Melinda Marks Spies a “Bride”

It’s wedding season. Does that mean it’s time for a swampwater cocktail? Just ask Lita Kurth, co-creator of the Flash Fiction Forum and author of the hilarious “Bride,” which Melinda Marks performed June 3 at Cafe Stritch. Her glass of ice water makes for a helpful prop:

Be sure to check out The Flash Fiction Forum for upcoming events and submission deadlines!

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Adam Magill Reads “Bees”

If you’ve ever taken a writing class, you know what a writer’s workshop can be like. Betsy Miller‘s “Bees” takes an unusual and fascinating approach on the teenage writing workshop. Play On Words regular Adam Magill brought layers of subtlety to this piece June 3 at Cafe Stritch. In case you missed it:

Betsy Miller is one of the co-founders of Thinking Ink Press, a small independent press. She is currently working on a children’s picture book, Brooklynn Bunny’s Super Boots, and on a young adult novel called Dance, Interrupted.

Valerie Fioravanti’s “Hot Turkish Man”

If you delve into the Play On Words archives, you’ll discover that Sacramento author Valerie Fioravanti played a key role in our origin story. That’s part of the reason why we are so excited to produce her short piece, “Hot Turkish Man,” June 3 at Cafe Stritch.

Valerie is the author of the linked story collection Garbage Night at the Opera. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in many literary journals, including North American Review, Cimarron Review, Silk Road, and Jelly Bucket. She’s the founder of Stories on Stage Sacramento (which, if you live anywhere near Sacramento, you need to go see).

Valerie Fioravanti
Valerie Fioravanti
Garbage Night at the Opera
Garbage Night at the Opera

Publications, Honors or Awards:

2011 Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. Fulbright Fellow to Italy.

What inspired you to participate in Play On Words?

Julia Halprin Jackson asked me to participate.

Which writers or performers inspire you?

I’ve always admired Margaret Atwood, who is unafraid to work across different literary forms and genres.

Name a book or performance that fundamentally affected you.

My favorite reading series, which inspired me to start my own reading series in Sacramento, was New York City’s Selected Shorts, which also airs on NPR and can be downloaded via podcast. I loved hearing actors read stories with so much gusto. It felt like the best of bedtime for adults.

To learn more about Valerie, visit http://valeriefioravanti.com/.

The Return of Gary Singh

If you’re an artist in Silicon Valley, you know Gary Singh. Hell, if you’re a Play On Words fan, you know Gary. We were thrilled to produce one of his poems last winter (you can watch it here), and we’re excited to read not one but two of his newer pieces this June at Cafe Stritch. “Sirs Parchment” will be appearing in the May 2015 issue of Maudlin House and “”I Ride a Bus Out to the Suburbs in the Searing Heat” is in the Spring 2015 issue of the Scapegoat Review.

Gary Singh
Gary Singh

Gary Singh is an award-winning travel journalist with a music degree who publishes poetry, paints and exhibits photographs. As a scribe, he’s written nearly 1000 works including travel essays, art and music criticism, profiles, business journalism, lifestyle articles, poetry and short fiction. Every week for ten years, he’s penned the Silicon Alleys column for Metro, San Jose’s alt-weekly newspaper. He is the author of The San Jose Earthquakes: A Seismic Soccer Legacy. You can learn more about him at http://www.garysingh.info.