Each month, emerging and established women writers share their work, and go on to choose next month’s readers. Through this curation-by-evolution process we’ve come into contact with some of the best writers in the Bay Area, and hosted evenings that are as unpredictable as they are unforgettable.
Hazel is a place for experimentation, for support and community, for writers and literature lovers of all kinds to bump into new work and new ideas. We’re also invested in creating a space that represents and celebrates the diverse ethnicity, sexuality, ability, age, and form of the Bay Area’s artists.
Hazel started in Erica Eller’s living room in the Mission, and was named in honor of her grandmother, and though it has grown in size, and changed locations in the intervening years, we’ve kept the living room feeling alive through all of Hazel’s iterations, creating an intimate space that becomes electric with dazzling and daring new work.
Come see for yourself, why don’t you?
Meet the Organizers
Curation looks different at Hazel. While each month we reserve a slot for a reader of our choice, our involvement in each month’s lineup is a delicate, but active one: ensuring that our readers represent as diverse and complementary a group as possible.
Sara Marinelli is an educator, writer, and translator based in San Francisco. She grew up in Italy, where she earned her PhD in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Rome, “La Sapienza.” After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at UC Santa Cruz, in 2007, Sara decided to make the Bay Area her home. She currently teaches Comparative Literature at the University of San Francisco and in the Humanities Department at San Francisco State University. In Italy, Sara has published articles on contemporary literature, authored a volume on 20th century British women writers, and co-edited an anthology on women artists and migration. Sara is also a translator: she has translated several non-fiction books into Italian, and the novella by Chris Abani, Song for Night. Here, she is working on her fiction in English, and completed a novel manuscript for her MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University; an excerpt from her novel in progress is published in New American Writing 32 (2014). Sara has also been experimenting with video-documentary and narration in film; she wrote and produced her short film PASSAGE, and served as co-producer and story editor for the documentary ALFREDO’S FIRE, at Open Eye Pictures. Sara was Artist in Residence at the Vermont Studio Center (2013) and at Byrdcliffe Art Colony (2014).
Shruti Swamy lives and writes in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. Her work has been published in New American Writing, Black Warrior Review, Connu and Joyland Magazine. She has an MFA in fiction from San Francisco State, and in 2012 was named Vassar College’s 50th W.K. Rose Scholar. Find her work online at shrutiswamy.com.
Mei Li Ooi has been making things up since her youth in her hometown of Penang, Malaysia. These days, she may be spotted scribbling in notebooks in the buses and cafes of San Francisco. Some of those scribblings have made their way into Flashquake, Happy, Massachussetts Review, and Gulf Coast. Most have ended up in recycling bins.
Meet the Founder
Writer and literary aficionado Erica Eller created the initial concept for the Hazel Reading Series in 2012. She coordinated and worked with the current organizers in San Francisco until February of 2014, when she went abroad to teach English. In February 2014, she also represented the series at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in Seattle in a panel about women’s grassroots organizing and networking. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing and one in English Literature from San Francisco State University. Her fiction has appeared in Everyday Genius and The Otolith. She currently lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey.