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Issue 18 :: Some Poets of the Bay Area, curated by Adam Fagin

Contributor Bios & Liner Notes



Mary Burger is a writer and visual artist based in Oakland. Her writing often combines poetry, essay, memoir, and fiction. Her book Then Go On, a collection of prose, was published in 2012. Her writing has appeared in various literary journals (including 2013 issues of The Volta and the Poetic Labor Project) and in landscape and art publications. She currently teaches in the School of Landscape Architecture at the Academy of Art University.

About Codes of Incompletion: This poem emerged from an earlier essay of nearly the same name, exploring time, syntax, gender, and cellular biology.


Gillian Conoley was born in Austin Texas, where, on its rural outskirts, her father and mother owned and operated a radio station. Her new collection is PEACE with Omnidawn (spring 2014). She is the author of seven collections of poetry, including THE PLOT GENIE, PROFANE HALO, LOVERS IN THE USED WORLD, and TALL STRANGER, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work has received the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from The American Poetry Review, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Fund for Poetry Award, and has been anthologized in over 20 national and international anthologies, including W.W. Norton’s Postmodern American Poetry. Conoley's translations of three books by Henri Michaux, never brought into English before, will appear with City Lights in fall 2014.

Where the page was, do we walk is an exploration of the page as a virtual medium rather than a tactile one, and how, if we turn from our computer back to––as so many of us do––a hard copy, that paper page is now irrevocably altered by the mother from which it came. Inflationary cosmology theory (current replacement for Big Bang) encourages us to think of the page as no longer flat, but something more curved in space: "Like a vast bed sheet snapped, this exponential stretching effectively flattened out the visible universe, so that things look uniform in all directions," writes Stanford physicist Andrei Linde. It's that simile, "like a vast bed sheet snapped taut," that I keep thinking of as being related to our current page–– a page undulating in space, and then brought before us as a taut entity. It seems that innovative practice has focused primarily on the notion of language as a shifting, unpredictable medium. Now that the page too, as we thought we once knew it, has drifted away from us, I find myself intrigued as to what this shifting page, no longer nailed to the desk, might bring in new shapes and forms. There's some personal narrative thrown in here, too. War. The Three Graces.


Sophia Dahlin is a poet in Iowa who was in Oakland, where she "curated" the Poem Talk series at n/a gallery and memorized poems at the Bay Area Public School. Her poetry has appeared in Fence, Octopus, and the Bay Area magazines Where Eagles Dare, Meatpaper, and Eleven Eleven. She was born into the middle class and she has a blog: www.mightierthans.wordpress.com


Gloria Frym is the author of two collections of short stories—Distance No Object (City Lights Books), and How I Learned (Coffee House Press). Her most recent books of poetry are Mind Over Matter (BlazeVOX, 2011) and Any Time Soon (Little Red Leaves, 2010). She teaches at California College of the Arts in the Bay Area.

Mother May I and Spring Training are from a new book of proses, The True Patriot.


Samantha Giles is a graduate of the School of Social Work at San Francisco State and holds an MFA from Mills College. She is the author of hurdis addo (Displaced Press, 2011)-- a winner of the Sexiest Poem awarded by CAConrad-- and the forthcoming deadfalls and snares from Futurepoem. Since 2009, she has been the Director of Small Press Traffic.


Les Gottesman The prose poems I'm reading here have gone through changes since I recorded them, and are now part of a longer suite called "Gusts of Doom." These are my first prose poems. Other poems of mine have appeared in print and online journals and magazines including Ambush Review, Antioch Review, H_NGM_N, Harper’s, Juked, Map Literary, The National Poetry Review, Otis Nebula, Samizdat, Thin Air, and Wag's Revue, as well as in a number of chapbooks under my own imprint, Omerta Publications. Finishing Line Press published my newest chapbook, Misuses of Poetry and Other Poems, in February 2013, and Tebot Bach will bring out The Cases, winner of the 2012 Clockwise Chapbook Competition, later this year. I have been a teacher in San Francisco for over 30 years. I received an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts in 2011. See more of my work at lesgottesman.com


Zack Haber is a poet who lives in West Oakland. He is the author of three little books on three little presses: Chapbook (duendagape, 2013), Lost & Found (ypolita, 2014), and if you want to be one of them playing in the streets... (quiet lightning books, 2014). He curates "The Other Fabulous Reading Series" in Berkeley.


Evan Kennedy is a poet and bicyclist who lives in San Francisco. He is the author of Terra Firmament (Krupskaya), Shoo-Ins to Ruin (Gold Wake Press), and Us Them Poems (BookThug). http://dirtyswan.wordpress.com


Sara Mumolo is the author of Mortar (Omnidawn, 2013) and the Program Manager for the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of CA. She created and curated the Studio One Reading Series in Oakland, CA from 2008-2012, and Cannibal Books published her chapbook, March, in 2011. Poems have appeared in 1913: a journal of forms, Action Yes, Lana Turner, The Offending Adam, Real Poetik, and Volt, among others. She lives in Oakland, CA.


Ben Mirov is the author of Hider Roser (Octopus Books, 2012), and Ghost Machine (Caketrain, 2010) which was selected for publication by Michael Burkard, and chosen as one of the best books of poetry in 2010 for Believer Magazine's Reader Survey. He grew up in Northern California and lives in Oakland.

Parts of the ghost machines are constructed of language taken from sources. Some of these parts have been altered from their original form.


Lucas M. Rivera lives in Oakland, CA. He co-edits Called Back Books w/ the poet Sharon Zetter and is studying with the philosopher Dr. Marek Bielecki. His work has appeared in Witness, Ragazine, comma,poetry, and Hidden City Quarterly. Forthcoming poetry will appear in Omniverse.

This particular work is taken from a small book (The Book of the Slanted Roof), which is, in turn, taken from a larger book (Three Books: The Book of Animal and Introduction, The Book of Subjective Derangement, The Book of the Slanted Roof). The poem borrows its name from Franz Rosenzweig's The Star of Redemption. It is, amidst convergences, an attempt at Ars Poetica.

Its epigraph:

“The cry which soul utters at the moment of supreme, immediate fulfillment steps beyond the limits of this dialogue. It no longer derives from the blissful pacification of being loved. It rises in new unrest from a new depth of the soul which we have not yet recognized. It sobs beyond the proximity of the lover, unseen but felt, and into the gloom of infinity.” -Franz Rosenzweig, The Cry


Zoe Tuck hails from Texas but lives in Oakland. Her writing can be found in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry as well as in her chapbook Terror Matrix, forthcoming from Timeless, Infinite Light. She is a poetry reader for HOLD: a journal.

I've been working on Descartes for the past year and a half, at the time of writing. I became interested in him as the "fall guy" for dualism and fell down the rabbit hole. I thought first to write a novel about him - a nice historical job like Marguerite Yourcenar or Neal Stephenson. I realized that I had a lot of research to do, and that this task might be impossible, or perhaps simply unwarranted. I started to learn and write through the female intellectuals of early modern Europe, but that part came out like poetry. Turning to Susan Howe's work for inspiration on this kind of divagation has been generative and this is a small sampling of the results.