All posts tagged Readings in San Diego

VOTM4VR

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.)

 

 

David Agranoff in SD

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

AGRANOFF: I read a story for 2014 World Horror Convention’s annual gross-out contest. It was nerve wracking reading my story in front of 500 horror writers. I didn’t think my story was funny or gross enough, but it came in second place out of 12 entries and many thought I was robbed. I won a print of a human centipede painting. So that is pretty weird. I also caused two grand masters of horror who were judges to keel over.

David Agranoff is the Wonderland award nominated author of two short story collections and four novels. His novels published by Eraserhead press include Punk Rock Ghost Story, Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich and The Vegan Revolution with Zombies. He writes primarily horror but this summer is releasing his first Science Fiction novel Flesh Trade co-written with Edward Morris.

Come see David read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Saturday, April 15 at 7pm. 

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 SD: Heather Fowler

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

FOWLER: Filming for the short film adaptation/trailer shoot for Beautiful Ape Girl Baby had paused due to torrential downpour and the cast and crew came together in a single room. As the book author, I was invited to watch the entire process. While we waited, the actors practiced their lines in the round. It was great to be seated there, watching my characters come to life and listening to director Lauren Rachel Berman advise on the scene. The best moment for me, because it was so privately amusing, was when the actors made slight adjustments to a line here or there and Lauren said, “Try that again. In the book and adapted script, it reads…” 

I’m a constant reviser–to the extent that sometimes, if reading unpublished work, I’ll even revise right as I read, so it was really fun to have the script kept so sacrosanct even when I myself was amenable to more fluid adjustments. Being an author often open to other people’s creative adjustments but having my exact terms kept precise–definitely memorable. I had to remind myself that the novel had yet to drop (but the edits were done), so Lauren was right. Now I’m writing plays and screenplays, so such things may not happen again in this way any time soon–a play/movie in development can be changed at every turn. 

I welcome the organized chaos to come. Here’s the trailer. These actors are great!

Heather Fowler is a novelist, a poet, a fiction writer, a librettist, and a playwright. She is the author of the novel Beautiful Ape Girl Baby (2016) and the story collections Suspended Heart (2010), People with Holes (2012), This Time, While We’re Awake (2013), and Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness (2014). She is also co-author of a collaborative book of poems called Bare Bulbs Swinging with Meg Tuite and Michelle Reale. Her work has appeared in such venues as PANK, Night Train, storyglossia, Necessary Fiction, Feminist Studies, and more.

Come see Heather read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Saturday, January 21 at 7pm. 

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin SD: David Eric Tomlinson

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

TOMLINSON: This is a reading in Dallas, early September, so it’s hot. The locals, myself included, are all in shorts, t-shirts, open-toed sandals. One of the performers is from Ohio and he comes in wearing cowboy get-up – boots, Wranglers, long-sleeve denim shirt, a black Stetson. His book is very good, as is his delivery. But it’s just too damn hot for all that gear.

David Eric Tomlinson was born and raised in Oklahoma. He studied writing at the University of California, San Diego, and has worked as a copywriter, art director, karate instructor, and stay-at-home dad. David lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife and two daughters. His first novel The Midnight Man, about five Oklahomans who overcome deep-seated racial, political, and social differences in the year preceding the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was published this month by Tyrus Books.

Come see David read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Saturday, January 21 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 in S.D. 1/21

It’s been six months since the last Vermin in San Diego. That changes on Saturday 1/21. Come celebrate the arts with writers from L.A., San Diego, Seattle and points unknown. Books and merchandise will be available for sale and surprises abound in the world famous Vermin raffle. Everything you need to know is right here.

  • 16 Feb VOTM SD Trump1Not this shit agian
  • 16 Feb VOTM SD BeckerLauren Becker
  • 16 Feb VOTM SD LopezPaul Lopez
  • 16 Feb VOTM SD GillAllison Gill
  • 16 Feb VOTM SD Shaw1Johnny Shaw
  • 16 Feb VOTM SD Gill2Allison Gill
  • 16 Feb VOTM SD Shaw2Johnny Shaw
  • 16 Feb VOTM SD Shaw3Johnny Shaw
  • 16 Feb VOTM SD Trump2Down for the count

Gallery of Vermin: SD

The photos from the most recent Vermin on the Mount event at 3rdSpace in San Diego are up.

Check out all the action from a night irreverent entertainment, including Lauren Becker reading from If I Would Leave Myself Behind, new poetry from Paul Lopez, hilarity from Allison Gill, and Johnny Shaw reading as his alter ego Brace Godfrey.

Watch for details about the next Vermin on the Mount event in San Diego!

 

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Johnny Shaw

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

SHAW: When my first book came out, I wanted to do a reading in my hometown where the book was set, or at least somewhere in the Imperial Valley.

First I contacted the library, but it had been condemned due to a recent earthquake. Next I contacted the one bookstore that I knew was in town, but it had recently closed. The only other bookstore was the adult bookstore on the edge of town called Books ‘n’ Things. To be perfectly honest, it didn’t have a lot of book. It was mostly things. I considered doing the reading there, but the area in front of the beaded curtain was too small. 

So I contacted a few bars in town. Hot Rods & Beer in Holtville, California is a former garage converted into a bar, and they were more than happy to let me bring a little spoken word to the place. It ended up being a great night with a bunch of people coming out, and now I almost exclusively read in bars. Since I write in bars, it makes sense.

Johnny Shaw is the author of the novels DOVE SEASON, BIG MARIA, PLASTER CITY, and most recently FLOODGATE. His short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Plots With Guns, Shotgun Honey, Crime Factory, Blood & Tacos, and numerous anthologies. He was won the Anthony Award and two Spotted Owl Awards. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Come see Johnny read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Saturday, February 20 at 7pm. 

Photo by Rose O’Keefe.

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Lisa Brackmann

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

BRACKMANN: I had teamed up with author Dana Fredsti for a series of book events. Our last event together was at a bookstore that I absolutely adore, a beloved independent that has done so much for the community and offers an amazing selection of books. But, I’d done an event there for my first book release, and it hadn’t gone so well. Not the bookstore’s fault, just a bizarre confluence of events involving street construction, a basketball playoff game, and a parade. So I was nervous about this one.

We got to the store early, because I like to be early for these things. My book was displayed all over the place, which felt really good. But the event coordinator thought that the event was an hour earlier than we did. He wasn’t wrong and neither were we. It was just one of those things. Not surprisingly, hardly anyone showed up. This combination is the kind of situation that triggers my not so latent social anxiety, big-time. I felt terrible. Not so much for the time confusion; that wasn’t my fault. But that I couldn’t get many people out to this event.

We soldiered on. I read a short selection from my latest novel, Getaway. Then it was Dana’s turn. Her novel, Plague Town, has been described as Buffy the Vampire Slayer Meets Walking Dead. It’s a lot of fun, and the section she read has some great humor in it. Just as she opened her book to read, a man wandered in off the street and sat down in the back. He wore tattered, rainbow-colored clothes, a towel for a cape, and a turban with various Tarot cards stuck in it. And he thought that everything Dana said was hilarious. Every. Single. Line. Also, that everything she said was utterly perfect, and that she deserved a diamond-studded genie bottle, which he would be happy to provide, because his mother was Barbara Eden. I lost it. I dissolved into helpless giggles, covered my eyes with my hand and did my best not to peak at Barbara Eden’s turban-clad son.

Lisa Brackmann is the author of the critically acclaimed Ellie McEnroe series set in today’s China (Rock Paper Tiger, Hour of the Rat and the upcoming Dragon Day), and the thriller Getaway (an ALA summer reading pick and SCIBA finalist). She is a California native and a former film industry professional who has lived and traveled extensively in China. Lisa once was an issues researcher in a presidential campaign and was the singer/songwriter/bassist in an LA rock band. She just bought a bass ukulele.

Come see Lisa read at MCASD in downtown San Diego on Friday, February 6 at 12pm.

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Steph Cha

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

CHA: Most unusual thing… At my first book launch party at Skylight, this man came up to me afterward and told me he’d read about me in the Korean paper and came to my reading because he had a daughter named Stephanie Cha. He then ran into a high school friend of his who was also at the reading, a friend of my parents I’ve known since childhood. Small world, Koreatown.

Steph Cha is the author of Follow Her Home, Beware Beware, and the forthcoming Dead Soon Enough, all published by St. Martin’s Minotaur. She’s a regular contributor to the L.A. Times and the L.A. Review of Books. She lives in her native city of Los Angeles with her husband and basset hound.

Come see Steph read at MCASD in downtown San Diego on Friday, February 6 at 12pm.

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Ben Loory

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

LOORY: One time I was approached to do voiceover work for a taco commercial. In the end, I didn’t get the job– they went with someone “more grandfatherly.”

Ben Loory is the author of the collection Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day (Penguin, 2011) and a picture book for children, The Baseball Player and the Walrus (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015). His fables and tales have appeared in The New Yorker and on This American Life and Selected Shorts. He lives in Los Angeles and is an Instructor for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

Come see Ben read at MCASD in downtown San Diego on Friday, February 6 at 12pm.

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Heather Fowler

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

FOWLER: It’s now a tie–either A. Watching an indie bookstore owner in rural Oklahoma stroke the soft skin of her tortoise’s neck while a greyhound also looked on as I read from my new story collection Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness--or B. That one time I scared away an entire troop of Girl Scouts by reading dark, mildly erotic fairy tale poems on a public stage.  Then again, it could have been watching a poet get naked on stage in New York.

Heather Fowler is the author of short story collections Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental IllnessThis Time, While We’re AwakePeople with Holesand Suspended Heart, as well as a collaborative poetry collection entitled Bare Bulbs Swingingwritten with Meg Tuite and Michelle Reale.

Come see Heather read at MCASD in downtown San Diego on Friday, February 6 at 12pm.

Vermin in the News

Vermin on the Mount received a very nice shout out from Carolyn Kellogg in the Los Angeles Times book blog Jacket Copy:

“The punk rock reading series takes its name from its original location, the Mountain Bar, where it began 10 years ago. Host and organizer Jim Ruland has found a new home for the semi-regular series, at NOMAD Studio near the L.A. River.”

Writing for the L.A. Weekly, Joseph Lapin’s generous profile explores the origins of the series. “Incredible writers have graced the stage at Vermin on the Mount. At the first ever reading, the performers were Joe Meno, an author and playwright from Chicago who has written six novels; Joshuah Bearman, the former L.A. Weekly journalist who wrote the story that would become Argo; and Andrea Siegel, author of Like the Red Panda and a screenwriter. There have been many memorable performances, Ruland recalls, including the time Stephen Elliot, the author who’s a founding editor of The Rumpus, appeared unexpectedly on Father’s Day to read a touching piece about his father.”

It’s a great beginning to our tenth year of programming in L.A.!

 

 

 

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Nicole Vollrath

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

VOLLRATH: The fifth year anniversary party for First Friday open mic was held at the Swedenborg church and had about 80 people in attendance. One participant drank so much free wine, he had to be escorted outside against his will. As I read my piece, he pounded on the church door, screaming at us “mother-fucking hypocrites” as the police sirens approached. No one heard a word I read, but no one will forget that party.

Nicole Vollrath writes short fiction and flash fiction and teaches creative writing when her day job doesn’t get in the way.  She earned an MFA at Emerson College in Boston and has placed in San Diego City Beat’s Fiction 101 contest a few times, and won it once. Nicole has served on the board of San Diego Writers Ink and relishes the supportive writing communities in San Diego. Major themes in her work are promiscuity and Christianity, but not necessarily in the same stories.
 
Come see Nicole read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Nov. 10 at 7pm