videos + photos from our litquake show at the conservatory of flowers

Thanks to the always inspired and inspiring Julie Michelle, you can enjoy photos from the final show of our second annual three-show series held at the Conservatory of Flowers, The Greenhouse Effect, which was part of Litquake:

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As you can see, it was a really packed house. Of the 73 people who filled out the survey (and we estimated probably near twice that many people in attendance), 50 people had never been to a QL before. It was actually pretty overwhelming; when first-timers were asked to raise their hands, so many arms shot up that the crowd let out a collective “woa!” 34 people had never been to the COF before, and 22 hadn’t been in over a year. Again— this survey reflects only about half the people in attendance.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a wonderful time. The show, curated by the entire board of directors, was a work of art itself, moving flawlessly between genres of writing, timbres of voice and degrees of performance, and each of the readers stepped up and really delivered. You can watch all the readings right here.

Mary Behm-Steinberg was the artist for this month’s book, and we are all very proud to announce that this was her absolutely first installation. Check her out! She’s already made quite a portfolio of stunning book covers, and does them to order. Cannot recommend her too highly. Joining her, to help make The Orchid Room sparkle and blink, was Todd T. Brown, our September artist. It’s almost crazy how much their work did to the room (and to the evening, for that matter).

As always, beer was provided by Lagunitas Brewing Co., who we seriously cannot thank enough. They have really put the hops in us! And while we’re at it, there’s a lot of people who deserve thanks. Quiet Lightning could not happen without a large number of people, and while that group is somewhat amorphous, some dedicate their time every month to make this organization what it is: Josey and Christian Lee, along with Tom Joyce, at the beverage station, Sarah Maria Griffin, Ceri Bevan, and SB Stokes (at the door), Robin Terrell (on the books), and Jonathan Hirsch + Valerie Chavez for their utility help… and a special, big thanks to Morgan Davis at the COF for having us and making The Greenhouse Effect such a beautiful part of our year.

Thanks also to everyone who came out to the show, and to those of you who supports us month after month (or whenever and however you can). You’ve made Quiet Lightning what it is, and have helped us earn the support of the Zellerbach Family Foundation; hopefully, this is just a start. It’s been a series of special events and we can’t wait to tell you all about 2013—Quiet Lightning will never be the same! But before that happens:

  • Get ready for Monday, November 5th at Viracocha! We received 95 submissions for this show, and the bar has been smoking dope or something (for it is really so very high). We’ll announce the roster by Thursday, the 25th, so stay tuned.
  • Submissions to our show on Monday, December 3rd are open through the end of Wednesday, November 14th. Submit here! This will also be our 3rd anniversary party!
  • Take a break. Enjoy the second installment of Quiet Lightning: Random Play, which we did at the Red Poppy Arthouse on Sept 30th.

Finally, please weigh in if you’d like to get involved, if you have suggestions (what should we do with our recent grant money, for instance, and where should we have a show, who should be a neighborhood hero, etc.). We welcome all feedback – positive and negative – at all times, and hope to hear from you. And to see you very soon.

Love and lightning,
Evan for QL

we got our first grant! come celebrate (with litquake) at the conservatory of flowers

Hi everyone,

By now you probably know we received our first grant last week, courtesy of the Zellerbach Family Foundation. We are thrilled nearly beyond belief; nearly, for we are inspired every single month by the work that comes in, by the readings—every time the books come in, e’ry time the submissions converge—by the packed rooms and attentive faces; we believe in what we do, and thank you, thank you for believing too.

Below you will find (click on the bullet to go straight there):

qui•et light•ning |kwahy-it ˈlaɪtnɪŋ|


  1. an ever-expanding community of writers formed in san francisco in december of 2009
  2. a submission-based readings series produced by said writers that generally recurs in a different location every first monday, with a blind selection process and printed book of each show
  3. the noise one can feel between the end of an experience and the beginning of a new one: We clapped to manifest the quiet lightning.
  4. a softball team in Elk Grove Village, IL
  5. a novel by Deborah Hughes
  1. to make everything alright by joining together (often used with the definite article): One of these days we’ll all quiet the lightning together.
  2. (rare) to experience the same sounds as a group of people: Listening to an audiobook on a long family road trip is my favorite way to quiet lightning.

Well, that was fun (and feel free to comment with your own definitions and phrases). But what we really wanted to tell you was you should come out to our show this Monday, October 8th as part of Litquake. It’s the final installment of our annual three show series at the Conservatory of Flowers and it’s going to be like last year—an in-your-face literary doozie (just look at our readers!). We received nearly 150 submissions for this and the August show, and (like last year) our entire board of directors put them together as a team.

Lagunitas will be providing those ice cold drafts, as always—sexy sponsor that they are—for only $3 apiece. We’ll also have some wine, sodas, and sparkling water, so bring your favorite He-Man thermos and stay cool.

You can pre-order the show as a book, with artwork to brag about by Mary Behm-Steinberg, who will be exhibiting Monday night alongside recent de Young Artist Fellow Todd T. Brown, our September artist. We’ll also have some of our back issues for sale.

Conservatory of Flowers
100 John F Kennedy Dr • Golden Gate Park [directions]
Doors at 7pm • Show at 8pm sharp
$5 suggested, but come if you don’t have it and give more if you do

Our first public board meeting

That’s right. We’re opening our doors (we have doors now). Here’s your chance to get behind the scenes. Speak up. Volunteer. Propose. You name it. There will be food. There might be dancing (more likely: a saunter through Golden Gate Park). Sunday, October 21st at 10am (that stands for morning). If you want to come, send Kristen a line (that way we’ll know how much food to have).

November 5th @ Viracocha

Yes. Finally. Viracocha is more than the gracious entity that hauled several literal tons of setup to make last year’s Litquake show homey; more than our mic stand sponsor; this is, for a lot of reasons, a place that feels like home. If you’ve been inside, you probably feel that way about it too. There’s backstory. You can feel it in the wood. It’s not dust that gathers there, but affinity. Join us—for the love of all that is sacred—for our first and likely only show at Viracocha. Submissions are open through midnight of Wednesday, October 17th. Click here to submit.

Come as you are.


community wizard + beast crawl: random play free saturday in oakland

Thanks everyone who came out to Galería de la Raza last night; that was some pure Side A/Side B magic, right!? Proud of Chris Cole and Josey Lee for putting together such an emotionally resonant yet experimentally bold show, and really, truly proud that we are able to present a place for such beautiful people to express themselves: whether we particularly are happy to meet Zack Haber or Mariama Lockington, or to see Karen Penley work her stage magic, or to recognize the quaver in Zoe Brezsny‘s voice as the lump in our own throats; whether we saw ourselves more clearly in Aaron DiFranco‘s Mission Renga or Valerie Chavez‘s Tenderloin Portraits or in the inexplicably new-to-poetry wonder of Matthew Rogers; whether we believed Max Tomlinson‘s story was fiction or nonfiction, felt like an outcast in our own homes, submitted from Uruguay or traveled from Colorado to make something sonorous out of a physics-based exercise meant for the page; do you imagine Chris Carosi walking through the city working on these $ poems; did you see yourself in Cybele Zufolo‘s all-encompassing elegance, in Samantha Rubenstein‘s childhood coming to terms; after all that, still, did Casey McAlduff leave you wanting more?

With our powers combined; with our bag of tricks, so endless, we, Community Wizard, hereby ask you to join us this Saturday for our first-ever East Bay show in the first leg of the first Beast Crawl at 5pm at Vessel Gallery– a free show! We are introducing a new series called Random Play, which you can read more about here, and our readers will be Lauren BeckerChris PeckNicole HenaresAnna PulleyLizzy AckerAmanda SnyderNick Johnson and Alia Volz.

Click here to help us spread the word. Then there’s two more legs and an afterparty! Hope to see you sometime… the good people organizing this festival have done a wonderful job putting it together, and we hope you’ll check it out whether you can catch our show or not.

One final thing: please send in some of your work for consideration for our three-show series at the Conservatory of Flowers! If you weren’t there last year, check out some of Julie Michelle’s photos to see what you don’t have to miss again. Deadline for August 6 and October 8 is the end of Wednesday, July 18th; tell your friends, and make sure to specify if you’d like us to consider your work for August AND October, or for only one of them. Click here to submit!

Thanks again for everything. Big, big love; c’mon, let’s hug one more time.

xoxo Evan for QL