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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ben Pack, Insanely Tall Guy, Uses Height to Raise Money so He Can Show Off

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Really tall
  • Really tall

Virality is kind of a white whale in the Internet world. It's hard to engineer -- though many have tried -- and it often smiles on those who least expect it.

Take Ben Pack, for instance, the 6-foot-10 San Francisco State journalism student whose claim to fame is, well, that he's 6-foot-10. Two weeks ago, the 23-year-old senior made a Tumblr about it, after walking into a parking lot and realizing that he was tall enough to stand eye-to-eye with the "clearance" sign for truck beds.

Clearly, he had something to show the world.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Write Stuff: Kai Carlson-Wee on the Beauty of Not Really Knowing Who You Are

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 9:00 AM

GAYLE WALSWORTH
  • Gayle Walsworth

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Kai Carlson-Wee was born and raised on the Minnesota prairie. His poems have appeared in Many Mountains Moving, Linebreak, Forklift Ohio, and Best New Poets 2010. He currently lives in San Francisco, California, where he is a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

Well, I try not to say I'm a poet. I try to avoid it. I say I'm a skater. Or I say I'm a teacher. Or that I spend my time looking out windows at trees. You know, it's funny, but this question actually makes me very nervous. I mean, I've been writing seriously since I was 19 years old, and I'm 30 years old now, so that's 11 years of writing, but it's only been the last year-and-a-half that I've actually been able to call myself a writer. I don't know why this is. I mean, what makes it so painful for a poet to admit that they spend their days looking at trees? Saying you're a poet has all these romantic connotations, you know, and every time I tell someone I'm a writer I see this film-roll of judgment start playing itself out in their brains. They think you're a poser. A self-ordained dandy. One of those faux intellectual hipsters who hangs around coffee shops quoting from Blake -- "To see the world in a grain of sand" -- that sort of thing. I don't know, perhaps it's a symptom of a larger disease.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Read Local: Olivia Ngai on Publishing and How Bloggers Are Changing the Book World

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 7:30 AM

ONgai.jpg

New York City might be home to the big houses, but this scrappy city just happens to be the epicenter of publishing on the Best Coast. Join Alexis Coe every Wednesday for Read Local, a series on books produced in the Bay Area.

Recent college graduates are struggling to enter just about every field, but book publishing is notoriously elitist, and has one of the highest attrition rates. As a reviewer, I often communicate with interns about logistics, but never before have I noticed the same intern's name pop up at totally different houses. Readers, meet the intrepid Olivia Ngai, an intern at both the publishing arm of City Lights and the lesser-known Zest, producer of books for teens.

See Also: Arion Press Transforms Books Into Works of Art
Avant-Punk Puppets and Radical Reads

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Friday, January 4, 2013

The Write Stuff: The Torchy Songs and Skirt Swishings of Karen Penley

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM

IAN TUTTLE
  • Ian Tuttle

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Karen Penley's show, "Circus Proboscis: A Sneeze of Freaks" was recognized with a Theatre Bay Area cash grant award. Rob Avila of the Bay Guardian has described her performance as "[a] glad, jagged-toothed mockery of human folly [that] comes fast, fresh, and unexpected." Karen curates and performs in The Retard Show every Friday night in Berkeley.

See also:

The Write Stuff: Zack Haber on Wiggling and the Fun in the Difficult

The Write Stuff: Tim (Toaster) Henderson on Running Toward the Disturbing

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Preventing Bicycle Theft: Tips Every Cyclist Should Know

Posted By on Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 10:30 AM

stolenBikeSF.jpg

Bike theft is a constant problem in San Francisco, and while more and more people are traveling and commuting by bike, many of them still don't know how to lock their bikes safely and securely. According to the SFPD, bicycle thefts are "crimes of opportunity," and "a thief's worst enemies are time, light, and noise." This means that if you are knowledgeable, aware, and prepared for locking your bike safely and correctly, you'll never have to worry about losing it.

See also:

Fell and Oak Intersection to Get a Pedestrian and Bike-Friendly Makeover

San Francisco Bike Coalition Gives Out Free Lights for Cyclists

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Top 10 Bay Area Literary Events of 2012

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 11:25 AM

IAN TUTTLE
  • Ian Tuttle

I attended at least 134 literary events in 2012. Below are my 10 favorites. I've considered mainly two factors in compiling this list: the quality of work, and how interesting or memorable the experience was. The latter category intentionally allows for many considerations, which I enjoyed keeping in mind while looking back over the year.

I have not included many outstanding solo readings (D.A. Powell, Lyn Hejinian, and Adam Johnson come immediately to mind). Also, memorable readings as part of a show that didn't quite make the top 10: Ali Liebegott and Gypsee Yo, specifically, will always stay with me. While re-watching shows to make decisions, I came across Donald Dunbar (visiting from Portland): "This poem only works if you're touching somebody you don't already know." In that spirit, these were some of my favorite literary experiences this year. 

See also:

The Write Stuff: Zack Haber on Wiggling and the Fun in the Difficult

The Write Stuff: Tim (Toaster) Henderson on Running Toward the Disturbing

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Write Stuff: Zack Haber on Wiggling and the Fun in the Difficult

Posted By on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM

ZACK HABER
  • Zack Haber

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Zack Haber is a poet and a person who lives in Oakland and curates The Other Fabulous Reading Series in Berkeley. I got to know this goofy, friendly, and honest poet because he goes to a lot of readings. His writing is clean in a way that gets to the heart but makes you smile. His first book is To Carry You Being.

See also:

The Write Stuff: Tim (Toaster) Henderson on Running Toward the Disturbing

Five Questions for a Guinness World Record-Holding Contortionist

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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Write Stuff: Tim (Toaster) Henderson on Running Toward the Disturbing

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 7:30 AM

ZOE4LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Zoe4Life Photography

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Tim (Toaster) Henderson and I met in the basement of Viracocha six months ago, when we both realized that being far from home in S.F. is a good experience to have when building a new community. He is an artist, an educator and a renowned spoken word performer, recently representing Berkeley in the Individual World Championships.

See also:

Words That Need to Be Retired in 2013

The Write Stuff: Eric Raymond on the Intersection of the Necessary and the Mystery

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Read Local: Chronicle Books Guaranteed to Please Everyone

Posted By on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Artist Matthew Forsythe in the book The Where, The Why, and The How
  • Artist Matthew Forsythe in the book The Where, The Why, and The How

New York City might be home to the big houses, but this scrappy city just happens to be the epicenter of publishing on the Best Coast. Join Alexis Coe every Wednesday for Read Local, a series on books produced in the Bay Area.

By now, you're likely making good progress on your Christmas shopping list. If not in execution, than at least in theory, right? With less than a week to go, store shelves are starting to look rather bare, so if you're still in search of good ideas, here are four great options from Chronicle books.

See also:
Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Picks from S.F. Booksellers
The Stunning Images and Moving Testimony of McSweeney's Refugee Hotel


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Write Stuff: Tom Comitta, an Interview in Images, from the Public Bathroom

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 7:30 AM

IAN TUTTLE
  • Ian Tuttle

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Tom Comitta is a writer, composer, and publisher living in Oakland. They publish media at calmaplombprombombbalm.com and blog at notenoughdata.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

See also:

The Write Stuff: Eric Raymond on the Intersection of the Necessary and the Mystery

The Write Stuff: Nic Alea on Redefinition and Living a Magical Life

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