Living Writers: Spring 2016

Living Writers Spring 2016: Out of Line 

Living Writers is an event that takes place every Thursday night at 6pm in humanities lecture hall 206. This event is free and open to the public, and books from the authors will be on sale at the event by the Bay Tree Book Store. Get a book and get it signed by our marvelous visiting authors! 

Why Out of Line? 

"I chose the theme Out of Line because it characterizes the way many of these writers work across genre, in different genres, and generally seem to prize the element of surprise in their writing. I'm hoping it will encourage our students to think outside the box and have fun with their writing.  In general, I'm confident this will be a really fun series with a lot of writers with great senses of humor as well as deep interests in the political." - Professor Micah Perks 

Here's your line-up:

April 7 Githa Hariharan (CANCELED) 

April 14 Kate Schatz

April 21 Manuel Gonzales

April 28 Charlie Jane Anders


May 12 Elizabeth McKenzie

May 19 Lev Grossman

May 26 Emily Hunt & Julien Poirier

June 2 Student Reading

Big Thank you to our sponsors: Laurie Sain Endowment, Literature Department & Creative Writing Program, Porter College George Hitchcock Poetry Endowment, Siegfried B. and Elisabeth Mignon Puknat Literary Studies Endowment

Questions? Email us at

    Githa Hariharan

  • pc: Hemant Parab

    Githa Hariharan was born in Coimbatore, India, and she grew up in Bombay and Manila. She was educated in these two cities and later in the United States. She got a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in English Literature and Psychology from Bombay University, 1974; and a Master of Arts in Communications from the Graduate School of Corporate and Political Communication, Fairfield University, Connecticut, 1977. She worked as a staff writer in WNET-Channel 13 in New York, and from 1979 to 1984, she worked as an editor in the Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi offices of Orient Longman, where she was responsible for the social science, fiction and women’s studies lists. From 1985 to 2005, she worked as a freelance professional editor for a range of academic institutions and foundations. She is, at present, a writer based in New Delhi.

    In 1995, Hariharan challenged the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act as discriminatory against women. The case, Githa Hariharan and Another vs. Reserve Bank of India and Another, led to a Supreme Court judgment in 1999 on guardianship.

    Githa Hariharan's published work includes novels, short stories, essays, newspaper articles and columns. Her first novel, The Thousand Faces of Night (1992) won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best first book in 1993. Her other novels include The Ghosts of Vasu Master(1994), When Dreams Travel (1999), In Times of Siege(2003), and Fugitive Histories (2009). A collection of highly acclaimed short stories, The Art of Dying, was published in 1993, and a book of stories for children, The Winning Team, in 2004. She edited a volume of stories in English translation from four major South Indian languages, A Southern Harvest (1993); and co-edited a collection of stories for children, Sorry, Best Friend! (1997). Hariharan also edited and contributed to a collection of essays entitled From India to Palestine: Essays in Solidarity(LeftWord, 2014).

    Her new book is a collection of her own essays, Almost Home: Cities and Other Places (HarperCollins India, 2014).

    Hariharan's fiction has been translated into a number of languages including French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Greek, Urdu and Vietnamese; her essays and fiction have also been included in anthologies such as Salman Rushdie's Mirrorwork: 50 Years of Indian Writing 1947-1997. She wrote a monthly column for many years on different aspects of culture and their political and social underpinnings, in The Telegraph, Kolkata. She has been Visiting Professor or Writer-in-Residence in several universities, including Dartmouth College and George Washington University in the United States, the University of Canterbury at Kent in the UK, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and in India, Jamia Millia Islamia and Goa University, where she is currently Visiting Professor.

  • Kate Schatz

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    Kate Schatz, UCSC creative writing/Lit alum,  is the New York Times bestselling author of Rad American Women A-Z, a children's book (for everyone) published by City Lights Books.

    It's gotten love from BUST, Publisher's Weekly, BuzzFeed, MTV, Ms., Teen Vogue, Kirkus Reviews, GOOD, The New York Times, AFROPUNK, and all kinds of other rad outlets.

    Her book of fiction, Rid of Me: A Story, was published in 2006 as part of the acclaimed 33 1/3 series.

    Her work has been published in Oxford American, Denver Quarterly, Joyland, East Bay Express, and San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Her short story "Folsom, Survivor" was a 2010 Notable Short Story in Best American Short Stories 2011.

    She is a co-founder of The Encyclopedia Project, and is the Chair of the School of Literary Arts at Oakland School for the Arts. Kate received her MFA in Fiction Writing from Brown, and a double BA in Women's Studies/Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz. She lives in the Bay Area with her family.

    Kate is repped by Charlotte Sheedy.

  • Manuel Gonzales

  • pc: Jessica Gonzales

    pc: Jessica Gonzales

    Manuel Gonzales is the author of THE MINIATURE WIFE AND OTHER STORIES (Riverhead) and the forthcoming novel, THE REGIONAL OFFICE IS UNDER ATTACK! (Riverhead). He graduated with a BA in English from the University of Texas in 1996 and then with an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Columbia University's School of the Arts in 2003. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in McSweeney's, Fence, Tin House, Open City, One Story, The Believer,, and various other publications. He is the recipient of the Academy of Arts and Letters Sue Kaufman Price for First Fiction and the Binghamton University John Gardner Prize for Fiction. For four years he ran the nonprofit writing and tutoring center for kids, Austin Bat Cave, and in times past he co-owned The Clarksville Pie Company in Austin, TX, where he baked pies for a living.


  • Charlie Jane Anders

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    I’m probably the only person to have become a fictional character in a Star Trek novel andin one of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City books.

    I’m the editor of, where I’m probably best known for my reviews of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and The Last Airbender. Ormy super detailed look at the making ofMork and Mindy. Or for my Game of Thrones recaps.  Or for my writing advice columns. Ormy in-depth investigation of people who claim HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. Or my geeky articles about topics likethe search for a cure for cancer, or how Leonard Nimoy changed everything, or how the TV show Star Blazers helped me deal with being bullied. Or just generally being an obnoxious loud-mouth.

    I won the Emperor Norton Award, for “extraordinary invention and creativity unhindered by the constraints of paltry reason.”

    I have published a ton of short fiction – way over 100 short stories at this point. I’ve stopped counting. My stories have appeared in, Lightspeed Magazine,McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Tin House, ZYZZYVA, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine,Uncanny Magazine, 3 AM Magazine,, Monkey Bicycle, Pindeldyboz, Instant City, Broken Pencil, and in tons and tons of anthologies. One year, I was in one of the Year’s Best SF anthologies and in Best Lesbian Erotica at the same time. My novelette “Six Months, Three Days” won a Hugo Award and was shortlisted for the Nebula and Theodore Sturgeon awards. My novel Choir Boy won a Lambda Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Edmund White Award.

    I organizeWriters With Drinks, which is a monthly reading series here in San Francisco that mashes up a ton of different genres. Every month, I make up weird fictional bios for the readers and performers, and nobody’s sued yet. Readers/performers at Writers With Drinks have included the aforementioned Armistead Maupin, plus Mary Gaitskill, Amy Tan, Rick Moody, Jonathan Lethem, Dorothy Allison, W. Kamau Bell, Luis Alberto Urrea, Ruth Ozeki, Ishmael Reed, Karen Joy Fowler, Maureen McHugh and just countless others. The SF Chronicle did a really nice article about Writers With Drinks.

    Back in 2007, Annalee Newitz and I put out a book of first-person stories by female geeks called She’s Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology and Other Nerdy Stuff. There was a lot of resistance to doing this book, because nobody believed there was a market for writing about female geeks. Also, Annalee and I put out a print magazine calledother, which was about pop culture, politics and general weirdness, aimed at people who don’t fit into other categories. To raise money for other magazine, we put on events like a Ballerina Pie Fight – which is just what it sounds like – and a sexy show in a hair salon where people took off their clothes while getting their hair cut.

    I used to live in a Buddhist nunnery, when I was a teenager. I love to do karaoke. I eat way too much spicy food. I hug trees and pat stone lions for luck. I talk to myself way too much when I’m working on a story.


  • Elizabeth McKenzie

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     Elizabeth McKenzie is the author of The Portable Veblen, published by Penguin Press and 4th Estate. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and recorded for NPR’s Selected shorts. Her collection, Stop That Girl, was short-listed for The Story Prize, and her novel MacGregor Tells the World was a Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Library Journal Best Nook of the year. She is the senior editor of the Chicago Quarterly Review and the managing editor of Catamaran Literary Reader. She is also a UCSC creative writing alum!

  • Lev Grossman

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    I was born in 1969 and grew up in Lexington, MA. My parents were both English professors, so naturally I read a lot. I read a lot in college too, and read even more in graduate school. Then I moved to New York City and started writing full time.

    My first novel, Warp, came out in 1997. My second, Codex, was published in 2004 and became an international bestseller. The Magicians was published in 2009 and was a New York Times bestseller and one of the New Yorker‘s best books of the year. The sequel, The Magician King, came out in 2011 and was a Times bestseller too. The third and (almost certainly) last Magicians book, The Magician’s Land, was published in 2014 and debuted at #1 on the bestseller list.

    The Magicians books have now been published in twenty-five countries and have gotten praise from among others George R.R. Martin, John Green, Audrey Niffenegger, Erin Morgenstern, Joe Hill, William Gibson, Kelly Link, Gregory Maguire, and Junot Diaz. A Syfy series based on the trilogy is currently shooting and will premiere in early 2016.

    I also write a lot of journalism. I’ve been the book critic at Time magazine since 2002. The New York Times described me as “among this country’s smartest and reliable critics.” I’ve written a dozen or so cover stories for Time, and my essays and criticism have also been in the Believer, the Village Voice, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Salon, Slate, Wired, Entertainment Weekly,  the Week, Lingua Franca and many other places. I’ve won several awards for journalism, including a Deadline award in 2006. I make regular appearances on campuses, including Harvard, Yale and Oxford, and as a commentator on NPR.

    I live in Brooklyn with my wife, two daughters and one son, in a creaky old house.

  • Emily Hunt

  • No alternative textEmily Hunt is the author of the poetry collection Dark Green (The Song Cave, 2015)She holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her poems have appeared in the Iowa Review, the PEN Poetry Series, The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day Feature, TYPO, The Volta, Diagram, and elsewhere. In 2013, Brave Men Press published This Always Happens, a book of her drawings, and she has provided cover art for several poetry collections. She lives in Oakland, CA.

  • Julien Poirier

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    Poet Julien Poirier grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and was educated at Columbia University. He has described his poems as a system or a conversation already in progress, aligning observed and spoken ephemera with sound echoes, tracing the movement of a restless mind across themes of politics, poetics, and daily life. In an article on reading Poirier for EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts, poet Filip Marinovich stated, “Poirier is a Genius in the classical sense: a resident spirit of Poetry, arcangeling words through the top of one's lifted head. …” In a 2013 interview with Noel Black for BOMB Magazine, Poirier offered the following: “It’s exciting to be writing poems now … because if you can plunge into the simultaneity of all of these events that warped you in some way, drove you crazy or forced you to find some narrow streak of optimism in the evident relentless disaster, then you might, as a poet, be able to get deeper and deeper into an understanding of what’s happening. You might be able to understand the way things work together and make a poem map, ‘a map to the map’ as my friend Tony said, before you forget. And it’s incredibly exciting because there are about a million ways to go about doing this.”

    Poirier is the author of the full-length poetry collection El Golpe Chileño (2010); several chapbooks, including Flying Over the Fence with Amadou Diallo (2000),Short Stack (2005), and Stained Glass Windows of California (2012); and the formally innovative newspaper novel Living! Go and Dream (2005).

    A founding member of Ugly Duckling Presse Collective, Poirier edited the New York Nights newspaper from 2001 to 2006. He has taught poetry in New York City public schools and at San Quentin State Prison. He lives in Berkeley with his wife and two daughters.

    In April 2014, Julien Poirier was a featured writer for Harriet.