Yuba Lit is pleased to announce the three distinguished readers confirmed for our first-ever benefit reading, 7 p.m. Thursday, September 24th at The Open Book, 671 Maltman Dr., Grass Valley. The $5 cover, payable in cash at the door, benefits the Bear Yuba Land Trust. Wine will be served; donations benefiting the next production of Yuba Lit gratefully accepted.
Joshua Mohr, author of the recently released and much acclaimed novel All This Life, will be coming from San Francisco to read for us. All This Life begins during morning rush hour on the Golden Gate Bridge where, amidst the river of metal and glass, a shocking event occurs. Those who witnessed it are left desperately looking for answers, most notably one man and his son Jake, who captured the event and uploaded it to the internet for all the world to experience. As the media swarms over the story, Jake will face the ramifications of his actions as he learns the perils of our modern disconnect between the real world and the world we create on line. Publisher’s Weekly gave All This Life a rare starred review, raving “Mohr’s narrative is by turns heartrending and humorous, with never a dull moment. Readers will love this cast of characters.” Fellow fiction writer Sam Lipsyte says, “Joshua Mohr always writes with honestly, humor, and compassion about modern conditions, but in All This Life, with so many wonderful characters, he tests his reach with winning results. All This Life is a rich tapestry of human feeling.” Mohr is the author of four previous novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He teaches in the MFA program of the University of San Francisco.
Nevada City treasure Molly Fisk is, in her own words, a “poet, radio commentator, life coach, writing teacher, painter of barns and mason jars full of water, mentor, speaker, Feminist with a capital F, political activist, sister, aunt, cousin, godmother, honorary grandparent, not-very-old elder, swimmer, former banker, one-time sweater designer, long-walk taker, rearranger of furniture, color maven, nature lover.” She is the author of the poetry collections The More Difficult Beauty, Listening to Winter, and Terrain, and the poet laureate of KVMR 89.5. Her radio commentaries are collected in Using Your Turn Signal Promotes World Peace: More Observations from a Working Poet, and Blow-Drying a Chicken: Observations from a Working Poet. The Poetry Foundation says, “Fisk probes transitional periods in family life with clarity and wry humor” and fellow poet Dorianne Laux has commented, “Whether coming to terms with middle age, an abusive childhood, or pondering the ‘conspiracy’ of the Truckee River’s ‘ten thousand drops’, Molly Fisk’s careful eye takes it in. This poet braves the more difficult places and in doing so reveals the world’s simple truths.” Fisk’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Marin Arts Council, and the California Arts Council as well as a Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize in Poetry, a Dogwood Prize, a Billee Murray Denny Prize. She will be reading new work.
Auburn resident Christian Kiefer will join us to read from his second novel, The Animals, published by W.W. Norton this past March. The Animals follows Bill Reed, who manages a wildlife sanctuary in rural Idaho, caring for injured animals—raptors, a wolf, and his beloved bear, Majer—that are unable to survive in the wild. Seemingly rid of his troubled past, Bill hopes to marry the local veterinarian and live a quiet life together, the promise of which is threatened when a childhood friend is released from prison. Suddenly forced to confront the secrets of his criminal youth, Bill battles fiercely to preserve the shelter that protects these wounded animals and to keep hidden his turbulent, even dangerous, history. Publisher’s Weekly called The Animals “mesmerizing” and described it as “a thrilling story line that builds in momentum to an inevitable denouement, paced by prose that’s poetic without ever succumbing to preciousness,” adding, “This is a compelling, thoughtful novel.” Kiefer was recently a fellow at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and has also taught at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.
In addition to these readers, audience members are encouraged to bring a page or a poem for our lightning round of opening readers. Five flash poem-or-page readers will be chosen by raffle and given the mike for three minutes each.
The next Yuba Lit reading will be held in November. Stay tuned for the lineup of readers and more information. If you’d like to volunteer or join our mailing list, please email Rachel Howard at rachel (dot) howard (at) gmail (dot) com. Please join us to celebrate great writing at Yuba Lit.