Deadline Extended to October 15

Call for Submissions Alternate DE

Good news, Playonwordsians: We are extending the deadline for the chapbook that we are producing in conjunction with the fabulous Flash Fiction Forum. You’ve got until October 15 to send 500 words of fiction, nonfiction, poetry or theatre to activistchapbook@gmail.com.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a brief recap of recent headlines that might trigger a response:

  • Last week, Trump announced that he plans to rescind the DACA program, which will affect approximately 800,000 students and their families who are working and studying legally in the United States.
  • Hurricanes like Harvey and Irma displace thousands of families, many of whom may have been previously displaced by Katrina in 2005.
  • Charlottesville–August 12, 2017, and the rise of neo-Nazism.
  • Trump’s July announcement to ban transgender citizens from serving in the military.

There are lots of ways to resist and show solidarity with communities whose livelihoods and basic civil rights are at risk. We’re hoping to provide a platform for writers to speak up and speak out.

We look forward to reading your work.

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Call for Submissions: Activist Chapbook

Attention poets, playwrights, and other creative writers!

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Community activists from Play on Words and Flash Fiction Forum are producing a chapbook and want your fiction, poetry, works of theater and creative nonfiction work about activism.

Specifically, we’re interested in the complexities of activism (humorous, tragic, inspiring, or all three), situations that call for activism, pitfalls and rewards of activism, and above all, the personal, unexpected, and inexplicable. We’re interested in stories that move but don’t preach, and shed light on communities or causes that may not make it to the news every day. Help us prove that our words matter–perhaps now more than ever.

In addition to publishing a chapbook in collaboration with Flash Fiction Forum, Play On Words will select a number of the accepted pieces for a corresponding performance in early 2018.

GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION:

  • Deadline for submission is August 31, 2017.
  • Please limit submissions to 500 words.
  • Email submissions to activistchapbook@gmail.com

ATTENTION ARTISTS:

  • We are also seeking black and white artwork that speaks to these themes. Submissions can be emailed to activistchapbook@gmail.com. 

 

Pratibha’s “Night Subway Crawl”

Happy V for Victory weekend, Playonwordsians. We’re delighted to share our next featured video from January’s New Year Nouveau show, showcasing the talent of Pratibha Kelapure and Taylor Sanders. Watch Taylor perform “The Night Subway Crawl,” as filmed by the handy team at South Bay Pulse:

POW fans will remember Pratibha’s work from previous shows. Pratibha is a writer, editor, literary coach, and performer. She is the founding editor of The Literary Nest journal. In her previous life, she served the Silicon Valley as a VLSI Software engineer. Other than that she is a wife, mother, and a community volunteer–she even volunteered to help us collect donations at January’s show (thank you!). This spring, she is hosting a writing contest through the Literary Nest for fiction, poetry and logo design. Deadline is March 30! Learn more here.

Thanks to all our fabulous writers, readers and friends who joined us in January.

 

 

Join Us Tonight in Person…Or On YouTube

The rain might be coming, San Jose, but you know what else is? New Year Nouveau, our first show of 2016. We’re delighted to share our lineup for tonight’s performance, which starts at 7pm at Cafe Stritch:

POWprefinal (1)
ACT ONE:
“Not the Madonna” – Allison Landa, read by Nita Lambert
“Suck it Up” – Tania Martin, read by Ivette Deltoro
“Indra’s Low Sodium-Oxide Streetlights” by Gary Singh, read by Ryan Alpers
“Land of the Thunder Dragon” – Sarah Lyn Rogers, read by Ivette Deltoro
“Van Tribe: Free Medical” – Rick Alpers, read by Brian Van Winkle

“Compassion: the Essence of Nursing” – Lita Kurth, read by Melinda Marks
“A Girl in Pink” – Christine Keating, read by Taylor Sanders, Alex Draa, Brian Van Winkle and Ryan Alpers

INTERMISSION
ACT TWO
“The Night Subway Crawl” – Pratibha Kelapure, read by Taylor Sanders
“Collectibles” – Betsy Miller, read by Melinda Marks
“Neighbor” – Marilyn Horn-Fahey, read by Jeremy Ryan
“The Golden Beauty of Carlina Johansen” – Keiko O’Leary, read by Alex Draa
“Van Tribe: Dudley & Donnie” – Rick Alpers, read by Brian Van Winkle
“End of Time” – Freya Seeburger (Cellista), read by Julia Halprin Jackson and Ryan Alpers
“Fabulous Water Sports” – Roy Proctor, read by Jeremy Ryan and Ryan Alpers
For our online fans and friends around the world, we invite you to tune in to our live-stream channel, provided courtesy of the fabulous online and print magazine South Bay Pulse, at 7pm Pacific Standard Time. Intrigued? It’s easy as one, two, click:
South Bay Pulse  was founded by journalists and graduate students at San Jose State University. Not only do they write great stories–they’ve mastered the art of live-streaming events such as CineQuest, and their YouTube channel hosts all kinds of great content, such as lectures from the Santa Cruz Music Festival, the SubZERO Festival, and interviews with Silicon Valley Artists. We’re delighted to be working with them on New Year Nouveau.
Bottom line: you’ve got no excuse to miss out on all the greatness that is headed your way. We can’t wait to share the work of our writers and artists. Grab a specialty cocktail at Cafe Stritch’s great bar, try out their spicy macaroni and cheese, drop us a few bucks at the door and prepare yourself for New Year Nouveau. See you there.

Gary Singh’s Low Sodium-Oxide Streetlights

Play On Words has a proud history of producing Gary Singh’s funny, absurd, language-rich poems in bars, parks and restaurants around San Jose. If you read the Metro, you know Gary. If you’ve been to an Earthquakes soccer game, you know Gary. If you’ve been to any interesting festival, performance, show or cultural event in Silicon Valley, chances are you’ve met Gary. We’re delighted to perform “Indra’s Low Sodium-Oxide Streetlights” at New Year Nouveau, January 6 at San Jose’s Cafe Stritch. We hope you can join us.

Gary Singh
Gary Singh

Gary is an award-winning travel journalist with a music degree who publishes poetry, paints and exhibits photographs. As a scribe, he’s published nearly 1000 works including newspaper columns, travel essays, art and music criticism, profiles, business journalism, lifestyle articles, poetry and short fiction. His poems have been published in The Pedestal Magazine, Dirty Chai, Maudlin House and more. For 540 straight weeks, his newspaper columns have appeared in Metro, the alternative weekly paper of San Jose and Silicon Valley. Currently, he is the author of The San Jose Earthquakes: A Seismic Soccer Legacy (2015, The History Press). The poem we are producing in January was previously published at Three and a half point 9.

Want to join the conversation? Sign up for our new email newsletter, RSVP for our January 6 show, tweet us, catch up on Instagram…and if you see us in San Jose we’ll usually accept a high five.

As a reminder, our January 6 show will be collecting $5 donations at the door. We also will be live-streaming this show with South Bay Pulse–stay tuned to learn more!

 

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.

“Thirteen,” by Andrew Christian

It’s nearly summer. Love is in the air–and onstage. That’s just one of the reasons we love this poem by writer/teacher Andrew Christian. In case you missed it, here’s Jeremy Ryan’s performance of “Thirteen” from our May 22 show:

Andrew couldn’t join us for Spring Fling because his lovely wife Beth had just delivered their first child, Leo, a mere 48 hours earlier. We like to think that Leo wanted to be in the world in time to hear his father’s poem. Congratulations to our #POW family. Thank you for sharing your words, and thanks to Jeremy for his wonderful interpretation.

Play On Words: Spring Fling

The days are getting longer. The air is ripe. Students are graduating. People are getting married. It’s about time spring had one last hurrah, don’t you think? Join us next at 7:30pm next Thursday, May 22, at San Jose’s Blackbird Tavern for Play On Words: Spring Fling. We’re excited to announce our spring lineup: 

Jessy Goodman

Jessy Goodman is an imminent graduate with an MFA in fiction at SJSU. She recently one multiple awards for her writing, including the Lois King Thore Short Story Scholarship and the Owen Broyles Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement by a Graduate Student. Jessy is also fiction editor of The Rumpus.

Andrew Christian

Andrew Christian is a high school English teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Jose. He holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Creative Writing from CSU Chico as well as a teaching credential from San Jose State University. While studying English at CSU Chico, he was published in the CSU Chico literary magazine, “Watershed” and was featured in the 30th Anniversary Edition of “Watershed.”

Julia Halprin Jackson

Julia Halprin Jackson‘s work has appeared in West Branch Wired, California Northern, Fourteen Hills, Flatmancrooked, Sacramento News & Review, Fictionade, Fiction365, Catalyst and Spectrum, as well as selected anthologies. Julia has been awarded scholarships from the Tomales Bay Writer’s Workshops and the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing (fiction) from UC Davis.

David WirthDavid Wirth has spent the last two years accidentally developing a belly, which only recently got round in a way that can be seen through a t-shirt.  Since this development, watching superhero movies has, in terms of his psyche/self-regard, become a challenging experience. Further, David Wirth lives in Salinas, where he is nearly always surrounded by beautiful things, especially in the early morning and late evening, when the light is really nice.  He likes words.

Sarah Lyn Rogers

Sarah Lyn Rogers is an MFA candidate at San José State University, where her emphases are fiction and poetry. She was this year’s recipient of the Academy of American Poets – Virginia de Araujo prize for her poem, “Rat Race.” When she’s not writing, Sarah is a mentor and copyeditor for Society of Young Inklings, and the assistant fiction editor for The Rumpus.

Christine Keating is a writer/director living in San Francisco. Directing credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Can’t Thread a Moving Needle, War Brides, and The Vagina Monologues, as well as staged readings at Custom Made Theatre, TheatreWorks Young Playwrights PRogram, and Santa Clara University. Recently, Christine assistant-directed Good People at Marin Theatre Company and Silent Sky at TheatreWorks. Writing credits include A Girl in Pink (Reading: stageRIGHT Theatre, Seattle), The Sisters Sirene (co-written with Amelia Bethel, commissioned by the 2014 SF Olympians Festival) and an adaptation of Sam Shepard’s short stories, day out of days (Reading: Magic Theatre). She would like to thank Play on Words for this wonderful opportunity! You can look at her face and read some things that come out of her brain at http://www.keatingmarie.com.

Introducing Gary Singh

Our February show highlighted the work of noted journalist and Silicon Valley arts regular Gary Singh. Singh is an award-winning journalist with a music degree who publishes poetry, paints, and exhibits photographs. As a scribe, he has published hundreds of works as either a staff writer or freelancer, including travel essays, art and music criticism, profiles, business journalism, lifestyle articles, short fiction and poetry. For 450 straight weeks he’s also penned a creative newspaper column for Metro, San Jose’s alt-weekly newspaper, an offbeat glimpse into the frontiers of the human condition in Silicon Valley. He is a sucker for anything that fogs the opposites of native and exotic, luxury and the gutter, academe and the street.

Gary Singh
Gary Singh

This week we asked Singh what it felt like to hear his poem, “Here,” read aloud by Ryan Alpers at the Blackbird Tavern on February 13.

“Hearing and seeing my poem performed by someone else brought a new dimension to my creativity,” he said. “The actor brought inflections and emotions into the poem that I didn’t even know existed. The experience gave me some confidence that I didn’t know existed either. I would highly recommend anyone to submit their work for this series.”

In case you missed it, here’s Ryan’s performance of Singh’s poem:

Feeling inspired? There’s still time to submit for our May 22 show! We accept works of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and theater under 2000 words. Submissions can be sent to playonwordssj@gmail.com.