All posts tagged Literary L.A.

Mark Sarvas in LA

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

SARVAS: A young lady who wandered into the reading asked if she could come to the podium and read a random section of my novel. It was so weird I had to say yes. The events coordinator said that in 20 years working there, that had never happened.

Mark Sarvas is the author of the novel Harry, Revised, which was published in more than a dozen countries around the world. His book reviews and criticism have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Threepenny Review, Bookforum, and many others. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, PEN/America, and PEN Center USA, and teaches novel writing at the UCLA Extension Writers Program. A reformed blogger, he lives in Santa Monica, California.

Come see Mark read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, April 13 at 7:30pm. 

Yelena Moskovich reads in LA

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

MOSKOVICH: Nothing unusual to declare at the border on my behalf. We came, we read, we conquered.

Yelena Moskovich is a Ukrainian-born American and French novelist and playwright, author of The Natashas (Serpent’s Tail UK 2016, Dzanc Books US 2018) and the upcoming second novel, Virtuoso (Serpent’s Tail, 2019). Her short story, “Marlene or Number 16,” won the Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize in 2016. Her plays have been produced in the US, Vancouver, Paris, and Stockholm. She’s also written for The New Statesman, The Happy Reader, 3:AM Magazine, and in French for Mixt(e) magazine. She currently lives in Paris.

Come see Yelena read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, April 13 at 7:30pm. 

Scott O’Connor reads in LA

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

O’CONNOR: I did a reading and Q&A will Eddie Muller in San Francisco and a troubled woman in the audience stood up to ask a question. Or not so much to ask a question as to make a statement. And not a statement about my work, really, but about her life and her troubles and it made everyone in the room (including me) incredibly uncomfortable, except for Eddie, who handled it with grace and dignity, both for all of us and for her. Afterward I thanked him for this and he said, “She just wanted to be heard.” I’ve thought a lot about that night and that woman and what Eddie said, and it’s helped inform my own life going forward, as well as a short story from this current book, and the next novel.

Scott O’Connor is the author of A Perfect Universe: Ten Stories, the novels Untouchable and Half World and the novella Among Wolves. He has been awarded the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, and his stories have been shortlisted for the Sunday Times/EFG Story Prize and cited as Distinguished in Best American Short Stories. Additional work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Zyzzyva, The Rattling Wall, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He teaches creative writing at Cal State Channel Islands and for Writing Workshops LA.

Come see Scott read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, April 13 at 7:30p

Amy Wallen reads in LA

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

WALLEN: Hosting a DimeStories anniversary in a church hall,  I had to deal with one James Lee, a human trafficker, who guzzled multiple large red plastic cups of wine, then on stage stomped his heavy steel-toed Korean army boots while ranting about killing the dirty children of our overpopulated planet while waving his manifesto, then was drug down the aisle of the church to the curb where the police arrested him. We got a restraining order to keep him from attending any more of our events, but a year later I watched on the news when he strapped a bomb to his chest, carried a gun and other ammunition into the Washington DC Discovery Channel building, kidnapped the TV show’s staff, then was shot and killed by the SWAT team. You can read his manifesto online.

Amy Wallen is associate director of the New York State Summer Writers Institute and teaches creative writing at the University of California, San Diego Extension. Her first novel was a Los Angeles Times bestseller which she read from at a Vermin on the Mount event in LA’s Chinatown in 2007. She loves cemetery walks and will do almost anything for a bag of peanut M&Ms. Not plain.

Come see Amy read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, April 13 at 7:30pm. 

Peter Hsu reads in LA

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

HSU: At Grown Up Story Time, the MC turned around and mooned the audience. Then somebody put a microphone up to his bare ass. And then his bare ass went on and MC’d the rest of the show.

Peter Hsu is a Los Angeles based fiction writer. He was a 2017 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, as well as the 2017 Artist in Residence for PEN in the Community. Peter’s stories have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Flapperhouse, Friction Magazine, and others. He is the associate fiction editor for Angels Flight * literary west.

Come see Peter read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, April 13 at 7:30pm. 

Susan Henderson in LA

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

HENDERSON: I was at one of Amanda Stern’s Happy Ending series, where Ben Percy bench-pressed Amanda. Then Roy Kesey went up to read. He called me from the audience to assist. And I had to shave his legs while he read. And by “shaving his legs,” he meant putting tape on them and then ripping them off.

Susan Henderson is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize. She is the author of two novels, The Flicker of Old Dreams and Up from the Blue, both published by HarperCollins. Susan lives in Kings Park, New York and blogs at the writer support group,


Keith Rosson in LA

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

ROSSON: Honestly, the majority of readings and gatherings I’ve been to, barring random nudity and/or drunkenness, have been pretty tame. I consider this a great personal and moral failure on my part and hope to change it within the next, oh, forty minutes or so.

Keith Rosson is the author of the novels Smoke City and The Mercy of the Tide, which NPR called “one of the most immersive fictional settings in recent memory.” His short fiction has appeared in PANK, Cream City Review, The Nervous Breakdown, and more. He’s also a legally blind illustrator and graphic designer, which is oftentimes exactly as tough as it sounds, and an advocate of public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape.

Come see Keith read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, October 27 at 7:30pm.

Laura Lee Bahr in LA

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

BAHR: I tend to glue myself to unusal literary gatherings, but I guess my first Bizarro-Con in 2011 when I was enlisted to be part of a chorus of singers in the Ad House attic as the reader threw actual food-grade duck parts on the audience still takes the cake (shout out to Cameron Pierce).

Laura Lee Bahr is the author of two novels, Haunt (Fungasm Press, Wonderland Book Award winner) and Long-Form Religious Porn. Haunt was translated into Spanish under the title Fantasma (Orciny Press). Laura has been a screenwriter for various award-winning films, including Jesus Freak and the little death. Her debut feature as writer/director, Boned, won “Best Micro-Budget Feature” at the Toronto Independent Film Festival and is currently distributed through Gravitas Ventures (available on demand). Her latest book, Angel Meat, a collection of her short stories, is available through Fungasm Press.

Come see Laura read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, October 27 at 7:30pm.



Vermin turns 13

It’s true: the occult powers of the 13th anniversary of Vermin on the Mount blotted out the fucking sun. (Thanks to Agatha French for the write-up in the Los Angeles Times.)



Kevin Maloney in LA

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

MALONEY: A few months ago I went to a reading to benefit the victims of the MAX train attack here in Portland that resulted in two deaths. At one point the host invited a special guest on stage, a poet named Micah. His reading was totally different than the others: way more personal, intimate, vulnerable. I didn’t realize until after the event that Micah was the third victim of the attack… a local slam poet, the only surviver who intervened on behalf of the Muslim women. 

KEVIN MALONEY lives, works, and writes in Portland, Oregon. His debut novel Cult of Loretta was published by Lazy Fascist Press in 2015. His fiction has appeared in Hobart, BarrelhouseVol. 1 BrooklynThe Literary Review, and a number of other literary journals and anthologies.

Come see Kevin read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, August 18 at 7:30pm.

13 Years of Vermin in LA

Join us on Friday, August 18 at 7:30 for a special anniversary event at Book Show in Highland Park as we celebrate 13 years of Vermin on the Mount. Legion of Vermin members Sean Carswell and Kevin Maloney return from Morro Bay and Portland, Oregon. Local writers Mari Naomi, Désirée Zamorano and Nolan Knight round out the L.A. contingent and Brain Jabas Smith joins us from Tucson, Arizona. Poster art and design by Joshua Rosa. Don’t be bitten!



Tiffany Scandal in LA & SD

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

SCANDAL: Once watched a man recite poetry about blackbirds into a microphone that was hanging out from the fly of another man’s pants.

Tiffany Scandal is the author of three books. The first, THERE’S NO HAPPY ENDING, is part of the New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press. Her second book, JIGSAW YOUTH, has made numerous “Best Of” lists and is available as an audiobook which the author narrated herself. She returns to Eraserhead Press for the release of her third and newest book, titled SHIT LUCK, which is already making waves and considered to be a great introduction to the Bizarro Fiction genre. She also models and does photography, but that stuff isn’t as important. She lives in Portland, Oregon. With cats.

Come see Tiffany read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, April 14 at 7:30pm and at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Saturday, April 15 at 7pm. 

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin LA & SD: Vi Khi Nao

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

NAO: The reading was at a hair salon in New York. It had been raining intermittently and it had been terribly noisy and stuffy. It was hard to hear the readers. I was in the arms of my lover and I had fallen asleep. When it was my turn to read, I jolted awake, wheeled myself to one of the tall, swirly chairs made for cutting hair and read. I wish I had requested that my hair got either permed or washed during my reading. I see now how limited my imagination was.

Vi Khi Nao is the author of novel, Fish in Exile, and poetry collection, The Old Philosopher. Vi’s work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. She was the winner of 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize and the 2016 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest.

Come see Vi read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, January 20 at 7:30pm and at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Saturday, January 21 at 7pm. 

VOTM + Razorcake = Awesome

Razorcake & Vermin on the Mount present a night of irreverent readings in L.A. with Alice Bag, Keith Morris, Michelle Gonzales, Michael Fournier and your host Jim Ruland. This once-in-a-lifetime event will be held on Saturday, April 2 at 8:30pm.

This event will be at a new location for Vermin on the Mount: pehrspace 325 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles.

Little D will DJ and a Q&A will follow the reading. Books and merchandise will be available for sale. $5 suggested donation. Poster by Alex Barrett.

Add yourself to the Facebook invite or check out Razorcake for more details.