Coming September 30: Four Magazines, Four Stories – outstanding fiction selected from the literary publications of the Los Rios Community Colleges

lit mag collage 2

Maybe you think community college is just a place to hang out for a couple of years while you train for a career or gather enough credits to transfer to a four-year school.  What you may not know – but will if you come to our reading on Friday September 30 –  is that the Los Rios Community Colleges are a rich incubator for literary talent. Writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry,  have found the four Los Rios campuses to be a treasure trove of first-rate writers and teaching talent as well as home to four beautifully produced, national-award-winning literary magazines. For many writers, publication in one of these journals is the first time their work appears in print. In our first collaboration with  the community colleges, we are thrilled to present a selection the best fiction from the recent issues of the prize-winning literary magazines of the Los Rios District – Sacramento City College (Susurrus,) American River College (American River Review,)  Cosumnes River College (Cosumnes River Journal,) and Folsom Lake College (the machine.)

Fiction from John Adkisson, Bojana Anglin, Rachel Gardner and Molly Stuart

Readings by Jessica Laskey and Pano Roditis

Friday, September 30

Stories on Stage Sacramento

at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street, Sacramento

Doors open at 7PM, Readings begin at 7:30.

A $10 donation is suggested ($5 for students with i.d.)

Thanks to volunteer extrordinaire Laurie Rivlin Heller for coordinating the selection of stories with the faculty advisors to these publications – Josh Fernandez (the machine,) Marci Selva (Susurrus,) Michael Spurgeon (American River Review,) and Heather Hutcheson (Cosumnes River Journal.)  Thanks for all your hard work, and we hope this is the first of many collaborations to come.

About our writers:

bojana-anglinBojana (Bonnie) AnglinCosumnes River Journal
When she isn’t botanizing in the wilderness of the Western United States, Bojana Anglin lives in Sacramento with her husband and just-born baby boy. Alaska inspired her more than any other landscape in which she’s lived or travelled. She dreams of returning with her son, when he is old enough to appreciate the journey.
John AdkissonSusurrusjohn-adkisson
John Adkisson is a retired Sacramento civil rights attorney, lecturer and political consultant. He began writing short fiction last year. He has studied the short story craft with writers Jodi Angel, Stacey Swann & Rusty Dolleman. His first four submitted pieces were published in 2016: “As American as Apple Pie,” “The Hill,” “How She Presented Herself,” and the piece chosen for this stage presentation, “How to Learn to Wrap for Christmas.” John is currently preparing a short story collection. He is married to Anne Stausboll and is the father of two

Rachel GardnerAmerican River Review
Rachel Gardner has been published in nearly every edition of the American River Review since 2009. She recently graduated with 3 AA’s and a publishing certificate. She lives and writes in East Sacramento.

Molly Stuartthe machinephoto-molly
Molly Stuart is a lawyer by training and works with organizations and individuals moving through significant change-including business development for artists and Conversations About Death, a program that helps people consider their own dying. She has been a hospital volunteer for over 30 years in the Emergency Department and the ICU. She lives in Sacramento.

 

Our readers:

Jessica Laskey is happy to be back in her hometown after spending 2014-5 in Paris while jessica-laskey-3her playwright husband, p joshua laskey, earned his Masters’ Degree in Translation. As an Equity actress, Jessica’s favorite roles include Sally Bowles in Cabaret (UC Berkeley), Mae in Reefer Madness (Artistic Differences), Jenny in Threepenny Opera (California Stage) and several productions with the Sacramento Theatre Company. Jessica is also a freelance writer for Inside Publications—for which she wrote the newly released book, Inside Sacramento: The Most Interesting Neighborhood Places in America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital—as well as for Sacramento Magazine and The Sacramento Bee.

pano-roditisPano Roditis is a Theatre and Computer Science double major currently attending California State University Sacramento. He has appeared in the CSUS productions of Avenue Q as “Trekkie Monster,” played multiple roles as member of the ensemble in The Producers, and will appear as Nathan Detroit in their upcoming production of Guys and Dolls.

.

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Jodi Angel: Writer, Teacher

Friday,  August 26 at Stories on Stage Sacramento

new work from Jodi Angel 

Author of You Only Get Letters From Jail

plus three super-short stories from her students.

 with Juliette Kelley, Diane Kallas, Sue Staats

 readings by Ruby Sketchley and Kellie Yvonne Raines

at the Auditorium at CLARA

(the E Claire Raley Center for the Arts)

1425 24th Street, Sacramento,

We are thrilled to present a first glimpse of Jodi Angel’s memoir- in- progress at this month’s Stories on Stage Sacramento. This is brand-new material, trenchant and heartbreakingly personal, written during her recent journey to Southeast Asia. It’s both travelogue and memoir, penned in Jodi’s unique style, and it’s the first presentation of an important work.

jodi angel 2Jodi Angel  is the author of two collections of short stories. Her first collection, The History of Vegas, was named a Best Book of 2005 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her second collection, You Only Get Letters from Jail, (2013), was published by Tin House Books and named as a Best Book of 2013 by Esquire. Her short stories have appeared in Esquire, Tin House, One Story, Zoetrope: All-Story, Electric Literature Recommended Reading, and The Offing, among other publications and anthologies. Her short story, “Snuff,” was selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2014. She is a professor of writing and literature at Sacramento City College.

Jodi also teaches private workshops and we have selected three short-short stories, written by current and former students. These include:

Juliette KellyJuliette Kelley. is a writer and psychotherapist living in the Bay Area but a Sacramento native.  She recently retired from a decades long career as a civil servant in Contra Costa County and was accepted to St. Mary’s College in Moraga in the MFA program where she will concentrate on Creative Nonfiction.

Diane KallasDiane Kallas has trouble finishing projects which explains all of this: her interest in the flash fiction form, her Facebook name,  her status as a fallen-away Catholic, retired technical writer, non-practicing attorney, amateur upholsterer, and also the piles of clean, unfolded laundry that decorate her home.

Sue Staats May 2016Sue Staats’ fiction and poetry have been published in The Los Angeles Review, Graze Magazine, Farallon Review, Tule Review, Late Peaches: Poems by Sacramento Poets, Sacramento Voices, and others. She earned an MFA from Pacific University, and was a recent finalist for the Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction and the Nisqually Prize in Fiction. She is currently working on a collection of linked short stories, and serves as Coordinator for Stories on Stage Sacramento.

Ruby Sketchley HSRun Through the Junglefrom Jodi Angel’s memoir-in-progress will be read by Ruby Sketchley Locally, Ruby has performed at STC, Big Idea Theatre, KOLT, MSTW, Capital Stage, and as an 1850’s tour guide in Old Sacramento. A company member at BIT, and formerly a board member with the Capital Film Arts Alliance, she and her husband run Tiny Octopus Productions. Their documentary, In The Parlor, will play in September at the SF&MF.

Kellie Yvonne Raines 1Kellie Yvonne Raines will be reading the three short fiction stories by Juliette Kelley, Diane Kallas, and Sue Staats. She is an Associate Artist with KOLT Run Creations. She directed The Adoration of Dora and her KOLT performance credits include Escape from Happiness, Vinegar Tom, and My Own Stranger. Her last performance was in MotherF**ker With The Hat at Big Idea Theatre. Her poetry has been published in Poetry Now and American River Review. She has a degree in Dramatic Art from the University of California, Davis

 

Now in its seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience. Last year’s featured writers included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams.  The lineup for 2016 includes Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer, Jodi Angel, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges, an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re proud of the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and we’re excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.

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July at Stories on Stage Sacramento: Mothers, Daughters, Earthquakes, Aftershocks

Maureen O'Leary wanket 4In October of 1989, Maureen O’Leary was a student at UC Santa Cruz, a “cranky nineteen-year-old with very few friends, very little passion for anything or anyone.”  At 5:03 on October 17, she was at her job at the Ace Hardware store in downtown Santa Cruz when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck and the building collapsed. She ducked under a desk and was spared: several other people in the same building were not. The event changed her instantly, and inspired the fictional narrative of her newly published novel The Ghost Daughter (Coffeetown Press,) in which the earthquake triggers an aftershock of discovery for two mothers and a long-ago abandoned daughter.   Advance praise for The Ghost Daughter  includes this from National Book Award finalist Karen Bender: “Maureen O’Leary excavates her characters’ hearts with precise honesty, exploring the ways connections between mothers and daughters, friends and lovers stretch, break, endure. A beautiful and moving book.”  Maureen is the Stories on Stage Sacramento featured writer for July, and you can read her harrowing account of survival in her blog https://maureenolearyauthor.com/2016/07/01/the-day-i-died/. She’s also the author of the novels How to be Manly and The Arrow, She won Heyday Books’ Sacramento Valley Writing Contest for Poetry, and her short stories and poetry appear in Esopus, Night Train Journal, Brackish Vol. 2, Revolution John, Prick of the Spindle, The Gold Man Review, and in Shade Mountain Press’ anthology The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women. She’s been featured in Sacramento Magazine, teaches at Christian Brothers High School, and lives in Sacramento with her husband and two daughters

Krista MinardAppearing with Maureen is editor and fiction writer Krista Minard. Krista’s short story “Resurgence” focuses on an earthquake of a more subtle kind: a memory that haunts a mother, who can’t separate it from fears for her pre-teen daughter. . Since 1994, Krista has been editor of Sacramento Magazine and of several bridal publications. As a fiction writer, her short stories and essays have been published in Susurrus, Paper Wings and Soul of the Narrator. She attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers fiction workshop in 2011. She lives in Folsom with her husband, two nearly-grown daughters and two black cats.

Elise Marie HodgeReading an excerpt from The Ghost Daughter will be Sacramento actress Elise Marie Hodge, a Stories on Stage favorite and owner of EMH Productions. a company dedicated to putting
time and energy into creative work as a producer, director, actor, and writer to
help facilitate opportunities for other artists in these same arenas. Elise has
produced, directed, acted and written over 20 shows for the stage in
Sacramento for the past six years, having last been seen in Goodbye Freddy by
Elizabeth Diggs at the Geery Theatre. She is currently in production for an
original work titled These Lonesome Roads by Dan Fagan for September of
2016. She has split her time equally between Los Angeles and Sacramento,
receiving awards along the way for her efforts in theatre, TV and film. She has
been a member of the 68 Cent Crew Theatre Company in LA for the last 10
years

Victoria GoldblattVictoria Goldblatt will read “Resurgence.”  She’s been a Sacramento performer for over 20 years in a variety of films, commercials, community theater and voice overs for TV and radio.. The former Casting Director for Stories on Stage in Sacramento, she was a member of the Steering Committee for the Sacramento’s Playwrights Collaborative for the past seven years.

Stories on Stage Sacramento at the Sacramento Poetry Center, Friday July 29. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $10 donation is suggested.

Now in its seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience. Featured writers for 2015 included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams. The lineup for 2016 includes Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer, Maureen O’Leary, Jodi Angel, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges, an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re proud of the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and we’re excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.

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History, Two Ways – at Stories on Stage Sacramento

 

On the menu at Stories on Stage this month: History, Two Ways. Two writers, two approaches that tease new flavors from dry facts.

Mary Volmer, in Reliance, Illinois,  uses a moment in time, an era, as the setting for her characters, and gives a beating heart to 1870s Illinois,  where a young woman with a disfiguring birthmark overcomes poverty and her own mother’s betrayal to discover her life’s purpose through the help of some of the most colorful proto-feminist characters you’ll ever meet.

Jordan Fisher Smith, in Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial,  and the Fight Over Controlling Nature  uses one specific, horrific event ts as a way of opening our eyes to the larger issue and meaning of a moment in time. In 1972 a Yellowstone hiker is killed and partially eaten by a grizzly, triggering a lawsuit against the department of the Interior and igniting a raging debate among environmentalists over what to do when nature has been disrupted by human beings. How do we go about repairing it? How much should we try to control or manipulate it in order to heal it?

Mary Volmer Jordan Fisher SmithWe don’t usually feature non-fiction at Stories on Stage Sacramento but these are compelling issues tackled in different ways by excellent writers. We’re excited to present these two very different uses of history as a jumping-off place. Mary Volmer is a Grass Valley, CA native and a much-praised writer of historic fiction (Crown of Dust and her just-published Reliance, Illinois.Crown of Dust, set during the Gold Rush, earned a Publisher’s Weekly starred review and drew praise from The New York Times Sunday Review of Books for “investing her pioneers with piquant inner lives and a poker-faced lyricism.” Similar praise has arrived for Reliance, Illinois, published in May 2016: Booklist singled out its “rich cast of characters and well-evoked setting” and Publisher’s Weekly noted its “smart touches of humor.” Mary earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College. a master’s from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook. She teaches at Saint Mary’s College and lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Nevada City writer Jordan Fisher Smith spent 21 years as a park and wilderness ranger in California, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska. In reviewing Engineering Eden, Booklist praised Smith as a “galvanizing storyteller fluent in the conflict between environmental science and politics.” He’s also the author of Nature Noir, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of 2005 pick, and an Audubon Magazine Editor’s Choice. His magazine work has appeared in TIME.com, Men’s Journal, Aeon, Discover, and other places, and he’s been nominated for awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Jordan is a principal cast member and narrator of the documentary film “Under Our Skin,” which made the 2010 Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary Feature, and he appears in a 2014 sequel “Under Our Skin 2: Emergence.”

Mallory MonachinoReading an excerpt from Reliance, Illinois will be Mallory Monachino. A newcomer to Stories on Stage, Mallory recently returned to Sacramento after a year spent in Los Angeles studying with renowned acting coach Doug Warhit. She was last seen on stage in Sacramento in the EMH production Look Back In Anger and was the female lead in the short film Labyrinth, written and directed by Lonon Smith. A former competitive synchronized swimmer, Mallory works as a yoga instructor.

 

Matt Rives 2Reading an excerpt from  Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight Over Controlling Nature is Matt Rives, an actor, musician, and stand-up comedian. In addition to several Stories on Stage readings, Matthew has played lead roles in  Noises Off and A Comedy of Errors and has performed by invitation at Laughs Unlimited, The Sacramento Comedy Spot, and Luna’s Café. His notable roles include “Franz Liebkind” in The Producers and “Buck Barrow” in Bonnie and Clyde with Runaway Stage Productions. Matthew also played the role of “The Captain” in the world premier of Frankenstein with Resurrection Theatre. Most recently, he played the role of Tom/Narrator in Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, Mr. Aarons in Bridge to Terabitihia, and Henry Higgins in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

 

Stories on Stage Sacramento at the Sacramento Poetry Center, Friday June 24. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $10 donation is suggested.

Now in its seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience. Featured writers for 2015 included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams. The lineup for 2016 includes Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer, Maureen O’Leary Wanket, Jodi Angel, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges, an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re proud of the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and we’re excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.

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Prizewinning twosome at Stories on Stage Sacramento, May 27

Lori Ostlund Anne Raeff 2We’re excited and so, so pleased to bring you not one but two featured authors this month. Lori Ostlund and Anne Raeff are both powerful and lyric writers, partners for more than 20 years and now, married. Other things you should know about them: they once owned an antique shop called “Two  Serious Ladies,” referencing the novel by Jane Bowles, they’re both teachers who work primarily with immigrants and each of them has won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, one of the most coveted short story prizes in America. And, most importantly for Sacramento lovers of great fiction, they’re making their first joint appearance at Stories on Stage Sacramento on May 27,2016.

Among examples of the universal praise for Lori Ostlund‘s 2009 Flannery O’Connor Lori OstlundAward-winning collection, The Bigness of the World (newly issued in paperback,) is this from Publisher’s Weekly. “…Ostlund’s artful prose is playfully complex and illuminating, evocative and unsentimental…each piece is sublime.” The collection also won the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and the 2009 California Book Award for First Fiction. After the publication of her debut novel After the Parade in September 2015, no less an authority than the New York Times praised it as “a powerful debut…provides considerable pleasure and emotional power.” The novel won starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, was on the “best books of 2015” list for both NPR and Buzzfeed, and was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize.

Anne RaeffIn her praise for Anne Raeff‘s winning collection The Jungle Around Us, legendary Flannery O’Connor Award editor Nancy Zafris explains why she selected the work for the 2015 prize:  “A wonderfully mature vision informs the stories of The Jungle Around Us, stories that risk being termed old-fashioned—if old-fashioned means ditching self-consciousness and cleverness and bringing back hard-earned intelligence and historical weight and putting them all under a single multicultural roof. The miracle of these stories is their ultimate simplicity and intimacy even as they weave together numerous global threads.”  Anne’s stories and essays have appeared in the New England Review, ZYZZYVA, and Guernica, among other places. Her first novel, Clara Mondschein’s Melancholia, was published in 2002. She’s a child of immigrants and much of her writing draws on her family’s history as refugees from war and the Holocaust.

Reading an excerpt from After the Parade is Sacramento actor Ethan Ethan IrelandIreland,  a multidisciplinary veteran of the film, television and theater trade, with sixteen years as a working professional in both performance and technical roles. The son of noted ‘lit noir’ author Patrick Ireland, Ethan is a writer & director of several short films, and has worked as a voice actor and a performer for both stage and screen since 1995. Most recently he appeared in EMH’s productions of After Hours and An Almost Perfect Person. He has performed at Now Hear This: A Story and Music Performance Series produced by Atim Udoffia.

Kristine DavidThe short story “Chinese Opera” from Anne Raeff’s  The Jungle Around Us will be read by Kristine David, a local actor and musician in Northern California. She has been seen on many Sacramento stages including: B Street Theatre (Provenance, Bob,) Capital Stage (Mauritius, Much Ado About Nothing,) Sacramento Theater Company (Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet) & Big Idea Theatre (Inventing Van Gogh, Complete Female Stage Beauty.)

Now in its seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience. Featured writers for 2015 included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams. The lineup for 2016 includes Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges, an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re proud of the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and we’re excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.

Stories on Stage, with Lori Ostlund and Anne Raeff, Friday, May 27, 2016 at The Sacramento Poetry Center, 25th and R Streets. Doors open at 7PM; readings begin at 7:30. $10 donation suggested. Contact: Sue Staats, Coordinator for Stories on Stage, at suestaats@comcast.net

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Coming in April for the first time at Stories on Stage – Science Fiction!

Kim Stanley RobinsonNEW 2- Credit Sean CurtinStories on Stage Sacramento is excited to present

a modern master of science fiction

Kim Stanley Robinson

Friday, April 29, 2016 at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $10 donation is suggested.

Called “one of the greatest living science fiction writers” by Tim Kreider of The New Yorker, Davis resident Kim Stanley Robinson has won just about every imaginable award given in his genre—the Hugo Award for Best Novel, the Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the World Fantasy Award. In May, he’ll receive the prestigious Robert A. Heinlein Award, bestowed for “outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space.” This award recognizes an author’s body of work, which in Robinson’s case totals 19 novels, including his groundbreaking Mars trilogy, and over 40 short stories. Many of his novels and stories have ecological, cultural and political themes and often feature scientists as heroes. This willingness to tackle controversial political issues has earned him praise, again from The New Yorker’s Tim Kreider, as “one of the most important political writers working in America today,” and his work was labeled by the Atlantic as “the gold-standard of realistic, and highly literary, science-fiction writing.”

His recently published short story “Oral Argument” will be read by Sacramento actor and Stories on Stage Sacramento favorite Blair Leatherwood.

Also appearing is emerging writer Andy Stewart, whose science fiction stories have appeared in Big Bridge, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and ZYZZYVA. He is a contributing reviewer for RAIN TAXI and The Review of Contemporary Fiction.A native Texan,
he graduated with an MFA is Creative Writing from San Diego State University and now lives and writes in Davis, California.

His short story Typhoid Jack will be read by Sacramento voice actor and producer Paul Kinney

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Stories on Stage welcomes Vendela Vida, Friday March 25 at the Sacramento Poetry Center

How lost can you be? When the narrator of   The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty finds herself in Casablavendela vida 2nca without passport, money, or credit cards, she could choose refuge in the American Embassy – or she could accept as hers the identity of a stranger, given to her by a mysterious police official. Her choice at this moment, and the following choices she makes, drive the relentless narrative and exploration of both physical and emotional identity in this engrossing novel by our March featured writer,  author ,editor and
scriptwriter Vendela Vida.   The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty was praised in the New York Times Sunday Book Review as “…portraying with cool wit and suspense the explosive emancipation of a woman who, long accustomed to playing handmaiden to more vivid personalities, is finally empowered to grab some warmth, drama, and magic for herself.” The twisting tale of how the nameless narrator accomplishes this is part of the charm of this intriguing story of identity lost, gained, lost and gained over and over again. Vendela Vida is the author of four additional books, including Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, which as a fellow at the Sundance Labs she developed into a script which received the Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award. She’s the founding editor of The Believer magazine, and the co-editor of Always Apprentices, a collection of interviews with writers. Two of Vida’s novels have been New York Times Notable Books of the year, and she is the winner of the Kate Chopin Award, given to a writer whose female protagonist chooses an unconventional path. She lives in Northern California with her husband, the writer Dave Eggers, and two children. Since 2002 She has served on the board of 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring lab for youth.

An excerpt from The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty will be read by Lori Russo.Lori Rosso
With a BFA from USC, Ms. Russo has performed on Broadway and toured nationally and internationally.  Since moving to Sacramento she has performed at Capital Stage in their productions of Superior Donuts  and Good People and received an Elly award for best actress for her performance in Love, Isadora at California Stage.

 

Appearing with Ms. Vida is Sacramento author J.L. James Cooper3(1)Cooper , the recent winner of the Tupelo Quarterly Prose Open Prize, judged by Pulitzer winner Adam Johnson. Jame also received First Place in Short Short Fiction in New Millennium Writings, 2013, and Second Place in Essay in Literal Latte, 2014. His short stories and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in The Manhattan Review, Oberon Poetry Magazine, Gold Man Review, KY Story, Temenos,, Paper Swans Press, Folia Literary Magazine, and in other journals and anthologies. A full-length collection of poetry, titled An Ocean Large Enough, is forthcoming from WordTech. His current projeMatt Rives 2ct is a wild collection of short stories about fictionalized therapy. Cooper is a practicing psychologist, which profession, he says, has” shaped him to lean in unexpected winds, to hold fast or be swept away in wonder. There is always context, amplified or subdued, a language in the hands, in posture, in the pauses between words.”

His prize-winning story short story “Path of the Ground Birds,” will be read by Matt Rives. An actor, musician, and stand-up comedian, Matt has played lead roles in Noises Off and A Comedy of Errors. Most recently, he played the role of the role of Tom/Narrator in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, Mr. Aarons in Bridge to Terabitihia, and Henry Higgins in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

Now in its seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience. Last year’s featured writers included Tobias Wolff, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Adam Johnson, and Naomi Williams. The lineup for 2016 includes Anthony Marra, Vendela Vida, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lori Ostlund, Mary Volmer and, in a new partnership with the Los Rios Community Colleges, an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re proud of the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and in 2016 we look forward to presenting more fine writing read by actors Sacramento lovers of literature.

Vendela Vida with JL Cooper, with readings by Lori Russo and Matt Rives, at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 25th and R Streets, Sacramento. Doors open at 7PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $5 donation is suggested. 

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Anthony Marra returns! Friday, February 26 at Verge Center for the Arts

anthony-marra 2We are thrilled, excited, and feeling very lucky to announce our featured writer for February – Anthony Marra.  At Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S St, Sacramento. Doors open at 7PM: readings begin at 7:30. A $10 donation is suggested

One of the most acclaimed young writers in America, Marra burst onto the literary scene three years ago with his first novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. It garnered universal praise from critics, won the 2014 National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize and  appeared on more than twenty “best books” year-end lists.  His follow-up short story collection The Tsar of Love and Techno, published in October 2015 had critics and readers once again scrabbling for superlatives. “Audacious…brilliant…nearly Tolstoyan,” gushed the notoriously tough New York Times Book Review. “Dazzling…heart-rending cumulative power,” enthused Newsday.  The Tsar of Love and Techno was recently named a finalist for the National Book Critics award in fiction.

Marra has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Stegner Fellow, and a Whiting Award and Berlin Prize Fellowship recipient. He lives in Oakland, California and teaches at Stanford University. There’s more on his website  http://anthonymarra.net/

Marra’s brilliant, funny, sad, gloriously heartbreaking story , “The Grozny Tourist Bureau” Ethan Irelandfrom The Tsar of Love and Techno will be read by Ethan Ireland, a multidisciplinary veteran of  film, television and theater, with twenty years as a working professional in both performance and technical roles. The son of noted “lit noir”author Patrick Ireland, Ethan is a writer & director of several short films, and has worked as a voice actor and a performer for both stage and screen since 1995. Most recently he appeared in EMH’s productions of After Hours and An Almost Perfect Person. He has performed at Now Hear This: A Story and Music Performance Series produced by Atim Udoffia.

Laurie DoyleAlso appearing is Bay area writer Laurie Ann Doyle. She is the winner of the Alligator Juniper National Fiction Award, as well as a nominee for Best New American Voices and a Pushcart Prize. Her book of short fiction, World Gone Missing, is a finalist for the Livingston Press Award and a story from the collection appears in their annual fiction anthology. Doyle also has been published in Jabberwock Review, Arroyo Literary Review, Under the Sun, Dogwood Journal, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at The San Francisco Writers Grotto and UC Berkeley, and is one of the founders of the Bay area reading series Babylon Salon.

Her short story “Or Best Offer” will be read by Tara Henry. who is thrilled to be returning OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

to Stories on Stage. Highlights of Tara’s recent roles include: Emma/Ensemble in The Behavior of Broadus (Capital Stage), Fanny Dashwood/Charlotte Palmer inSense & Sensibility(Sacramento Theater Co), Cassandra in Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike (Main Street Theatre Works), Charlotte/Mrs.Gardner in Pride & Prejudice(Sacramento Theatre Co), Both Dromios in A Comedy of Errors (Sac Shakespeare Festival), Goneril in King Lear (TAAC), Mildred in The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild(Costa Mesa Playhouse) and Fantasy Festival 28 cast member with B Street Theatre.

We’ll see you at Verge Center for the Arts on Friday, February 26. Get there early  for the best seats! Copies of Anthony Marra’s books will be for sale.

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Season Seven Begins Friday, January 29, at the Sacramento Poetry Centrer

Ready for more crackling stories read by Sacramento’s leading actors? Mark your calendars for the final Friday of each month, because you won’t want to miss any of these great storytellers, and we’ve got some surprises tucked into our lineup, too – especially if you’re a fan of science fiction!

So – let the seventh Stories on Stage season begin!

January 29, 2016 at the Sacramento Poetry Center

1719 25th Street, 25th and R Complex

doors open at 7:00 PM – readings begin at 7:30

Maceo Montoya, artist and writer

with

Anne Seitz Da Vigo

MontoyaBioPhotoMaceo Montoya’s writing has been compared to Sherman Alexie’s for its humorous insight into culture and masculinity and its examination of the broken web of family values. He’s  also a painter whose work has been featured throughout the country as well as internationally. He’s an Assistant Professor in Chicana/o Studies at UC Davis, and we are proud to present the multi-talented artist Maceo Montoya as the first featured writer of our seventh season.

He grew up in Elmira, California, and comes from a family of artists. His father Malaquias Montoya, was a renowned artist, activist, and educator, and his late brother, Andrés Montoya, authored the poetry collection The Iceworker Sings and Other Poems, which won the American Book Award in 2000. Maceo Montoya’s first novel,  The Scoundrel and the Optimist, was awarded the 2011 International Latino Book Award for “Best First Book” and Latino Stories named him one of its “Top Ten New Latino Writers to Watch.” In 2014, University of New Mexico Press published his second novel, The Deportation of Wopper Barraza, and Copilot Press published Letters to the Poet from His Brother, a hybrid book combining images, prose poems, and essaysMontoya also recently collaborated with poet Laurie Ann Guerrero to create a series of paintings based on sonnets dedicated to her late grandfather. The resulting book, A Crown for Gumecindo, was published by Aztlán Libre Press in April 2015.

His most recent book, You Must Fight Them, a novella and story collection, was published by University of New Mexico Press in Sptember 2015.

Montoya is an assistant professor in the Chicana/o Studies Department at UC Davis where he teaches the Chicana/o Mural Workshop and courses in Chicano Literature. He is also the director of Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA), a community-based arts organization located in Woodland, CA. He graduated from Yale University in 2002 and received his Master of Fine Arts in painting from Columbia University in 2006, and you can view his art and learn more about him at http://maceomontoya.com/contact.html

His short story “The Twins,” from You Must Fight Them, will be read by Steve Buri.

Anne Seitz Da Vigo is a journalist and public relations professional who has published short fiction in Out of Line, Literary Mama, Penduline Press, and Capra Review. She has read her stories on KVPR, the National Public Radio affiliate in California’s Central Valley.

Her short story “Jerusalem Stone” will be read by Gay Cooper.

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We’re back at the Sacramento Poetry Center for the Grand Finale to our Sixth Season featuring Davis writer Naomi Williams

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What better way to cap off the sixth season of Stories on Stage Sacramento than to welcome Davis writer Naomi Williams as our featured writer for October. If you’ve attended our event in past years, you may have heard some of the tales that eventually became Naomi’s stunning debut novel, Landfalls, published in August to much acclaim by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Based on the ill-fated 18th century LaPerouse naval expedition, the novel was termed a “seductive page-turner” by the Wall Street Journal “dazzling” and “a bona fide masterpiece” by The Seattle Times, among many rave reviews. To hear these stories, and to see this work grow over the years, has been a pleasure and a privilege. Lucky me – I got to read the novel the first time just for the sheer pleasure of it, and then a second time to select the segment to be read! Every section is unique and wonderful and smart and beautifully crafted. I had a tough time deciding, but in the end selected the chapter “In The Mangroves,” which occurs toward the end of the expedition and concerns the mysterious death of one of the expedition priests.

Naomi’s  fiction has also appeared in journals such as A Public Space, One Story, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, and Zoetrope All-Story. In 2009, she received a Pushcart Prize and a Best American Short Story Honorable Mention. Naomi has an MA in Creative Writing from UC Davis, and lives with her family in Davis, California, where she’s started work on her second book, a novel about the early 20th-century Japanese poet Yosano Akiko. You can read more about Naomi at her author page, http://naomijwilliams.com/Elise Winn

Also appearing with Naomi is  Elise Winn. Her stories have been published in American Short Fiction, Hobart, Indiana Review, Granta Online, and elsewhere, and have won awards from magazines such as The Iowa Review, Zoetrope: All Story, and Fairy Tale Review.She was a finalist for the 2012 Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize and chosen as runner-up in Black Warrior Review and Third Coast’s 2014 fiction contests. In April 2014 she was a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook. Raised in Missouri, Elise now lives in Davis, California, where she’s at work on a collection of short stories, Cloud, Egg, Bird, Box, and a novel.

Reading “In The Mangroves” from Blair LeatherwoodLandfalls is Blair Leatherwood, a veteran Sacramento actor and Stories on Stage favorite. He has over forty years of experience in the theater, with numerous film and commercial credits. He recently worked on Spike Lee’s “Livin’ Da Dream”, a segment of the NBA 2K16 video game. He also has years of experience with the Standardized Patient program at UCD Medical Center and is one of the audio describers for blind and visually impaired patrons of California Musical Theatre

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Reading “Cloud, Egg, Bird, Box” by Elise Winn is Jessica Laskey. Just returned to her hometown, Sacramento, after a year spent in Paris, Jessica is an Equity actress whose favorite roles include Sally Bowles in Cabaret (UC Berkeley), Mae in Reefer Madness (Artistic Differences), Jenny in Threepenny Opera (California Stage) and several productions with the Sacramento Theatre Company. Jessica is also a freelance writer for Inside Publications, The Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Magazine and is currently working on a new book, This is Sacramento, for Inside Publications.

Currently wrapping up its sixth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing  audience. Beginning with the 200+ people who attended the January kickoff event featuring Tobias Wolff, with readings by Janis Stevens and James Wheatley, enthusiastic attendees have heard readings from the work of Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, Bonnie ZoBell, Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson, and now, debut novelist and Davis writer Naomi Williams, who is moving from “emerging” writer to “featured” writer status with the publication of her brilliant novel. We’re proud of our 2015 season – and look forward to presenting more fine writing, well told, to Sacramento lovers of literature.

Stories on Stage, with Naomi Williams and Elise Winn, Friday, October 30, 2015 at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 25th and R Streets, Sacramento. Doors open at 7PM; readings begin at 7:30. $5 donation suggested. Contact: Sue Staats, Coordinator for Stories on Stage, at suestaats@comcast.net

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