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Uptown Fridays Presents: Nomadic Press Authors at First Fridays

Oakland First Fridays! Join us for our weekly Uptown Fridays reading series featuring readings by a series of Nomadic Press Authors! Readings by Rebekah Eppley,Maria Del Carmen Cortez, Norma Smith, Frazier, and René Vaz.

To help pay for our space and our artists and ensure that we can continue our robust programming series, we are calling for $10 at the door (plus whatever else you may be able to give), but no one turned away for lack of funds. Nomadic Press books, as always, will be for sale at the event. 

Red wine and Red Bay coffee will be available.

Information about the performers:

Maria del Carmen Cortez (Carmen) is an Herbalist, Permaculturalist and Landscape Designer. Her passions are gardening, growing her own medicine, and creating art. She was born in Purepero, in the state of Michoacan, Mexico with an extended family of storytellers who also instilled in her a love of plant medicine. She grew up as a migrant farm worker in the San Joaquin Valley and currently lives in Oakland.

Rebekah Eppley holds a Master’s of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, a Master’s in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and a BFA in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College. She published a chapter in an oral history collection, Nine Lives, Uncovering the Wealth of Life Stories Within our Nursing Homes and her fiction and poetry have appeared in magazines such as the Santa Clara Review, Watchword Press and Lodestar Quarterly. She lives in Oakland with her wife, Carmen Cortez, and works as a librarian at the Dimond Branch of the Oakland Public Library. She thinks being a librarian is the best job in the world.

Norma Smith has led lives as a journalist, as a translator/interpreter, as a social researcher, educator, editor, and writing coach. She spent many years working in hospitals, including some years as a union steward. Norma has been a community activist and organizer since she was a teenager, principally in the arena of anti-racism and smashing white supremacy. She has coordinated conferences, panels, events, and study groups. Norma has been writing poetry and stories since about the time she learned to read, more than sixty years ago. Her writing has been published in literary, political, and academic journals. She is interested in social power dynamics. Including love.

Soma Mei Sheng Frazier is a biracial American author living in Oakland, California. With a new chapbook forthcoming from Nomadic Press in March 2016, her debut fiction collection, Collateral Damage: A Triptych, earned praise from Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Nikki Giovanni, Antonya Nelson, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Molly Giles and others and won the 2013 RopeWalk Press Editor's Fiction Chapbook Contest. Frazier’s work has also been singled out by Robert Olen Butler, who read her short fiction chapbook;[1] Jim Shepard, Frederick Barthelme and others. She has been recognized by established publications including Zoetrope, ZYZZYVA and Glimmer Train - for which, after earning first place in a contest, she wrote this brief article on literary craft - as well as the Mississippi Review,[2] where her first published story appeared in the 2009 MR Prize issue. She is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and one of her award-winning short fiction pieces, which first appeared in Carve Magazine, was named a Notable Story by the storySouth Million Writers Award authors.[3] Frazier serves as Assistant Professor and Chair at Cogswell Polytechnical College. Previously, she served as Associate Director of Foundation and Government Support at KQED, a San Francisco Bay Area public media source, and held the dual role of Literary Arts Chair and Director of Institutional Advancement at Oakland School for the Arts where she served as Senior Editor for Enizagam, a publication that she overhauled in 2011 to become the first nationally-known literary journal written by and for adults, but published by an urban secondary school staff.[4] Her most recent literary project is COG, a multimedia publication that she launched with her student staff at Cogswell Polytechnical College.

René Vaz is a Bay Area writer. He curates the reading series Voz Sin Tinta and Uptown Fridays. He is a lecturer at San Francisco State University for the Latino Studies department and is committed to providing space for POC/ marginalized voices. He holds an M.A. and M.F.A. in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. 

Michael Holmes writes songs on guitar. He has a soft spot for rituals of redefinition- new poetry, punk rock, subversive musical theater, and nontraditional music, street art. He is honored to be a part of this Nomadic Press event.