Why There Are Words & ZYZZYVA February 13

Why There Are Words teams up with ZYZZYVA – the last word: West Coast writers and artists as the journal marks its 100th issue this coming spring. Join us Feb. 13 when readers recently published in the journal, along with special guest Marian Szczepanski, will read from their latest works. Doors open at 7pm. $10.  Studio 333 in Sausalito.

First published in 1985, and marking its 100th issue in Spring 2014, ZYZZYVA is an acclaimed San Francisco literary institution. Counting among its contributors the likes of Po Bronson, Chitra Divakaruni, Haruki Murakami, Jim Gavin, F.X. Toole, Sherman Alexie, Molly Giles, Kay Ryan, Adrienne Rich, Raymond Carver, and many others, work appearing in ZYZZYVA has received the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award, and has been noted or included in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Essays, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading series. Editor Laura Cogan and Managing Editor Oscar Villalon have been editing the journal since 2011.


Heather Altfeld is a lecturer in the English department at California State University, Chico. Her recently completed book of poetry is The Disappearing Theatre. She has published poetry in Pleiades, ZYZZYVA, Superstition Review, The Tule Review, The Squaw Valley Review, Antique Children, Clackamas, and The New Guard.

Troy Jollimore

Troy Jollimore is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Chico. He is the author of On Loyalty (Routledge), Love’s Vision (Princeton University Press), and two collections of poems: At Lake Scugog (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets) and Tom Thomson in Purgatory (Margie/Intuit House), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry.

Earle McCartney

Earle McCartney is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was awarded the Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship. He was published recently in ZYZZYVA and The Common, and holds a BA in mathematics from Williams College. He is currently at work on a novel and a collection of long stories. Earle McCartney is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and was awarded the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in 2013. His work has appeared in ZYZZYVA and the Common, and he’s currently at work on a novel and a collection of long stories.

Lori Ostlund

Lori Ostlund‘s story collection The Bigness of the World (University of Georgia Press) was awarded the California Book Award, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. The recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, she lives in San Francisco.

Dean Rader

Dean Rader’s poetry collection Works & Days (Truman State University Press) was the winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize. His most recent book is Landscape/Portrait/Figure/Form (Omnidawn). He is a professor of English at the University of San Francisco. http://www.deanrader.com


Marian Szczepanski holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and has won awards for short fiction and magazine feature writing. The granddaughter of immigrant coal miners, she grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and lived as a young child in the Jamison Coal Company house where her mother and aunts were raised. Playing St. Barbara is her first novel. She lives in Houston, Texas.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay — everywhere — to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong for four years.