Left Coast Writers

Left Coast Writers®: Gail Strickland - Oracle of the Song (Corte Madera)

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 7:00pm

In conversation Peter S. Beagle

In Oracle of the Song, determined to save her best friend Sophia, Thaleia—the young Oracle of Delphi—descends into the Underworld, a forbidden land from which none escape.

But does Sophia want to be saved? If so, why does she trick Thaleia to drink from the River of Forgetfulness, so she no longer knows the reason she descended into Hades’ Realm?

Thaleia prays for the gods’ help. Instead of their guidance, she encounters Hades’ rage and Athena’s jealous fury.

Always, the gods defy her.

Beneath fire skies, Thaleia outwits Typhon, a hundred-headed sea monster; challenges the Graeae—three hags who share one eye and one tooth between them and risks being turned to stone with the gaze of Medusa, a snake-haired priestess.

Ultimately, all paths lead to Hades Palace and a box hidden beneath Queen Persephone’s bed. Can Thaleia stop blaming the gods for her friend’s death? Can she let honesty and courage guide her? Can she bring Sophia home?

Gail Strickland translated much of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Herodotus’ prophecies and The Bacchai by Euripides while studying classics in college. Living on the Greek islands after college, she discovered her love of myth, the wine-dark sea and retsina. The Baltimore Review and Writer's Digest have recognized Gail’s fiction. She published stories and poems in Travelers’ Tales’ anthologies.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers® Salon: Javier Zamora - Unaccompanied (Corte Madera)

Monday, December 4, 2017 - 7:00pm

Javier Zamora was nine years old when he traveled unaccompanied 4,000 miles, across multiple borders, from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with his parents. This dramatic and hope-filled poetry debut humanizes the highly charged and polarizing rhetoric of border-crossing; assesses borderland politics, race, and immigration on a profoundly personal level; and simultaneously remembers and imagines a birth country that's been left behind.

Through an unflinching gaze, plainspoken diction, and a combination of Spanish and English, Unaccompanied crosses rugged terrain where families are lost and reunited, coyotes lead migrants astray, and "the thin white man let us drink from a hose / while pointing his shotgun."

From "Let Me Try Again":

He knew we weren't Mexican.
He must've remembered his family
coming over the border, or the border
coming over them, because he drove us
to the border and told us next time, rest
at least five days, don't trust anyone calling
themselves coyotes, bring more tortillas, sardines, 
Alhambra. He knew we would try again.
And again--like everyone does.

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. He earned a BA at UC-Berkeley, an MFA at New York University, and is a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Unaccompanied Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781556595110
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Copper Canyon Press - September 5th, 2017

"Every line resonates with a wind that crosses oceans."--Jamaal May

"Zamora's work is real life turned into myth and myth made real life." --Glappitnova


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers® Salon: Albert Flynn DeSilver - Writing as a Path to Awakening (Sausalito)

Monday, November 6, 2017 - 7:00pm

The best writers say their work seems to come from a source beyond the thinking mind. But how do we access that source? "We must first look inside ourselves and be willing to touch that raw emotional core at the heart of a deeper creativity," writes Albert Flynn DeSilver. In Writing as a Path to Awakening, this renowned poet, writer, and teacher shows you how to use meditation to cultivate true depth in your own writing--so your words reveal layers of profound insight that inspire and move your readers.

Constructed as a year-long exploration with a new focus for each month and season, Writing as a Path to Awakening includes: 

- How to approach writing and reading with a greater level of presence and immersion
- Engaging curiosity, playfulness, and spontaneity to keep your regular practice fresh
- Meditating with poetry to deeply embody the power of language
- How you can spark your imagination by connecting to the groundless source of creation
- The meditative approach to storytelling--how not being trapped in your story liberates your capacity to create
- Editing, rewriting, and the path of spiritual transformation

"Writing and meditation practice are a powerful pair, a dynamic duo," Albert Flynn DeSilver teaches. "Together they nourish and push, trigger and define, inform and inspire, enable, and energize. To engage in both practices fully is to activate a more complete, creative, and spiritual self." With a mixture of engaging storytelling and practical exercises, Writing as a Path to Awakening invites you on a yearlong journey of growth and discovery--to enhance your writing through the practice of meditation while using the creative process to accelerate your spiritual evolution.

Albert Flynn DeSilver is an internationally published poet, memoirist, novelist, speaker, and workshop leader. He has published several books of poetry and Beamish Boy, which Kirkus Reviews calls, "A beautifully written memoir of awakening and self-acceptance." He teaches at the Omega Institute, Esalen, Spirit Rock, and writing conferences nationally. He lives in northern California. 

Writing as a Path to Awakening: A Year to Becoming an Excellent Writer and Living an Awakened Life Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781622039111
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sounds True - August 31st, 2017

The best writers say their work seems to come from a source beyond the thinking mind. But how do we access that source? "We must first look inside ourselves and be willing to touch that raw emotional core at the heart of a deeper creativity," writes Albert Flynn DeSilver.


100 Bay Street
Sausalito, CA 94965

Left Coast Writers®: Carol Sheldon - A Sleuth in the Haven (Corte Madera)

Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 7:00pm

A Sleuth in the Haven follows journalist Gwen Harris through another series of frightening experiences. Bizarre and fatal events threaten the residents of The Haven as Gwen tries to track down the attacker at her aunt's retirement home. Captured by ex-convict Sonny, she is forced to help him plot revenge against his sister, who let him take the fall for a murder during their bootlegging days. Gwen must use her ingenuity and wits to match the tortured and unpredictable demands of her adversary. With unexpected twists, this second in the Gwen Harris series takes the reader back to the days of prohibition, rum running and speakeasies.

Carol Sheldon is an author and playwright. A Sleuth in the Haven is Sheldon's fourth novel. Mother Lode is a best seller, and won an award from Bay Area Independent Publishing Association for Best Fiction. Her numerous plays have won awards across the country, both in professional and community productions. Sheldon lives and teaches writing in Marin County, California.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: Audrey Fielding - Salento by 5 (San Francisco)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 6:00pm

Salento by 5: Friendship, Food, Music and Travel Within the Heel of Italy's Boot is a collection of richly woven stories, travel tips, drawings and recipes written about the Southern Italian area of Salento by five authors: three local Italians from Salento and two travelers from California. A friendship that begins in the Rome airport, migrates to Salento at the southern tip of Puglia (the heel of Italy’s boot), blossoms over food and wine (of course), and culminates in a narrative filled with nostalgic and personal recollections of Salento’s history, culture, and its unique people. The five authors are The Traveler; The Raconteur; The Sketcher; The Music Maker; and The Cook.

Audrey Fielding is The Traveler. She captures the enchantment of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, the whisper of wind in the olive groves and the tastes of earthy greens, ear-shaped pasta, and bowls of steaming mussels. As editor/writer Audrey was introduced to Italy on a teaching sabbatical in 1992. Serendipitous events brought her to Salento in 2003 and ever since, she has returned yearly to an apartment facing the sea.

Salento by 5: Friendship, Food, Music, and Travel Within the Heel of Italy's Boot Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780986439087
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gemelli Press LLC - August 15th, 2016

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Left Coast Writers®: Barbara Ridley - When It's Over (Corte Madera)

Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 7:00pm

World War II envelops Europe and Lena Kulkova flees Czechoslovakia to join her lover, Otto, in England, leaving her Jewish family behind in Prague. But Lena soon finds herself navigating anti-refugee sentiment, wartime deprivations, a new romance with a wealthy Englishman, and the progressive politics that will eventually oust Churchill. Based on family history and a trove of personal letters, When It’s Over is a moving, resonant, and timely debut. 

Coming of age in Prague in the 1930s, Lena Kulkova is inspired by the left-wing activists who resist the rise of fascism. She meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, and follows him to Paris to work for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. As the war in Spain ends and a far greater war engulfs the continent, Lena gets stuck in Paris with no news from her Jewish family, including her beloved baby sister, left behind in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Otto, meanwhile, has fled to a village in England, and urges Lena to join him, but she can’t obtain a visa.

When Lena and Otto are finally reunited, the safe haven Lena has hoped for doesn’t last long. Their relationship becomes strained, and Lena is torn between her loyalty to Otto and her growing attraction to Milton, the son of the eccentric Lady of the Manor. As the war continues, she yearns to be reunited with her sister, while Milton is preoccupied with the political turmoil that leads to the landslide defeat of Churchill in the 1945 election.

Based on a true story, When It’s Over is a moving, resonant, and timely read about the lives of war refugees, dramatic political changes, and the importance of family, love, and hope.

Barbara Ridley was raised in England but has lived in California for more than thirty years. After a successful career as a nurse practitioner, which included publication in numerous professional journals, she is now focused on creative writing. Her work has appeared in literary journals, such as The Writers Workshop Review, Still Crazy, Ars Medica, The Copperfield Review, and BLYNKT. This is her first novel. Ridley lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner and her dog, and has one adult daughter, of whom she is immensely proud.

When It's Over Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781631522963
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: She Writes Press - September 26th, 2017

Coming of age in Prague in the 1930s, Lena Kulkova is inspired by the left-wing activists who resist the rise of fascism. She meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler's Germany, and follows him to Paris to work for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: Maxine Schur - Places in Times (San Francisco)

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 6:00pm

For years readers have delighted in Maxine Rose Schur's award-winning travel essays. Now, all the tales of her unusual honeymoon are gathered in one illustrated volume, Places in Time. Whether camping in the center of Paris, dangling off a Panamanian tramp steamer, or hitching across Australia, her tales are funny, exciting and tender. Maxine Rose Schur set out to see the world. With high spirits and little money, the author traveled not only far geographically, but emotionally, toward the hearts of others. She faced the violent grief of a Mexican sheriff, celebrated a wild elopement in Turkey and was initiated into a mysterious daily ritual with an Iranian forest ranger. Looking back, she tempers her youthful encounters with mid-life wisdom, capturing the spirit of all those she met, and evoking cherished places in time. If you're looking for travel writing that blends gentle insight with delicious surprise, fasten the seatbelt on your armchair and come along.

Maxine Rose Schur is an award-winning travel journalist and the author of several books for both children and adults. As the recipient of the Joan G. Sugarman Award given by the Washington Independent Writer’s Legal and Educational Fund, Ms Schur was the 1997 Baker-Nord Guest Lecturer on Writing in the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. In 2004, she was named the Dan Stone Memorial Children’s Book Author. Her evocative rendering of daily life in an Ethiopian village Day of Delight won the 1994 Parent's Choice Award and was read by Gregory Hines on National Public Radio and recorded on CD. 

Places in Time: Reflections on a Journey Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781592661039
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Capra Press - December 10th, 2013

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Left Coast Writers® Salon: David Downie - A Taste of Paris (Corte Madera)

Monday, October 2, 2017 - 7:00pm

In-conversation with Laurie McAndish King

From the critically acclaimed author of Paris, Paris and A Passion for Paris, comes a delectable culinary history of the gastronomic capital of the world.

In his trademark witty and informative style, David Downie embarks on a quest to discover “What is it about the history of Paris that has made it a food lover’s paradise?” in A Taste of Paris. Long before Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake!” (actually, it was brioche), the Romans of Paris devoured foie gras, and live oysters rushed in from the Atlantic; one Medieval cookbook describes a thirty-two part meal featuring hare stew, eel soup, and honeyed wine; during the last great banquet at Versailles a year before the Revolution the gourmand Louis XVI savored thirty-two main dishes and sixteen desserts; yet, in 1812, Grimod de la Reynière, the father of French gastronomy, regaled guests with fifty-two courses, fifteen wines, three types of coffee, and seventeen liqueurs.

Following the contours of history and the geography of the city, Downie sweeps readers on an insider’s gourmet walking tour of Paris and its environs, revealing the locations of Roman butcher shops, classic Belle Epoque bistros serving diners today and Marie Antoinette’s exquisite vegetable garden that still supplies produce, no longer to the unfortunate queen, but to the legendary Alain Ducasse and his stylish restaurant inside the palace of Versailles. Along the way, readers learn why the rich culinary heritage of France still makes Paris the ultimate arbiter in the world of food.

David Downie, a native San Franciscan, lived in New York, Providence, Rome and Milan before moving to Paris in the mid-80s. He divides his time between France and Italy. His travel, food and arts features have appeared in print publications worldwide including Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Saveur, Epicurious.com, and Gault&Millau, the premier French food guide. He is the author of the several books, including the highly acclaimed Paris, Paris and A Passion for Paris.

A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250082930
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 26th, 2017

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers® Salon: Susan Alcorn, Erin Byrne, & Lou Ann Granger (Corte Madera)

Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 7:00pm

Moderated by Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Want to getaway this Labor Day weekend? Join esteemed travel writers Susan Alcorn, Erin Byrne, and Lou Ann Granger on an exclusive trip around the world at this month's Left Coast Writers Salon! 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: David Hathwell - Between Dog and Wolf (San Francisco)

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 6:00pm

The French entre chien et loup describes moments at dusk when the eye, no longer to be trusted, can’t distinguish between a dog and a wolf. The poems in David Hathwell’s second collection take place on the threshold between light and darkness: between the familiar and the unknown, the expected and the unforeseen, safety and danger. Erica Dawson calls the poems “sharp and unsettling,” and Between Dog and Wolf “an important book for times like these.”

David Hathwell published Muses, his debut collection, in 2016, to acclaim from, among others, Richard Wilbur, Dana Gioia, and Edmund White. His poems have appeared in more than a dozen literary magazines. A former English teacher, he has degrees in English from Stanford and Columbia, and a degree in music theory from Queens College of CUNY. He has studied piano at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and sung baritone in the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco and the San Francisco Choral Society. 

Between Dog and Wolf Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781625492364
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: David Robert Books - June 11th, 2017

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

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