“Here Comes Arialia” – New essay in River Teeth

Arialia image

We were early birds, bad girls, schemers, druggies. Aria and I only attended high school as freshmen; after that, we were independent study kids. While Analy High’s class of ’96 amassed memories to chronicle in yearbooks, we skulked around our small California town, smoking weed and later meth, hitchhiking, getting fucked up with grown men. We skipped prom, school pictures, and graduation.


Check out the new issue of River Teeth.


Best American Essays 2017

20170825_171427I’m over the moon today. My essay “Snakebit,” originally published in The Threepenny Review, has been chosen for The Best American Essays 2017, edited by one of my personal heroes, Leslie Jamison. Another of my essays, “Chasing Arrows,” published in New England Review, also received an honorable mention. Holy guacamole, I’m double-dipping in BAE!

This is proof positive that a relatively new writer can still gain entrance to the walled city without calling in favors to the king. The anthology is due for general release next month and will be available at independent bookstores nationwide.

What an honor, what a thrill.

“Finding El Saez” – Nowhere Magazine’s 2016 Travel Writing Contest Finalist

el saez image

We head west out of Havana in the early afternoon, my husband, Kevin, behind the wheel of our circa 1990 rented Geely sedan. The air feels like the inside of a mouth, and even though third gear sounds like an opera singer warming up and the stereo doesn’t work, we’re grateful for air conditioning. The highway winds through coastal Artemisa, a tranquil, verdant province of farmland and gleaming seascapes. Exquisite scenery. But I have an ulterior motive for returning.

I’ve come to settle an old debt.

Read the full essay in Nowhere Magazine.

[Lead Image: Aristos Iatrou]

“Chasing Arrows” – now available online

nerHe came from Florida, though I forgot which part as soon as he said it. Definitely not Miami. His skin was a fierce pink and he wore a turquoise Marlins baseball cap on backwards, a loose-fitting tank top, and board shorts. Pudgy, thirty-something, and reeking of booze. Something about the guy I liked. He had a big drunk laugh and seemed unstable in a refreshing way.

– See more at: http://www.nereview.com/vol-37-no-1-2016/chasing-arrows/#sthash.8M6DZQrM.dpuf

In Any Light, By Any Name

Utne Reader – Spring 2015

Originally published in Tin House – Winter 2014


My parents meet on a blind date in 1976. Richard with his leather cowboy hat and hand-painted jean jacket, Meridy with her purple turban and kohled eyes. He reads her aura; she reads his tarot cards. The first time they make love he has an epileptic seizure during the night and urinates in her bed. Nothing is simple.

On their third date, he takes her to an Italian restaurant in the Castro, the kind of place where “That’s Amore” plays on an infinite loop. “There’s something important I have to tell you,” Rich says. “I am carrying a spirit-child with me, a little boy, and he’s ready to be born into the here and now.”
Most likely, Meridy doesn’t believe him. But there is delirious magic in his way of speaking. A few weeks later, he looks into her eyes after lovemaking and says, “There. Now you’re pregnant.” So she is.

Read the complete piece on Utne Reader.

Performing at THE MOTH GrandSLAM Championship – April 8th!


San Francisco’s Inaugural GrandSLAM Championship: Fish Out of Water

The Moth presents the GrandSLAM, a battle of wits and words – fierce, hilarious, heartbreaking and all points between. Listen as ten StorySLAM champs tell tales of being out of their element: the freak, the foreigner, dressed for the opera at the clambake, out of the loop, the only person in the loop, the voice of dissent, the lonely fool. Outsider, interloper, odd man out. The black sheep, the chatty monk, the juror with a doubt.

The Moth is dedicated to finding intriguing people to tell inspired stories. At The Moth StorySLAM, those people find us. On this night, using words as weapons, they battle to determine San Francisco’s first-everMoth GrandSLAM Story Champion.

Tuesday, April 8th

Hosted by:
Corey Rosen

Stories By:
Josh Cereghino
Case Conover
Neshama Franklin
Ben Pote
Scott Sanders
Anna Seregina
Maida Taylor
Alia Volz
Brianna Wolfson
and more…

Producer: Jenifer Hixson
Associate Producer: Robin Wachsberger
San Francisco StorySLAM Producers: Anna MacKinnon & Andrew Slusser 

at The Castro Theatre
429 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114 

7:00pm Doors Open
8:00pm Stories Begin

$20 tickets available here
Our Host:
Corey Rosen is an actor, director, writer and visual effects artist who lives in San Francisco. Corey began his career writing for Jim Henson Productions and Comedy Central in New York City. He spent 11 years at Industrial Light & Magic as both a computer graphics artist and staff writer for animated feature films. His film credits include The Phantom MenaceTerminator 3The Day After Tomorrow, and War of the Worlds. As an actor, Corey works on screen and stage, including a 10 year run as a main stage company player at BATS Improv, where he improvises feature length plays. Corey is the creator of The A**hole Monologues: A Comedy For Anyone Who Has One, Knows One, or Is Onewww.mrbagel.com @coreyrosen

Our Storytellers:

At age five, Josh Cereghino was sent home from kindergarten, for allegedly biting Mikey Duda. When Mom asked for an explanation, he told his first story, with spaceships, dragons, jetpacks and Kung Fu, explaining that he bit in self-defense when Mike Duda attacked him with nunchuks. Josh learned the value of a good story that day, and he’s been telling stories from his life ever since. Josh is a writer who lives in Berkeley and holds a BA degree in Rhetoric from the University of California. This explains his penchant for storytelling and talking a lot.

Case Conover grew up on the coast of Maine, where his passion for stories, art and circus was born. As a youngster he juggled, unicycled, and clowned his way into the international youth troupe Circus Smirkus. He went on to study visual art at Oberlin College in Ohio before moving to the Bay Area. Case is now the Producer of West Coast Live, a weekly national radio variety program featuring authors, musicians and other cultural figures.

Neshama Franklin lives in Bolinas, works at the Fairfax Library, and has been telling stories since she came to language. She is an omnivorous, eclectic reader and plays this out through a weekly blog, a local TV show hosting Marin poets (both on the Marin County Free Library website), and a local radio show in which she reads what she loves. She’s performed frequently for libraries, camps, and at Tell It On Tuesday in Berkeley. She’s thrilled to be part of The Moth.

Ben Pote hails from Nashville, TN. He made his way to San Francisco three years ago by way of working in restaurants in Baltimore, New York, and Denver, and is now a research and development chef at a culinary consulting firm here in the city. He lives with his fiancee Pilar and two Boston terriers Sadie and Max, and enjoys eating his way through the city, playing the drums, a well-placed pun, and all three extended editions of Lord of the Rings.

Scott Sanders Ex actor, ex new yorker moved to the left coast about 15 years ago and still wrestling with cross cultural challenges. I’ve mustered pocket change as a gonzo international entrepreneur in Asia. I introduced graffiti / urban tagging to the Inner Mongolian territories. I’ve been kidnapped in China and hit by lightning in Brooklyn. I have told tales with The Moth, Snap Judgement, Fireside Storytelling, Porchlight Storytelling and LitQuake.

Anna Seregina is a stand-up comic and performer, described as having the “worst aura.” She was named a “Comic to Watch in 2013” by the SF Weekly, and is a regular member of the San Francisco-based show the Business. She starred in Joey Izzo’s Stepsister, which screened at the San Francisco International and the Cannes Film festivals in 2013. Most facts about her are true. Most truths about her are facts..

Maida Taylor practiced medicine in the Bay Area for 23 years, before going to work for the dark side of the force, the pharmaceutical industry. She is now a consultant. Born in Brooklyn, she moved to the Bay Area for graduate school and never looked back. Her husband and her kids are native Californians. Though she loves San Francisco, and her east coast accent is long gone, she still cannot shake off her New York edge (aka bitch). When not traveling for work, she can be found scuba diving, gardening, watching obscure foreign films, or walking with a Dandie Dinmont dog named King Arthur.

Alia Volz recently completed her first novel, HOOF, a mean little cowboy noir story in which all of your favorite characters die. The spawn of dope-crazed California hippies, Alia has crossed Spain on foot, seen Fidel Castro speak in a downpour, and made love at the feet of Easter Island’s Moai—but she keeps rolling home to good old San Francisco. Stalk her at www.aliavolz.com.

Brianna Wolfson is a New York native living in San Francisco, California. She spends her days with charts, graphs, colored pencils and ice cream. She buys a lottery ticket every Friday.