The authors of our 7 Fall chapbooks for 2017 will read from their new work. The chapbooks will be available at Laurel Books.
About the authors:
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.
Frederick Speers grew up in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, and he has since lived in Washington D.C., Boston, Amsterdam, New York City, the Bay Area, and Denver, where he lives now with his husband and their Jack Russell Terrier. Fred is the founding editor of Jam Tarts Literary Magazine, and the first recipient of the Fitzpatrick/Thoreau Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. A graduate of Boston University’s Creative Writing Program, Fred has since worked as an editor for nearly two decades, for both high tech companies and publishers, including Oxford University Press, where he published, among other books, the second edition of Oxford’s Anthology of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry. Fred’s own poetry has appeared in a handful of journals, and So Far Afield is his first collection.
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.
Ayodele Nzinga Bio: When I was little my mother asked me what I wanted to be and then told me that it was impossible. She knew there was a story already written for me. I didn’t like that story. I did not listen to it, so it never had a chance to limit me, I am the horse eater’s child, with eyes for tomorrow. I write my reality. I am in love with the power of words and the way they hide their role in creating reality. Strung together, words create narratives – whole worlds live inside the words, multiverses reside within the stories they compose. I am a writer drunk off story painting my world with words as the medium. I make theater and plot the trajectory of tomorrow from West Oakland CA, the center of my artistic universe, where I live with a tribe of unlikely magicians who only go forward.
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.
Miah Jeffra is from Baltimore, and the South, in general. He holds degrees from the California Institute of the Arts, San Francisco State University and Oglethorpe University. He has been awarded the New Millennium Fiction Prize, The Sidney Lanier Prize for Fiction and the Clark-Gross Novel Award; a finalist for the Arcadia Prize in nonfiction and New Letters Fiction Prize; a Lambda Literary Fellowship in nonfiction; and residencies from Arteles, Red Gate, Ragdale and The Hub City Writers Project. Jeffra serves as editor of Foglifter Press, and teaches writing, rhetoric and cultural studies at Santa Clara University and San Francisco Art Institute. He lives in San Francisco with his husband and roommates, both human and canine. He dances every day.
Music by Azuah:
Azuah’s music weaves roots in alternative folk and soul with a poet's sensibility and an unforgettable voice to create an infectious sound all her own. A Bay Area native, she has played all over the West Coast from the Roxy in Los Angeles to stages in Oakland and San Francisco. Known for her evocative lyrics and haunting melodies, Azuah captures the listener’s ear from first note to last strum with a sound that can only come from the depths of an old soul.