sparkle + blink collage for feb 22

Submissions Open for Feb 7, an IN-PERSON Literary Mixtape

Better Ancestors 4_ nzinga, ogborn iii, jing martin, samuelson

May 6 @ Arion Press

sPARKLE + bLINK 99 featured artist Nathalie Fabri

Sarah Henry
Siamak Vossoughi
Elizabeth Gonzalez James
Kristen Staby Rembold
Kate Folk
Bianca Barela
Emma Webster

Sarah Arantza Amador
Melody Nixon
Christopher Bernard
Ruth Crossman
Jeffrey Kingman
Gark Mavigan
Tony Press
Rachael Maier

Monday May 6 @ Arion Press, 1802 Hays Street, The Presidio, San Francisco

Doors at 6:30. Readings begin at 7pm sharp!

Parking / Entrance information

There is plenty of parking at the venue! Please avoid parking in spaces that are marked “Reserved” for residents. There are several parking lots nearby, which are well-signed with any restrictions. Permit payment hours differ for the various lots—be sure to check that.

You can find public transit info and a map here.

The front door of Arion Press is at the base of the tall smokestack, which is visible from most anywhere.

quiet lightning logo

We received 82 submissions and accepted 15 (18%). Of those:

  • 6 (40%) are performing at Quiet Lightning for the first time
  • 9 are returning:
    • Sarah Henry 3x
    • Siamak Vossoughi 22x
    • Kate Folk 3x
    • Emma Webster 1x
    • Sarah Arantza Amador 1x
    • Ruth Crossman 1x
    • Jeffrey Kingman 1x
    • Gark Mavigan 1x
    • Tony Press 3x

This will be our 126 show and 99th issue of sPARKLE & bLINK. The curators of this show, Meghan Thornton and Rohan DaCosta, have given us a gift. Come and get it!

drinks will be available

Register / Donate / Take a tour of the press

Better Ancestors 4_ nzinga, ogborn iii, jing martin, samuelson

Quiet Lightning @ Manny’s

Jan 7, 2019 at Manny’s


art for sPARKLE & bLINK 97 by Madeline Gobbo

Side A

Jennifer Lewis » Meredith Heller » Katie Seifert » Charles Kruger » Calder G. Lorenz » Siamak Vossoughi » Caroline Kessler 

Side B

Chloe Wieland » Heather Bourbeau » Dion O’Reilly » Abe Becker » Hadas Goshen » Fernando Meisenhalter » Alex Simand » Connie Zheng » Brian Waksmunski


Monday, January 7
Manny’s, 3092 16th St.
Readings begin at 7pm


This is an all ages show, free to attend. There’s a suggested $5-20 donation to help publish and pay all of the selected authors, and to help support the venue — all donations are 100% tax deductible. The first 100 people to attend (regardless of donation) will receive a copy of sPARKLE & bLINK 97, featuring all the selected writing and art by Madeline Gobbo!


Thanks to everyone who sent in writing!

We received 65 submissions and accepted 16 (25%). Of those, 6 are reading at Quiet Lightning for the first time (37%); 10 are returning (63%):

  •  Jennifer Lewis (3x)
  • Katie Seifert (1x)
  • Charles Kruger (9x)
  • Calder G. Lorenz (1x)
  • Siamak Vossoughi (21x)
  • Caroline Kessler (2x)
  • Heather Bourbeau (3x)
  • Abe Becker (3x)
  • Hadas Goshen (3x)
  • Fernando Meisenhalter (3x)

This is our 124th show and 97th issue of s+b, featuring some 1,300 readings by nearly 1,000 Bay Area authors. It sometimes feels like we’ve been everywhere, and yet somehow — defying all — there’s a great new place like Manny’s. Thus begins our 10th year!

This show was curated by Evan Karp + Lisa Church.

quiet lightning logo

What? Oh holiday bells yes: submissions are now open for our next mixtape, to be held on 3/4/19 at The Bar at Hotel Kabiki.

Better Ancestors 4_ nzinga, ogborn iii, jing martin, samuelson

Turk & Divis

From 2016-17, beginning with Quiet Lightning’s 100th show, Turk & Divis (QL’s founding director Evan Karp and his brother Miles) created a track of original music featuring excerpts of the previous month’s Quiet Lightning, posting them online and starting the next show by playing a rough cut—kind of a last time on QL kind of thing. Due out on vinyl, cassette, and digital formats Summer 2018, the album Quiet Lightning features 50 authors performing live at QL—in order of track/show/appearance below.

Pre-orders for vinyl will be available and a release date + party are to be announced soon. The album was recently mixed by Jay Rodgers @ Full Moon Studio and mastered by Joel Hatstat Audio, both based in Athens, GA.

Enjoy! You can stream rough mixes of the album above or, by track, below.

Tara Dorabji • Heather June Gibbons • Bj Dubin • Jack Foley + Rosetta Egan • Yxta Maya Murray • Rohan DaCosta • Prartho Sereno • Dean Rader • Tongo Eisen-Martin • Jane Hirshfield

from quiet lightning 100 / october 9, 2016
@ Cushing Memorial-Mountain Amphitheater



José Vadi • Sarah Heady • Abe Becker • Lorraine Lupo

from quiet lightning 101 on november 7, 2016
@ The American Bookbinders Museum



Tupelo Hassman • Rohan Da Costa

from quiet lightning 102 on december 5, 2016
@ The Tenderloin Museum



Paul Corman-Roberts • Charles Kruger • Cassandra Dallett • Tony Press

from quiet lightning 103 on january 2, 2017
@ Montgomery Street BART Station



Mk Chavez • AshleyRose Sanchez • Miah Jeffra • Katie Seifert • Siamak Vossoughi • Peter Bullen • Paul Corman-Roberts

from quiet lightning 104 on february 6, 2017
@ The Stud Bar



Sandra Wassilie • Jenny Xie • Matt Leibel • Hadas Goshen

from quiet lightning 105 on march 6, 2017
@ Edinburgh Castle



Hugh Behm-Steinberg • Kazumi Chin • Linette Escobar

from quiet lightning 106 on april 3, 2017
@ Elbo Room



Natasha Dennerstein • Baruch Porras-Hernandez • Danielle Bero • Claire Calderón

from quiet lightning 107 on may 1, 2017
@ Galeria de la Raza



Adam Moskowitz • Emily Luan • Rayan Mustafa 

from quiet lightning 108 on june 5, 2017
@ Clarion Music Center



Kristina Ten • Zephir O’Meara • Maraget McCarthy •
foreignfire • John Panzer

from quiet lightning 111 on july 3, 2017
@ Adobe Books



T&D QL113 by Ian TuttleMatt Carney • Roberto F. Santiago • Riss Rosado • Kristina Ten • Eric Kurhi • Akinyele Sadiq

from quiet lightning 113 on november 6, 2017
@ Peacock Lounge


All proceeds will go directly to paying Bay Area artists. Quiet Lightning pays all participating artists and all shows are free. More info soon! Thanks for your support.

Better Ancestors 4_ nzinga, ogborn iii, jing martin, samuelson

edinburgh castle

AU3 by Rohan DaCosta

Monday, March 6 @ 7:30pm | Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary 

FREE show, 21+

Peggy Schimmelman » Jenny Xie » Logan Ellis » Sandra Wassilie » Laurie Posner » Hadas Goshen » Sherril JaffeSara Marinelli » Lisa Piazza » Siamak Vossoughi » Anthony Veasna So » Fernando Meisenhalter » Matt Leibel

curated by Meghan Thornton + Olga Zilberbourg

sPARKLE & bLINK cover art by Rohan DaCosta

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by the numbers
We accepted 13/68 submissions (19%)
7/13 (54%) are reading at QL for the first time
6/13 (46%) are returning (x of times below):
Sandra  (2x), Sara (1x), Lisa (5x), Siamak (19x), Fernando (1x), Matt (5x)
This will be our 105th show and 83rd issue of sPARKLE & bLINK. More about us.


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Now accepting writing of all kinds!


  • If you’d like to submit your artwork to be featured in sparkle + blink, check out our art page.
  • If you’d like to submit an (informal) application to co-curate one of our shows, follow this link and let us know.
Better Ancestors 4_ nzinga, ogborn iii, jing martin, samuelson

The Stud


Joe Wadlington
Heather Bourbeau
Peter Bullen
Stephen Guai-Wu
MK Chavez
Rae Liberto
AshleyRose Sanchez
Miah Jeffra
Siamak Vossoughi
Adam Moskowitz
Peter Max Lawrence
Paul Corman-Roberts

Kyrsten BeanNelson, Irene Time Will Tell, 2016 acrylic mixed media
Ingrid Keir
Kate Folk
Sage Curtis
Laura Zink
Kate Seifert
Kathryn Reeve
Cassandra Dallett
Isabella Borgeson


Monday, February 6 @ The Stud Bar

7:30 – 9pm // doors 9am 😉

curated by Josey RoseChristine No

art by Irene Nelson, featured artist for February’s sPARKLE & bLINK

free show! free copies of s&b for the first 100 people

we’ll have a raffle with some great swag—all proceeds to benefit the stud and transgender law center — if you have anything, large or small, you’d like to donate, please let us know: submit AT quietlightning DOT org.

hope to see u


The Stud Bar, via 48 Hills

this is our 104th show and 82nd issue of s&b

  • accepted 21 of 74 (28%)
  • 11/21 (52%) first time reading for QL
  • 10/21 (48%) returning
    • Heather Bourbeau (1x)
    • Peter Bullen (12x)
    • MK Chavez (4x)
    • Miah Jeffra (1x)
    • Siamak Vossoughi (18x)
    • Adam Moskowitz (2x)
    • Paul Corman-Roberts (16x)
    • Ingrid Keir (1x)
    • Kate Folk (2x)
    • Cassandra Dallett (12x)


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  • If you’d like to submit your artwork to be featured in sparkle + blink, check out our art page.
  • If you’d like to submit an (informal) application to co-curate one of our shows, follow this link and let us know.
Better Ancestors 4_ nzinga, ogborn iii, jing martin, samuelson

#QL99 Kickstarter Party @ PianoFight

Help us launch!


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Bannana Window by Kat Geng

A literary mixtape curated by Chris Cole, Kelsey SchimmelmanChristine NoEvan Karp, starring:

PianoFightIris Bloomfield
Robert Dubrow
Kelly Egan
Siamak Vossoughi
Minna Dubin
Jared Roehrig
Lindsey Adams
Norma Smith
E.C. Messer

held at PianoFight on September 12, 2016, a party to launch our first crowdfunding campaign—an effort to establish a full-time staff position (wait—we have one of those! to establish our first PAID full-time staff position, for which we will soon be hiring).

[ Read the show here ]

This FREE show includes sPARKLE & bLINK w/all selected work + art by Kat Geng for the first 100 people. Plus, prizes and surprises! 21+ only. More TBA soon…

Quiet Lightning 99 – Kickstarter Party
Monday, September 12
PianoFight, 144 Taylor St.
6 – 10 pm
RSVP to guarantee a spot | RSVP to tell your friends

for QL99 // s&b 76

We received 86 submissions for this show and accepted 9 (10%). Of those:

  • 6 (67%) have never read for QL
  • 3 (33%) are returning

* most all-time appearances @ QL

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Quiet Lightning, California State Parks, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy present: Poetry in Parks 2016
Sunday, October 9
Cushing Memorial-Mountain Theater, Mt. Tamalpais State Park
11a – 5pm
RSVP for free shuttle service to and fro | RSVP to tell your friends

Mountain Theater - West Side Story, 216

Cushing Memorial-Mountain Theater, site of Quiet Lightning 100

This 3rd installation of Poetry in Parks takes place in the historic Cushing Memorial-Mountain Theater in Mount Tamalpais State Park, on the occasion of Quiet Lightning’s 100th show and as part of the Art in the Parks initiative celebrating the centennial of the National Parks and the connection between the wilderness experience and the inspiration parks provide to everyone, poets, writers, dancers, and artists of all genres.

The day begins with youth poetry readings curated by Marin County Poet LaureatePrartho Sereno, in collaboration with the Marin County Free Library, California Poets in the Schools, The Marin Poetry Out Loud Project, and the Marin Poetry Center High School Poetry Project. Musical and dance interludes punctuate the poetry readings, with a new choreographed dance by postmodern dance pioneer Anna Halprin and a special performance by Classical Revolution.

The program includes Quiet Lightning’s flagship submission-based literary mixtape, selected through a blind process and published in a book handed out to the first 200 people in attendance, to be followed by an outstanding group of poets that includes Barbara Jane Reyes, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Brynn Saito, Arisa White, Charlie Getter, and Andrew Paul Nelson, and culminates in this year’s Neighborhood Heroes, featuring readings by CA Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, Pulitzer Prize-winning US Poet Laureate Emeritus Kay Ryan, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets Jane Hirshfield, San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguía, sci-fi fount and Environmental Fellow Kim Stanley Robinson, and Editor of the New York Times Magazine poetry column, Matthew Zapruder.

This free event, which is part of the Litquake festival, is all-ages, with children’s activities provided by Bread & Roses, an interactive art station by ArtSpan, local food by D’Maize Catering and SUP Street Food, beer by Lagunitas Brewing Co., and House Kombucha on tap.

Poetry in Parks 2016 is made possible in part by the California Arts CouncilTamalpais Lands CollaborativeFriends of Mt. Tam, and SOMArts Cultural Center. Parking is available; a shuttle service is free but requires an RSVP.

More to be announced soon, but save the date:

Sunday, Oct 9 2016!

RSVP now


Better Ancestors 4_ nzinga, ogborn iii, jing martin, samuelson

quiet lightning at adobe books

art by Maricruz Mendoza


Siamak Vossoughi
Peter Bullen
Norma Smith
Kristina Ten
Zephir O’Meara
Sally Love Saunders
Allison Landa
Karthik Sethuraman
Jon Sindell


Jaida Samudra
Margaret McCarthy
John Panzer
Caroline Kessler
Townsend Walker
A.D. Winans

literary mixtape * July 3, 7:30pm * Adobe Books * free + all ages

sPARKLE & bLINK 87 featuring art by Maricruz Mendoza free for the first 100 people!

+ cheap ice cold draft beer courtesy of Lagunitas



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Stats for July 3, 2017:

  • Accepted 16/66 submissions (24%)
  • 6/16 authors reading @ QL for the first time (37%)
  • 10/16 authors returning (63%)
    • Siamak Vossoughi (20x)
    • Peter Bullen (14x)
    • Norma Smith (1x)
    • Kristina Ten (4x)
    • Allison Landa (2x)
    • Jon Sindell (2x)
    • John Panzer (4x)
    • Caroline Kessler (1x)
    • Townsend Walker (2x)
    • A.D. Winans (3x)

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previously at Adobe Books (4/16):


Quiet Lightning @ Adobe Books by Ian Tuttle, Apr 2015

photos by Ian Tuttle

A literary mixtape curated by Meghan Thornton & Ian Tuttle, starring:

Peter Bullen » Madeleine Mori » Ryan Johnson » Cassandra Dallett » Claire Margine » Lisa Locascio » Brigid Hughes » Kirin Khan » Hanna PeshaKristin Acredolo » Christine No » Rei Jackler » Miriam Bird Greenberg » Danny Scuderi » Sarah Henry » Emily Kiernan » Dorian Maffei » Jason Buchholz » Robert Pesich

held at Adobe Books on April 4, 2016

w/cheap draft beer courtesy of Lagunitas +

sPARKLE & bLINK w/all selected work + art by Sarah Irvin for the first 100 people :::

sPARKLE & bLINK 73 by Quiet Lightning

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We received 105 submissions for this show and accepted 19 (18%)

4/19 have read before (21%)

  • Peter Bullen (11x)
  • Cassandra Dallett (6x)
  • Christine No (1x)
  • Emily Kiernan (1x)

14/19 first-time reading at QL (79%)



Better Ancestors 4_ nzinga, ogborn iii, jing martin, samuelson

pushcart nominations

Because we love the challenge at the end of every year to select six of the best pieces we published, we’re thrilled to have nominated the following for the 2022 Best of Small Presses:

“from Anaamaki / What Came from Beneath Ground” by Aja Couchois Duncan / watch | read

“Grandpa’s Gingerbread Cookies” by Kelechi Ubozoh / watch | read

“Bella” by Youssef Alaoui-Fdili / watch | read

“Counting Sheep” by Amanda Muñiz / watch | read

“Nostalgia” by Melissa Merin / watch | read

“Pieces from YOLOTL” by Lourdes Figueroa / watch | read

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You can read and watch our previous nominations below:



Sara Post: “Libations, HIPAA Style” / watch | read

Michael Warr, trans. by Chun Yu: “To Your Assailant” / watch | read

Jessica Barksdale: “When I Wash Raspberries” / watch | read

Tomas Moniz: “Masks On, Pants Off” / watch | read

Ernest White II: “Challenger” / watch | read

Emily Dezurick-Badran: “Ghosts” / watch | read



Karla Brundage: “Alabama Dirt” / watch | read

Madeline Cash: “Hostage #4” / watch | read

Alia Salim: “Deep State” / watch | read

Alex Maceda: “Purple is a Late Blooming Color” / watch | read

Halim Madi: “As Home Became Metaphor” / watch | read

Robyn Carter: “Excelsior” / watch | read



Shelley Wong: “To Yellow” « watch | read

Donna Laemmlen: “The Dangers of Helium” « watch | read

Lisa Galloway: “Mercy” « watch | read

Mairav Zonszein: “A Birth Story” « watch | read

Maddy Raskulinecz: “Intruders in Ms. Hansen-Knudsen’s Class” « watch | read

Kevin Dublin: “Argument” « watch | read



Cassandra Dallett: “Jails Have ATM Machines Now” « watchread

Ruth Crossman: “Tom Petty” « watchread

Emily Dezurick-Badran: “The Werewolf in Love” « watchread

André Le Mont Wilson: “The Ass Wiper” « watchread

Clare Lilliston: “Coelacanth” « watchread

Sarah Henry: “2017” « watchread




Charlie Getter: “Geography Lesson” « watchread

Kate Folk: “Funeral Requirements for Thwarted Children” « watchread

Jenny Xie: “Wendy Beside Herself” « watchread

Kazumi Chin: “The Very Last New Year’s Resolution” « watchread

Jason Bayani: “Antidepressants” « watchread

Eric Kurhi: “The Snake Guy” « watchread 




Ploi Pirapokin: “David, the Cephalopod” « watchread

David Welper: “Garlic” « watch |read

Susanna Kwan: “Up, Apart, Away” « watch | read

Yxta Maya Murray: “The Whitney’s 2016 Max Mara Anniversary Bag Designed by Renzo Piano’s Building Workshop” « watchread

E.C. Messer: “The Poet” « watchread

Brynn Saito: “How to Prepare the Mind for Lightning” « [vid + text coming soon]




Claire Williams: “The Man Who Drank the Sea” « watchread

Kristina Ten: “Milkless” « watchread

Maggie Tokuda-Hall: “Miri and the Squid” « watch | read

Hugh Behm-Steinberg: “Mouse-Colored Penduline Tits” « watchread

Maw Shein Win: “Score” « watchread

Bonnie Kwong: “The Moon from the Corner of Her Eye” « watchread 




Elena Mauli Shapiro: “December 25, 1989” « watch | read

Matthew Zapruder: “To Sergio Franchi” « read

Peter Orner: “Shhhhhh, Arthur’s Studying” « watch | read

Kai Carlson-Wee: “Holes in the Mountain” « watch | read | bonus

Christine No: “Mattress Man” « watch | read

Colin Winnette: “Ghost Mountain Island Murder Mystery” « read




erica lewis: “Bodies Dream of Themselves” « watch | read

Susan Steinberg: “Spectator” « watch | read

Brandon Brown: “My Favorite Things” « watch | read

Molly Giles: “Harm Done” « watch | read

Jarett Kobek: “#YOLO” « read

Charlie Getter: “Untitled (I live on an iceberg)” « watch




Cassie J. Sneider: “Romance” « watch | read

A.D. Winans: “Fourth of July Poem” « watch | read

Toni Mirosevich: “The Right Spot” « watch | read

Siamak Vossoughi: “Not A Party” « watch | read

Sean Taylor: “It Sings Us Both to Sleep” « watch | read

L.J. Moore: “Fig. 23: Wrecked” « watch | read





Jesús Castillo: from “Remains” « watch | read

Graham Gremore: “Happy Birthday (Sorry You Missed It)” « watch | read

James Warner: from All Her Father’s Guns « watch | read

Siamak Vossoughi: “Don’t Ask Me” « watch | read

Meg Day: “Say Yes”« read

Joseph Lease: “Lost Highway” « watch | read

Better Ancestors 4_ nzinga, ogborn iii, jing martin, samuelson

storm market st. march 2, free beer

We’re headed to WeWork Golden Gate on Monday, March 2nd, and hot abomunists do we have a show for you!

Misty Morning 36X24
art for sPARKLE & bLINK 63 by Paul Kalcic

Melissa Tan
Emily Kiernan
Emily Drevets
L.J. Moore
Katie Aliferis

Apollo Papafrangou
Cassandra Dallett
Annelyse Gelman
Jessica Hahn
Siamak Vossoughi
Jeffrey Kingman
Sean Taylor

curated byAlexandra Kostoulas + Evan Karp (whoever that is), this show:

Monday, March 2, 7pm start « doors at 6:30
$5-10 includes free beer (courtesy Lagunitas!) + sPARKLE & bLINK to first 100 (free for WeWork members)
25 Taylor St. near Market
All ages, all forms and formulations

Do you understand? these dozen author people will converge for one evening, each speak their part in an art piece conceived from their creations—one night only—and then walk down the stairs (or take elevator) onto Market St., and make their decisions?

No one turned away for lack of funds, ever. Come make art // breathe //

 change the world with us //
RSVP | submit to Quiet Lightning’s April 6 show at Mercury Cafecontribute to our film | send us visual art for yearlong ekphrasis project culminating in gallery show

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Other News:

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In case you’re just scanning (and if you’re reading, red-handed!):

RSVP | submit to Quiet Lightning’s April 6 show at Mercury Cafecontribute to our film | send us visual art for yearlong ekphrasis project culminating in gallery show

By the numbers

For Mar 2, we received 45 submissions: