A Look at Terese Svoboda, the 2010 Michael Rubin Book Award Judge

Terese Svoboda, this year’s judge of the Michael Rubin Book Award, is the author of several award-winning literary feats including (but not limited to) Pirate Talk or Mermalade, Laughing Africa, Cannibal, and Black Glasses like Clark Kent.

Laughing Africa won the Iowa Poetry Prize and was featured in the New York Times Book Review. Cannibal won the Bobst Prize and the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writer’s Award. It was also one of the top 10 books of the year by Spin magazine. Black Glasses like Clark Kent won the Graywold Nonfiction Prize.

Svoboda’s works have appeared in the The New Yorker, Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Slate.com, Bomb, Lit, Columbia, Yale Review and The Paris Review.

She is the eldest of nine children, born in a small town to a family of farmers. Before receiving her MFA from Columbia, Svoboda filmed dance in the Cook Islands and traveled to Sudan, living with the Nuer people. Her experience there has colored much of her more recent works, such as Cannibal. Read more about her life on her website.

As a writer, Svoboda holds three things in high regards: the power of sound, truth, and connections. During an interview with Shya Scanlon on HTMLGiant, she spoke at length about her belief that the meaning of words is intricately tied to their sound. Through compression she brings this out, writing mostly in five-page sections, something she shares in common with this year's winner of the Michael Rubin Book Award.

As for the truth, Svoboda believes “the author has a responsibility to write toward understanding. We have enough confusion in life, why increase it? Confusion is not the same as complexity. Exposing the truth hidden under all the layers of complexity is a very good goal.”

To get the limited-edition book Svoboda says "takes fiction apart with the hammer of poetry, forcing her astonished readers to 'defy all expectation...'", join us at the Space Gallery on Thursday Nov. 4 to celebrate the release of Everything Faces All Ways at Once by Zulema Renee Summerfield. It will be epic.

-Rose Booker, staff member, Fourteen Hills


2010 Michael Rubin Book Award Winner: “Everything Faces All Ways at Once” by Zulema Renee Summerfield

Everything Faces All Ways at Once by Zulema Renee Summerfield takes fiction apart with the hammer of poetry, forcing her astonished readers to "defy all expectation," as she suggests in the title story. "One minute they're sporting monocles…and the next they're drunk and rowdy and throwing patio furniture off the roof…but in this and all things, they seek the nature of truth." Summerfield "has a point and it's fixed like this ...in space, but also it's shifting…to pierce right through your skeptical, unbelieving, tender human heart." These shifts are seismic, always revelatory, and truly amazing.
–contest judge and acclaimed writer, Terese Svoboda

Join us on Nov. 4, 2010, as we celebrate the release of Summerfield’s "revelatory" debut novel. You won’t want to miss seeing this up-and-coming author at the beginning of her career. Stay tuned for our interview with her, as well as more details on the sure-to-be-rocking release party.

Everything Faces All Ways at Once Release Party
Thursday, November 4, 2010
1141 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 377-3325
$12 donation (includes a copy of the book)

Zulema Renee Summerfield is originally from Redlands, CA. Her writing has appeared in Transfer Magazine, Sand Canyon Review, Chaffey Review, We Still Like, and 580 Split. She won the 2008 Clark/Gross Novel-in-Progress Contest as well as honorable mention in the 2009 Zoetrope Allstory Fiction Contest (judged by Yiyun Li). She received her MFA from San Francisco State University, and now lives "all over the place" with her husband, The Incredible Hulk, and their two cats.

Each year, Fourteen Hills Press publishes the winner of The Michael Rubin Book Award. Alternating years between poetry and fiction, manuscripts are gathered in an open competition and read by an independent judge. The winner must be a student enrolled at San Francisco State University whose work shows exceptional accomplishment and promise. The 2010 Michael Rubin Book was selected by writer Terese Svoboda.


With Lit Crawl Done, We Look To The Future

A few days have passed, but we're still excited by how much fun we had at Lit Crawl on Oct 9. The readers were fabulous, the streets were overflowing with lit-lovers, and Fourteen Hills and Eleven Eleven had a great time at Muddy's Coffee House during Phase III of the event.

Jeannine Hall Gailey
Jeannine Hall Gailey (Vol 16.2) regaled us with pieces from her new collection, She Returns to the Floating World, due next year. She had several copies of her most recent book, Becoming the Villainess, on hand and generously signed copies. We also saw her cutting a rug at the Lit Crawl after-party at the Blue Macaw.

Lauren Hamlin
Lauren Hamlin (Vol 16.2) read from her entry to a McSweeney's columnist search, and was the only reader of the night who jumped on the impromptu stage at the front of the shop. She's also a finalist for the Headlands Center for the Arts residency.

Our next event will be at 7pm on Nov. 4 at the Space Gallery (1141 Polk Street, San Francisco). Join us as we celebrate the release of Everything Faces All Ways at Once, the 2010 Michael Rubin Book Award winner, by Zulema Renee Summerfield. Stay tuned, we have tons of details about the author, the book, and the party, still to come.

The crowd at Muddy's
In the spirit of updating you on all things Fourteen Hills, we should mention that we published Paloma in Fall 2009, and it was mentioned in the recent New York Times Sunday Book Review. Yes! Read Patricia Engel's "arresting" debut collection Vida or pick up Vol 16.1 to read it where it first appeared.

If you have any news or events about recent or forthcoming Fourteen Hills' contributors, please let us know.


Fourteen Hills Contributors Take To The Stage(s) At Litquake 2010

Hello fans of Fourteen Hills: The San Francisco State University Review. We already know you’re planning on joining us for Lit Crawl Phase III on October 9 at 8:30pm. But did you realize how many authors previously published in Fourteen Hills are also appearing at Litquake 2010?

Here's a rundown, with dates, time, and place. You can also order back issues featuring these amazing writers on 14hills.net.

October 2, 2010
Juan Felipe Herrera, (Fourteen Hills Vol 2.2) and Michelle Tea (Vol 11.1) appear at Litquake’s Barbary Coast Awards 2010.

October 3, 2010
Kim Addonizino (Vol 10.1) reads at the The CLA All Stars: 25 Years of San Jose’s Center for the Literary Arts; California Historical Society, 678 Mission St.

October 4, 2010
Shanthi Sekaran (Vol 16.2) appears at Authors Reveal All & How to Navigate the New World of Publishing; Foundation Center, 312 Sutter Street, 2nd Floor.

Dodie Bellamy (Vol 4.1) appears at Original Shorts: Bottoms Up, 7pm. Heart Wine Bar, 1270 Valencia St.

October 5, 2010
Darren J. de Leon (Vol 3.1) performs at Feast of Words: A Storytelling Potluck; 7pm at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St.

SFSU Creative Writing faculty member, Peter Orner (Vol 10.1 and New Standards: The First Decade of Fiction at Fourteen Hills) reads at McSweeney’s Fall Harvest.

Tao Lin (Vol 12.2) is at The RADAR Reading Series: Litquake Edition! 6pm. San Francisco Public Library’s Latino Reading Room, Main Branch, 100 Larkin Street.

October 6, 2010
Stephen Elliot (Vol 10.1 and New Standards) will be at Bawdy Storytelling; The Blue Macaw, 2565 Mission Street, Admission $10.

October 7, 2010
Yiyun Li (Vol 16.1) will be at Stories on Stage; Berkeley Repertory Theater, Roda Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, 7:30 pm. $25 at the door.

Saturday, October 9, 2010
Lit Crawl Phase I
6 to 7pm

Peter Orner (Vol 10.1) appears at Babylon Salon Reading at Mina Dresden Gallery, 312 Valencia St.

Alice LaPlante (Vol 16.2) appears at Where There Are Words Presents Artzone 461 Gallery, 461 Valencia St.

Karen Carissimo (Vol 13.1) will appear at ZYZZYVA presents LitQuiz; Elixir, 3200 16th St.

Kelly Luce (Vol 12.1) appears at San Pablo Arts District Presents Lip Service West: True Stories; Casanova Lounge, 527 Valencia St.

Lit Crawl Phase II
7:15 to 8:15pm

Amy Glasenapp, who served as fiction editor and interviewed Yiyun Li (Vol 16.1) is at Anger Management & Revenge Reading Series; Elbo Room Downstairs, 647 Valencia St.

Yiyun Li (Vol 16.1 contributor and a 2010 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award winner) appears at The Threepenny Review Presents: Six Stellar Writers Reading an Entertaining Mix of Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry; Bruno’s, 2389 Mission St.

Rebecca Foust (Vol 14.2) is at Warren Wilson MFA Presents at Bianca Starr, 3552 20th St.

Glori Simmons (Vol 10.2) appears at Airing Our Dirty Laundry: Ladies Night at the Laundromat Wash Quarters, 985 Valencia St.

D.W. Lichtenberg’s The Ancient Book of Hip was published by Fourteen Hills Press. The collection, an imprint of San Francisco State University's creative writing department, received the 2009 Michael Rubin Book Award. D.W. reads at Indie Press Revue, The Marsh CafĂ©, 1062 Valencia St.

Lit Crawl, Phase III
8:30 to 9:30 pm

THE place to be for Phase III! Don't miss Fourteen Hills Press and Eleven Eleven Present: Voices That Carry; Muddy’s Coffee House, 1304 Valencia St. Hear from Jeannine Hall Gailey (16.2), Lauren Hamlin (16.2), Zara Raab (16.2), Aurora Brackett (11.2), Catherine Meng (12.2), and Loren Rhoads.

Wow that’s a book bag overflowing with Fourteen Hills goodness. Please consider “liking” Fourteen Hills on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

Have a swell Litquake!

-Matthew DeCoster, Fourteen Hills staff