing list, please email Rachel at rachel (dot) howard (at) gmail (dot) com. You can learn more about Rachel at http://www.rachelhoward.com.

Yuba Lit’s website is http://www.yubalit.org. You can keep in touch with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yubalit.

Thanks to our home venue, The Open Book, and to Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters. Visit http://www.splcenter.org to learn more about our beneficiary, the Southern Poverty Law Center.

January 20th: Special Yuba Lit: UNITED WE STAND

Dear Friends in literature,

Some of my favorite Yuba Lit moments happen not when the esteemed readers share their work on the stage, but when we—the audience members, the flash readers, the literature-loving community—get to know each other during intermission and after the show.

At the close of November’s Yuba Lit, held a week and two days after the election, an audience member approached to say she was uncomfortable with the plans I’d announced for January’s Yuba Lit: A slate of writers whose readings will uphold values we’ll stand up for during the Trump presidency. These values include diversity, freedom of religion, care for the environment, gender equality, and compassion for all. This audience member worried that such a program would be divisive, and would exclude Trump supporters. She appreciated Yuba Lit and worried that the series should remain apolitical.

As I shared with this audience member, I thought long and hard on her concerns before announcing this program. I’ve continued to think on her concerns since. A number of eternally challenging questions come to mind, ranging from the role of art and literature in society, to where the line should be drawn between reconciliation and appeasement. One thing to me is clear: UNITED WE STAND: Writers Respond to Trump is in spirit an inclusive event, and its values transcend politics. I hope anyone who loves literature and supports diversity, freedom of religion, care for the environment, gender equality, and compassion for all will come.

I could not be more thrilled about our lineup. Please take note, save the date (note: a FRIDAY rather than our usual Thursday, to coordinate with the stellar Sierra Writers Conference), and invite your literature-loving friends:

FRIDAY, January 20th, 7:30 p.m., at The Open Book, 671 Maltman Dr., Grass Valley

A Special Yuba Lit
UNITED WE STAND:
Writers Respond to Trump
FEATURING:
Poet INDIGO MOOR
Novelist SANDS HALL
Environmental writer JORDAN FISHER SMITH
Poet ANGELA SELLS and
Owner of The Open Book, WILL DANE

SPECIAL AUDIENCE FLASH-READING:
Your responses to the prompt, “AFTER THE ELECTION”

$10 at the door; fifty percent benefits the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I hope this evening of thoughtful and thought-provoking readings will serve a dual purpose, helping us to connect and organize in defense of these values, and providing a venue for open-hearted dialogue. As we all know, there is much of staggering consequence demanding daily response. Already Trump has appointed the head of a White Nationalist website as his chief White House advisor. Already he has named a climate change denier and ally of the fossil fuel industry the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Already groups attacking people of color and Muslims have been emboldened by Trump’s rhetoric—even in our backyard, as evidenced by the letter sent to the Islamic Center of Davis threatening, “He is going to do to you what Hitler did to the Jews.”

Since November’s Yuba Lit, I have thought often about another conversation from that evening. During intermission, a much-appreciated regular attendee gave me a hug, then said she had voted for Trump. We had a difficult, delicate conversation about Trump’s proposal for the government to register Muslims. This audience member supported the proposal; I did not. The discussion was heated. At the end, we were no closer to agreement. But the audience member stayed. Was that conversation a first step towards possible understanding, or futile for us both? I don’t know. But I am grateful to her for staying. At one point she confessed that she had moved from the Bay Area to Nevada County to get away from “certain kinds of people”—people, I deduce, at least in some way like me. I don’t believe we really can “get away from each other.” Nor would I want that. So I am glad that Yuba Lit brought us together.

Whatever our discussions may bring, I have faith in the act of peacefully gathering in the name of all that we love. I believe that literary writers serve a unique role in society, one dedicated to truth and understanding. And I greatly look forward to what these fine writers will share at the next Yuba Lit.

Yours in the love of literature and community,
Rachel

PS: I’d like to pass on a few recent writings and radio shows, several literature-related, that I’ve found useful and eye-opening since the election. If you’d like to send on your favorite post-election readings, I would love to receive them. Reply to yubalit@gmail.com. I will gather all recommended readings—ALL readings, of any political persuasion—into a list to be distributed to the audience on January 20th, and sent in an email to the Yuba Lit list. In this way we can break outside the “siloing into separate fact-universes,” as The Atlantic puts it, that the great majority of us have experienced through Facebook.

Here are some of my favorites:

https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/602/the-sun-comes-up

http://www.zyzzyva.org/2016/11/17/solidarity-a-letter-from-the-editors/#comment-94290

http://lithub.com/poetry-and-poets-in-a-time-of-crisis/

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/07/504486620/reporters-notebook-what-a-muslim-on-the-campaign-trail-in-2016