Save the Dates

Vermin returns to celebrate our 12th anniversary of literary filth and fury in Southern California with a pair of shows, new t-shirts, and amazing readers. Details coming soon…


  • Hari1Hari Alluri
  • Kiik3Kiik A.K.
  • Kiik4Kiik A.K.
  • Kiik2Kiik A.K.
  • Carol and AstraCarol & Astra
  • Maggie1Maggie Thach Morshed
  • Maggie2Maggie Thach Morshed
  • Hari3Hari Alluri
  • Hari2Hari Alluri
  • BradfordBradford
  • HiltJessica Hilt
  • Hilt2Jessica Hilt
  • QuirkMatthew Quirk
  • Quirk2Matthew Quirk
  • MicSee you 8/20
  • verminposters SDPoster by David Varela

Gallery of Vermin: SD

Those who made it out to 3rdSpace for Vermin on the Mount on Thursday June 9 were treated to a great night of irreverent readings by Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi, Maggie Thach Morshed, Hari Alluri, Jessica Hilt and Matthew Quirk. Our next event in San Diego is Saturday August 20 but will look into continuing Thursday night Vermin in San Diego in the Fall. If you’re going to be in LA Saturday June 11 don’t miss our next event at Book Show in Highland Park!




Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Amy Silverberg

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

SILVERBERG: I watched a drunk guy wander into an AWP panel, sit down in the front row, promptly fall asleep, and snore so loudly the readers had to shout over him.

Amy Silverberg is a writer and comedian based in LA. She’s currently a Doctoral fellow in Fiction at the University of Southern California, where she teaches Intro to Writing. Her work has appeared in The LA Review of Books, The Tin House Open Bar, Hobart, The Collagist, and elsewhere. She also hosts a monthly standup show in Pasadena called Bitchface Comedy and is a member of the Second City House Sketch Team, Bullshark. She likes animals doing human activities.

Come see Amy read at Book Show in Highland Park on Saturday, June 11 at 7pm. 

HariAlluriPhotoByErikHaensel - 300dpi

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Hari Alluri

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

ALLURI: The strangest experience I’ve had at a literary event was at a workshop wherein some participants had rebelled and complained against the non-traditional yet deeply rigorous process of their specific workshop leader, who read that night. There was a storm and, in the middle of the reading, a lightning strike / thunderclap killed the auditorium lights—he called out a chant in the dark and the lights flashed on. The rest of us had forgotten how to breathe.

Hari Alluri is a poet, educator, facilitator and co-founding editor at Locked Horn Press. His work appears in anthologies, journals, online and in the chapbook The Promise of Rust. Hari immigrated to Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory at 12 and currently writes in San Diego, Kumeyaay land.

Come see Hari read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Thursday, June 9 at 7:30pm. 

Photo by Erik Haensel


Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Chris Camargo

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

CAMARGO: I was participating in a reading at Stories Books and Café in Echo Park and the reader who went up after me was reading a piece of an adult nature. Now, as those who have been there know, it is next to a learning center, and at the middle of story when it was getting all tits and cumming the kids were exiting the building next door. They acted like they couldn’t hear it but there was no way they didn’t hear. We had a microphone. I distinctly heard someone say, “What did he say?” before a concerned parent yelled from the wooden door something about perverts and calling the police. I said, “Everyone’s a critic,” and then she said she was going to get her husband to come and kick my ass. My ass has since remained unkicked.

Chris Camargo is currently in the process of getting his motorcycle license because he’s in his mid 30s and have nothing to show for it so what the fuck does it matter if he eats shit on the freeway? He has more debt than he thinks he can ever pay back from Cal State LA. It’s easier to kick heroin than pay Sallie Mae…and heroin would probably come with some cool stories. As a writer, he gets rejected a lot – probably by a few people in the room. In 2014 he was a finalist for Glimmer Train’s New Writer Award. His work has also appeared in Yay! LA magazine, The Altar Collective, The Women Group and Dryland Lit. Currently doing his best David Foster Wallace impression as a staff writer for Yay! LA Magazine.

Come see Chris read at Book Show in Highland Park on Saturday, June 11 at 7pm. 

16 June VOTM Rother

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Caitlin Rother

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

ROTHER: Most unusual experience was when I had protesters storm through my book launch for LOST GIRLS at the Mira Mesa B&N in the middle of my presentation. This was all captured by five TV cameras from all the local stations, who were there knowing this was coming. I was on the top of the news on every station that night.

New York Times best-selling author Caitlin Rother has written or co-authored 10 books, including her latest, Then No One Can Have Her, as well as I’ll Take Care of You, Lost Girls, Poisoned Love, Dead Reckoning, Naked Addiction, and My Life, Deleted. She also has recently published several true crime collections as Kindle shorts, titled, A Complicated Woman, Dead on Delivery and Kill Him Some More. Rother worked as an investigative reporter at daily newspapers for 19 years before deciding to write books full-time. She’s been published in Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, Union-Tribune,  Chicago  Tribune, The Washington  Post, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. She has appeared on more than 100 TV and radio shows, including “Nancy Grace,” “On the Record,” “Women Who Kill” on E!, “Snapped,” and numerous series on Investigation Discovery, A&E, C-SPAN and various PBS affiliates. Rother, who works as a writing/research coach and consultant, also teaches narrative non-fiction at UCSD Extension and San Diego Writers, Ink.

Come see Caitlin read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Thursday, June 9 at 7:30pm. 


Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Bruce Bauman

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

BAUMAN: At my own literary event– For my first book, I read at the Happy Endings series in New York.  I downed 2 vodkas before I did my 7 minute reading read and 2 after I finished, and then with my high school friend Peter Bricken, we reprised our roles in Kiss Me, Kate and sang “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”  I’m sure I was off key and who the hell knows what else, but it sure was odd. And kinda stupidly hilarious. And will never happen again.

At a reading in New York,, I can’t even remember for who–sorry, that’s embarrassing–a woman came up to me and said, “You’re Madison Smartt Bell, aren’t you?” I politely said, No. I had no idea what Bell looked like or even if we were close in age. She kept saying to me and others around “Why are you lying to me?” To get away form her, a friend and I went around the corner to a bar and and we’re sitting there just bullshitting, drinking and a completely different woman came up to me and said “You’re Alexander Cockburn, I love reading your stuff in the Nation.” Again I said, No, I’m not him, and Cockburn is probably 15 years older than me and he’s Irish and I’m a Jew from Queens. Listen to my accent.” She said, “You’re snarky in your columns and now I know you’re snarky in person.”

Bruce Bauman is an instructor in the CalArts MFA Writing Program and the Senior Editor of Black Clock literary magazine. Library Journal called Bauman’s new novel, Broken Sleep “[A] plangent tour de force of epic proportions…” Bookworm’s Michael Silverblatt said Broken Sleep “is funny, heartbreaking and beautiful.” Shelf Awareness wrote it’s a “mind-bending work of fiction that entwines generations and continents, each character represents contemporary life’s most existential crises.” Booklist called Bauman’s first novel And The Word Was “a magnificent debut, smart and intense, and riveting.” Among his awards are a UNESCO/Aschberg award in Literature, Durfee Foundation grant and a City of Los Angeles Award in literature.

Come see Bruce read at Book Show in Highland Park on Saturday, June 11 at 7pm. 


Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Bernadette Murphy

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

MURPHY: I once saw Michael Cunningham read. He had just won the Pulitzer a few days earlier but kept his commitment to teach at the Napa Valley Writer’s Conference. We were gathered in a movie theater for the reading. People balanced buckets of popcorn and glasses of chilled white wine in their plush, theater seats. A large spray of flowers had been set up in front of the podium, which itself was in front of the velvet curtain covering the screen. It looked like were were gathered for some kind of bizarro funeral. While he was reading, the theater next door started playing a shoot-‘em-up movie. Michael Cunningham had to nearly shout to be be heard over the movie, while people sipped their wine (this was Napa, after all) and munched their popcorn. That said, I was so impressed with how down-to-earth and real he remained throughout, laughing it off and enjoying being with all of us. You can win the Pulitzer Prize, but you’re still just an author hoping to get a few people to listen to your crafted words, and grateful when they do. 

Bernadette Murphy is the author of Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life. She has published three previous books of narrative nonfiction including the bestselling Zen and the Art of Knitting, is an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Department of Antioch University Los Angeles, and a former weekly book critic for the Los Angeles Times

Come see Bernadette read at Book Show in Highland Park on Saturday, June 11 at 7pm. 


Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Daniel Hernandez

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

HERNANDEZ: My friend Nina’s baby Jupiter attended the presentation for “Down & Delirious in Mexico City” at The Echo wearing noise canceling baby headphones cuz we had a band playing.

Daniel Hernandez is author of “Down in Delirious in Mexico City” and is a correspondent for VICE. He just moved back to L.A. after living eight years in DF.

Come see Daniel read at Book Show in Highland Park on Saturday, June 11 at 7pm. 


Vermin in LA

Join us Saturday, June 11 at 7pm for a night of irreverent readings with Bruce Bauman, Chris Camargo, Daniel Hernandez, Shawna Kenney, Bernadette Murphy, Amy Silverberg and your host Jim Ruland at Book Show 5503 N. Figueroa in Highland Park in NELA. Vermin is free and open to the public. Poster by David Varela.

16 June VOTM Morshed

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Maggie Thach Morshed

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

MORSHED: During residencies in my MFA program, we would have student readings. I participated in some but not all. After one such reading, a classmate came up to me and said that he liked my story. “I didn’t read last night,” I told him. “Didn’t you read some kind of scene about pho?” I knew exactly what he was talking about. Although I didn’t read, I was at the reading. Another classmate (who is also of Asian origin) read a sex scene that involved pho. I’m guessing since I am Vietnamese, some in the audience got us mixed up. I was a bit horrified — not because of the quality of the writing or the content, but because I write nonfiction, and I didn’t want my classmates thinking that scene was based on any kind of experience that I’d had.

Maggie Thach Morshed is a former award-winning sports journalist. She has an MFA from UC Riverside, Palm Desert. She is currently at work on a memoir about living and teaching in South Korea. Much of her writing revolves around the themes of immigration, identity and assimilation. Most recently, she was involved with the PeaceMakers program at the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice, where she was a Peace Writer for South Africa’s Glenda Wildschut. Her narrative appears on the Atavist. Her essays have appeared in Full Grown People, Catapult, Sport Literate and others. Oh, and she just got married.

Come see Maggie read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Thursday, June 9 at 7:30pm. 

16 June VOTM Kenney

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Shawna Kenney

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

KENNEY: I was reading at Tower Records in Boston on my first book tour and came to a section in the story about golden showers when some 10-year-old kid came wandering through, so I stopped and we all waited until his father caught up to him and ushered him out.

The most special one was reading at City Lights on Halloween years ago with Cara Bruce and Pleasant Gehman. We all wore devil horn headbands for the holiday and afterward the manager took us to the basement where there was sort of a dresser-shrine that had Allen Ginsberg’s Buddhist beads and a matchbook from William Burroughs on it and stuff from all of these greats. He said we could each leave something too, so we left our horns. I felt like I could just die a happy writer right there.

Shawna Kenney is the author of the award-winning memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix (Last Gasp), co-author of Imposters (Mark Batty Publisher), and editor of the anthology Book Lovers (Seal Press). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Playboy, Ms., Creative Nonfiction, Vice, The LA Weekly, Narratively and more. She teaches creative writing in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and gets around LA mostly by bike.

Come see Shawna read at Book Show in Highland Park on Saturday, June 11 at 7pm. 

16 June VOTM Quirk

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Matthew Quirk

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

QUIRK: If I have a long drive on book tour, I’ll usually wear something comfortable on the road, like shorts and a t-shirt. That often leads to me changing clothes in odd places: in the bathroom of some cozy bookstore, in the back of my car in Orange, in the parking lot of Vroman’s, etc. It always cracks me up, as I absurdly think of the Joads, or Superman’s phone booth, or an old-time traveling salesman. I’m still waiting for the day when I go on stage and someone says, “Hey, didn’t I just see you in your boxers in the back of a Toyota?” 

Matthew Quirk studied history and literature at Harvard College. After graduation, he spent five years at The Atlantic reporting on crime, private military contractors, terrorism prosecutions, and international gangs. His first novel, The 500, was an Edgar nominee and won the Strand Critics’ and International Thriller Writers’ awards for best first novel. His most recent book is Cold Barrel Zero. He lives in San Diego.

Come see Matthew read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Thursday, June 9 at 7:30pm. 

16 June VOTM Kawaguchi

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

Araki-Kawaguchi: At a reading a couple years ago I read two straight poems about dildos. Is that unusual? I don’t know, it felt pretty normal at the time.

Kiik A.K. earned a MA from UC Davis where his poetics thesis was titled THE JOY OF HUMAN SACRIFICE and a MFA from UC San Diego where his collection of counter-internment narratives was titled EVERYDAY COLONIALISM. He is currently at work on a book of poems titled HOGG BOOK. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in iO, Washington Square, Action Yes, CutBank and Alice Blue Review.

Come see Kiik read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Thursday, June 9 at 7:30pm. 

Poster by David Varela. 

Vermin returns to San Diego

Join us Thursday, June 9 at 7:30pm for a night of irreverent readings with Hari Alluri, Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi, Jessica Hilt, Maggie Thach Morshed, Matthew Quirk, Caitlin Rother and your host Jim Ruland at 3rdspace 4610 Park Blvd, San Diego CA 7:30 PM. Vermin is free and open to the public. Poster by David Varela.