Archives for category: Events

Congrats to frequent Silver Birch Press contributor Lee Parpart who won an emerging writer prize in Open Book: Toronto’s 2016 “What’s Your Story” competition for the Toronto community of East York. Her short story, “Piano-Player’s Reach,” about neighbors caught up in tensions over a renovation project, will be published on Lee and writers Kate Marshall Flaherty, Michael Januska, and Diana Fitzgerald Bryden will read from their work on Saturday, October 1, 2016, at the S. Walter Stewart Library at 170 Memorial Park Ave. in Toronto. All are welcome to this free event!




The sixth season of The Mission Poetry Series wraps up on Saturday, April 18th, at 1 p.m. in Santa Barbara, California, with “People, Earth, Sky, Stars: Two Poets in Spring” featuring nationally acclaimed poet Denise Duhamel and San Francisco poet and activist Paul Fericano.

WHAT: The Mission Poetry Series

WHEN: Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 1 p.m.

WHERE: Antioch University, 602 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, California, 93101


MORE: Refreshments, poets’ works for sale, complimentary broadsides


DENISE DUHAMEL‘s most recent book of poetry Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of a 2014 Paterson Poetry Prize. Her other books include Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh, 2009), Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005), Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001), The Star-Spangled Banner (winner of the Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 1999), and Kinky (Orchises Press, 1997.) She is the recipient of awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The guest editor for The Best American Poetry 2013, she is a professor at Florida International University in Miami. ¶ Her poems have appeared in some of the country’s most prestigious literary journals, such as The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and TriQuarterly, and her work has been translated most recently into Polish, Italian, Arabic, and Romanian. In 20008, Bartleby Editores, the leading Spanish-language press publishing poets in English, released a bilingual edition of her poems, Afortunada de mí (Lucky Me). Entertainment Weekly writer Ken Tucker has noted that her work is accessible and culturally relevant. “Learn and have fun while you read,” writes Tucker. “Using prose poems, 
 sonnets, sestinas, and other forms . . . Duhamel is a wily technician, a touching humanist, a poet deserving stardom.” He gives her book an “A.”


PAUL FERICANO is a poet, satirist, social activist, and community organizer born in San Francisco. He is the editor and cofounder of Yossarian Universal, the nation’s first parody news service, and the editor of The Broadsider, an ongoing project of limited-edition poetry broadsides showcasing previously published work by a diverse group of authors. His poetry has been widely anthologized and was featured in 2014 in Four By Two, a limited-edition handcrafted arts journal edited by poet and lyricist Klipschutz. His chapbook, The Hollywood Catechism, was one of thirteen chosen by Silver Birch Press of Los Angeles for Swallow Dance: An Anthology of Poetry Chapbooks (2014). His new and expanded collection, The Hollywood Catechism, was also published by Silver Birch Press in March 2015. ¶ Since 1971, his poetry and prose have appeared in literary and media outlets in this country and abroad, including Mother Jones, MiPoesias, The New York Quarterly, Poetry Now, Projector, The Realist, Saturday Night Live, SoHo Arts Weekly, Vagabond, The Wormwood Review, Charlie Hebdo (Paris), Punch (London), and others. Additional chapbooks and books of poetry and fiction include Cancer Quiz (Scarecrow Books, 1977), Commercial Break (Poor Souls Press, 1982), The One Minute President (with Elio Ligi / Stroessner Verlag, 1986), and Interview with the Scalia (Peabody Press, 1994). His 1977 collection, Loading the Revolver with Real Bullets, published by Second Coming Press and partly funded by the state of California, achieved notoriety in 1978, when one of its poems, “The Three Stooges at a Hollywood Party,” was read on the floor of the California State Senate as a reason to abolish the California Arts Council. He currently serves as director of Instruments of Peace (IOP), a nonprofit that focuses on healing and reconciliation for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, and writes an online column on these issues (“A Room With A Pew”). He is a resident of the San Francisco peninsula.

If you’re in Orange County, California, on Sunday, Jan. 25th, head on over to the Tongue & Groove OC event, produced by Conrad Romo and Cynthia Romanowski, with a pop-up bookstore courtesy of Gatsby Books.

WHAT: Tongue & Groove OC

WHO: Featuring poetry and prose by Jim Ruland, Steve Westbrook, William Hillyard, Sheila J Sadr, and Michael McBride, music by Linda Douglass, and hosted by comedian Caitlin Cutt.

WHERE: The Continental Room, 115 W. Santa Fe Ave., Fullerton, CA, 92832.

WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 at 7 p.m.



Jim Ruland is the author of the short story collection Big Lonesome and co-author with Scott Campbell, Jr. of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch of Giving the Finger. His debut novel is Forest of Fortune by Tyrus Press. And on occasion you can read a book review of his with the LA Times or attend his popular reading series called Vermin.


Steve Westbrook is an associate professor of English at California State University Fullerton, where he teaches courses in rhetoric, poetics, and cultural studies, and where he serves as faculty advisor for DASH Literary Journal. His poetry, which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, has appeared most recently in Slab, Rattle, Pank, The Los Angeles Review, Literal Latte, The Great American Literary Magazine, Good Foot, and Clementine. Westbrook’s chapbook, Vox Americana is forthcoming from Orange Monkey Publishing.

William Hillyard photo

For approximately 48 hours, William Hillyard was executive producer of Wonder Valley, a documentary TV project inspired by his essays set in California’s desert fringe. Prior to that and since, he’s been unemployed.


Sheila J Sadr is a member of the Slam Poetry Team at Cal State Long Beach. She’s featured at the Definitive Soapbox and CSULB’s Poets lounge. She happily facilitates an open poetry workshop at Long Beach State. J. Sadr is currently pursuing her B.A. in Creative Writing and Comparative World Literature with an emphasis in cultural studies. Find her work at hellopoetry and youtube.


Michael McBride is a novelist, actor, and security guard. Michael grew up in scenic Northern California but now lives with his wife and two sons in the parched Los Angeles neighborhood of Mt. Washington. He enjoys the view from his deck, meals with family and friends, and rooting against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Michael is currently studying fiction at University of California, Riverside’s low res MFA in Palm Springs. He graduated with a BA in from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where he studied acting and playwriting.


Caitlin Cutt is from Long Beach, and she’s currently putting her degree in Comparative World Literature to good use by embarking on a career in stand-up comedy. She got her start at Flapper’s Burbank, and is gaining steam performing all over the Los Angeles comedy scene. Currently, Caitlin´s career goals are simple: hosting The Tonight Show and getting the opportunity to finally hug Steve Martin who, unbeknownst to him, basically raised her via airwaves . . . and, of course, she loves working on story-based material.


Lisa Douglass is influenced by bad boys and tragedy, alcohol, and fine literature. She is also an actress and a writer with an MFA in fiction from UC Irvine.



Tongue & Groove — a literary variety show tonight of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word & music produced by Conrad Romo — tonight (Monday, August 26, 2014) features Taylor Negron, Tonya Ingram, Carlos Kotkin, Ann Buxie, and music by Logan Heftel.

Taylor Negron is a comedian, novelist, playwright, and a damned good cook. As an actor, he can be seen in the upcoming films Pledge This, Retirement, and Surf School, which he also co-produced. He just got back from an off-Broadway show The Unbearable Lightness of Being Taylor Negron, and was met with standing ovations. Visit him at

Carlos Kotkin is a monthly contributor to the online literary magazine Smalldoggies as well as a featured performer on NPR’s The Moth Radio Hour, KCRW’s unfictional and the popular podcast Risk! He is a 10-time Moth storyslam winner and author of the recently published humorous memoir of romantic misadventures Please God Let It Be Herpes: A Heartfelt Quest for Love and Companionship. Learn more at
Ann Buxie is a poet/storyteller raised in Yuma, Arizona, who now lives in Malibu, where she produces the wonderful home concert series, Tales by the Sea.


Tonya Ingram is the 2011 New York Knicks Poetry Slam champion, a member and cofounder of NYU’s poetry slam team, a member of the 2011 Urban Word-NYC team, and the 2013 Nuyorican Grand Slam team. She is the author of Growl and Snare. Her work has traveled to Ghana, California, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., New York, The Literary Bohemian, Cultural Weekly, Upworthy, Youtube, and season four of Lexus Verses and Flow. She is a New York University alumna, a Cincinnati native, a Bronx-bred introvert, and a hopeful Los Angeles flower-child, where she will be pursuing her MFA in Public Practice at Otis College of Art & Design. Learn more at silenceturnedshotgun.


Logan Heftel is a producer and singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. Visit him at


Conrad Romo grew up in L.A. short, stocky and swarthy. He is the producer and host of the literary reading series Tongue & Groove, now into year 11. He is also a cofounder of the NoHo Litcrawl and earns his daily bread as a salesman. His writing has appeared in Los Angeles Review, Wednesday Magazine, Noveltown, Tu Ciudad, Brooklyn & Boyle, Palehouse, Huizache, and Latinos in Lotusland. Visit him at

WHAT: Tongue & Groove Literary Event

WHEN: Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:30-7:45 p.m.

WHERE: Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA, 90402



On Sunday, August 24, 2014, Tongue & Groove — a monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, and music founded and hosted by Conrad Romo — features readings by Jim Ruland, J. Ryan Stradal, Dinah Lenney, Rolland Vasin, Cathy Schenkelberg, and a performance by musical guest Jeremy Bass.


Jim Ruland is the author of the short story collection Big Lonesome and co-author with Scott Campbell, Jr., of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch of Giving the Finger. His debut novel is Forest of Fortune (Tyrus Press). Learn more at



J. Ryan Stradal volunteers at 826LA and co-produces the literary/culinary event “Hot Dish,” and works in TV, most recently as the Supervising Producer on the A&E series “Storage Wars: Texas.” He likes wine, books, root beer, and peas. Some places where he has been published include Hobart, The Rattling Wall, Midwestern Gothic, The Rumpus, and McSweeney’s. His first novel Kitchens of the Great Midwest will be published by Viking in 2015. Visit him at


Dinah Lenney is the author of Bigger Than Life: A Murder, a Memoir, and co-authored Acting for Young Actors. Her essays and reviews have been published in a wide range of publications and anthologies, including LARB, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, AGNI, Creative Nonfiction, the Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and Dinah serves as core faculty for the Bennington Writing Seminars, the Rainier Writing Workshop, and in the Master of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California. Her new book The Object Parade was recently published by Counterpoint Press. Find out more at


Cathy Schenkelberg is an actress, singer, mom, and all around bon vivant. She will tell you how she feels about spending nearly one million dollars on Scientology services for her bridge to freedom and then some.


Rolland Vasin, third-generation American writer (pen name Vachine), has been published in Open Minds Quarterly, Gnome, and Found and Lost, and is an active open-mic reader at venues from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Big Sur, California. He has appeared at Los Angeles’ World Stage, The Rapp Saloon, and Cobalt Cafe, among others, and dabbles in improvisational theater and standup comedy for which we was recognized as the Laugh Factory’s 1992 3rd Funniest CPA in Los Angeles. As a day job, Rolland’s CPA corporation audits youth and family charities.


Jeremy Bass is a singer/songwriter, master strings player, and a published poet and literary critic. He is the Musical Director and Bandleader for the bicoastal cabaret The Secret City, and is  touring this summer in support of his debut album, TENANT, set for release October 7, 2014. Visit him at

WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, 6-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Hotel Cafe, 1623 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028

TAB: $7.00 at the door

ETC.: Come early! Seating is limited and the event starts on time! There are parking lots on Selma as well as Cahuenga. Meters need to be fed until 8 p.m. Avoid Cahuenga street parking. The signs are deceptive.

On Sunday, July 27, 2014, Tongue & Groove — a monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, and music  founded and hosted by Conrad Romo — features a stellar lineup:  Jervey Tervalon, Dan Fante, Laura House, Mike O’Connell, and Cynthia Romanowski.


Jervey Tervalon, born in New Orleans and raised in Los Angeles, received his MFA in Creative Writing from UC Irvine. He is the author of six books, including Understanding This, for which he won the Quality Paper Book Club’s New Voices Award. Currently, he’s the Executive Director of “Literature for Life,” an educational advocacy organization, and Creative Director of The Pasadena LitFest. His latest novel is Monster’s Chef.


Dan Fante was born and raised in Los Angeles and lives in West. L.A. An author, poet, playwright, and screenwriter, his work is published in eight languages. Son of acclaimed Los Angeles author John Fante, Dan’s latest book is a detective thriller Point Doom. Check him out at

Laura-House-150x150 Laura House is a comic, writer, and meditation teacher.  You can hear her regularly on The David Feldman podcast and radio show. She performs stand-up & writes for TV & film. Her essays appear in several books, including Anna David’s True Tales of Lust and Love. Learn more at

FILE0570-150x150 Cynthia Romanowski holds an MFA in fiction from UC Riverside’s low residency program in Palm Desert. She is a former prose editor of The Coachella Review and a regular contributor to Lit Central OC. Her short stories have appeared in The Weekly Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, MARY: A Journal Of New Writing and The Whistling Fire. She has been a featured reader with Dirty Laundry Lit the New Short Fiction Series. Visit her at


Mike O’Connell is a comedian, musician, poet, actor, writer, and host of the Drunken Tales of Glory and Shame at Monty Bar on 7th near downtown. Visit him at


WHEN: Sunday, July 27, 2014, 6-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Hotel Cafe, 1623 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028

TAB: $7.00 at the door


ETC.: Come early! Seating is limited and the event starts on time! There are parking lots on Selma as well as Cahuenga. Meters need to be fed until 8 p.m. Avoid Cahuenga street parking. The signs are deceptive.

Congratulations to founding editor Joan Jobe Smith and editor Marilyn Johnson on the 40th anniversary of Pearl Magazine. Help Joan and Marilyn celebrate at a birthday bash on Saturday, June 28, 2014.

WHAT: Pearl Magazine‘s 40th birthday celebration

WHEN: Saturday, June 28, 2014, 3-5 p.m.

WHERE: Gatsby Books, 5535 E. Spring St., Long Beach, CA, 90808

WHAT TO EXPECT: Poets featured in the pages of Pearl will be on-hand to read their work.

To check out Pearl Magazine, visit

IMAGE: Pearl Magazine, Issue 46 (2012), cover by David Roy Scott.

Photographer/poet Jacque Stukowski — a contributor to the Silver Birch Press May Poetry Anthology — recently told us about Broken Light Collective, an online community of international artists living with or affected by mental illness, supporting each other one photograph at a time. Jacque’s photographs will be featured in an upcoming Broken Light Collective exhibit in New York City called From Darkness to Lightcurated by Broken Light Collective founder Danielle Hark.

ABOUT BROKEN LIGHT COLLECTIVE: Broken Light Collective‘s main goal is to create a safe and accepting environment where photographers of all levels who are affected by mental health issues can display their work, as well as inspire one another to keep going and keep creating, despite the dark or scary places in which they may find themselves. To learn how to submit photographs, visit the submissions page.

WHAT: From Darkness to Light photography exhibit

WHEN: June 26-August 13, 2014. Opening reception, Thursday, June 26th, 6-8 p.m.

WHERE: Fountain Gallery, 702 Ninth Ave. at 48th St. NY, NY 10019, 212-262-2756,


ABOUT BROKEN LIGHT COLLECTIVE FOUNDER: Danielle Hark is a freelance magazine and book photo editor, professional photographer, and mental health/wellness writer near NYC. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including the Huffington Post, Dr. Oz’s YouBeauty, Psychology Today, Beliefnet, as well as various books. Danielle is also a Certified Professional Life Coach. Her coaching niches include mental health, wellness, and creativity. As someone who has been affected by mental health challenges, both herself and with loved ones, she has made it her mission to empower as many other people who are struggling as possible, especially through the use of photography and creativity.



If you’re in the L.A. area this weekend, check out Tongue & Groove, a monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word and music produced by Conrad Romo — spreading the word for 10 years!

WHEN: Sunday, June 22, 2014, 6-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Hotel Cafe, 1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA, 90028

ENTRY: $6.00

RSVP on Facebook

Come early! Seating is limited and the event starts on time! For more info visit

NOTE: There is usually ample street parking, but meters need to be fed util 8 p.m. Read the signs carefully, but don’t park on Cahuenga. There is a parking lot right behind the club for six bucks or so or, and there are other lots on Selma between Cahuenga and Cole for 5-6 dollars.



Ann Gelder‘s work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Crazyhorse, Flavorwire, The Millions, The Rumpus, Tin House, and other publications. She has taught literature at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked as an online producer and marketing consultant. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her novel Bigfoot and the Baby, available at Bona Fide Books and Amazon, is both a love song and a Molotov cocktail to the American myth of self-reinvention. Follow Ann Gelder on twitter.


Chris Wells is an award-winning writer/performer who divides his time between New York and Los Angeles. As host of The Secret City, an Obie-award winning gathering for artists and art lovers, Wells curates, produces, and emcees a monthly event that is part salon, part cabaret, and part ceremony. As a writer, Wells creates original solo work and first person stories about his life. He lives in Woodstock with his boyfriend, Bobby Lucy, where he is at work on his first book, The Bermuda Triangle Inn, a Memoir in 29 Stories. Visit Chris Wells at and follow on twitter.


Adrian Todd Zuniga is the host/creator/CCO of Literary Death Match — a literary event now featured in 53 cities worldwide — and founding editor of Opium Magazine. His fiction has appeared in Readux, Gopher Illustrated, and Stymie, and online at Lost Magazine and McSweeney’s. He lives between Los Angeles and guest rooms all over Europe. He longs for a Chicago Cubs World Series and an EU passport. Follow him on twitter and Literary Death Match on facebook.

montellAmanda Montell is an East Coast-born writer, blogger, and pizza enthusiast living in Los Angeles. She graduated magna cum laude from NYU in December 2013. Her work has been published in Thought Catalog, Underwater New York, and Trop magazine. One day she’ll have an MFA and a book, but until then, you can find her at


Xavier Cavazosa former Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champion, is the author of Barbarian at the Gate and Diamond Grove Slave Tree. He received the inaugural Ice Cube Press Prairie Seed Poetry Prize, and his book Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the Heartland will be available July 1, 2014. He currently teaches in the Writing Specialization Program at Central Washington University. Follow Xavier Cavazos at his website or on twitter.


Josephine Johnson  grew up in Greentown, Indiana, a small farming community where she learned to work hard and follow through with things. She first sang to trees and listened for the melodies in the nature around her to tell the stories of the things she’d heard and seen. Follow Josephine Johnson at her website or on twitter.


On Thursday, April 17th, Charles Harper Webb, Donna Hilbert, and Gerald Locklin will appear at the Laguna College of Art and Design as part of its Distinguished Authors Reading Series.

WHEN: Thursday, April 17, 2014, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Laguna College of Art and Design, Dennis and Leslie Powers Library, 2222 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

ADMISSION: Free, plus free parking