It’s true: on Friday, June 8th Quiet Lightning will join the rich cultural legacy of the William Westerfeld Mansion* with the fifth installment of our Neighborhood Heroes series:
- Isaac Fitzgerald: Editor does not begin to do justice to Fitzgerald’s role in the SF-based literary culture website/revolution The Rumpus; without Isaac there would be no Rumpus, which has lately received national attention for its innovative print subscription Letters in the Mail (The Rumpus sends subscribers near-weekly letters from esteemed authors, often handwritten and with a return address, for only $5/mo), and monthly Rumpus Book and Rumpus Poetry Book Clubs, which provide an unparalleled forum for small presses, writers of true literary fiction and poetry, and their fans. Isaac has one of the largest hearts you’re bound to experience in this life and the world experience of a man twice his age and privilege [watch].
- Lorna Dee Cervantes: Internationally acclaimed for her poetry, Cervantes has been performing and lecturing for over 40 years. She has been an instrumental force in the emergence of many Chicana/o writers, publishing new and established voices in MANGO, the literary journal she founded in 1976, and has received many awards and honors: the American Book Award, 2 NEA Fellowships, and the Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Foundation Writer’s Award for Outstanding Chicana Literature (to name but a few). She is the Regents Lecturer at UC Berkeley this year [watch].
- Jack and Adelle Foley: Jack has been doing a weekly literary radio show on KPFA since 1988, and a weekly column called Foley’s Books on The Alsop Review since 1998. Author of several books of poetry and of criticism, he recently published a two-volume, 1,300-page chronoencyclopedia of California poets and poetry that spans 65 years (read more). Adelle, on the Poetry Flash board, is the author of a book of haiku and writes a column in the monthly community newsletter The MacArthur Metro. Together, they perform what they call “choral poetry” [watch].
- A.D. Winans: A San Francisco native, Winans came to poetry “accidentally”, falling in with and taking inspiration from the North Beach crowd that included Bob Kaufman and Jack Micheline. He founded and edited Second Coming Press, publishing many writers who would go on to be influential (including a relative newcomer named Charles Bukowski, with whom he went on to enjoy a regular correspondence). Winans is the author of over 50 books and is published widely in the small press world; his poetry presents a tough exterior and everything it’s supposed to protect, and is usually based on observation. His papers are housed at Brown University [watch]
- Toni Mirosevich: Beloved Professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University and former MacDowell Colony fellow, Toni is the author of five collections of poetry, including The Takeaway Bin, Queer Street, The Rooms We Make Our Own, My Oblique Strategies (which won the 2005 Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award), and a book of nonfiction stories, Pink Harvest (which won the 2007 First Series in Creative Nonfiction Award and was a finalist for that year’s Lambda Literary Award). Her pioneering multi-genre work has been anthologized in Best of the Bellevue Literary Review, Best American Travel Writing, The Gastronomica Reader, The Impossible Will Take a Little While, AutoBioDiversity: True Stories from Zyzzyva and elsewhere [watch].
- Jarett Kobek: Author of ATTA, a theoretical fiction that posits the question: what if 9/11 was as much about architectural criticism as religious terrorism, Kobek thought people took his book too seriously and authored the forthcoming If You Won’t Read, Then Why Should I Write?, a collection of short stories that are transcriptions of the incidental scenes from celebrity sex tapes [he does not like to be filmed].
- Cassie J. Sneider: Comic artist and author of Fine Fine Music, a collection of coming of age / rock and roll stories set in Long Island and on the road, Cassie recently toured with Sister Spit and is creator of the new storytelling series The Worst! [watch].
- Keely Hyslop: Winner of the 2011 Michael Rubin Book Award for her debut collection of poems Things I Say to Pirates on Nights When I Miss You, Hyslop’s writing is bold, fierce and tender, experimental and accessible [watch]
- Timothy Walker: It’s hard to tell what’s real from what’s surreal when you’re listening to or reading Timothy Walker, Fairfield Ranger, though he looks like a normal guy [watch].
Be there! It’s not every day you can hang out in The Westerfeld House; it’s not every day you can hang with all these heroes at once. Across from the Painted Ladies, the mansion is located at the northwest corner of Alamo Square.
Lagunitas will be in the house and we might have another surprise or two, so bring your wallets and leave everything else at home. Except whatever you take pictures with: every inch of this building is worthy of capture, and we hope to make every second the same. As always, admission to this show will be $5.
*Once owned and operated by Rolling Stones co-founder Charles Fraccia and experimental film genius Kenneth Anger as a studio and crash pad for the likes of The Grateful Dead and Beat artists such as Lenore Kandel, Ken Kesey, Janis Joplin; The Cockettes; Fillmore jazz legend John Handy; occultist and author of The Satanic Bible Anton LaVey… Tom Wolfe called it “a great shambling old Gothic house, a freaking decayed giant, known as The Russian Embassy” in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; it was home to Bobbie Beausoleil of The Manson Family, who, with Anger, is sworn to have experienced “a couple of very good flying saucer sightings” from the tower; there has been at least one murder in the house… In short, yes, there is an outrageous, even mystical energy to this place and a cultural legacy we are privileged to be a part of.