epicenter @ mina dresden

we are very pleased and proud to announce that on monday, april 4 we will be teaming up with litquake for our 4th show of the year @ mina dresden gallery.


click here for the readers

here are some details:

Mina Dresden doesn’t really have any seating, but you are welcome to bring pillows or blankets or yoga matts.

Epicenter is a new monthly series wherein Litquake teams up with an established reading series or press … and brings food and wine! Food will be free. Wine will be very affordable and all profits will go to Quiet Lightning. We will hang out after the show, swap phone numbers and business cards, write each other poems, and conspire with new forms of fire.

You can read a review of our last show here and of our previous show here. You can always read the entire shows, for free, and download them here. Put into your digital shopping cart a copy of our latest book, sparkle & blink 2.3—with artwork by Michael Capozzola.

Exciting times for Quiet Lightning. Hope to see you at Mina!

312 Valencia St | 7pm | free

ps. submissions for our may 2 show @ cafe du nord—with a special show by the secret secretaries—are due by wed. apr 13. send here.

why a non-profit?

On monday, March 7 11, we filed our articles of incorporation to obtain non-profit status. But let’s back up. Who is this we evan always uses when he’s speaking for Quiet Lightning? Before this past month, we referred to me and Rajshree; many of you know that Rajshree stepped down last month. I’d like to say a few words about that.

Most of the press Quiet Lightning has received since our first show (and formation) on Dec 14 09* has referred exclusively to me. In a lot of ways, this is natural: because i don’t have a ‘day job,’ as she does, i’ve been the one in the public, going to readings and recruiting people, answering emails, and running the website. But Quiet Lightning would not at all be what it is today without Rajshree Chauhan, and i would like to thank her for that. She often provided me with perspective that, even if i didn’t always heed, allowed me a counter to my own. Thank you again, Rajshree, for putting up with my neuroses (we all have them, but we don’t all deal with everyone else’s so gracefully).

I have filed articles of incorporation because i think Quiet Lightning is an organization that should belong to the community as a service, and in that regard should not depend on the decisions of only one or two people.** What we have created has already changed lives. I have seen it first, second, and third hand, and not only in fictions and poetries. I feel like i’ve watched a time lapse of your maturation (well, not all of you!) into responsible members of a legitimate community. As legitimate as we want to be.

There seems to have been some confusion after the SF Weekly article; we have not yet obtained non-profit status. We have put our application into the mail, which makes us a legal entity (i don’t know what that means, frankly). We should hear back in 2-4 weeks. Often there are slight mistakes in the application that can cause the process to take longer. Not if but when we are cleared for 501(c)(3), the following members of our community will serve as the first board of Quiet Lightning:

Evan Karp, President

Charles Kruger, Chairman of the Board

Kristen Kramer, Treasurer

Chris Cole, Assistant Treasurer

Meghan Thornton, Secretary

What is the purpose of the board, then, if this is to be a truly communal organization? The purpose of the board is to maintain the integrity of the project and to ensure it continues. Also, to make sure it is not the evan karp show,*** as certain readings of the media might suggest. The board will serve as an acting guide that holds the group’s interests as its first priority. It is—we are—a collection of people who are passionate about and dedicated to what Quiet Lightning is and can do for the community. High hopes for the future? You bet.

How would you like to be involved? We have only met once—so be patient—but we are currently looking for help in the following areas. We would love you either to volunteer or to recommend someone we should speak with. All positions will be unpaid, including the board’s. I will receive a very small stipend. I will still hope you buy the coffee.

  • Art Solicitation Committee: We want a team of people who move in the art world, who have a sense of what’s going on there in the same way that we know about the lit scene.

  • Volunteer + Mailing List Committee: We want people to help out at the shows, specifically to make sure everyone gets one of our postcards and has a chance to sign up for our mailing list.

  • Fundraising: We will have an ongoing campaign, seeking both private donors and other public organizations for support. We will also throw regular fundraising events and apply for grants. We could certainly use your help here, especially if you have experience.

  • Street Team + Promotion: We will have 2 teams here: one that beats the pavement (and/or puts up signs in their respective neighborhoods) and one that assists with online promotion.

  • Outreach: The primary role of Outreach will be to spread the Quiet Lightning gospel, either through direct contact or via advertisements. This includes everything from widening the net of our calls for submissions to finding like-minded organizations we can collaborate with to finding new and exciting venues for shows.

While the above positions are unpaid, active and honest work on Quiet Lightning’s behalf will be the #1 deciding factor used to determine future board members; maybe that’s something you’d like to do (and maybe not).

That’s it for now. If you’d like to help, send a line to me @ lightning [at] evankarp [dot] com. We have also recently obtained QuietLightning.org and will be moving there soon enough; that will also include a more direct system of email addresses, but for now the old one will have to do.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!

Here goes everything …

Evan Karp

for Quiet Lightning

* read my remarks from the first show here. it’s quite touching (and relevant), really.

** quite unlike the Free University of San Francisco which, if you will indulge me for a moment (as i hope this is the last time i address you as a truly singular voice) i had high hopes for and then condemned, publicly, due a dissatisfaction with one principal change: the collective, which was the first and most important aspect of the school, has been disregarded for a small governing body that claims it knows what’s best for the group at large and intends to offer it to them. i want to be clear, while i’m on this tangent: i am in no way at war with FUSF, and will likely attend a healthy handful of its classes. however, it is my personal preference to offer what we each have as individuals and in this way to increase the strength and foundation of our community. we must alternate between teacher and student, organizer and poet. for i am both, as i believe you are, and i hope you will share your input with the board in order to keep it this way. we will consider your thoughts, and we will, BY LAW, make our decisions transparent; THIS in itself is reason to go non-profit.

** read this. everything but the politics is relevant to ql, which started out of my rather naive but zealous citizen journalism, which resulted in my high profile amongst our community, etc. don’t bill keller me! sometimes i feel like you guys are kellering me! i’ve been writing this article for a long time now. oh! maybe you want to see footage from our last show! watch it here, and thanks for listening. talk to you soon, love:

new tomorrow

Tomorrow during our show at 15 Romolo we’re going to make some important (and exciting) announcements. We hope you’ll join us, but want to let you know that 15 Romolo has a capacity of only 100 people, and being the swanky hotspot it is has its own regulars in addition to our crowd. If you want to get in to this free show, we suggest you get there on time or even early. Show starts at 7pm.

15 Romolo is in the alley next to the Beat Museum, which is located at 540 Broadway.

Books, with artwork by Molly Unquera, will be for sale—only $10. They sell out fast!

There will be music during intermission and an aftergathering at Spec’s.

In case you’re looking forward to our next show on April 4 @ Mina Dresden Gallery, know this:

  • Submissions for art and writing are due by Wednesday March 16.

  • That show will be part of Litquake‘s Epicenter—an aftershow hangout with drinks and food—so it’ll probably be packed!

  • Mina Dresden Gallery does not allow amplification, so there will be no microphone.

  • The show will be free.

15 Romolo on Monday March 7

free show. only the first 75 people get in. 21+

molly unquera is the artist this month! the books

keep getting better

really, we are in north beach finally!

come ready to get down.

15 romolo is classy



and after



go to spec’s

the point


welcome 8 new



new place

let’s go





15 Romolo is the street address + venue name. We will be there at 7 and start at 7:30. It will be outrageous in a good applied education to my life kind of way. Stories + poems. freee and unpositioned writing attitude friendly but serious thank you! read back issues/shows @ scribd.com/quietlightning. here are the readers.


back from outer space

a belated thank you to everyone who came out to supperclub monday. who thought lying in bed listening to readings could feel so futuristic?

you can read the whole show below, but if you want one of the beautiful copies of sPARKLE & bLINK—with artwork by Hannah Stouffer—click here. something tells me this is only the first of many times you’ll be seeing her name.

there’s a rumor that the next quiet lightning will be in north beach. what do you think of that? also: we’ve booked  venues through may:

Check out all the videos—with commentary and thoughts on the SF Weekly writeupover at Litseen.

put it to bed

Let’s just say you don’t want to miss this.

10 writers will go for the throat while you sip cocktails on a bed that has a maximum capacity > 100.

Hope you like sharing!

Monday, February 7



657 Harrison St


Oh! What writers?

You can click here to spy on everyone before you meet them.

Artwork by Hannah Stouffer, who will be on site with some prints that will blow your mind. Bring $$$ «

supperclub makes wicked cocktails.

pre-order these books. they’re going to sell out immediately.

a submission-based white album? of readers?

It’s just a phrase, maybe, but it was inspired by our first show of year 2. We counted 110 people but we’re not very good at that kind of thing yet. When we asked how many people had never been to a Quiet Lightning before, nearly 75% of the room raised a hand. But I’ll let Sarah Page tell you a bit about it:

The best thing for you to do would be to read the show yourself, below:

  • It was a warm and welcoming event. Being a part of it was like having a dream that I did not want to forget when I woke. A buzz kill to return to the office the next morning. — The man who i had not yet met 5 minutes before the show, leaning into the microphone: “Is Mike Palmer here? Would Mike Palmer please come forward.”

  • I attended Quiet Lightning for the first time on January 3rd and my life is richer for the experience. I was sweetly surprised by the feast of creative energy flowing freely from the authors. I left feeling delightfully satiated. — A woman who had “never been to anything like this” (this she said before the reading!).

Watch the entire document as a performance and read some more thoughts over at Litseen.

A big hearty thanks to Public Works and to our volunteers and to everyone who came out. To all of you new people: tell a friend. Especially a writerly friend. Our next show is Monday February 7 at supperclub. Roman-style beds. LED lighting. You don’t want to miss it! See the submission guidelines when you’re not sure what to do with yourself. Let the idea rattle around. Then, grab it. Take that thing and wrestle it onto the page. You don’t have to share it, but you could.

2.oh, snap!

In case you’re just tuning in we have the New York Times on the line. We were just talking about Quiet Lightning, the monthly-submission based reading series that’s been striking San Francisco now for over a year and whipping all the litsters there into a bonafide frenzy. What is it that makes this series so special, do you think?

It’s funny you ask, really, because while some of the more fundamental reasons persist month after month, each show really does provide it’s own reasons. This month—as I was saying—there will be exactly 16 of these. … You have the image up, right? Can you see the image? You should be able to see the names of this month’s readers on that beautiful artwork by Casey Cripe. You should also be able to click on the art and find out more about this month’s readers.

So you mean the readers make it special. Interesting! I’m wondering if you’ve heard of any of these writers before. I mean, have you? Because I know I haven’t, and I guess what I’m really wondering is, if I haven’t heard of any of these writers before, how come I’ve heard of this series?

Public Works

{ 161 Erie St } off Mission just SE of Duboce

Monday, January 3 2011

7pm | $3 sliding**

** that’s right, we’re gonna try a sliding scale this month. still $3, but if you have and can spare more, we’ll put it toward a good cause.

  • we are looking for volunteers. we are going to try a new policy: volunteer for 3 month terms. each show you get a complimentary copy of sPARKLE & bLINK. we need 3 volunteers for now. in? drop a line.

  • would you go to oakland for quiet lightning? no pressure. we’re just wondering if you’ll join us.

    This is probably a good time to announce that this year we’ll see some changes. Some you’ll like; others you might not. And guess what? We haven’t figured it all out. This right here is live. Hope you catch it while you can.


Turns out 111 Minna Gallery is an amazing place for Quiet Lightning! We’re very thankful to them for having us, to you for coming, to all the readers from our first 12 shows, particularly our Neighborhood Heroes in June and those this week, to everyone who has shown us support and love. “You have created such a beautiful thing.” So many people said this to me and to Raja Tuesday night. “No,” I would say. “We created a place for beautiful things.” It just so happens that our place moves around every month. Our place is together.

Not going to share a picture of each reader this month. The lightning wasn’t perfect for that. I mean the lightning. Woops. I try to type lightning and you see what happens. Lighting! I had to use backspace. Ergo, I don’t think I’m going to put quotes up, either. See for yourself: the entire show can be read here. You can also watch the entire thing here. And you can buy it, perfectly bound and with beautiful artwork by Matty Byloos, here.

(Actually, some of the things we published are different from the readings this month, which is not usual but then we break the rules for the sake of our artists, so if you want to see what was actually performed you should check out the videos. That also means if you were at the show and didn’t pick up a copy of sPARKLE & bLINK you can read bonus stories here, including Nightfishing by Alia Volz, which was nominated for a Pushcart, a flash piece by Peg Alford Pursell called Magpies, an entire chapter from Andrew O. Dugas’ novel Sleepwalking in Paradise that takes place in Cole Valley, and one of my favorite poems by Charlie Getter — in which he “oo oos for yes and oo oos for no.”)

12 months. 12 shows. Holy annus! Here’s to 2.0, starting:

January 3 2011 | Public Works | 161 Erie St

Subs are due Wednesday, December 15.

Read the submission guidelines


send to lightning@evankarp.com.

Birthday Heroes!

Hi everyone! Hope you’re getting excited, because one week from tomorrow (on Tuesday, November 30th) some of our favorite writers are going to help us celebrate one full year of Quiet Lightning. This is show numb 12, people:


for links to the readers or here for videos


Don’t trust us. SF Weekly says we “combine some of the best literary talent to come out of San Francisco in the past 20 years.”

This is an exciting time for lit lovers to be in the Bay Area. If we were the founders of something relegated to the internet you would see a big banner at the top of this page with our solemn faces looking directly at you and giant tasteful text that reads “An appeal from Quiet Lightning founders Evan Karp and Rajshree Chauhan” and if you clicked on the banner it would take you to a block of text far lengthier than this one appealing to your core beliefs and deep-rooted desires—something to the effect of, if you knew what was good for you, as we do, you would come to this show and both support the things you believe in and satisfy your need for them. So here are the details:

Tuesday Nov 30

111 Minna Gallery

111 Minna St @ 2nd St

7-9pm | $5

Hot potatoes! We cannot wait to see you there!


evan + rajshree