Tag Archives: Naomi Williams

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



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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April at Stories on Stage: Peter Orner and Naomi Williams

Bringing back TWO Stories on Stage favorites!

Selected stories from Peter Orner’s new short story collection

Last Car Over The Sagamore Bridge

read by Tim Kahl


Naomi Williams’

Tsunami Debris

read by Kelley Ogden

Friday, April 25, 2014

Doors open at 7, readings begin at 7:30

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Peter Orner’s latest short story collection, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge, was a New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year and a Wall Street Journal Favorite Book for 2013.  His novel Love and Shame and Love was a New York Times Editor’s Choice book.  The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, set in Namibia, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Orner’s first book, Esther Stories was a Finalist for the Pen Hemingway Award and was re-issued in April, 2013. Orner’s work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney’s, and Best American Stories. He also writes the Lonely Voice column for The Rumpus, an on-line website.  Born in Chicago, Peter Orner lives in San Francisco and is a Professor at San Francisco State.

Tim Kahl

Tim Kahl is the author of Possessing Yourself  (CW Books, 2009) and The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Notre Dame Review, The Journal, Parthenon West Review, and many other journals. He appears as “Victor Schnickelfritz” at the poetry and poetics blog The Great American Pinup and the poetry video blog Linebreak Studios.  Tim’s involved in numerous other creative ventures: if you’re curious click, here http://www.timkahl.com. He is Vice-president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center, and has appeared several times at Stories on Stage.

Naomi Williams

Naomi J. Williams’ first novel, LANDFALLS, a fictional retelling of the 18th-century Lapérouse expedition, is due out in the spring of 2015 from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals, including A Public Space, One Story, The Southern Review, Ninth Letter, and The Gettysburg Review. She’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times and won once, and received an honorable mention in Best American Short Stories. This month’s story, “Tsunami Debris,” appeared in the Bridport Prize anthology in 2012. Naomi blogs about writing, reading, and life in general at naomijwilliams.wordpress.com.

Kelley OgdenKelley Ogden is a Sacramento performer, writer and theater producer. She works primarily with KOLT Run Creations, the acclaimed fringe theater she co-founded with wife Lisa Thew. A multiple Elly Award winner, Kelley has performed in theaters across the country, most notably in Chicago, where she earned Chicago Theater League awards for her classical and Shakespearean work. Kelley is delighted to collaborate with Stories On Stage in their fifth season.

At the Sacramento Poetry Center

1719 25th Street, Sacramento

Doors open 7PM, readings begin at 7:30

$5 donation

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