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

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If 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. […]

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Letter From The Editor

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“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 […]

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In the Winter Issue

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In this issue: Art & Resistance Amid Turmoil Criticism: Troy Jollimore on how Wallace Shawn’s plays and his latest book, Night Thoughts, illuminate our predicament Robin Romm on what Imre Kertész can teach us about art as resistance Nonfiction: T.J. Stiles on the road we travelled to arrive at this precarious moment Andrew Tonkovich on “free persons,” and the risks writers must take Fiction: Dana Johnson’s “Like Other People”: In desperate need of a job, a graduate student takes a job cleaning cable boxes, working with folks also hard up for work. Kristopher Jansma’s “The Corps of Discovery”: On a long […]

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Looking for ways to help those affected by the Northern California fires

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Smoke, ash, and an eerie light are constant reminders of the devastating fires just North of San Francisco. Our hearts go out to all those affected, and we’ll be looking for ways to help. To begin, 7×7 has a list of local relief efforts that we can contribute to, including food donations and fundraising socials,  while KQED highlights ways to help animals that are affected by the Northern California wildfires. In addition, the compassionate crowdfunding site YouCare is raising funds for fire victims in the Santa Rosa community. Please feel free to share links to similar relief efforts in the Comments section. […]

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Celebrate Labor Day Weekend with Our Nifty Subscription/Pins Combo

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As you take time to enjoy the long weekend ahead, we’d like you to consider something that might make the barbecues and binge-watching that much more enjoyable. For only today through Tuesday, September 5, we’re shipping a free set of our brand new ZYZZYVA pins with every purchase of a subscription or a subscription renewal. You’ll be able to get the pins (stylish, no?) on our shop page soon enough. But why not get them sooner by simply renewing or subscribing to ZYZZYVA this weekend? So subscribe to ZYZZYVA and be prepared to wear those pins proudly! […]

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In the Fall Issue

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In this issue: Interview: City Lights Books bookseller Paul Yamazaki in conversation with Point Reyes Books owner Stephen Sparks about the responsibilities of bookselling (“For me, it boils down to conversation”) and the Bay Area’s literary community (“I forget sometimes how lucky we are”). Nonfiction: Jesse Nathan on the perhaps the most impressive tool behind Bob Dylan’s artistry: his singular voice. Peter Orner on the final brief moments of a couple slain on an isolated beach. Fiction: Arrival and Immigration: stories from Michael Jaime-Becerra (“¡Dale, Dale, Dale!”), E.C. Osundu (“Alien Visitors”), Christine Ma Kellems (“The Children of Dissidents”) and Greg […]

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It’s Official: Zyzzyva Is the Last Word, So Let’s Celebrate with a Special Offer!

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What’s worth up to 73 points in Scrabble and is now officially the last word in the Oxford English Dictionary? We are! As “zyzzyva” makes its overdue arrival in the OED, recent articles from The Washington Post and USA Today are helping to spread the word as to what the word even means (a tropical weevil, of course, as our readers already know), but also shed some light on why a San Francisco literary journal in 1985 would have chosen the word for its name. As the Oxford English Dictionary’s blog notes, “[The word] Zyzzyva owes much of its currency […]

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In the Spring Issue

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In this issue: Interview: Acclaimed poet and critic W.S. Di Piero in conversation: on Shakespeare, the art of translation (the translator inhabits “The house of a language, an imagination, a culture.”), and on being a good citizen. Nonfiction: Sallie Tisdale’s essay “The Hinge”: “My worst regrets,” she writes, “are not big and dramatic; they are as tiny and sharp as glass ground into my palm.” Fiction: Nick Lane’s “So You’re Thinking of Becoming a Despot”: It’s easier than you think (and it’s a great way of getting that one village girl to finally notice you). Louis B. Jones’ “Ever Since […]

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Home Story Delivery Service

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On a cool weekday night, I rushed home from my job in San Francisco to my Oakland bungalow to quickly arrange chairs and put out cookies and wine before the guests arrived. They weren’t coming to see me, but rather were going to be there for a reading by an author/actor they had heard me rave about. I copyedited John Mercer’s 2013 collection of memoir pieces, Swearing in English: Tall Tales from Shotgun (a reference to Shotgun Players, the Berkeley theater company he belonged to for 10 years), and his second, The Long Arm of Lunacy: More Swearing in English, […]

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Notes on the First 30 Days

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On the morning of Inauguration Day, I met up with a friend in midtown Manhattan, where we rented a car and set out for Washington, D.C. Our plan was to make the drive before nightfall, have a quick dinner, finish making our signs, and get a good night’s rest before the Women’s March. Not only was it less expensive to rent a car than to fly or take a train, but our road-trip had the added benefit of keeping us away from TV all day—a serendipitous media blackout for which we were both grateful. We didn’t turn on the radio, […]

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‘Three Wishes’ by Rolf Yngve, ZYZZYVA No. 108, Winter Issue

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 Rolf Yngve’s short fiction has recently appeared in Kenyon Review, Fifth Wednesday, Glimmer Train, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Coronado, California. His somewhat holiday-themed story—a lone traveller driving along snowy roads—”Three Wishes” appears in the new issue of ZYZZYVA.

In “Three Wishes,” the aforementioned traveller stops to pick up a stranded motorist and her dog. As they drive along, the protagonists’s cell phone may or may not be guiding the trio in ways beyond simply giving directions. The following is an excerpt, but you can read the story in its entirety by getting a copy here.

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‘The Urban Forest’ by Ella Martinsen Gorham, ZYZZYVA No. 108, Winter Issue

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Ella Martinsen Gorham is writer in Los Angeles and is at work on a collection of stories. “The Urban Forest,” which appears in the new issue of ZYZZYVA, is her first work in print.

Dan, the protagonist, is a young single man who tries to keep his life as orderly as possible. His efforts to stay in control are challenged when he buys a house and realizes the tree that comes with it constantly splatters his property with “rank-smelling berries.” The huge tree is also home to the neighborhood’s feral parrots. The following in an excerpt of “The Urban Forest.” You can read it in its entirety in Issue No. 108, which you can get here. (Ella Martinsen Gorham will also be reading with Matthew Zapruder, Kathleen Alcott, and Scott O’Connor at ZYZZYVA’s Winter Issue Celebration at Diesel in Oakland on Thursday, January 26.)

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