SF Weekly’s 2014 “Best Of” Award!

Best Writers Without a Book San Francisco 2014

By Evan Karp

Chances are you could make a list of more than 10 people you know right now who deserve to be on this list. In a highly unscientific Facebook poll, 124 participants answered my question: Who is your favorite Bay Area writer without a book? A total of 190 writers were nominated; unsurprisingly, “me” was the most common answer, at 14 votes. To honor that, here are 14 of our must-reads (in no particular order):

Siamak Vossoughi
Writes beautifully simple meditations on living an ethical life, with a lucid voice of reason making sense of the world around it.

Alia Volz
Funny, dark, bizarre, worldly, hyperlocal … Volz is a rare talent who will always surprise you.

Nate Waggoner
With a masterful use of voice that dances the line between sarcasm and sincerity, Waggoner may be best described as hilariously outrageous and absurd.

Graham Gremore
So comically precise in his storytelling that sentences frequently make you laugh just for the tone in which they are written.

Erika Staiti
Currently working on a prose manuscript called The Undying Present, Staiti uses multiple and shifting pronouns for unnamed characters.

Elizabeth Bernstein
The writing coach and Grotto-ite has had stories in the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine and the San Francisco Bay Guardian (she won its fiction contest), and her plays have been produced at theaters including Exit and Impact.

Kai Carlson-Wee
Recent Stegner Fellow who won the Missouri Review‘s Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize, Carlson-Wee writes poems that contain a calm sort of post-chaos ferocity.

Brittany Billmeyer-Finn
Wrote a manuscript called The Meshes based on the short film and techniques of filmmaker Maya Deren, focusing on the intersections of witness and spectatorship, voyeurism and viewership; when she finished, she translated the work into a play entitled The Meshes in Two Acts.

Nic Alea
Uses a stunning combination of mysticism and body-intensive imagery to address identity and belonging. Co-founded and hosts The New Shit Show, one of the best open mics in the Bay Area.

Cheena Marie Lo
Lo’s writing deals with identity and the other in different ways. From a work in progress: “i am learning how to be in my own body in relation to foreclosure and underwater mortgage rates.”

Marcus Lund
A recent Mills MFA alum who writes some of everything, Lund’s short fiction is packed with wonder and exuberance and often humor.

Mu~thoni Kiarie
Winner of the San Francisco Foundation’s Joseph Henry Jackson Award for her novel in progressThe Secret Ibis, her dissertation at Mills College, Kiarie is an alumna of the Voices of Our Nations Arts program.

Sarah Ciston
Co-author of a forthcoming Invisible City Audio Tours choose-your-own-adventure project called Make It Your Mission, Ciston is finishing a manuscript called Song of Ourselves — an anthemic exploration of the We Generation.

Carolyn Ho
Ho’s work is wry and usually very funny. She’s good at letting things unfold and tying loose threads back together, which may or may not have something to do with her origami expertise.