Category Archives

News

ZYZZYVA news.

Get a subscription now and receive this very limited Obi Kafumann bundle

Signed Copy Promo

UPDATE: This item is officially sold out. Please sign up for our e-mail list to hear about upcoming offers like this before anyone else! 

Order a subscription today and get a copy of the Fall Issue signed by Obi Kaufmann, plus a set of The California Field Atlas notecards. Free!

When you buy a four-issue or eight-issue subscription and enter the code SIGNED in the Order Notes field at Check-Out, we’ll start you off with a copy of the Fall Issue signed by artist and author Obi Kaufmann, whose watercolors adorn the covers of Issue No. 113 and are featured in full color throughout the volume. Plus, we’ll send you a set of gorgeous notecards from Heyday Books based on the artwork from Kaufmann’s best-seller, The California Field Atlas.

Don’t delay! Quantities are VERY LIMITED.

And if you wan’t to get the most of this deal, order one of our tote-subscription bundles. That’s a subscription, a signed copy of the Fall Issue, a set of The California Field Atlas notecards, and a ZYZZYVA tote. Just enter SIGNED in the Order Notes field, and it’s all yours!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Secretly Wishing for Impossible Futures: ‘Her Mouth as Souvenir’ by Heather June Gibbons

Her Mouth as SouvenirHer Mouth as Souvenir (88 pages; University of Utah Press), winner of the 2017 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry, is a breathtaking and lyrical debut collection from Heather June Gibbons. Gibbons’ voice is a strong one, as she leads the reader through well-crafted and captivatingly honest free verse.

Pressingly urgent and timely, Her Mouth as Souvenir is a study of action in the face of anxiety. The poems’ context includes larger societal trends, such as the technologizing world that presents “a strange kind of convenience, / to access at the tap of a fingertip / so much information without / the ability to understand it,” and more personal attempts to uncover the how and why of past events.

There are three sections in the book that serve to mark the passage of time. The first section is a recognition of the past, of the prophets and ancestors that walked before Gibbons and “whisper, you owe us.” It also serves as an explication of the frustration that runs through the work, frustration without a culprit.

The second section is an attempt at self-understanding, through memory and causality. (The speaker can “pinpoint the exact moment / I become boring, but only in retrospect.”) A number of the poems here are titled “Sore Song” (drawn from Gibbons’s chapbook of the same name), and a musical thread runs through many of them. References are made to musical terminology and the free verse—sonically descriptive and rhythmically careful—often has a musical quality of its own. In the onomatopoetic “Longest Song,” repetitions of shh and mutter-mutter lay beside lyrical descriptions of sound:

            …how come broke

           

stereo breaks into mono

            with the low amp hiss of

            a house built of matchsticks

 

            and lit…

All sounds, even the boom of San Francisco’s Golden Gate foghorn, are treated as music.

The third and final section turns to elegy as Gibbons considers loss. There are requiems for the sudden deaths of acquaintances (“Knife Girl”), the state of society under capitalism, and even for a past self. The poems here are often longer and denser, with more narrative complexity. As the past is mourned, the poems also look toward a bleak and perhaps dystopian future. In “The Green Rose Up,” the issue of climate change is tackled, as the poem sets the scene of cities overtaken by algae and natural devastation, its inhabitants ignored by the institutions meant to protect them.

            It didn’t matter that we wore our silver suits.

Cities welled up and were overwhelmed.

            The green kept rising until we waded in algae

            and at night a phosphorescent bloom

lit the pathways our limbs had traveled

and pocked the surface of the water with sparks.

There is a helplessness to the poem, of secretly wishing for “impossible futures,” but also longing to forget such desires in the face of their impossibility. Living in the moment is nothing more than wanting to live without the fear of what’s to come. The poem serves as a warning, showing us a glimpse of a possible future we are all but resigned to.

Throughout Her Mouth as Souvenir, perception and the failure thereof are explored. The idea that perception equals perfect reality is scoffed at. There is a constant awareness of parallax; one of the “Sore Song” poems leans into the warping of perception:

            ….How I’ve missed

scanning the horizon for you, wary of parallax–

 

decadent, the way it screws with the curves.

The collection emphasizes the inherent deception in how we see the world: “In a quick smear before full focus, the eye / misreads what it wants to see.”

The vivid imagery Gibbons employs is central to her book as a whole, as are her poems’ intricate yet simple moments— acupuncture visits and getting carded while buying cigarettes after a yoga session. These form a larger collage, a larger commentary on the nature of regret and the passage of time, capturing the anxiety, but also the beauty, of the world we inhabit.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome Fall in Style with ZYZZYVA’s Tote & Sub Bundle

Labor Day PromoWhether you’re heading back to school or merely bracing for the BART commute, ZYZZYVA has you covered with our special Tote & 4-Issue Subscription Bundle. For little more than the price of a regular subscription, you’ll also receive one of our new and beautifully designed tote bags, handy for both taking several books (or issues of the journal) with you on the go, and letting those on the street know you Always Get the Last Word.

Your Subscription will begin with Issue No. 113, our special issue centered around themes of Environmental concerns & conservation. Our first issue featuring full-color artwork throughout is adorned with the beautiful watercolor paintings of Oakland artist Obi Kaufmann, and makes for ideal reading at home, on the bus, or at your favorite coffeehouse on a crisp autumn day. Grab your Tote & 4-Issue Subscription Bundle today!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t miss our Creative Nonfiction Workshop with ‘The Golden Road’ author Caille Millner on November 3rd!

Caille Millner WorkshopApply for our Creative Nonfiction Workshop on November 3rd and experience a craft-intensive masterclass with Caille Millner, followed by conversation with ZYZZYVA’s editors. Millner is an essayist and author of the acclaimed memoir The Golden Road: Notes on my Gentrification as well as a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Don’t delay – the deadline to apply is approaching!

A ZYZZYVA Workshop is an opportunity you don’t want to pass up. Here’s what some past Workshop attendees have to say:

“Everything was great, from the location to the [instructor] to the other writers in the room. I enjoyed our post-Workshop conversation and seeing the ZYZZYVA offices too, which have a great atmosphere. I left the whole experience feeling inspired to keep writing and grateful for the work of  ZYZZYVA in supporting writers and their craft.”

“I felt like I had entered an oasis where paying attention, language, books, literature, relationships, and excellent communication and connection were the main priorities…I’m still thinking about all the novels-in progress and stories and vivid characters.”

“The workshop was one of the best I have attended. Like many serious writers, I need and value the interaction with other writers and instructors. I am also careful about which workshops to which I apply. This day exceeded my expectations and I came out of it energized. The attention to the organization of the day was excellent, the instructor was insightful and nurturing, and the other students were equally so.”

Apply today and we hope to see you November 3rd! 

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Fall Issue

In this issue:

Of & About the Environment

Héctor Tobar on living in Los Angeles, before and after air quality regulations; Lauret Edith Savoy traces “the geology of us”; Juli Berwald on “the blob,” the mysterious oceanic phenomenon that left destruction in its wake; Obi Kaufmann on the importance of reframing the language of conservation.

Arundhati Roy discusses with John Freeman her work as an activist and a writer, and examines the great danger before us all.

Poems by Jane Hirshfield, John Sibley Williams, Rebecca Foust, Daniel Neff, Maggie Millner, Sophie Klahr, and Emily Pinkerton.

Fiction by Ben Lasman (ceding the field of work to the robots), Manuel Muñoz (the vulnerability of those who work our fields), and Louis B. Jones (the tea compost isn’t the only rancidness found living off the grid).

And More Fiction and Poetry:

Stories by Emma Copley Eisenberg, Elena Graceffa, and, marking his First-Time-in-Print, David Paul; poetry by Ruth Madievsky, Jennie Malboeuf, and Paul Wilner.

Art: Featuring Obi Kaufmann’s watercolors of California’s fauna and flora.

You can purchase a copy of No. 113 here, or order a subscription to ZYZZYVA now and we’ll start you off by shipping you the Fall issue.

Posted in News | Comments Off on In the Fall Issue

Celebrate Independence Day with a Subscription to an Indie Journal!

unnamed (3)This Independence Day week, champion vision and perseverance with a subscription to ZYZZYVA—one of the nation’s few independent literary journals.

Your subscription will include a FREE copy (a $15 value) of our acclaimed Art & Resistance Issue (No. 111), featuring essays, poetry, and stories by T.J. Stiles, Dana JohnsonRobin RommVictoria ChangKrys LeeDorthe NorsDean Rader,Ruth MadievskyJenny XieDavid Hernandez, and many more. (A subscription starts with our current issue, Spring/Summer, which will be delivered to you with the Art & Resistance Issue.)

Subscribe before July 9th, and see for yourself why ZYZZYVA is so widely enjoyed.

And have a Happy Fourth of July!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ZYZZYVA’s Summer Dance Party—Featuring Our First-Ever Raffle

Raffle itemsZYZZYVA’s Summer Dance Party 2018 is almost upon us! Do you have your ticket yet?

The event—our annual fundraiser—kicks off on Friday, June 15, at 6 p.m. at the Make Out Room in San Francisco. Besides the chance to hang out with your compatriots and supporters of our literary community, you will also be able to bid on one of our many silent auctions, and test your luck with our first-ever raffle, featuring:

  • Tickets to the Asian Art Museum
  • Gift cards & certificates to Dynamo Doughnuts, Rustic Bakery, Dandelion Chocolate, Pizzeria Delfina, and Point Reyes Bookstore
  • Gift bags from Lo-Fi Aperitifs and Baggu
  • A Family Membership to the SF Botanical Gardens
  • Membership to the Mechanics Institute Library, and more!

Tickets to the Summer Dance Party start at just $25, but are going fast. So get one now and don’t miss out on a once-in-a-year night of drinks, dancing, and community!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Spring Issue

In this issue:

Interview:

The first American to win the Man Booker Prize, Paul Beatty talks with Managing Editor Oscar Villalon about his novel “The Sellout,” Los Angeles, literature, and satire.

Nonfiction:

What Emerges from the Fog: Essays on the faded traces of a life spent in the City (Joshua Mohr’s “San Francisco Loved Us Once”), and on the incredible challenges of making a life here—and of just choosing to live (Suzanne Rivecca’s “Ugly and Bitter and Strong”).

Fiction:

Anticipating the Worst: Stories on the threat of explosions, whether it be at the airport (David L. Ulin’s “Terminal”) or as just part of your job (Tom Barbash’s “Catbird”).

Natalie Serber’s “La Voix du Sang”: A son, becoming a young man, pulls his parents into the spiral of his wobbly future.

Maddy Raskulinecz’s “Barbara from Florida”: The tricks of the pizza-delivery trade: carry a dummy wallet, have plenty of fake IDs, and be ready for anything.

Plus stories from Dawna Kemper, Olivia Parkes, and Michael Zaken.

Poetry:

Christopher J. Adamson, William Brewer, Leah Clare Kaminski, Amy Miller, Pablo Neruda (translated by Katie Lateef-Jan & Dean Rader), John Sibley Williams, Casey Thayer, Robert Thomas, Kristen Tracy, and Devon Walker-Figueroa

Art:

Featuring the paintings of Eileen David

You can purchase a copy of No. 112 here, or order a subscription to ZYZZYVA now and we’ll start you off by shipping you the Spring issue.

Posted in News | Comments Off on In the Spring Issue

Become a Member-Level Donor and Get a Copy of Fred Lyon’s ‘San Francisco Noir’

PA_SanFranciscoNoir_CVR_9781616896515If you make a Member-level donation of $100 to ZYZZYVA before the end of the year, do we have a nice surprise for you. We’ll send you a copy of acclaimed photographer Fred Lyon’s gorgeous San Francisco Noir, published by Princeton Architectural Press, for free. But we have a limited supply of books, so don’t delay! Just enter SFNOIR in the “Write a note” field on the donation page to receive your copy.

All of our Member-level donors also get a complimentary four-issue subscription to ZYZZYVA and have their generosity acknowledged by name in both the journal and on our website.

Called “San Francisco’s Brassai,” Fred Lyons, now 93, has long been photographing the city. His work has been exhibited at SF MOMA, the Legion of Honor Museum, the Art Institute in Chicago, and at the Leica Gallery, where an exhibition of his work from San Francisco Noir runs through December 30. The glamour and the grittiness of San Francisco’s bygone years are forever captured in Lyon’s work. (Click on two of the images found in the book below for a better sense of what we mean.) And thanks to the good people at Princeton Architecture Press, this $40 book can be yours with your $100 donation to ZYZZYVA. But hurry! Copies are very limited.

1007326

 

San Francisco cable car turnabout at Eddy and Powell Streets 1005191

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Get a Subscription to ZYZZYVA, New England Review, & Rain Taxi for Just $70

ZYZZYVA_NERThis holiday season treat yourself or somebody you know to a year’s worth of acclaimed writing from three of the country’s best journals—for one low price.

We’re teaming up with NER and Rain Taxi to offer our readers what we think is a deal too good to refuse. All year you’ll get prose and poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and reviews and essays from prestigious journals located on the West Coast, the East Coast, and in the Midwest—giving you a rich sense of the work being produced across the country. All for just $70.

This offer expires December 22. So order now!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Subscribe to ZYZZYVA and Receive a Free Copy of ‘Feed the Resistance’

Feed the ResistanceZYZZYVA, in collaboration with publisher Chronicle Books, is offering a free copy of Feed the Resistance to the first five people who subscribe to ZYZZYVA, give a gift subscription, or renew their subscription today.

Written by celebrated food writer Julia Turshen, Feed the Resistance is a cookbook keyed to the demands of activism. There are recipes for when you have little time to spare in the kitchen (Spicy Tandoori Cauliflower with Minted Yogurt), and there are recipes for when you have to feed a large group of fellow resisters (Angel Food Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce).

Feed the Resistance makes for a stellar pairing with out latest issue, to say nothing of it being a great holiday gift in itself. So don’t delay! Just enter promo code RESIST in the Order Notes at checkout.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Letter From The Editor

“Literature is the question minus the answer.”
—Roland Barthes

To learn which questions are unanswerable and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.”
—Ursula K. LeGuin, from The Left Hand of Darkness

Dear Reader,

Perhaps you, like me, find yourself asking a lot from literature these days: greater solace, finer insight, deeper resonance. For me that’s led to thinking more pointedly about such expectations, and I’ve found it is useful to ask not only what literature can do to respond to current events, but also how; not just what meaning literature can make, but how such meaning operates.

Continue reading

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment