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The Bay Area Benefit for Dean Young

ZYZZYVA and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers team up to present a Bay Area evening of esteemed poets and writers celebrating Dean Young’s successful heart transplant with readings from their own work and from Dean Young’s poetry, too. The event is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, at Wheeler Hall, Maude Fife Room 315, University of California, Berkeley. Admission is free.

Part of a growing, national fundraising campaign to help cover the enormous expenses around the heart transplant, this event will feature a who’s who of poets and writers from the Bay Area and from across the country. (Dean Young and his new book were recently featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”)

  • Robert Hass – served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and directs the Poetry Program of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.
  • W.S. Di Piero – is a poet, translator, and essayist whose latest works include Chinese Apples: New and Selected Poems
  • Octavio Solis – is the nationally recognized director and playwright of several dramas, including El Paso Blue and Santo & Santo
  • Brenda Hillman – is the author of eight collections of poetry, the most recent of which are Pieces of Air in the Epic and Practical Water
  • D.A. Powell – is the award-winning author of several poetry books including Cocktails and Chronic
  • Troy Jollimore – is a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for his poetry collection Tom Thomson in Purgatory
  • Michael Wiegers – is the executive editor of Copper Canyon Press
  • Dora Malech – is the author of the poetry collections Shore Ordered Ocean and Say So
  • Joseph Di Prisco – is a writer, novelist, and poet and author of the poetry collection Poems in Which
  • David Breskin – is a writer, poet, and record producer and author of the poetry collections Escape Velocity and Supermodel

Oscar Villalon, managing editor of ZYZZYVA, will emcee

Donation stations will be set up for the event. Signed copies of Dean Young’s new book, “Fall Higher,” as well as specially commissioned broadsides of his poems, will be available. A reception featuring wine and snacks will follow the readings. People unable to attend can help by visiting www.transplants.org/donate/deanyoung and making a donation there.

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PEN World Voices Heads to the West Coast

Rahul Bhattacharya

The PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature begins April 25, but you don’t have to live near Manhattan to get a taste of what the festival has to offer: stellar authors from around the globe communing with their American peers and readers.

Along with stops in the Midwest, the Northeast, and the Eastern Seaboard, the PEN World Voices Festival tour will be coming to the West Coast from May 2 to May 4. Rahul Bhattacharya, whose first novel, “The Sly Company of People Who Care” (FSG), has earned him comparisons to V.S. Naipaul, and acclaimed (and banned) author Yan Lianke, whose newest novel, “Dream of Ding Village” (Grove), recounts a blood-selling scandal in China that resulted in an AIDS epidemic, are the headliners.

On May 2, Bhattacharya and Lianke will be at Powell’s in Portland, Ore. On May 4, they will be at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, in conversation with stellar author Sherman Alexie (a past ZYZZYVA contributor). And on May 3, they will be at the Readers Cafe in San Francisco, at an event co-hosted by ZYZZVA and the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. Stellar author Daniel Alarcon will be there, too, joining the conversation moderated by ZYZZYVA Managing Editor Oscar Villalon.

So plan ahead, and do come out.

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