Notes From The 17.1 Release Party; Buy The New Issue; Happy Holidays

In the style of Fourteen Hills contributor Noah Gershman’s Brunch -- in which his poem details a grocery list of very interesting characters who accompany him during a meal -- let’s recap what the Dec. 16 release party entailed:

Friends, family, wine, delectables, cocktail dresses, professors, more wine, poets, editors, sock monsters, coffee (at a bar), undergrads, graduates, alumni, multi-talented baristas, engaging conversation, birthday wishes, laughter, new friends, lounging, snapshots, literary paparazzi, slick ties, undivided attention, authors, comedy, discovery, diversity, raffle tickets, raffle prizes, pie, and Brian Boitano (sort of).

If you were there, you felt it and heard it. If you weren't, please check out Litseen's full coverage of the event, including video of our fabulous readers Adam Johnson, Maxine Chernoff, Molly Prentiss, Stephen Elliott, Myron Michael, Jason Bayani, Noah Gershman, and Kasper Hauser.

If you weren't able to pick up a copy of our enthralling new issue, you can order one from Small Press Distribution right now. It will make its way into bookstores across the country in February. If you want to stay on top of future Fourteen Hills events (since you missed a helluva great reading), it only takes a minute to join our mailing list.

Until next time, happy holidays!

-Chani Mooring, Fourteen Hills staff


Why Is Everyone Talking About Brian Boitano? (Maybe Because He's Part Of Our New Issue, Available For The First Time Tonight)

Our favorite skater, Brian Boitano
Brian Boitano is an American figure skater, cook, and overall nice guy. He is the 1988 Olympic Champion, the 1986 and 1988 World Champion, and the 1985-1988 US National Champion Figure Skater. More recently, Mr. Boitano has been inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

Off the ice, Mr. Boitano is a culinary mastermind – wielding a saucepan and spatula with the same excitement, charm, and skill we have all come to love. Mr. Boitano even hosts a cooking show on the Food Network called What Would Brian Boitano Make? (Sundays at 1pm).

By now, you are probably wondering why a literary magazine, staffed by creative writing graduate students at San Francisco State University, would blog about Brian Boitano. After all, the two have nothing to do with one another; Fourteen Hills is an internationally renowned literary magazine and Brian Boitano is an Olympic champion. Nary the two should meet, let alone be spoken of in the same breath.

Pick yours up tonight!
Unless, of course, there’s a story involved.

The newest issue of Fourteen Hills includes Michael Reid Busk’s story The Eighties, A Brief Primer. This short story is a fictional romp through the decade, made all the better with just one sentence: “In 1989, Brian Boitano was elected President of the Eighties.” With that, we are tossed into a parallel universe where Mr. Boitano saves America from disgruntled postmen propaganda, promotes healthy life-style choices, and brings out the figure skater in us all.

But that’s not all. Oh no. Not by a long shot (or a perfectly executed triple axel).

Enter to win this book!
Mr. Boitano has graciously donated an autographed copy of his book, Boitano's Edge: Inside The Real World Of Figure Skating, to the list of raffle prizes available at tonight's release party (join us at Coffee Bar at 7pm for your chance to win).

Mr. Boitano’s generosity doesn't end there. He has taken time out of his busy schedule to send us a video greeting. Behold:

So, please join us TONIGHT for all the fun and excitement that only the combination of Brian Boitano and a new release of Fourteen Hills can bring.

Long live the President of the Eighties!

-Rose Booker, staff member, Fourteen Hills


Shakespeare, Tattoos, And Finely Cured Meats: Win These Raffle Prizes At Our Release Party On 12/16

When Fourteen Hills releases issue 17.1, our goal is to get the whole community involved. Our party will not only have amazing readers, it will also feature a long list of fantastic raffle prizes from Bay Area stores. You could win movie and theater tickets, books, burritos, tattoo art, brow waxing, and a night out at the club. Pretty swell, for the low, low price of $2/ticket.

Here is a list of some of the raffle prizes that could be yours at Coffee Bar on Thursday, Dec. 16. All proceeds help support our non-profit journal. Huge thanks and gratitude to these fine businesses (and patrons like you) that keep independent literature alive.

Entertainment & Movies

Yours, for the price of a raffle ticket.
Two Tickets to California Shakespeare Theater
Two free tickets for one performance of the California Shakespeare Theater's 2011 Season which starts May 3, 2011 and includes: Titus Andronicus, The Verona Project, Candida, and The Taming of the Shrew. Cal Shakes' home, the magnificent Bruns Amphitheater, is one of the most beautiful and unique settings imaginable to experience live theater. This is an amazing opportunity to experience live theater the way it should be.

$25 giftcard to Regal Cinemas
This prize is good for two. Take that certain someone to enjoy a classic night out at the movie theater. Regal Cinemas is the largest movie theater company in the world and its theaters can be found here in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco at the Stonestown mall. Visit the theater to check out the latest arthouse flick du jour including film festival darlings from Danny Boyle, Daniel Afredson, Sofia Coppola, and the like. Stonestown Twin Theater is located at 501 Buckingham Way, San Francisco CA 94132. Enjoy your movie.

Eats & Drinks & Sweets

$40 Gift Certificate to 222 Hyde
This prize will get two through the door to enjoy complimentary drinks. Located in the Tenderloin, 222 Hyde has a clean yet bass-booming sound system—they recently won best sound system in the SF Weekly's “Best of San Francisco 2010” poll—perfectly suited to the club's always-exciting rotation of local, national, and international DJs. Full bar and amazing made-to-order thin-crust pizzas on the main floor, DJ dancing in the basement. Located at 222 Hyde Street at Turk. Easy to get to from Civic Center. (415) 345-8222.

Want to eat here? Buy a raffle ticket.

$30 Gift Certificate to Nopalito Mexican Cuisine
Nopalito is a gourmet Mexican restaurant that celebrates the traditional cookery of Mexico while utilizing local organic and sustainable ingredients. This charming little restaurant is located at 306 Broderick Street (between Oak & Fell) in San Francisco, 415-437-0303. 

$25 Gift Certificate to The Monks Kettle
Enjoy great food and well-crafted beer -- over 250 beers to choose from -- at this Mission district hotspot. The Monk's Kettle serves a rare vintage of beers that have been aging in their climate-controlled cellar. Located at 3141 16th Street, San Francisco, 415-865-9523.

$25 Gift Certificate to Avedanos Holly Park Market
This small butcher shop & deli serves delicious meats along with produce and specialty gourmet items that are organic and handpicked just for you. Visit Avedano's Holly Park Market at 235 Cortland Street, San Francisco.

$20 Gift Certificate to Hudson Bay Café
Great neighborhood just down from the California College of the Arts in Oakland: good place to work with WiFi, food, wine, or good, strong coffee. Atmosphere is effervescent with a variety of ages. Sidewalk tables in sunny or shady sections, and good street viewing from inside. Hudson Bay Café is located at 5401 College Avenue in Oakland, 510-658-0214.

$18 Gift Certificate to Mission Pie
We all love pie and this lil’ corner café, bakery, and gathering spot is located in the Mission District of San Francisco, nestled between busy streets and vibrant communities. Mission Pie has an atmosphere for writers to gather. Because they only use produce from local farms, their menu changes seasonally and offers exceptional baked goods along with fair trade tea and coffee. Located at 2901 Mission Street (25th & Mission), 415-282-4PIE

Gifts for your body

$200 or Two Hour Session at Body Bazarre Tattoo
One of Northern California’s premiere tattoo artists, Chris Evans, is awaiting one lucky individual to have either a two hour session or $200 dollar piece of artwork permanently placed on their body. Chris is a talented artist that is willing to create what you can only imagine. Body Bazarre is located at 5847 Auburn Blvd, Sacramento Ca. 916-705-8903

The Brow Lounge
$30 Gift Certificate to The Brow Lounge
A variety of eye enhancements and facial waxings that have you looking good! Not only do the technicians do good work, they are enthusiastic supporters of the arts, and some are artists themselves! The Brow Lounge is located 5916 College Ave. Oakland, Ca. (north of the Rockridge BART Station)

Outlets for the imagination

$50 Prize Pack of Three Omnibucket Books
You will receive The Book of CLAV, Eleventy Billion Miles Away, and God's Acre: The Ravens & the Rhyme. They're not art books. They're not coffee table books. They're not a comic books or even graphic novels. They're not a children's books, that's for sure. They're not popup books, and they certainly aren't just plain old books. They're a different kind of book. Omnibucket books.

$25 Gift certificate to Dog Eared Books
Reflective of the Mission district itself, Dog Eared Books is the largest and most eclectic of their three stores — you'll find anarchist magazines next to Vanity Fair, Nina Simone cds next to Joy Division and Michelle Tea poetry next to Chaucer. Located at 900 Valencia Street in San Francisco.

One of these could be yours.
$20 Gift Certificate to Amoeba
Amoeba Music is the “world’s largest independent record store” for new and used CD’s & DVD. They also have posters, T-shirts, and just about everything. They are located at 1855 Haight Street in San Francisco & 2455 Telegraph in Berkeley.

There are many, many more raffle prizes to be given away, so don’t miss out.

We look forward to seeing you this Thursday night at 7 pm to celebrate the San Francisco literary community with food, drinks, and great entertainment.

If you have yet to purchase a raffle ticket, not to worry, you can purchase tickets at the door. A big thanks to all of our local contributors, writers, readers, and artists for helping Fourteen Hills and the rest of the independent literary community. (RSVP on Facebook.)

Looking forward to seeing you there.
-Jason Johnson, Fourteen Hills staff


Sketch Comedy Plus Filmmaker-Poetry: Two More Featured Readers At Our Party On 12/16

The Fourteen Hills release party is only FOUR DAYS AWAY! Please join us at Coffee Bar this Thursday, Dec. 16, at 7 pm. Attendees will be treated with readings by hilarious comedy group Kasper Hauser and poet/filmmaker Noah Gershman. (If you missed our countdown of other featured readers, you can get up to speed here and here.)

Kasper Hauser is a San Francisco-based comedy quadruplet consisting of Dan Klein, James Reichmuth, John Reichmuth, and Rob Baedeker. They’ve been making quite a name for themselves, having written for Comedy Central and HBO, and now appearing within the pages of Fourteen Hills Issue 17.1. (Get a sneak preview of their act by listening to their podcasts.)

Their talent doesn’t stop at writing. The group boasts a hearty resume of live performances, having competed in and won various comedy contests around the bay, including the Universal Comedy Orgasm and Big Bang Holy Championship.

Noah Gershman may be best known for his talents behind the camera and in the director’s chair, but on Thursday he will share his poetry live and in person. Though he can be quite elusive on the Internet, his work can be found in many literary journals. To hear his work performed by a puppet (no, this is not a joke), click here.

So come on out to Coffee Bar. There will be tons of great, fabulous, random, exciting, and entertaining raffle prizes, as well as drinks, readings, laughing and all sorts of other tomfoolery.

-Phillip Van Sant, staff member, Fourteen Hills


North Korea, Hip-Hop, and Homeless Men: A Look at 3 More Readers Who Will Perform on 12/16

It's December, and we all know what this month is about: going to mad parties, letting it all hang out, and then guiltily planning New Year's resolutions afterward. Fortunately, here at Fourteen Hills we will help you out with all of the above, minus the guilt. Come to our release party on Thursday, December 16, at Coffee Bar in the Mission to hear some guest readers so incredible, they will make you want to get to your writing desk/recording equipment/sketch pad immediately to lay down some serious inspirations for the new year. But you can't leave too soon, because we will be partying and getting literary like crazy.

If you want to feel inspired early (and maybe really jealous) check out some of the super talented contributors that will be reading at our release party:

ADAM JOHNSON is a self-described “maximalist;” he favors bold plots over subtle ones, and manages to always entertain. So if you ever find yourself bored with “the literature of the times,” do yourself a favor and pick up one of his publications. He has been a construction worker, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow, and the Senior Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University. Playboy magazine even named him “one of the nation's most influential and imaginative college professors.”

Winner of the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Gina Berriault Award, and an NEA Fellowship, he is the author of a short story collection Emporium (2002), and the novel Parasites Like Us (2003), which won the California Book Award. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, Harper’s, The Paris Review, Tin House, and Best American Short Stories.

The excerpt that appears in Fourteen Hills 17.1 is from his recently completed novel, tentatively titled The Orphan Master’s Son. Set in a modern North Korea, and partially narrated by a “propaganda loudspeaker,” The Orphan Master’s Son promises to be quirky, poignant, insightful, and tender all at the same time. If you are as intrigued as I am, you can read an excerpt.

MYRON MICHAEL's words hit hard. After reading his piece in the Harvard Review Online, I found myself momentarily unable to process any thoughts beyond “whoa.” His work is gritty, honest, and eye-opening. He is a Cave Canem Fellowship recipient, and his works appear online and in The Harvard Review, Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds (City Lights, 2009), Tea Party, and Nanomajority.

In addition to being a writer (his chapbook Scatter Plot is forthcoming), Michael is also a recording artist and a writing teacher. He is the proprietor of Rondeau Records, which produces “Poetry for Hip-Hop, literature, and music of the highest quality.” Under the name Money The Mystro, he records his own songs which you can check out on Myspace and on his website. He also has a blog with more insightful words, and even pictures of spiders.

MOLLY PRENTISS is full of charm and wit. She doesn't believe the idealized “cabin of solitude” that many writers desire would really work out so well, because, as she says, “we don’t want to be even lonelier than we already are!” She recently received her MFA in Creative Writing at the California College of the Arts and is now a resident writer at Workspace with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She is also a co-director of an arts and writing collective called factorycompany.

She has been published in La Petit Zine, Miracle Monacle, Plaid Review, The City Reader, and elsewhere. Her story appearing in Fourteen Hills 17.1 is about, as she says, “a homeless guy who hums into a jar and sleeps with other people's girlfriends.” It is even more amazing than it sounds. Check out her blog to see more of her writing, her illustrations, and her really adorable handwriting.

-Stephanie Doeing, staff member, Fourteen Hills


Introducing 3 Of 8 Fabulous Readers Ready to Enthrall You At Our Release Party on 12/16

What follows are a few brief descriptions of writers who will be gracing us with their presence at one of this winter's finest literary events in San Francisco: the Fourteen Hills Release Party for Issue 17.1. It’s on Thursday, December 16, at Coffee Bar in the Mission. (You can RSVP right now on Facebook.) We will be profiling all of our special guest readers, and when you come to the party, you'll be able to pick up a copy and read their work for yourself.

READER #1: Jason Bayani is someone to hear and see. When performance and writing mix, the terms "spoken word" and "slam poetry" often get thrown around, and names like Jason Bayani appear floating on the roster. Bayani is a Filipino from our side of town -- a San Francisco State University graduate. He later received his MFA at St. Mary's College in Moraga. His accolades include published pieces of poetry in the 2005 National Poetry Slam Anthology, membership to seven National Poetry Slam teams, an appointment as the 2010 IWPS representative for Oakland, and the 100th episode winner of Literary Death Match.

He is also among a group of three Asian American poets known as Proletariat Bronze who have risen from the Bay Area and gained national recognition. As much as poetry is part of their method and medium, they also see public enrichment as an intrinsic facet of their lot as poets in society. They are self-described "working-class romantics."

READER #2:  Maxine Chernoff is a name that does not wait on a shelf. At Fourteen Hills, we know her as the director of the Creative Writing Program at San Francisco State University, but we also know her as an expansive writer whose merits have allowed her to travel the world over. She has produced a long list of novels, short stories, and poems over the course of two decades.

These include her novel, American Heaven and a book of short stories, Some of Her Friends That Year, which were both finalists for the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. In fact, you can see a long list of the awards she has received here. Along with her husband, poet Paul Hoover, she is the editor for a long-standing literary journal, New American Writing.

Her writing and work is often in conversation with other writers and places, using it to investigate and grow through the exploration of engaging material. In a recent interview she stated, "We are living in perilous times, and I hope that my writing is exploring and addressing some of these perils."

READER #3:  Stephen Elliott has been there and done that. He's lived to tell. He's known for sex, drugs, and metaphors.

You might also know him from The Rumpus (he's the editor) or you might know him for his books which include his acclaimed memoir, The Adderall Diaries and novel, Happy Baby. Much of his thematic content revolves around the process and shape his own life has taken. He unabashedly coats his life under a thick fictive varnish. In his essay, Why I Write, he describes the way he entered into writing, "My fiction was just reality-PLUS, a slightly more intense version of the world I lived in."

Elliott was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and he is now a member of the San Francisco Writer's Grotto. His work has been published in Esquire, the New York Times, GQ, Best American Non-Required Reading 2005 and 2007, Best American Erotica, and Best Sex Writing 2006.

Stay tuned  for more details on our other featured readers (and more reasons to come out and celebrate with us on December 16 at Coffee Bar).
-Erica Eller, staff member, Fourteen Hills