Readings by Authors Born in Ukraine, Russia, and Moldova at San Francisco’s Lit Crawl

Punctured Lines

Punctured Lines is co-hosting a Lit Crawl reading by six Bay Area writers born in Ukraine, Russia, and Moldova. Shaken by the horrific tragedy of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we will read pieces exploring our connections, direct and indirect, to the part of the world we associate with home and exile, and where many of our friends and relatives are suffering as a result of the war. We work in the genres of nonfiction, literary and historical fiction, YA, flash, and other literary forms to tell our stories, and will read excerpts from our published and new work.

This event will take place at 5 pm on October 22nd at Blondie’s Bar, 540 Valencia St. in San Francisco .

Maggie Levantovskaya is a writer and lecturer in the English department at Santa Clara University. She was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, and grew up in San Francisco. She has…

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Litquake Panel on Writing Communities

The world is on fire, cataclysmic events developing by the day and by the hour. As I am working on a novel, I feel that to do my job well, I have to turn off all the news for long chunks of time. My novel is set in the year 1990, and current news are not helpful when I’m trying to finish my draft. Yet I don’t want to hide my head in the sand and miss an opportunity to contribute today and now, whenever my particular intersection of skills can be of use.

I know many writers are trying to balance these impossible contradictions and demands on our time. Finding time to build community has never felt more important. For writers in San Francisco, come to this Litquake event for info about awesome local writers communities. I’ll be representing the San Francisco Writers Workshop — a free community workshop that meets at Noisebridge Hackerspace at 272 Capp Street on Tuesday nights 7-9 pm.

Pre-order tickets on Eventbrite.

Upcoming event with Kate Greene

Here’s something to look forward to in 2022: I get a chance to do an event with journalist and poet Kate Greene about her book ONCE UPON A TIME I LIVED ON MARS — a personal story of Kate’s participation in a NASA-sponsored Mars dome experiment that dives into the history and culture of spaceflight.

Some of Kate’s biggest questions in the book explore the kinds of bodies that get to participate in space flight, pointing to how our human biases and social structures limit our quest for knowledge.

It’s an exciting, wide-book, and I hope that thanks to ZOOM many of you will be able to tune into the conversation. Huge thanks to Richard May for organizing and Folio Books San Francisco for hosting. Buy our books from Folio and register for the event here!

Born in the USSR, Raised in California: Video Recording

The video from our recent event is here!

Punctured Lines

Thanks to everyone who could attend our event on Saturday, December 4th, and thank you all for your engagement and for your wonderful questions. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s the video recording from the event and links to our work.

Seven immigrant writers read their fiction and nonfiction related to immigration, identity, family history and the mother tongue(s). Let’s talk about buckwheat and pickled herring with beets. What do you do if your children refuse to eat traditional foods? Or when your dying grandmother forgets English and Russian and begins speaking to you in Yiddish? Does a Soviet-era secret still matter when the country no longer exists? We explore love, life, loss and the nuances of living with a hybrid identity.

Masha Rumer’s nonfiction book, Parenting with an Accent: How Immigrants Honor Their Heritage, Navigate Setbacks, and Chart New Paths for Their Children, is forthcoming…

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Born in the USSR, Raised in California: Immigrant Writers Read From Their Work

This event has been a long time in the making, and I’m so excited to participate!!

Punctured Lines

Dear Punctured Lines readers — come meet us on Zoom, and help us celebrate the publication of Masha Rumer’s book! (In San Francisco? Come meet us in person, details below.) We’re so happy to welcome Masha’s newly published Parenting With an Accent: How Immigrants Honor Their Heritage, Navigate Setbacks, and Chart New Paths for Their Children (Beacon Press). Punctured Lines published a Q&A with Masha when this book was still in the proposal stage, and we’ve been following Masha’s Twitter posts about its development with great interest and anticipation. Now that this book is out and available for all to read we are ready to party (and encourage all of our readers to buy it)!

This upcoming event will feature Masha Rumer herself and our blog co-founders Yelena Furman and Olga Zilberbourg alongside the brilliant Maggie Levantovskaya, Vlada Teper, Sasha Vasilyuk, and Tatyana Sundeeva, all immigrant writers, all born in…

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Webinar on Flash Fiction

Coming up tomorrow, April 7th at 3 pm Pacific and 6 pm Eastern, on Zoom. As a part of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Alumni Actor, Artist & Author Series, I’ll be doing a talk on Everyone’s a Writer: Reading and Writing Flash Fiction. The talk is aimed at a general audience, and will be of particular interest to people who have always dreamed of writing but have been intimidated by it or simply have never made time for it. I came to writing after a stint in market research, and I will make the case for Flash as the perfect genre for beginning writers with a lot of experience of the world, that it allows us to share our tales with a wide audience. (And for people who don’t even know what Flash is, I promise to lay out a definition.)  Please, preregister for this Zoom webinar!

I’m going to #AWP20 in San Antonio!

A conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs is coming up in March, hosted this year at the Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. I have three events as a part of this conference:

Thursday, March 5, 10:35 am

Room 211, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

A Panel, High Style and Misdemeanors: The Virtues and Vices of Elevated Prose. (Lauren Alwan, Anita Felicelli, Olga Zilberbourg, Lillian Howan, Aatif Rashid) The hallmarks of high style—elevated voice, obsession with the pictorial, self-consciousness, and poetic devices—are rooted in Flaubert and European realism. Can writers whose work concerns immigration and displacement embrace a stylistic approach that has historically been disengaged and apolitical? Authors of fiction that centers on immigration, intergenerational stories, and belonging, read their work and discuss the intersection of elevated prose and socially and politically engaged work.

Thursday, March 5, 6 pm

Jokesters 22 Pub n Grub, 713 S. Alamo St.

A Reading, WTAW Press and Friends: Join WTAW Press & Friends for readings from Angela Mitchell, Anita Felicelli, Annie Kim, Lillian Howan, Olga Zilberbourg & Sarah Stone. Peg Alford Pursell will emcee.

RSVP on Facebook event page

Friday March 6, 2:30 pm

Bookfair is 2045, located in the Henry B. González Convention Center,  San Antonio, TX.

Book signing! Come say hi please!

Rochester, New York: Two Olgas and One Genrikh: Russian Poems, Stories, & Shirts

When: Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 7 PM – 10 PM EST
Where: Java’s Cafe, 16 Gibbs St, Rochester, New York 14604

Join us for a lively evening of stories, poems, and performance art by nonconformist writers from the former Soviet Union, in English.

Olga Livshin‘s book A LIFE REPLACED braids together poems on immigration in America with translations from Anna Akhmatova and our contemporary Vladimir Gandelsman, winner of Russia’s highest award for poetry, the Moscow Reckoning. Many poems are responses to these two voices; some are stand-alone works. Maggie Smith comments: “Livshin, who immigrated to the US from Russia as a child, acknowledges the two Americas she knows firsthand: the one that fears and demonizes, and the one that welcomes. A LIFE REPLACED is astonishingly beautiful, intelligent, and important.”

A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, Olga Zilberbourg will introduce her English-language short story collection LIKE WATER AND OTHER STORIES. “The thread connecting these tales,” Anna Kasradze writes for The Moscow Times (ed. Michele Berdy), “is each protagonist’s attempt to come to terms with an identity that is always in flux, transitioning between various contexts such as emigration, motherhood, partnership, and employment.” Olga is the author of three Russian-language books (the latest of which “Хлоп-страна,” Издательство Время, 2016). She has published fiction and essays in Alaska Quarterly Review, Scoundrel Time, Narrative Magazine, Lit Hub, Electric Literature, the San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. She co-moderates the San Francisco Writers Workshop.

Opening for the two Olgas is a poetry performance by translator Dmitri Manin. Avant-garde sonnets by Genrikh Sapgir will be presented on shirts, worn by both Olgas and Dmitri. Sapgir (1928-1999), a hugely acclaimed poet in Russia, first presented his philosophical and funny Sonnets on Shirts–on actual men’s shirts–in 1975. His performance made a sensation amidst an atmosphere of official, staid, highly traditional, print-only Soviet literature. Manin revives his work and re-enacts it in English, using contemporary bodies and presences to channel Sapgir.

Java’s–a ten-minute walk or three-minute Lyft drive from the Floreano Convention Center–will have food and drink for us to regale us into the night with literature and pleasure.