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Writers and Riders 

Wednesday, Mar 21 2012
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Gear-head. Goon. Barbarian. Speed freak. Motorcyclists know these stereotypes — even if they’re not said out loud, they’re hidden in the assumptions some people make: Anyone who’s that into machines can’t have much of a brain. But the truth is it takes a nimble mind to survive riding in San Francisco (we know from experience), and putting yourself on the line every day can activate a love — a need — for intellectual challenge. Thus, some gear-heads are also serious lit-heads. One is Hollie Hardy. Hardy has ridden for nearly 20 years, and she’s belonged to the San Francisco Motorcycle Club for nearly 10. She also studied creative writing at SF State, where she edited the literary mag Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review. She’s been published in numerous other journals and leads an East Bay reading series. When SF State creative writing professor Stacy Doris died in January, Hardy and fellow alum Chad Sweeney put together Wild Ride, tonight’s reading at the moto-clubhouse that’s part reunion, part memorial and followed by “drinking, dancing, and schmoozing.” Hardy reads from “Survival Poems,” based on The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. Some are quite specific (instructions on performing a tracheotomy include using “a stale Red Vine”), while others are more vague (“When the war is over, go no place in particular”). Sweeney, who’s now at CSU San Bernardino, is author of Wolf’s Milk: Lost Notebooks of Juan Sweeney, which Hardy describes as “a false ‘translation’ of a fictitious ancestor, the great Irish/Spanish poet.” Others reading tonight include Ashley Hayes, Carolyn Ho, André V. Katkov, Shali Nicholas, Matthew Sherling, and SB Stokes. So leather up and reach for your helmet and gloves. There’s a mental workout ahead.
Fri., March 23, 7 p.m., 2012

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Keith Bowers

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