900+ local writers
129 live shows
Namwali Serpell is a Zambian writer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for women writers in 2011 and was selected for the Africa 39, a 2014 Hay Festival project to identify the best African writers under 40. She won the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing. The Old Drift is her first novel. Author photo by Peg Skorpinksi.
Kim Shuck embraces the fool and jester qualities of being a modern poet and artist. She is a devotee of San Francisco, whose hills she wanders nearly always on foot. Her maternal grandparents met at the Polish Hall on Shotwell and she spent many hours with her mother and grandmother wandering the Mission St. Miracle Mile, taking books out of the Mission Branch library and watching aquarium fish on the ground floor of what used to be Hale’s. She firmly believes in carrying a bubble wand, keys, pen and notebook and cat’s cradle string at all times. Shuck is widely published in journals, anthologies and a couple of solo books. She enjoys volunteering in SFUSD elementary school classrooms to share her loves of origami, poetry and basket making… in other words, math of various kinds. In 2019 Shuck was awarded an inaugural National Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, and a PEN Oakland Censorship Award.
Susan Steinberg is the author of Machine, Spectacle, Hydroplane, and The End of Free Love. She is the recipient of a United States Artists Fellowship, a National Magazine Award, and a Pushcart Prize. She teaches at the University of San Francisco. Author photo by Noah Doely.
Mimi Lok is the recipient of a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award and an Ylvisaker Award for Fiction, a finalist for the 2018 Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the Susan Atefat Arts and Letters Prize for nonfiction. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s, Electric Literature, Nimrod, Lucky Peach, Hyphen, the South China Morning Post, and elsewhere. Mimi is also the executive director and editor of Voice of Witness, a human rights/oral history nonprofit she co-founded that amplifies marginalized voices through a book series and a national education program. Last of Her Name, a collection of stories, was published in October, 2019. Mimi currently lives in San Francisco, CA.
:: video highlights from our first 10 years ::
:: portrait-monials: get your portrait done by Connie Zheng while you testify ::
:: make a tv show out of literature (and we’ll broadcast it) ::
:: have your tarot read ::
:: visit the wishing well ::
:: enter the raffle ::
Tickets are only $10 (that’s just $1 per year!) but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. If you’d like another 10 years of Quiet Lightning, consider being a supporter and donating an extra $10+. We’ll save you a seat and give you a surprise at the door (plus you can write off your donation).
Submissions are open for the first show of our second decade! Curated by Disruptor Sophia Passin and her co-curator of choice, Kathleen Torrez, this show will be on January 6, 2020 at The Balboa Theater! Submissions are open through Wednesday, December 18 @ 11:59pm.