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At Stories on Stage Sacramento in August: drugs, strokes, and New York taxi tales…

Josh Mohr5When Joshua Mohr was thirty-eight, doctors discovered a hole in his heart, which explained the three strokes he’d sustained – but not the out-of-control-drinking, the drug use, the failed marriages and the tangled, stop-and-go-life.  Surgery, getting clean, and the memoir Sirens followed.  This month, we’re featuring non-fiction at Stories on Stage Sacramento, and we’re excited to welcome Josh and bring you a reading from Sirens, a complex and compelling tale which The Rumpus called “poetic, touching, inspiring and deeply empathetic.”

We’re happy to say that Josh’s heart surgery was successful, and that he’s currently writing and teaching in San Francisco, where he lives with his wife and young daughter.

In addition to rave reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times, the memoir was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “entirely candid, compelling memoir of addiction and the long, fraught road of recovery…raw and tender, this book not only chronicles a man’s literary coming-of-age. It also celebrates the power of love while offering an uncensored look at the frailties that can define—and sometimes overwhelm—people and their lives.” Prior to Sirens, Mohr published five novels, including the much-praised All This Life, which won the California Book Award, Damascus, which the New York Times called “Beat-poet cool,”  Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, and Termite Parade , an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times.

Appearing with Josh will be local writer James Cooper, with a reading from “The Sages of West 47th Street.” James 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.” But in his twenties, he drove a taxi in New York City, and the story of that experience earned him the honor of being first runner-up in the current Story Quarterly non-fiction contest.

James has received recent honors in fiction, non-fiction and poetry – in addition to the Story Quarterly recognition, he won the Tupelo Quarterly Prose Open Prize, judged by Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson, 2016, and his first collection of poetry, An Ocean Large Enough, was published this spring. His short stories and poetry have appeared in The Manhattan Review, Oberon Poetry Magazine, Gold Man Review, and in other journals and anthologies.

Our readers this month are Stories on Stage Sacramento veterans Matt Rives, Ethan Ireland and Eric Baldwin. 

Now in its eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction, read by actors,  to a growing Sacramento audience.  Our 2017 events will be held bi-monthly on the following dates: February 24, April 28, June 30, August 25, and October 27 at our new home, the auditorium at CLARA, the E Claire Raley Studio for the Arts. In addition, a special program featuring the Los Rios Writers will take place on Friday, September 29.

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A Quick Preview of Our Upcoming 8th Season

Hello, lovers of literature – we’re back!

We’re rested, rejuvenated and ready to plunge into the 8th season of Stories on  Stage Sacramento. We’ve got a new location, a new schedule, a new tradition we are continuing, workshops,  the best national, regional, and local writers of fiction (and occasionally, non-fiction), and the best audience – you!

New location –

The Auditorium at CLARA (the E Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts) 1425 24th Street, Sacramento 

We’re thrilled to make this wonderful space our new home, and remain very, very grateful to the Sacramento Poetry Center for its support and help, and to Verge Center for the Arts for partnering with us on some memorable events.

New schedule – 

in 2017, Stories on Stage will be held bi-monthlyMark these dates:

steve-almond-3jpgFriday, February 24 – Featuring Steve Almond. With Deborah Meltvedt.

Friday, April 28Deborah Willis, prize winning author of The Dark and Other Stories

vanessa-huaFriday, June 30 – San Francisco Chronicle columnist and short-story writer Vanessa Hua. With Josh Barkan.

Friday, August 25 – TBA

Friday, October 27 – Author of The Great Glass Sea Josh Weil , with a josh-weilreading from his new short story collection.

AND Friday, September 29 – Special Event – continuing our collaboration with the literary magazines of the Los Rios Community Colleges, we will feature the best short stories from this year’s issues of Susurrus, The American River Review, The Cosumnes River Journal, and the creative writing department at Folsom Lake College.

Workshops

Master Teacher workshop with Steve Almond. Friday, February 24 from 11-5, and Saturday, February 25 from 9-Noon. Limited to 10 participants, who may submit fiction manuscript of no more than 4000 words to be critiqued. $325.  Steve’s workshops are legendary – he’s a transformative teacher. If you’ve ever wanted to work with him, now’s your chance!

If interested, please e-mail Sue Staats at suestaats@comcast.net

 

As we begin our eighth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to be proud of the quality of the literary fiction we have presented to a growing Sacramento audience. 2015’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. In 2016,  we presented 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,  created an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re inspired by the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.

 

 

 

 

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It’s the end of our 2016 season, and on Friday, October 28, Bonnie Jo Campbell has something to say about mothers and daughters

bonnie-jo-campbellI’ll begin with an early warning: I can’t be objective about Bonnie Jo Campbell. I’m a fan. I love her dark, twisted, often funny stories and how she’s willing to take them as far as they will go, and then,  even further. I love the sunny, ever-optimistic way she lives her life. I’m in awe of how she’s very serious and disciplined about her writing, but playful when it comes to presenting herself as a writer, despite her burgeoning reputation as a leading author of what’s been called “rural America’s postindustrialbonnie-and-flannery landscape.”  What other writer,  compared to the great Flannery O’Connor, would show up at appearances for her short story collection Mothers, Tell Your Daughters with Flannery herself at her side, or rather a lifesize, cardboard version of Flannery?

Flannery won’t be with us when Bonnie Jo appears as the featured writer on Friday October 28 at Stories on Stage Sacramento, but she is bringing something just as fun – comics! The graphic artist Monica Friedman, a former student of Bonnie Jo’s (as am I – full disclosure) created six-panel versions of all sixteen stories in Mothers Tell Your bjc-daughters-of-the-animal-kingdom_edited-1Daughters, and we’ll have copies of the entire book at the event. “Daughters of the Animal Kingdom” is the story we’ve selected to be read, and here’s the graphic interpretation.

What else about Bonnie Jo?  Nearly too much to report, and that’s just about her writing. Mothers Tell Your Daughters recently won the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association’s Great Lakes, Great Reads Award for Adult Fiction. She is also author of the novel Q Road and its prequel, the New York Times best-seller Once Upon A River.  Her previous short story collection American Salvage was a finalist for the National Book Award AND the National
Book Critics Circle Award. Her first story collection, Women and Other Animals, won the AWP Award for Short Fiction. She’s a Guggenheim Fellow. She’s won a Pushcart Prize, the Eudora Welty Prize, and the 2009 CBA Letterpress Chapbook Award for her poetry collection  Love Letters to Sons of Bitches. She teaches in the Low-Residency Program at Pacific University, and next spring, she will serve as the Mary Rogers Field and Marion Field-McKenna Distinguished University Professor of Creative Writing at DePauw University. When she’s not writing or teaching or making appearances or giving readings bonniejocampbell-and-donkeyshe tends to her two donkeys, Jack and Don Quixote, raises chickens,  practices martial arts, rides her bike long distances, brings in the hay on her mother’s farm and makes an exemplary elderberry wine. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan  with her husband, Christopher. www.bonniejocampbell.com.

 It’s always a pleasure when a former “emerging” writer becomes a featured writer, and kristin-fitzpatrick-2this month we are very happy to welcome back  Kristin Fitzpatrick. Her first short story collection, My Pulse is an Earthquake, was published in 2015 by West Virginia University Press. Her work has appeared in Colorado Review, The Southeast Review, Best of Gival Press Short Stories, Epiphany, and Ventura County Star. Her writing has also been chosen for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and The New Short Fiction Series. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Jentel Artist Residency Program and The Seven Hills School. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in California and teaches writing at CSU Channel Islands. There’s more at her website www.kristinfitzpatrick.com

Our readers this month are two Stories on Stage audience favorites: Kelley Ogden and Tara Henry.

Kelley Ogden 2Kelley Ogden  is an accomplished performer, director and producer whose work has been seen throughout the area. Co-founder of acclaimed fringe theater company, KOLT Run Creations, Kelley has performed with Capital Stage (most recently in How to Use A Knife and The Totalitarians,) Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, Main Street Theatre Works and Theater Galatea among others. Kelley earned her BFA in Performance from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.

Back for the 4th time at Stories on Stage, Tara Henry is a familiar face to local theatre-

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goers. Recent performances include roles in Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and The Fantasticks at Sacramento Theatre Company; Emma in The Behavior of Broadus at Capital Stage, and Dromio in A Comedy of Errors at the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, among many other Shakespeare productions. She also appeared as a Fantasy Festival 28 cast member with the B Street Theatre.

Our featured writer for October

Bonnie Jo Campbell

author of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters

with Kristin Fitzpatrick

readings by Kelley Ogden and Tara Henry

Friday, October 28, 7:30 PM at the Auditorium at CLARA

(The E Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts)

a $10 donation is suggested

 

As we end our seventh season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to be proud of the excellence in literary fiction we have presented 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. This year we presented 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,  created an evening devoted to the best writing from their prize-winning literary magazines. As a completely volunteer organization, supported by donations, we’re elated by the fine writers we’ve brought to Sacramento, some of them for the first time, and excited to continue to present more fine writing read by actors to Sacramento lovers of literature.

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This month at Stories on Stage: Kate Milliken and Joey Garcia

Tantalizing tales from two fabulous women!

“Parts of a Boat”

from Kate Milliken’s prize-winning short story collection

If I’d Known You Were Coming

“Frank Sinatra Saved My Life”

by Sacramento writer Joey Garcia

“Parts of a Boat” will be read by Pam Metzger

“Frank Sinatra Saved My Life” will be read by Imani Mitchell

SAVE THE DATE!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Doors open at 7, readings begin at 7:30

Kate Kate MillikenMilliken’s stories have appeared in Zyzzyva, Fiction, New Orleans Review, and Santa Monica Review, among others. A graduate of the Bennington College Writing Seminars, the recipient of fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop, and several Pushcart Prize nominations, Kate has also written for television and commercial advertising. Kate’s debut collection of stories, If I’d Known You Were Coming, won the 2013 John Simmons Short Fiction Award and was published by the University of Iowa Press.She lives in Northern California with her husband and their two children. She’s currently working on a screenplay based on her short story, “Mad River,” and completing her novel, the first chapter of which was named runner-up for the 2013 Dana Award

Pam MetzgerPam Metzger was a radio broadcaster for twenty years, and continues to work as a voiceover talent nationally and locally. One of nine children, she was deemed the family storyteller, and at an early age discovered the magic of verbal communication, of being able to change her voice depending on the character in the story. She loves the enchantment reading aloud creates for both reader and listener. She lives by the words of the author Roald Dahl – “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Joey GarciaJoey Garcia has dispensed wise, witty and practical advice to readers of the Sacramento News & Review since 1996. She is the author of the new book When Your Heart Breaks, It’s Opening to Love: Healing and finding love after an affair, heartbreak or divorce, has a short story forthcoming in the Farallon Review and is at work on a novel. Her poetry has been published in Calyx, The Caribbean Writer, in four anthologies and is forthcoming in Presence International Journal and the Tule Review. She has also been awarded poetry fellowships to Spoleto, Italy and Paris, France. Joey was born in Belize, and you can discover more at www.joeygarcia.com

Imani MitchelImani Mitchell is a Sacramento native and local actress. She recently received her associate’s degree in Theatre Arts from Sacramento City College. Imani has performed at several theatres including Capital Stage, B Street Theatre and Celebration Arts. Next spring, she plans to attend Sacramento State and continue her education. This is her first time participating in this event and she is absolutely thrilled!

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