Nov 1: Half Moon

half moon

Thrilled to announce the readers and musician for our second event of the 2014-15 season, the first Saturday in November.

$5 suggested donation. No one turned away due to lack of funds. Light refreshments to follow reading. Doors at 7:30, reading at 8.

Wear your favorite socks. RSVP here.

Our readers:

CLAIRE CHAFEE’s works include Whisper from the Book of Etiquette, Darwin’s Finches, Why We Have a Body, Even Among These Rocks and Five Women on a Hill in Spain. Her work has been produced at Magic Theatre in San Francisco, the off-Broadway Judith Anderson Theatre, and in numerous theaters around the country. She recently won the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award for her latest play “FULL/SELF”. Other awards include a Drama-Logue Award, the Bay Area Critics’ Circle Award, and the Oppenheimer Award in New York for Best Emerging Playwright. Her work has been published by Penguin Books, Smith & Kraus (Women Playwrights: The Best Plays of 1993), Alexandra Street Press, and the literary journals NuMuse and ZYZZYVA. Chafee holds an MFA from Brown University and earned her EdM in arts education from Harvard University.

HOLLIE HARDY can teach you how to survive anything. Her first collection of poetry, How to Take a Bullet, And Other Survival Poems has titles ruthlessly appropriated from The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook, and is available now from Punk Hostage Press. She is an adjunct English instructor at Berkeley City College and seasonal lecturer at San Francisco State University, where she also received her Masters of Fine Arts in Poetry. An active participant in the local Bay Area literary scene, Hardy co-hosts the popular monthly reading series, Saturday Night Special, An East Bay Open Mic. She is a core producer and venue coordinator for the Beast Crawl Literary Festival in Oakland, curator of Litquake’s Flight of Poets, and a former Editor-in-Chief of Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review. Her work has appeared in Eleven Eleven, sPARKLE & bLink, The Common, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, Parthenon West Review, One Ded Cow, Transfer, Milvia Street, and other journals. She lives in Oakland, California.

SARAH KOBRINSKY the current Poet Laureate of Emeryville, CA, was born in Canada, reared in North Dakota, seasoned in England, and tempered in California.

JACQUES J. RANCOURT was raised in Maine. His poems have appeared or will appear in New England Review, Kenyon Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Best New Poets 2014, among others. He has received a Wallace Stegner fellowship from Stanford University and the Halls Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He lives in Oakland, California.

ETHEL ROHAN is the author of two story collections, Goodnight Nobody and Cut Through the Bone, the former a finalist in the 2014 Indie Book Awards and the latter named a 2010 Notable Story Collection by The Story Prize. She is also the author of the chapbook Hard to Say. Her short e-book memoir, Out of Dublin, published from Shebooks, May, 2014. Winner of the 2013 Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award, her work has or will appear in The New York TimesWorld Literature TodayPEN America, Tin House Online, The Irish Times, BREVITY MagazinePost Road Magazine, and The Rumpus, among many others. She has reviewed books for New York Journal of Books, HTMLGiant, and elsewhere. She has guest-lectured and/or taught writing at Book Passage; San Francisco State University; the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto; and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival, among others. Most recently, she served on faculty alongside the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Jane Smiley, Edward Humes, Robert Olen Butler, and more, at the winter 2013 Abroad Writers’ Conference in Lismore Castle, Ireland. She received her MFA in fiction from Mills College, CA, 2004. Raised in Dublin, Ireland, Ethel Rohan now lives in San Francisco where she is a member of The Writers’ Grotto and PEN America.

AUSTIN SMITH grew up on a family dairy farm in Stephenson County, Illinois. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Yale Review, Sewanee Review, Pleiades, Poetry East, ZYZZYVA, Asheville Poetry Review, Midwest Quarterly, Lo-Ball, and New Orleans Review. His stories have appeared in Kenyon Review, Sewanee Review, Glimmer Train, and Epoch. He has published four collections of poetry: In the Silence of the Migrated Birds (Parallel Press), Wheat and Distance (Longhouse Press), Instructions for How to Put an Old Horse Down (Longhouse Press), Almanac (Princeton University Press). He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University.
with music by HAO TRAN

HAO TRAN is a budding poet and writer and has published in Milvia Street, Riverbabble, Ambush Review, and Door Knob and Body Paint.  He makes a living as a Science Manager with the US Forest Service to feed his hobbies including fly fishing and collecting guitars.  He plays a mix of traditional Spanish, Tarrega, Villa-Lobos, Flamenco by Paco Pena and Juan Serrano, and occasional Japanese and Vietnamese music.


September 6: Sun Salutation!



Thrilled to announce the readers and musician for our first event of the 2014-15 season, the first Saturday in September.

$5 suggested donation. No one turned away due to lack of funds. Light refreshments to follow reading. Doors at 7:30, reading at 8.

Wear your favorite socks. RSVP here.

Our readers:

BRITTANY BILLMEYER-FINN is an Oakland based poet, playwright, community organizer, arts educator and shopgirl. She is a co-curator of the bi-monthly interdisciplinary performance series, Manifest. You can find her work in some local rags such as her chapbook, Geraniums from Mondo Bummer, her poem “this tender heart” in Where Eagles Dare, and an essay, “Poethical Shopgirl” at the Poetic Labor Project. Her work has also been featured in Dusie issue #15. Her book the meshes, an exploration of identity in relation to art making as well as a documentation of the troubling & illuminating intersections of spectatorship, voyeurism and witness through the works of filmmaker Maya Deren is forthcoming from Black Radish Books in the Fall 2015 and a small artist book edition of the meshes is coming soon from Manifest Press.

ANDREW O. DUGAS‘s work has appeared in Instant City, LITNIMAGE, Mixer, the SoMa Literary Review, and many other places. His novel SLEEPWALKING IN PARADISE was published by Numina Press in 2014.

ZACK HABER is a poet who lives in West Oakland. He is the author of “Chapbook” (duendagape, 2013) and “if you want to be one of them playing in the streets…” (quiet lightning, 2014). He curates The Other Fabulous Reading Series in Berkeley and helps organize The East Bay Poetry Summit. Recent work appears in Where Eagles Dare and Textsound.

ALEXANDRA NAUGHTON is a writer living in the east bay. She wrote I will always be your whore love songs for billy corgan, published by punk hostage press. She edits be about zine and books and hosts That Lit podcast, as well as a poetry reading series. She is dead.

DAVID RODERICK’s first book, Blue Colonial, won the APR/Honickman Prize and was published jointly by the American Poetry Review and Copper Canyon Press in 2006. The book led to fellowships at the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. David was named the recipient of the 2007-2008 Amy Lowell Travelling Scholarship. The Americans, David’s second collection, was published as part of the Pitt Poetry Series in 2014. Shenandoah awarded David its annual James Boatwright III Prize for a sequence of poems from the book. A larger sample of poems won the 2012 Campbell Corner Poetry Prize, selected by Phillis Levin, Vijay Seshadri, and Elizabeth Spires. Natasha Trethewey says of The Americans, “The poet asks: Must nostalgia/walk like a prince through all our rooms? This lovely collection shows us a way to confront that question within ourselves.” Since completing his M.F.A. in poetry at the University of Massachusetts and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, David has taught creative writing and literature classes at Stanford, the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He currently teaches in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. David’s alter-ego hosts The Rumpus Late Nite Poetry Show. He lives in Greensboro with his wife, the poet Rachel Richardson, and their two daughters.

JASON SCHENHEIT is the founder and a EIC of the gorilla press. He has made over a thousand hand bound zines in the last couple years. He also just graduated with his MFA from SFSU and is slinging pick me ups at Peets Coffee for min wage. So that education was worth it. The govt is and has been breathing down his neck since he worked for a Nigerian Prince and actually made money. If you like him you should go to read zines for free, and then buy some zines. Support your local presses ’cause the techies don’t give a shit. And if they do they need to prove it.

With music by KARLYN DESTANO !

KARLYN DESTANO is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She writes about houses, cities, friendships, and about not becoming a nun. She sings and performs on guitar, slide guitar, sometimes piano, and sometimes viola. Her music has been called “sparse and candid.”

Announcing our 2014-15 readers



Announcing our 2014-15 Readers:

sun salutation

Brittany Billmeyer-Finn
Andrew O. Dugas
Zack Haber
Alexandra Naughton
David Roderick
Jason Schenheit
with music by Karlyn DeSteno

half moon

Claire Chafee
Hollie Hardy
Sarah Kobrinsky
Jacques Rancourt
Ethel Rohan
Austin Smith
with music by Hao Tran


Malachi Black
MK Chavez
Randall Potts
Mg Roberts
Deborah K. Steinberg
Siamak Vossoughi
with music by Sarah Carpenter

down dog

Channing Allen
Michele Bigley
Sharon Coleman
Courtney Moreno
Kate Petersen
Xan Roberti
Candy Shue
with music by Barry Ebner

Bernal Yoga Literary Series, June 7, 2014



Thrilled to announce the readers and musician for our final event of the 2013-14 season, the first Saturday in June.

$5 suggested donation. No one turned away due to lack of funds. Light refreshments to follow reading. Doors at 7:30, reading at 8.

Wear your favorite socks. RSVP Here.

Our readers:

Cassandra Dallett occupies Oakland, CA and writes of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared in Slip Stream, Sparkle and Blink, Rusty Truck, Hip Mama, and the Criminal Class Review, among other publications. Her first book of poetry, Wet Reckless, has just been published by Manic D. Press.

John W. Evans was born in Kansas and grew up in New York and Chicago. His memoir, Young Widower (University of Nebraska Press, 2014), won the 2013 River Teeth Book Prize. His poetry collection, The Consolations (Trio House Press, 2014), won the 2013 Trio Award. His poems and essays appear in Slate, The Missouri Review, Boston Review, ZYZZYVA, The Rumpus, and Poetry Daily, as well as the chapbooks, No Season (FWQ, 2011) and Zugzwang (RockSaw, 2009). After completing a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in poetry, John was a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, where he continues to teach creative writing today. He has worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bangladesh, a public school teacher in Chicago, and a college teacher in Romania. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two young sons.

Sean Labrador y Manzano is a single father, a poet of postcolonial eroticism, and independent scholar. He is the founder of Conversations at the Wartime Café, and the MFA Mixer. In August, he will be curating, a three-day symposium at CIIS, “From Trauma and Catharsis: Performing the Asian Avant Garde.” He believes in poetic justice: that one day soon he can pay all his bills (child support, student loans, etc) through writing.

SB Stokes‘ first book of poetry, A History of Broken Love Things, is out now from Punk Hostage Press. He has produced the blog MASS COMMUNICATIONS since 2004 and also can be found on YouTube and Tumblr. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is a founder, event producer and art director for Oakland’s free, annual literary event, Beast Crawl, which happens Saturday, July 12 this year.

William Taylor Jr. lives in San Francisco. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in such publications as Poesy, The Chiron Review and The New York Quarterly. He is the author of numerous books, including Words For Songs Never Written: New and Collected Poems, published by Centennial Press in 2007. His latest collection, The Hunger Season, was released by Sunnyoutside in 2009.  His latest collection, Broken When We Got Here, was released by Epic Rites Press in 2013.

Sarah Fran Wisby writes poetry, short fiction, memoir and essays, preferring always to deepen and subvert genre by way of the hybrid form. Her most recent book, The Heart’s Progress, was published on Valentine’s Day 2014 by Plain Wrap Press. Her previous book, Viva Loss, was published in 2008 by Small Desk Press. Her work can be found in Eleven Eleven Journal and Rumpus Women Volume 1, and heard on Invisible Cities Audio Tour #2: The Armada of Golden Dreams. She’s also been published in Instant City, Sparkle and Blink, Digital Artifact, and The Encyclopedia Project Volume 2, F—K, for which she was honored to write the entry for fuck. She performs her work all over the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, and was a Literary Death Match champion in December 2010.

and special musical guest:

Jessamyn Lynn was named after the author Jessamyn West. She has been singing since age 6 and asked her mom and dad for private voice lessons. Fast forward 20 years or so and she is releasing her first album of original songs, “Home” with the help of producer Raphael Mora and talented musicians Josh and Sean Collins with some other guest artists! This summer she will be touring up the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington State in support of her album.

April 5, 2014



Thrilled to announce the readers and musician for our next event, the first Saturday in April.

$5 suggested donation. No one turned away due to lack of funds. Light refreshments to follow reading. Doors at 7:30, reading at 8.

Wear your favorite socks. RSVP here.

Our readers:

MOLLY ANTOPOL is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and current Jones Lecturer. Her debut story collection, The UnAmericans, was recently published by W.W. Norton. She is a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and received her M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming on NPR’s This American Life and in One Story, Ecotone, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Mississippi Review Prize Stories and elsewhere. She lives in San Francisco, and is at work on a novel, The After Party, which will also be published by Norton.

KWAN BOOTH is an award winning journalist, creative writer and media strategist working at the intersection of communications, community, art and technology. Kwan is the cofounder of and House of Local consulting and a member of the Black Futurist Working Group. In addition to holding staff and contract positions at publications including 10 Best, Not For Tourists Guidebooks and The Oakland Post, he has created independent journalism projects with media organizations including and and won awards from The Society of Professional Journalists national organization and the Northern California Chapter. Kwan has helped a wide range of nonprofit and corporate clients, including Public Radio International, J Lab, Paypal and the Black Coalition on AIDS effectively integrate social media and online tools into their workflow. He’s led classes, presentations and panels on the emerging digital landscape, social and community media, online marketing and community management. In addition to journalism and media strategy, Kwan has produced several new media and text based creative projects. He is the creator of “Say I’m Different: The Black Other Project” and “Sit Next to a Black Person Month” and has creative writing published in “Beyond the Frontier: African American Poets for the 21st Century,” the Journal for Pan African Studies, and CHORUS, an anthology edited by Saul Williams published by MTV Books.

BRIAN KOMEI DEMPSTER is a Sansei (third-generation Japanese American). He received BAs in American Ethnic Studies and English from the University of Washington and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. His poems have been published in various journals and anthologies. Dempster is the editor of From Our Side of the Fence: Growing Up in America’s Concentration Camps, which received a 2007 Nisei Voices Award from the National Japanese American Historical Society. His debut book of poems, Topaz, was published by Four Way Books in fall 2013.  He is a professor of rhetoric and language and a faculty member of Asian Pacific American studies at the University of San Francisco.

EVAN KARP covers literary culture as a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and is a regular contributor to SF Weekly’s Exhibitionist blog. He is the founder and editor of Litseen and creator and host of Quiet Lightning, a monthly submission-based reading series that publishes each show as a book called sparkle & blink, which he also edits. In March, they published their fiftieth edition.

TOM KEALEY is the author of the story collection Thieves I’ve Known, winner of the 2012 Flannery O’Connor Award and named one of NPR’s 2013 Great Reads. He is also the author of The Creative Writing MFA Handbook. His stories have appeared in The Rumpus, Best American NonRequired, Glimmer Train, Story Quarterly, and Poets and Writers. Kealey is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, where he was a Stegner Fellow from 2001-2003. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001.

DONNA LAEMMLEN is the winner of the 2013 Able Muse Write Prize for Fiction. Her stories appear in Tin House online, Fourteen Hills, SmokeLong Quarterly, Able Muse, Penduline, Slice magazine, Switchback Literary Journal, the anthology Flash 101: Surviving the Fiction Apocalypse, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and teaches screenwriting and storytelling at the Academy of Art University.

MELISSA R. SIPIN is a writer from Carson, California. She won First Place in the 2013 March Glimmer Train Fiction Open and Honorable Mention in the 2013 September Glimmer Train Fiction Open. As a VONA/Voices Fellow and U.S. Navy wife, she splits her time writing on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. She blogs at and is cofounder of TAYO Literary Magazine.

~With music by~

ANNAH ANTI-PALINDROME is an Optical Sound-Smith, and queer/femme antagonist from Oakland, CA. Annah performs using a variety of different mediums including a Line 6 (DL4) looping system, kitchen utensils, gas-masks, raw eggs, blood pressure cuffs, found objects, her body (mostly her throat), and more! Discography: Ribcage Squat, 2007 White Knuckle Sonnets, 2009 Collection of Crutches, 2010 An(n)a(h)log: Compilation album w/ live radio interview, 2011 To obtain any of these albums, email requests to

Feb 1, 2014


We continue to celebrate our tenth year with another amazing list of readers joining us in the Bernal Yoga Studio the first Saturday in February.

$5 suggested donation. No one turned away due to lack of funds. Light refreshments to follow reading. Doors at 7:30, reading at 8. You won’t want to miss it!

Our readers:

Hugh Behm–Steinberg is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in creative writing at Stanford University and the recipient of an NEA fellowship. His books include The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press) and Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books), as well as several chapbooks including Sorcery (Dusie Chapbook Kollektiv) and Good Morning! (Deconstructed Artichoke Press). He is the author of two libretti: Terrible Things Will Happen But It’s Going to Be Okay: A Donner Party Opera with composer Guillermo Galindo, and a children’s opera based on the Chinese folktale, The Clever Wife, which was commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera for their Opera to Go series. He also collaborates on text/sound art projects with Matt Davignon, and is a member of The Crank Ensemble. He has taught at the University of Arizona and Stanford, and is a member of the graduate and undergraduate writing faculties at CCA, where he has taught courses in mentored study, narrative, book structure, Romanticism, science fiction and creative writing for the last 15 years. He also is the editor of Eleven Eleven, CCA’s journal of literature and art.

Caroline Goodwin was recently named San Mateo County’s first poet laureate. She is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in creative writing at Stanford. She teaches in the MFA Writing and the undergraduate Writing and Literature programs at California College of the Arts and is the faculty advisor for the college’s undergraduate literary journal, Humble Pie, and the HearSay Reading Series. A short collection entitled Text Me, Ishmael was recently published by the Literary Pocket Book series in Pontypridd, Wales, UK and her first full-length poetry collection, Trapline, is available from JackLeg Press in Chicago.

Kimberly Michelle Grey is a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University and lives in the SF Bay Area. Her work has appeared in Gulf Coast Review and The Paris-American, where it was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize. Her work is also forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Boston Review, A Public Space, and other publications.

Scott Lambridis has a BA in biology and an MFA from SF State. His debut novel – *The Many Raymond Days*, about a scientist who discovers the end of time – received the 2012 Dana Award, and is seeking publication. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Slice, Painted Bride, Cafe Irreal, Flash Fiction Funny, and other journals. He’s also co-founder of **, through which he co-hosts the Action Fiction! performance series.

Eric Raymond is a working writer in San Francisco. He was born in Daytona Beach and grew up in DeLand, Florida. He attended Stetson University in DeLand and the Bennington Writing Seminars in Bennington, Vermont. Confessions from a Dark Wood is his first novel. He lives in the Cole Valley neighborhood with his wife, Kim, and daughter, Ella.

Kai Carlson-Wee has rollerbladed professionally, surfed north of the Arctic Circle, and traveled across the country by freight train. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Linebreak, Best New Poets, Forklift Ohio, and The Missouri Review. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, he lives in San Francisco, California, and is a Jones Lecturer in poetry at Stanford University.

And musician Jade Way!

December 7, 2013


We continue to celebrate our tenth year with another amazing list of readers joining us in the Bernal Yoga Studio the first Saturday in December.

$5 suggested donation. No one turned away due to lack of funds. Light refreshments to follow reading. Doors at 7:30, reading at 8. You won’t want to miss it!

Our readers:

ANHVU BUCHANAN is the author of The Disordered (sunnyoutside press 2013) and Backhanded Compliments & Other Ways to Say I Love You (Works on Paper Press 2013). He is the recipient of the 2010 James D. Phelan Award  and also received an Individual Artists Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission. His poems have also appeared or are forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review, Cream City Review, Harpur Palate, The Journal, kill author, The Minnesota Review, Parthenon West Review, word for/ word, Vinyl Poetry, and ZYZZYVA. He received an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University and blogs for the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network. He currently is a Teaching Artist for WritersCorps.

HEATHER JUNE GIBBONS was born in Utah and grew up on an island in Washington State.  She earned an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2007, where she held  a Callen Graduate Scholarship. She has been the recipient of a Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, a Pavel Strut Poetry Fellowship from the Prague Summer Program, an Agha Shahid Ali Scholarship from the Fine Arts Work Center, and a university prize from the Academy of American Poets.   She is the author of the chapbook Flyover (Q Ave Press, 2012), and her poems appear in journals such as Boston ReviewGulf Coast, Forklift, OhioThe Southeast Review, The Cincinnati Review, Indiana Review,  Blackbird, New Ohio Review, and Drunken Boat.  She has taught at the University of Iowa and Purdue University, and is currently a lecturer in creative writing at San Francisco State University.

SCOTT HUTCHINS is a former Truman Capote fellow in the Wallace Stegner Program at Stanford University. His work has appeared inStoryQuarterlyFive Chapters, The Owls, The Rumpus, The New York Times, San Francisco Magazine and Esquire, and was recently set to music.  He is the recipient of two major Hopwood awards and the Andrea Beauchamp prize in short fiction.  In 2006 and 2010, he was an artist-in-residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. His novel A Working Theory of Love is forthcoming from The Penguin Press.

JESSE LOESBERG‘s poems have appeared in The Café Review, The Santa Barbara Review, The Clockhouse Review and on the web site of Poets Against War. His articles and essays have been published in The Casco Bay Weekly, Maine in Print and in the San Francisco Chronicle. He is a regular contributor to the Perspectives series on KQED-FM in San Francisco, and his short fiction has appeared in Whistling Shade and Connotation Press. His first novel, The Accumulator, is looking for a home. Jesse lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he is also a knitting designer, a website designer, and a father of two little twins.

NINA SCHUYLER’s first novel, The Painting, (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004), was a finalist for the Northern California Book Awards. It was also selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the Best Books of 2004, and dubbed a “fearless debut” by MSNBC and a “great debut” by the Rocky Mountain News. It’s been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and Serbian. Her short story, “The Bob Society,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poems, short stories and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Santa Clara Review, Fugue, The Meadowland Review, The Battered Suitcase, and other literary journals. She reviews fiction for The Rumpus and The Children’s Book Review. She’s fiction editor at Able Muse. She attended Stanford University for her undergraduate degree, earned a law degree at Hastings College of the Law and an MFA in fiction with an emphasis on poetry at San Francisco State University. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of San Francisco.  Her second novel, The Translator, was published by Pegasus Books on July 1, 2013.

Born in Lahore, MOAZZAM SHEIKH is a San Francisco-based short story writer. His books include The Idol Lover and Other Stories of Pakistan (2008), Café Le Whore and Other Stories (2013), and he is the translator of Intizar Husain Stories. He edited A Letter from India: Contemporary Short Stories from Pakistan. David Lincoln described him as “…the Pakistani immigrant Woody Allen of our times, wringing guilt and manhood torments out of his multicultural background.” He is a lecturer at City College of San Francisco and a librarian at San Francisco Public Library.

SUSANNA SOLOMON is the author of Point Reyes Sheriff’s Calls, a new collection of short stories published by HD Media Press. She has been a featured reader at Pints ‘N Prose, Lip Service West, Why There Are Words, and Quiet Lightning. A resident of Marin County for many decades, during the day she is an electrical engineer.

MONICA WESOLOWSKA is the author of the memoir Holding Silvan: A Brief Life.  With an introduction by Erica Jong, Holding Silvan explores the love and ethics behind choosing to forgo medical intervention for a newborn son. Her fiction has appeared in many literary journals including The Carolina Quarterly, Quarter After Eight  and Literary Mama as well as in anthologies such as Best New American Voices. A graduate of Reed College and a recipient of a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, she has been an instructor at UC Berkeley Extension and elsewhere for over a decade.


Bernal Yoga 10th Anniversary Reading


We begin our tenth year with a special anniversary reading involving many of the series’ former curators, along with other special guests. Please join us, won’t you?

$5 suggested donation. No one turned away due to lack of funds. Light refreshments to follow reading. Doors at 7:30, reading at 8.

Our readers:

ASHLEY DAVID (via video performance) tackles questions about race/class/gender and the ways that they intersect with heritage, history, and globalization. She combines techniques from ethnography, community arts, poetry, visual art, theater, digital media, and scholarship to create poems, essays, multimedia, sculpture, performances, and installations that explore, disrupt, and nuance power relationships and binary oppositions like us/them, black/white, north/south, word/image, and right/wrong.  Degrees include a PhD from The University of Georgia, an MFA from the University of Michigan, an MA in cultural anthropology and a Certificate in culture and media from New York University, and an AB in cultural anthropology from Stanford University. She was a pre-doctoral resident-artist fellow at the Vermont Studio Center from 2011-2012.

ELIZABETH COSTELLO writes for UC Berkeley during the day and for you at during the darker hours. In the wee hours she also works on fiction and poetry. She has taught in the MFA in writing program at the University of San Francisco and her first novel, The Obedient, was a finalist for the William Faulkner Pirate’s Alley fiction contest and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. She’s published a poetry and prose in Fourteen Hills, Absomaly, Provincetown Magazine, the Buffalo Evening News and everyone’s favorite—elsewhere. Last year she performed in hOpphomage, a dance theater piece inspired by the work of visual artist Dennis Oppenheim. She deals with musician envy by collaborating on projects with percussionist/video artist Sheila Bosco and with Laurie and Jennifer Hall of Ruby Howl. As the emcee for the Bernal Literary Series, she had the pleasure of successfully removing blood stains from the carpet.

KEITH EKISS is the author of Pima Road Notebook, published in 2010 by New Issues Poetry & Prose. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, his poems have appeared in Blackbird, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, Southwestern American Literature, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of scholarships and residencies from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Community of Writers at  Squaw Valley, Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Petrified Forest National Park. His creative non-fiction has been anthologized in Permanent Vacation: Living and Working in Our National Parks (Bona Fide Books, 2011). Ekiss has been a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford since 2007, where he teaches courses in reading and writing poetry and other genres.

MARIA HUMMEL is the author of the poetry collection House and Fire, winner of the 2013 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, and two novels: Motherland (Counterpoint, 2014) and Wilderness Run (St. Martin’s, 2003). Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Narrative, the Sun, the New York Times, and the centenary anthology The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine.

MATTHEW IRIBARNE is the author of Astronauts & Other Stories (Simon and Schuster). He has been the recipient of the Joseph Henry Jackson Award, the Sewanee Walter E. Dakins Fellowship, and the Nelson Algren Prize in Fiction. He teaches at California College of the Arts.

GLORI SIMMONS is an American poet, and short story writer. Simmons graduated from the University of Washington and from the University of Michigan with an MFA. She was a 2003 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Review, Chelsea 79, Five Fingers Review, and Quarterly West. She teaches at the University of San Francisco and is manager of the Thacher Gallery, University of San Francisco.

Musician JEAN BAUDIN plays an 11-string bass. Visit him at to venture onto his unique soundscape.

Announcing our 2013-2014 Season


Did you know that the Bernal Literary Series began in 2003?  Hurray! We’re excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary this season.

We’ll be kicking things off with a very special event on Sunday night, October 20th featuring many of the former curators of the series. Please be sure to attend

After that, we’ll return to our regular schedule the first Saturday of every other month through June.

Oct 20, 2013
Ashley David (via video performance)
Elizabeth Costello
Keith Ekiss
Maria Hummel
Matthew Iribarne
Glori Simmons
Jean Baudin (musician)

Dec 7, 2013
Anhvu Buchanan
Heather June Gibbons
Scott Hutchins
Jesse Loesberg
Nina Schluyer
Moazzam Sheikh
Susanna Solomon
Monica Wesolowska

Feb 1, 2014
Hugh Behm-Steinberg
Caroline Goodwin
Kimberly Michele Grey
Scott Lambridis
Eric Raymond
Kai Carlson-Wee

Apr 5, 2014
Molly Antopool
Kwan Booth
Brian Komei Dempster
Evan Karp
Tom Kealey
Donna Laemmlen
Melissa Rae Sipin-Gabon

Jun 7, 2014
Michele Bigley
John Evans
Brenda Hillman
Sean Labrador Y Manzano
Anthony Marra
SB Stokes
William Taylor, Jr.


May 4, 2013

bernal yoga 05.04.13_WEB

Namsate! Please join us for an evening of unique literary works by some of the most intriguing voices in the San Francisco Bay Area, all reading for one night only in a yoga studio in Bernal Heights: Indira Allegra, Tantra Bensko, Liz Demi Green, Charles Kruger, Brian Martin, and Kate Menzies.

$5 suggested donation, no one turned away due to lack of funds.

Reception to follow.

Wear socks.

Love yourself.

Indira Allegra is a Lambda Literary Fellow, Banff Centre Writer and interdisciplinary artist poeting through performance, video and handwoven textiles. She has contributed work to the Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art and Thought, Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two Spirit Literature, Konch Magazine and Make/Shift Magazine among others. Indira has performed and screened work with Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance, Mangos with Chili, The Yellow House Project and Peacock Rebellion. Her experimental videopoems Weep Willow: The Blues for Lady Day and Blue Covers have screened both nationally and internationally. In the Bay Area, Indira’s textile works have shown at the Alter Space and College Avenue Galleries. In 2012, she was the curator and creative director for Artists Against Rape and was a member of the artistic core of Sins Invalid in 2008. A VONA alum, Indira has taught digital storytelling and poetry workshops at Intersection for the Arts, Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse and proj-ectPRO:JECT. She is currently completing her first collection of poems entitled Indigo Season.

Tantra Bensko teaches fiction writing through UCLA Ex. Writing Program, and her own academy online. She has nearly 200 short story and poetry publications in journals and anthologies as well as 4 novellettes, 4 chapbooks, and 2 full length fiction books. She promotes Experimental Fiction writers by promoting their work with a resource site, e-chapbook publishing, a magazine, a contest, and reviews. She lives in Berkeley.

Liz Demi Green is a writer, performer, and educator based in Oakland, California. As a performance poet, she has featured at slams, special showcases and workshops in middle schools, high schools, colleges and open mics across the country. She was on two national slam teams: San Francisco in 2004 and Berkeley in 2005. As a playwright and writer/performer, she has had her work produced at multiple local and national theater festivals. She received her BA from Vassar College and her MFA from Mills College in Creative Writing. She was a 2010 Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Voices Fellow in Fiction. She attended the Tin House Writing Workshop in 2012. Her work has been published in several anthologies, journals, and online publications.

San Francisco artist and poet Charles Kruger surprised himself when he began painting shortly after his 50th birthday. Later, during a summer of his discontent, he reinvented himself as The Storming Bohemian, attending 90 literary events in 90 days and blogging about it, getting briefly noticed by the New York Times. His poetry and prose has been published in “sPARKLE + bLINK”, The Rumpus, Red Fez, OnTheBus, Litseen and elsewhere. As a theatre reviewer, he blogs at “” and he is on the Board of Directors for the reading series, “Quiet Lightning”. His paintings can be seen online at “”.

Brian Martin is a fiction writer living in San Francisco. He has most recently been published in Swtichback and The GW Review. He is the winner of the Vivian Nellis Award and received his MFA from University of San Francisco. In 1997 he was awarded the Madison High School Junior Varsity Lacrosse Team Player Award, which he considers his biggest accomplishment to date.

Kate Menzies is from Orange County, CA and currently works and lives in Oakland, CA where she incorporates poetry into a life science.. She has been teaching writing for 5 years both in and outside of the classroom. She has worked in college, high-school, juvenile-court, and community/continuing education atmospheres as a facilitator in writing. Kate’s poetry can be found in Zaum Press, The PKA New York Advocate, Writing W/O Wall’s Virgins and Bulls, Samizdat Literary Journal, FortyOunceBachelors, SPORK Press, Canyon Voices, Gigantic Sequins, and VOLT. She reads frequently in Oakland and San Francisco, so look out for her events on her calendar page. Anually, Kate holds a month long writer’s/meditator’s workshop for women called UNdoing Poetry also known as UNbinding Writing or UNdoing Ego Through Writing, where each participant practices writing as a way to enter the present moment full of creative vitality.