The MUSE

Novelist Anne Steinhardt fictionalizes her experience in 1990s band Pele Juju in new novel; ceramist Karen Hansen; artist Dmitri Zurita

POSTED BY  ⋅ FEBRUARY 25, 2013 ⋅ 2 COMMENTS

If you ask Santa Cruz writer Anne Steinhardt her age, she says, “I’m so old that when I was born the Dead Sea was just not feeling well.” Understood. She’s been writing for a long time. Steinhardt first moved to Santa Cruz in the 1970s when she snagged a job teaching at UC Santa Cruz. … Continue reading »

Santa Cruz’s writers, artists and musicians come together for a month-long celebration of the greatness of Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’

POSTED BY  ⋅ FEBRUARY 23, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

{FEB. 27. 5:30 p.m. The Museum of Art & History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. Free. Details: santacruzreads.org } By WALLACE BAINE How do you know you’re an cultural colossus? A figure of such immense influence and lasting power that you leave behind mere celebrity like the dead skin of a snake? Well, here’s a … Continue reading »

In the post ‘Fifty Shades’ world, Molly Weatherfield’s 1990s BDSM erotic classic ‘Carrie’s Story’ gets a new look

POSTED BY  ⋅ FEBRUARY 19, 2013 ⋅ 2 COMMENTS

{FEB. 21. 7:30 p.m. Capitola Book Café, 1475 41st Ave., Capitola. Free. Details:http://www.capitolabookcafe.com. } By WALLACE BAINE You can call “Carrie’s Story” a lot of things – stylish, kinky, mesmerizing, horrifying, a huge turn-on, a huge turn-off – but you cannot call it a knock-off of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Though the two novels … Continue reading »

The late Don Rothman was an evangelist for the power of writing to transform the mind and the soul

POSTED BY  ⋅ FEBRUARY 14, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

{ FEB. 19 7 p.m. Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. Details:http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com or phren-z.org. } By WALLACE BAINE If you knew Don Rothman and you needed to find him on any given day, you knew what to do. You walked up Pacific Avenue toward the Clock Tower to Lulu Carpenter’s coffeehouse. … Continue reading »

With his new novel ‘Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles,’ Ron Currie Jr. dances merrily on the line between autobiography and fantasy

POSTED BY  ⋅ FEBRUARY 12, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

{FEB. 20 7:30 p.m. Capitola Book Cafe, 1475 41st. Ave., Capitola. Free. Details:http://www.capitolabookcafe.com. } By WALLACE BAINE It is a time-honored convention in the book business to include on the cover of every fiction title the words “A Novel.” It’s a truth-in-labeling exercise for the reader who might mistake “Life of Pi” for a … Continue reading »

Christa Martin: C&C Press and the art of the book; the calligraphy of Carl Rohrs; Rachel Riot’s Manic Designs; the Harrisons’ art of geography

POSTED BY  ⋅ FEBRUARY 11, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

If you’re unfamiliar with book art, do yourself a favor and check out candcpress.com. The images are nothing short of striking, especially the collection of three-dimensional poems by the beloved late Santa Cruz poet Morton Marcus. Credit goes to the founders behind C & C Press, Matt Cohen and Sher Zabaszkiewicz. Recently, I had a … Continue reading »

Bestselling books

POSTED BY  ⋅ FEBRUARY 4, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

Hardcover Fiction 1. “Tenth of December: Stories,” George Saunders 2. “Gone Girl,” Gillian Flynn 3. “A Memory of Light,” Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson 4. “The Round House,” Louise Erdrich 5. “Flight Behavior,” Barbara Kingsolver( Hardcover Nonfiction 1. “My Beloved World,” Sonia Sotomayor 2. “Help, Thanks, Wow,” Anne Lamont 3. “Going Clear,” Lawrence Wright 4. “I …Continue reading »

Deng Ming-Dao traces the Tao of the seasons in ‘The Lunar Tao’

POSTED BY  ⋅ JANUARY 29, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

{FEB. 7, 7 p.m. Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. Details:http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com. } By WALLACE BAINE This year, the Chinese New Year begins on Feb. 10, less than two weeks from now. San Francisco writer and artist Deng Ming-Dao reminds us that, traditionally, the end of the old year is a very … Continue reading »

‘Tenth of December’ Stories By George Saunders

POSTED BY  ⋅ JANUARY 20, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

By Andrew Ervin San Francisco Chronicle It’s tough to think of a living short-story writer – or even a dead one – who garners as much peer approval as George Saunders. Alice Munro, maybe, but that’s about it. Don’t get me wrong: There are plenty of amazing short-story writers working today, maybe more at one time … Continue reading »

FROSTY HESSON

POSTED BY  ⋅ JANUARY 16, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

Santa Cruz big-wave surfer Frosty Hesson will be on hand Monday to sign copies of his new memoir “Making Mavericks,” based on his life as a surfer and mentor to the late surfing legend Jay Moriarity. Hesson, the subject of the film “Chasing Mavericks” released in October, has been surfing for close to 50 years … Continue reading »

The writer/editor dance

POSTED BY  ⋅ JANUARY 16, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

In the new book ‘Good Prose,’ award-winning writer Tracy Kidder and his long-time editor Richard Todd figure out the elements of fine nonfiction writing { JAN. 24 7 p.m. Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. Details: http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com. } By WALLACE BAINE The profession of writing has changed dramatically in the last decade … Continue reading »

coolpicks: GAIL RICH AWARDS

POSTED BY  ⋅ JANUARY 15, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

NEXT WEEK GAIL RICH AWARDS Call it Santa Cruz’s version of the Lincoln Center Awards. From the among the vast numbers of artists, performers and writers making their home in Santa Cruz, six individuals are chosen for their contributions to the local cultural scene, and the whole community comes out to appreciate their artistic … Continue reading »

Past Gail Rich Award Winner

POSTED BY  ⋅ JANUARY 11, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

1997 Rick Walker, musician Peter, Diana, Marina and Lyle Troxell, family of artists Holt Murray, sculptor Bob Lowery, blues musician Laura Ellen Hopper, radio pioneer Sara Wilbourne, dancer Eric Schoeck, talk-show host Joe Ferrara, comic-book merchant Philip Collins, composer Guillermo Aranda, muralist Tracye Lea Lawson, music programmer Bud Kretschmer, benefactor 1998 Bruce Lee, performance artist … Continue reading »

Christa Martin: Amanda Martinez dives into the Atlantic

POSTED BY  ⋅ JANUARY 10, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

In the mid 2000s I was working as the Features Editor at Good Times when along came a new cubicle mate, Amanda Martinez. Not only was she a remarkable writer and journalist, but she also became a close friend. One could tell right away that Martinez was destined to do big things and tell big … Continue reading »

Literary program gives young writers a chance to publish

POSTED BY  ⋅ JANUARY 9, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

By WALLACE BAINE Writers don’t just drop out of trees fully formed. They have to be cultivated and they have to grow and ripen at their own pace. If applying words to paper – or its computerized equivalent – is to survive as an artform in a streaming-video world, then someone, to extend our metaphor, … Continue reading »

2013 Gail Rich Award Winners

POSTED BY  ⋅ JANUARY 5, 2013 ⋅ 2 COMMENTS

Santa Cruz County is that place where the guy behind the café counter is a singer/songwriter, the woman showing you a house for sale is a landscape painter and your next-door neighbor is writing her third novel. Creativity isn’t some indulgence for the idle elite; it’s a common language among neighbors. It’s why many of … Continue reading »

Author Jaimal Yogis explores the neuro-scientific roots of fear by facing his own

POSTED BY  ⋅ JANUARY 4, 2013 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

Though he doesn’t look like it at first glance, journalist Jamail Yogis possesses a reptile brain. In that respect, he’s no different than the rest of us seven billion or so homo sapiens currently living on earth – not to mention the billions of other mammals and, of course, reptiles sharing the planet. And in … Continue reading »

Kirby Scudder: Writer Noria Jablonski explores ‘Human Oddities’

POSTED BY  ⋅ DECEMBER 28, 2012 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

Joan Baez once said “It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I had nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words just crawled down my sleeve and appeared on the page.” Writer Noria Jablonski grew up in Petaluma, being read to by her father nightly, which began …Continue reading »

Christa Martin: Artist Donna Bourne’s encounters with grasses

POSTED BY  ⋅ DECEMBER 10, 2012 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

By CHRISTA MARTIN When the Catamaran Literary Reader recently came out, names of people involved with the ambitious and noteworthy journal kept popping up everywhere. (It’s a great read, by the way, if you haven’t yet checked it out.) Amongst the pages was the artwork of local painter Donna Bourne whose images (part of her … Continue reading »

Christa Martin: A new tech magazine takes flight in Santa Cruz

POSTED BY  ⋅ NOVEMBER 28, 2012 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

I’m always wowed when writers/editors/designers take on monstrous projects like launching an independent magazine. It’s an impressive feat, especially when executed over the course of just a few days. Such is the case with the classy, new, vibrant, and stylish tech/culture publication Instant Magazine, which was, in fact, a rather instant creation. Helmed by a … Continue reading »

Kirby Scudder: Jody Alexander and a disappearing life

POSTED BY  ⋅ NOVEMBER 25, 2012 ⋅ LEAVE A COMMENT

There are faint patterns of Victorian wallpaper stained in tea, white markings of pictures recently removed from their lifelong wall hanging, chairs with upholstery ripped and then mended with thread, an embroidered gown hanging from a lone clothes rack, books enshrined in soft woolen cloth. I move from room to room and witness evidence of … Continue reading »

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