Launch of Spicer's The Wasps and Robert Andrew Perez's the field
Alley Cat Books
Come Saturday afternoon October 22, 2016 to Alley Cat Books on 24th Street in the Mission for a double celebration! SpeCt Books, with the cooperation of the Literary Estate of Jack Spicer, presents the first book publication of "The Wasps," with a new introduction written by poet and scholar Daniel Benjamin. For your pleasure Benjamin will read from his essay and put the mysterious Spicer tale into new relief. We are not really sure at this date if it was meant as perhas the first chapter of a novel, or a complete short story independent of Spicer's other work. SpeCt editors Peter Burghardt, Gillian Hamel, and Robert Andrew Perez will also be present to show off their new baby.
And then as if this was't excitement enough we are going to be celebrating Robert Andrew Perez's debut with Omnidawn, The Field. The author will be reading from and signing his book, an event for which fans have been clamouring for ages. The blurbs have been pouring in from all of my favorite poets, but Chris Nealon makes the link to Spicer clear (and so this event makes perfect sense): "I can’t think of many contemporary poets who have so inventively taken up the tools Jack Spicer left lying around for us, but in The Field Robert Andrew Perez reminds us that poems can be games, can be riddles; that a book of poetry can read like a book of activities (“fill this box with stars”). But these poems are after the Beatles, after disco, after hip-hop and after grunge, after reality TV, after feminism, after psychedelia, after queer theory, after #YOLO, after AIDS. They are more Ovidian than Spicer was — "the void dissembles increments of blue / at itself” — and more trippy. They are deeply Californian poems, but you can take them with you anywhere: they are built to travel, sturdy and light. They let you watch them dancing in the bedroom, and napping on the beach. They’re both volatile and steady at the wheel, how does he do that? They are curious and fearless: “What is dark matter? What does dark matter?' "
Alley Cat Books welcomes the old and the new, as long as it's poetry and as long as it's great!
Hear our contributors read from pieces that explore what it means to live as writers and citizens in increasingly fluctuating and globalized landscapes.
Venue: 21+, wheelchair accessible
Our contributing artists for this event will include:
Alexandra Mattraw is an Oakland poet who curates a quarterly writing, art, and performance series called Lone Glen. Dancing Girl Press will be publishing her fourth chapbook in early 2017. You can find Alexandra’s recent poems, reviews, and interviews at VOLT, The Conversant, RealPoetik, Litseen, Barrelhouse, and The Volta, or visit her atalexandramattraw.wordpress.com.
𝐑𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐭 𝐀𝐧𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐰 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐳
Robert Andrew Perez is a poet living in Berkeley. He is an associate editor & book designer for speCt!, an artbook press that prints small-batch single-author chapbooks & the magazine Oar out in Oakland, where he also curates readings.Born in Manila & raised in the sprawling outeredges of Los Angeles County, he moved to the Bay Area to receive his BA from Berkeley & MFA from Saint Mary's College of California, where he occasionally teaches. He is an alum of the Lambda Literary fellowship & a recipient of the Lannan Literary Award for poetry. His poetry has appeared in print & online in publications such as DIAGRAM, The Awl, The Laurel Review & The Cortland Review. Recently his poetry was featured in Public Pool and is forthcoming in Eleven-Eleven. His first collection, the field, is out fall 2016 from Omnidawn in their pocket book series. He is currently writing a movie about a divorce and wine tasting; it's a comedy.
Linda Norton is the author of THE PUBLIC GARDENS: POEMS AND HISTORY (Pressed Wafer, 2011; with an introduction by Fanny Howe. She received a Creative Work Fund grant in 2014. Her next book, WITE-OUT, will be published in the fall of 2017.
Tom Pyun was a 2015 VONA/Voices Fellow. His creative nonfiction has appeared in The Rumpus, Reed Magazine, and Blue Mesa Review. His essay, "Mothers Always Know," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net 2015. He's currently at work on his first novel about international gay surrogacy and adoption.
I'm a Brooklyn-born, Vancouver-raised, Oakland-based poetry, fiction and sci-fi nerd. My Caribbean parents are still figuring me out. You will have my heart forever if you want to discuss the following topics: Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, running, Jamaican food, Angela Basset's arms in "What's Love Got to Do With It", and/or resting. My work has most recently appeared in James Franco Review, 14 Hills, and The Caribbean Writer.
Founder, AfroSurreal Writers Workshop
I'm passionate about weird, strange, or surreal art!
Deborah K. Steinberg’s writing has been published in Devilfish Review, Necessary Fiction, great weather for MEDIA, Monkeybicycle, and other journals. She is the fiction editor at Red Bridge Press and Rivet: the Journal of Writing that Risks. Deborah lives in San Francisco, where she works as a freelance editor, facilitates writing workshops with a focus on healing, and sings in the vocal ensemble Conspiracy of Venus. http://deborahsteinberg.wordpress.com/
Moe's Books in Berkeley
Friday, October 14, 7:30 pm
Featuring our Fall 2016 Omnidawn authors
reading from their new books
MOLLY BENDALL will read from WATCHFUL
Molly Bendall is the author four previous collections of poetry, After Estrangement, Dark Summer, Ariadne’s Island, and Under the Quick. She also has a co-authored with the poet Gail Wronsky, Bling & Fringe from What Books. Her poems and translations have appeared in many anthologies, including American Hybrid and Poems for the Millenium. She has won the Eunice Tietjens Prize from Poetry, The Lynda Hull Award from Denver Quarterly, and two Pushcart Prizes. Currently she teaches at the University of Southern California.
ELENA KARINA BYRNE will read from SQUANDER
Elena Karina Byrne's previous poetry books include The Flammable Bird (Zoo Press) and MASQUE (Tupelo Press). She is currently completing an essay collection: Voyeur Hour: Meditations on Poetry, Art and Desire. A Pushcart Prize winner, her publications include Best American Poetry, Yale Review, Paris Review, APR, Poetry, Verse, Kenyon Review, Volt, TriQuarterly, Denver Quarterly. Former Regional Director of the Poetry Society of America, Elena Karina Byrne is Poetry Consultant for The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Ruskin Art Club's Literary Programs Director, and one of the final judges for the Kate/Kingsley Tufts Prizes in Poetry.
JENNIFER S. CHENG will read from HOUSE A
(selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize)
Jennifer S. Cheng is a poet and essayist with MFA degrees from the University of Iowa and San Francisco State University and a BA from Brown University. A US Fulbright scholar, Kundiman fellow, and Pushcart Prize nominee, she is the author of an image-text chapbook, Invocation: An Essay (New Michigan Press), and her writing appears in Tin House, AGNI, Mid-American Review, DIAGRAM, Tarpaulin Sky, The Volta and elsewhere. Having grown up in Texas, Hong Kong, and Connecticut, she currently lives in San Francisco. www.jenniferscheng.com.
REBECCA GAYDOS will read from GÜERA
Rebecca Gaydos was born in Santa Barbara, California, where her mother and father worked as professional ballet dancers. At UC Berkeley, she won the Eisner Prize in Poetry and earned her Ph.D. in English. She has taught literature and writing at Diablo Valley College, San Quentin State Prison, and UC Berkeley. Currently, in addition to writing poetry, she is editing an unpublished novella by poet Larry Eigner and completing a scholarly book on the significance of technoscientific thought in post-World War II American poetry.
MARTHA RONK will read from OCULAR PROOF
Martha Ronk is the author of 11 books of poetry and one book of short stories, Glass Grapes. Her most recent poetry books include Transfer of Qualities, Omnidawn 2013, long-listed for the National Book Award and Vertigo, Coffeehouse Press, 2007, winner of the National Poetry Series. She has had several artist residences at Djerassi and MacDowell, won a National Endowment Grant, and the Lynda Hull Poetry Award. Her PhD is in Renaissance literature and she has been a faculty member at Occidental College in Los Angeles and during the fall 2015 at Otis College of Art and Design.
JOHN WILKINSON will read from GHOST NETS
John Wilkinson is an English poet teaching at the University of Chicago. Until 2005 he worked in mental health services in London, the industrial Midlands and South Wales. He has published ten full-length books of poetry in the UK and a selected poems, Schedule of Unrest. Ghost Nets is his first book of new poems to be published in the US.
ROBERT ANDREW PEREZ will read from THE FIELD
Robert Andrew Perez lives in Berkeley. He is an associate editor for speCt!, a letterpress imprint based out of Oakland, where he also curates readings. He is a recipient of a Lannan prize and a Lambda Literary fellow. Recent work can be found in The Awl, Omniverse, DIAGRAM and The Laurel Review.
LAURA MORIARTY will present the new translation of
WHITE DECIMAL by JEAN DAIVE
on behalf of NORMA COLE
Laura Moriarty has published eleven books of poetry, a short novel, Cunning (Sputyen Duyvil 2000), and a novel of science fiction, Ultravioleta (Atelos 2006). She has been a very active member of the Bay Area community for 25 years, has traveled extensively to do readings and workshops, has had her work translated into half a dozen languages, has taught at Mills College, Naropa University and Otis Art Institute, and has been a nonprofit literary organization director for 20 of those years. Her work in nonprofit literary organizations include her current position as the Deputy Director of Small Press Distribution, and her previous position as the Archives Director for the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University from 1986 - 1997. She received a Poetry Center Book Award in 1984 for Persia (Chance Additions). She has also been awarded a Gerbode Foundation grant, a residency at the Foundation Royaumont in France and a New Langton Arts Award in Literature.
If it wasn't a gold dust woman waiting at your door, San Francisco, who was it? Who could it have been, golden gate gamblers? Could it have been The Poetry Brothel herself calling out over and over for you into the fog? We're banking on it, and we're counting on you, San Francisco, to meet her once again at Slide, where she will show you something wonderful. The evening will feature the Sour Mash Hug Band, burly q cuties Harvest King and Edie Eve, and your featured reader Robert Andrew Perez, along with a bevy of poetry whores who are ready to help you find every beautiful thing you've ever lost inside you.
The Hydra #5: Experimental, Flash and Science Fiction
Presented by ABBW
Join us for the Association of Black and Brown Writers' (Nomadic Press') FIFTH experimental, flash, and science fiction reading series at the beautiful Woods Bar & Brewery on 17th and Telegraph in Uptown Oakland.
This month features the ever-so talented Stephen Jamal Leeper, and our Outsider of the Month is a writer with one of the best singing voices in town, Robert Andrew Andres Perez; five (5) open mic slots! Emceed by Elwin Michael Cotman and Vernon Keeve III. Music by the ever-so-talented Oakland Future Trio.
Donations will be called for throughout the night, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
At one time it was believed that Hercules downed the six-headed beast, discovering in the process that the removal of one head meant that two would grow in its place. It was only with help from Iolaus that the death of the beast was exposed in the marrying of decapitation and cauterization, so that more heads could not sprout. Hercules buried the taproot of the beast under a huge rock, known today as Mount Diablo.
For 27 centuries, the Hydra has remained dormant, until the 1940s when copious amounts of poetry began to stir the sleeping heart of the behemoth, and slowly but surely the heads of the beast began to grow back despite the sealed wounds.
Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delaney, and Ursula K. Le Guin were knighted as keepers of the beast, but the trio’s powers were greatly weakened with the passing of Octavia.
Ursula recently said, “with the popularity of poetry readings in the Bay Area the heads of the beast are growing back at an alarming rate, and the only thing that will slow down the beast is the inclusion of more fiction in the literary scene. We need stories of mythical beasts stronger than the Hydra. We need stories of worlds that is not the world it remembers, or maybe stories of lands the Hydra knows all too well. We need stories of heroes that can destroy it, and villians greater than it. We need experimental stories, we need short stories, we need fiction. Fiction is the only thing that will down the beast for once and for all. Counteract the poetry that is making the beast grow, and do it now.”
With all that being said, we would like to invite you all to The Association of Black and Brown Writers' (Nomadic Press') The Hydra: A Reading Series of Experimental, Flash, and Science Fiction. This event will come to you on the last Tuesday of every month at Woods Bar & Brewery in Uptown Oakland.
Hydra will always have a featured reader who writes within the genre of fiction, as well as, an Outsider of the Month. The Outsider of the Month is someone who usually writes what cannot be classified as fiction, but who will be asked to write a piece of fiction and share it with the audience. We’ve learned that this sacrifice is one that slows down the growth of the heads the most.
There will also 5 slots available for sacrificial (open-mic) readings (4 minutes per reading), so come out to listen, to share, to join us in ceremony.
PSA: This series is still not affiliated with H.Y.D.R.A. the criminal organization, but they want in.