dancing with a paradigm shift

Thanks to everyone who came out to our recent two-year anniversary/Neighborhood Heroes show. We had a great show and look forward to our next year together. You can watch videos of all the performances here, read them all online for free here, and purchase a copy of the book—with artwork by Genine Lentinehere.

Looking back on the last two years I wonder how we got here, and also where we’re headed. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Maybe you have been too! If so, we’d love to hear what you have to say. Complaints, suggestions, success stories: say it all here.

We have a couple things to say, ourselves:

  1. Submissions for our January 2 show at Club Deluxe are open, but not for long! Get them in by the end of tomorrow, Wed the 14th. Please see the submission details.
  2. Our subsequent show will not be on the first Monday in February. It won’t even be in San Francisco! We’re traveling South, with the birds, to participate in Poetry Festival Santa Cruz on Sunday, February 12th. Beginning with this show, we are using Submittable.com (see submission details). We’re still working out the details for transportation, except that we will provide either a ride or a traveling stipend for everyone who is accepted. If you have a car and would consider driving, please send Charles an email: charles@quietlightning.org.

Thanks again to everyone who has been a part of Quiet Lightning over these first two years. In December of 2009 we would not have dared to dream about an annual summer series at the Conservatory of Flowers, or being granted nonprofit status—much less being voted one of San Francisco’s Favorite 49 Charities. If you haven’t seen it yet, we put together this video clipshow that perhaps you’ll enjoy.

And this is just the beginning! The degree to which one can participate in Quiet Lightning will increase radically in 2012. We can’t wait to tell you all about it. Soon…

clip show of our first 2 years + nominations for the 2012 pushcart prize

Hi everyone!

In anticipation of our Neighborhood Heroes/2-yr anniversary show this Monday at BeatBox, we did some looking back over the first 23 shows and put together the above video. Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together; what an extreme pleasure it was to remember all of the stellar performances, ze moments of wow, that person is my friend!, to see where we’ve been (16 venues, art houses, nightclubs, the COF). In fact, we could make 1000 more of these (and might), but for now we’ll leave that to the archivists, to the Litseens of the world.

Enjoy. We hope to see you at the show tomorrow. Doors are at 7 and the show will start promptly at 7:30. We’ll be screening this video on the wall; Evan’s already watched it a dozen times but he “can’t wait to watch it with everyone in the same room.” That guy (right?).

This week, we added another to our many sources of pride with our first batch of nominations for the Pushcart Prize. In first compiling this list we had 27 nominations! Allowed only 6, and after hours of much after-hour consideration, we have nominated the following for the 2012 Best of the Small Presses:

DEAR EVERYONE: Thank you for making this selection so difficult. Thank you for participating, for throwing your names in the proverb cap, for listening. Thanks to all of the artists, to the managers and owners of all of the venues, to Julie Michelle and Timothy Faust and everyone else who has contributed photos, who has volunteered at our shows, who has been bold enough to open mouth and say to new friends and strangers: There’s this thing I know about that you might enjoy. THANK YOU.

7pm. 314 11th St (near Folsom). We’ve got the place for a couple of hours after the show, so this party stays where it starts. Love you guys. Hug tomorrow.

our two year anniversary

Thanks to everyone who made it out to Chez Poulet this Monday for our first show since The Greenhouse Effect. It was exhilarating to experience the words of 11 authors who had never performed as part of our series, and I think a lot of people made new friends. You can read the entire show for free here and watch all the performances, in order, here.

We could not be more thrilled is perhaps my most-used phrase when I speak for Quiet Lightning, and I’m sorry if that irks you but we could not be more thrilled to announce our roster for the fourth installment of our Neighborhood Heroes series:

  • Andrew Sean Greer: Author of the novels The Path of Minor PlanetsThe Story of a Marriage, and The Confessions of Max Tivoli, and the collection of stories How It Was for Me—all of which you can find more about here—and a forthcoming novel you are sure to hear from soon, Andrew’s prose is pitch-perfect. [Watch]
  • Siamak Vossoughi: Chances are, if you’ve been to Quiet Lightning in the past year you’ve enjoyed one or more of Siamak’s distinctive short metaphysical ruminations. If you’ve been to most of the shows, you have really seen him blossom as a reader (and, likely, you’ve marveled at the consistent quality of his prose). [Watch]
  • Cassandra Gorgeous: We are very proud to present Ms. Gorgeous, who instantly won us over with her treatise on The Castro… and then, inspired by some of our performers’ recitations, memorized her entire essay for our first Conservatory show in what was no doubt an all-time QL highlight. Cass is a unique talent and one who is just getting started. Funny, sexy, smart. [Watch]
  • Chicken John: Ringleader of Circus Redickuless, pioneer of Radio Valencia, and author of the recent The Book of the IS: Fail… to Win (to mention but a few projects), Chicken is an advocate of and warrior for life as art. His 2007 bid for mayor of San Francisco was an experiment in performance art that became a serious bid for the office, and he remains actively engaged in our city’s behind the scenes scenes—both, and equally, political and cultural [Watch].
  • Genine Lentine: Author of Mr. Worthington’s Experiments in Beautiful SplashesPoses: An Essay Drawn from the Model, and co-author of Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects On A Century In The Garden, Lentine is a conceptual artist who recently curated the Nothing Is Hidden series at the SF Zen Center, where she has lived for the past 4 years. She’s doing some really interesting projects and is this month’s artist for sparkle + blink. [Watch]
  • Mira Martin-Parker: Does anyone remember when Mira started off our second show timid and barely audible from that plush chair at Gestalt? We saw her again the following month (March 10) and again in July, but then went almost a year without her signature quirk. What happened? She published her first book and underwent other revolutions that were obvious when she submitted to The Greenhouse Effect: Mira was the only author who read at all three Conservatory shows, and we’re very excited—for her progress, and for her audience. [Watch]
  • K.M. Soehnlein: Author of You Can Say You Knew Me When, The World of Normal Boys, and Robin and Ruby—read more hereK.M. is a teacher at USF and is all but done with another novel. His writing is some incredible combination of fierce and joyous, heartfelt and wide-eyed. [Watch]
  • Mac McClelland: The human rights reporter for Mother Jones, Mac has reported from all over the world. Follow her. She is the author of For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question, an intimate account of her time amongst Burmese rebels in the thick of the world’s longest-running war (listen to her talk about the book, and her experience, here). [Watch]

This show will be at BeatBox on Monday, December 5th and will cost—like all of our shows—a suggested $5. Don’t miss this if you can help it; it’s going to be really special, and, sincerely, we could not be more thrilled. We have now had 23 shows and published 21 books, and this show highlighting some of our many Neighborhood Heroes will also mark six months of our non-profit status and cap off our wonderful first two years.

Thanks to each and all of you for all of your support, energy, and enthusiasm. RSVP and tell your friends! We look forward to seeing you in December and to the next two years and beyond.

In the meanwhile, please vote for your favorite San Francisco charity (even if it’s not us!). With love,

Evan Karp
for QL