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Left Margin LITquake Reading:

Literary Citizenship in the East Bay


Date: October 17

Where: Left Margin LIT, 1543 Shattuck St. Suite B, Berkeley
Time: 7 pm - 8:30 pm

Should creative writing—our stories, memoirs, and poems—intersect with political ideology? If so, then when and how?


Left Margin LIT presents an evening with members of its writing community who will read and discuss how the current political climate influences their writing, from first to final draft.



Melanie Abrams is the author of the novel Playing, which was published by Grove Atlantic and acquired in Italy, France, Germany, India, and Israel. Meadowlark, forthcoming from Little A in 2020, is her second novel. Melanie teaches writing classes at Left Margin LIT and in UC Berkeley’s English department. She is married to the novelist Vikram Chandra, and they live with their daughters in Oakland, CA.


Sunisa Manning is a Thai and American writer whose work has appeared in Prairie SchoonerThe RumpusMekong Review, and other places. She’s been honored with residencies at Hedgebrook and Hambidge, and been awarded fellowships at San Jose State and the SF Writer’s Grotto. She’s at work on a novel and is represented by Brettne Bloom at The Book Group.


Keenan Norris’s first novel, Brother and the Dancer, was published by Heyday Books and won the 2012 James D. Houston Award. by the lemon tree, his short story collection, was published in September by Nomadic Press. Keenan is the editor of Street Lit: Representing the Urban Landscape, and his short work has appeared in numerous forums, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Oakland Noir, and BOOM: A Journal of California. He teaches in San Jose State's MFA program in creative writing.


Poet Jacques Rancourt is the author of Brocken Spectre (forthcoming from Alice James Books in 2021), Novena (winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd prize, Pleiades Press, 2017), and a chapbook, In the Time of PrEP (Beloit Poetry Journal, 2018). His poems have appeared in the Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Missouri Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Best New Poets, among others. He has held poetry fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He lives in San Francisco. 


Mark Schapiro is an award-winning investigative journalist specializing in the environment. His most recent book, Seeds of Resistance: The Fight to Save Our Food Supply, chronicles the search for seeds to respond to climate disruptions, and investigates the battle to control them. Previous books include CARBON SHOCK:

A Tale of Risk & Calculus on the Frontlines of the Disrupted Global Economy and EXPOSED: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power. Mark’s work is also published in Harper’sYale 360Mother JonesThe Nation, the GuardianBay Nature, and elsewhere, and he has turned his stories into television for FRONTLINE and KQED. He is a Lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and was formerly Senior Correspondent at the Center for Investigative Reporting. 

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