Lit Crawl 2014

A piece I wrote about Fourteen Hills Presents: Get Up and Crawl, featuring former contributors to the journal Renato Escudero, Junse Kim, Toni Mirosevich, Jane McDermott and Brian Thorstenson is up on Fourteen Hills’ blog. You can explore the journal’s website and read my post over here. Kim, Mirosevich, and Thorstenson teach or have taught in the MFA program at San Francisco State, and Escudero and McDermott were/are part of the program.

Lit Crawl is an annual celebration of words. Hundreds of readings and literary events take place in the span of three hours in perhaps unconventional venues. It’s like a literary pub crawl; crowds of people moving from space to space, drinking it all up. Find out more about the event here. 

On October 18, 2014, Fourteen Hills participated in Lit Crawl at Public Works in San Francisco. Billed as an art gallery by day, and dance club at night, Public Works was a fantastic space to host the reading where I began my first Lit Crawl ever. Brilliant past contributors to Fourteen HillsRenato Escudero, Junse Kim, Jane McDermott, Toni Mirosevich, and Brian Thorstenson—read from their work bathed in blue lighting in front of a rapt audience sitting on plush benches or standing in the shadows, drinks in hand.

The mark of a good reading, I think, is the performative aspect. This was a performance, certainly. What struck me the most about all of these writers is that although they are connected through Fourteen Hills and San Francisco State University, their voices are intensely different.

Though my Spanish is limited to a vague remembrance of high school, I had little trouble understanding the desperation of the characters in Renato Escudero’s story of a young girl on a woman’s doorstep.

The steady heightening of emotion in Junse Kim’s story of incomprehensible heroics had the room silent.

Brian Thorstenson had us all laughing and the strains of a song I haven’t heard played through my head.

Toni Mirosevich’s nonfiction slipped me into a Pacifica cafe early in the morning to observe the regulars.

Jane McDermott’s concise 100-word stories are bound together through the strength of their narrator.

As a new SFSU student, Fourteen Hills Presents: Get up and Crawl was a great introduction to the talent and passion incubated within its community of writers that stretches around the Bay Area and beyond. I look forward to hearing more from these wonderful writers and further exploring their work in past issues of Fourteen Hills!

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