Sunday, December 15th, 2013
5 to 7 pm
1564 Market St.
- Miriam Bird Greenberg invited by L.D. Blue
- Ahmunet Jessica Jordan invited by Jezebel Delilah X
- Lydia Fitzpatrick invited by Kate Petersen
- Allison Landa invited by Melanie Hilario
- Olivia Hoffman invited by Soma Mei Sheng Frazier
- Roxane Beth Johnson guest reader of the Hazel Reading Series
Bios of this month’s readers:
Guest Reader Roxane Beth Johnson earned an MFA from San Francisco State University. She is the author of Jubilee (2006), chosen by Philip Levine for the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry from Anhinga Press, and Black Crow Dress (2013). Of African American and Italian heritage, Johnson has said that her early literary influences were the Bible and church hymns; later influences include the poets Anne Sexton, Wallace Stevens, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Jubilee paints a devastating portrait of Johnson’s family and childhood, often employing child speakers to articulate unsayable truths. In awarding the prize, Philip Levine commented: “These luminous poems depict a world I never knew—or knew as a child and since forgot—and they do so with the authority of a totally mature voice. The artistry that unifies this collection is so perfect it is almost invisible. Altogether an amazing debut.” Johnson has won an AWP Prize in Poetry and a Pushcart Prize, 2007. She has received scholarships/fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Cave Canem, The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and San Francisco Arts Commission. Johnson’s work has appeared in the Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Image, Callaloo, Beloit Poetry Journal, ZYZZYVA, Chelsea, and elsewhere.
Miriam Bird Greenberg‘s work has appeared in Poetry, Ninth Letter, and the Sycamore Review, and she’s the author of two chapbooks: All night in the new country (Sixteen Rivers Press) and Pact-Blood, Fever Grass(Ricochet Editions). She’s held fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Poetry Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. She lives in Berkeley and teaches ESL, though she’s also ridden freight trains across the United States, deckhanded aboard sailboats, and hitchhiked on four continents.
Ahmunet Jessica Jordon is a Black, queer poet, performer, and holistic practitioner, from the East Coast. She is committed to sharing raw stories of the Black experience to ignite change, transformation, and healing through art. Ahmunet’s main focuses are punchy poetic prose narratives investigating the somatic experience of love, space, and spirituality, which can be found in her chapbook, SALTY. In addition to writing, in 2011 Jordon co created the performance art group, Griot Noir, an Afrocentric feminist storytelling group that performs black narratives with the themes of mental health, colorism, and the struggle of living in a capitalistic and patriarchal society. Jordon holds an MFA in Writing and Consciousness from The California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
Lydia Fitzpatrick received her MFA in 2010 from the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award for short fiction and a Colby Fellowship. Since graduating, she’s been awarded the 2010-2011 Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and a 2012 Elizabeth George Foundation Grant. She’s currently a Stegner fellow in fiction at Stanford, where she’s working on a novel. Her fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, Mid-American Review and Opium.
Allison Landa’s memoir, BEARDED LADY, is forthcoming in Spring 2014 from Pen-L Publishing. Her work has been featured in Salon Magazine, Clean Sheets, Word Riot, Prick of the Spindle and Swill Magazine, among other venues. She has held residencies at Playa Summer Lake, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony and The Julia and David White Artists’ Colony and received an MFA in creative writing from St. Mary’s College of California. Stalk her at www.allisonlanda.com.
Olivia Hoffman’s bio is forthcoming.