July 18, 2008

The series continued in the summer months with another diverse group of accomplished writers.

July 18, 2008

Phyllis Koestenbaum a senior scholar at the Michelle Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University and the author of eight poetry books, most recently, a collection of prose poems titled Doris Day and Kitschy Melodies. Her book, Criminal Sonnets, was nominated for a Bay Area Book Award, while selections from her first book, oh I can’t she says (1980), were published in an anthology of fragmentary writing called In Pieces ( Impassio Press).

Among Koestenbaum’s awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the Santa Clara County Arts Council, a Senior Fellowship in Poetry at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Diane Wood Middlebrook Fellowship at the Djerassi Foundation, where she has been in residence three times.  Her work has appeared in two volumes of The Best American Poetry, and journals such as Epoch, American Letters & Commentary, Michigan Quarterly Review, Verse, Prairie Schooner, Witness, and Sentence, and is forthcoming in a prose poem anthology. Koestenbaum also writes short fiction and her essay, “The Secret Climate the Year I Stopped Writing,” ran in a recent issue of The Massachusetts Review.  She has taught in Continuing Studies at Stanford University and currently teaches poetry workshops and individual writers.

Gillian Wegener is the author of The Opposite of Clairvoyance, published by Sixteen Rivers Press in 2008.  Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Runes, English Journal, americas review, and In the Grove.  A chapbook, Lifting One Foot, Lifting the Other was published by In the Grove Press in 2001, and she was awarded a top prize by the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation for 2006. Wegener works as a junior high English teacher in California’s Central Valley. She lives with her husband and daughter in Modesto.

Nancy Cherry is a North Bay Area poet currently living in her hometown of Fairfield with Harriet-the-Cat.  She was publisher/co-editor of the Bay Area Poetry Newsletter, Fish Dance from 1995-2000, and still runs Redfruit Press, producing poetry & art chapbooks. She received her M.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Sacramento, teaches monthly poetry workshops, and edits a variety of poetry newsletters and other writing projects. Her poetry has appeared in various reviews including Bellingham Review, Seattle Review, convolvulus, Pearl, Poetry Flash, Mid-American Review, Puerto del Sol, Sycamore Review­, Slant and Parting Gifts, and most recently in Nimrod, Pinyon Review, Runes, Mad Poets and Tule Review. Her chapbook publications include: Dish Night at the Rafael Theater and Gardening in the DeepEnd.

Azin Arefi was born in Iran and moved to the United States with her family in 1989. She studied English Literature at UC Berkeley and has a master’s degree from UC Davis in Creative Writing. Azin’s most comfortable medium is the short story. Her stories predominantly navigate the Persian culture, especially the culture of the past. Currently she teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at De Anza College and San Jose City College. Her latest publication is a short story in Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been, an anthology of Iranian Women Writers, edited by Prof. Persis Karim.

Dorothy North practiced law as a workers’ compensation specialist for thirty-one years, all the time continuing to scribble.  She retired from the law last year in order to devote her full time to writing and visual arts.  Her poem, “Pilgrims,” was the winner of the 2006 Virginia Brendemuehl prize from Rock and Sling.


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