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WORD PERFORMANCES Reading Series Set for 9/25

Word Performances is a reading series of poetry, prose, fiction, memoir and comedy where words are the lead and music makes a cameo. Suggested ticket prices are $14

Featuring award winning writer Ethel Rohan, Oakland Grand Slam Champion Joyce Lee, poet Steven Gray, poet and activist Maisha Z. Johnson, co-host of Saturday Night Special and curator of the Beast Crawl writer Hollie Hardy, Acker award winning writer William Taylor Jr., superb poet John Swain, wordsmith Todd Siegel and performance poet Cybele Zufolo Siegel. Erma Kyriakos, folk chanteuse will perform music.

Wednesday, September 25th. Starts at 7:45, 998 Valencia at 21st in Viraocha, San Francisco.

Produced and curated by Cybele Zufolo Siegel & Todd Siegel, featuring the following line-up of artists.

Ethel Rohan

Ethel Rohan, winner of Ireland's 2013 Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award, was born and raised in Dublin and now lives in San Francisco. She is the author of two story collections, Goodnight Nobody and Cut Through the Bone, the latter longlisted for The Story Prize. Her work has or will appear in The New York Times, World Literature Today, Tin House Online, Sou'wester, Post Road Magazine, and The Rumpus, among many others. Visit her at

Steven Gray

Steven Gray is a poet, writer and photographer based in San Francisco. He is the Assistant Editor for Out of Our, a literary magazine founded by Sarah Page, and is a member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, founded by Jack Hirschman. He won an Honorable Mention in the 2010 Jack Kerouac Poetry Contest, and read his winning poem, VISHWA SHANTI ANUSTHAN, at the Fourth AnnuAl Davis Jazz Artists Festival: Beyond the Beat Generation, hosted in Davis.

Maisha Johnson

Maisha Z. Johnson is a San Francisco-based writer of Trinidadian descent. She studied Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Poetry from Pacific University. She is a member of the staff collective at Community United Against Violence (CUAV), helping prevent and respond to violence within and against LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities through arts and healing support groups and community organizing. Maisha's fiction has been published in Transfer magazine, awarded the Leo Litwak Award for Fiction, and won Portuguese Artist Colony's live writing competition. Her poetry publications include Fierce Hunger, Blackberry: A Magazine, Sparkle & Blink and Matrices:Origins, and she has been a featured reader at literary events, social justice rallies and other happenings throughout the Bay Area. Her work has also appeared in newsletters for social justice organizations such as CUAV and People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER).

Hollie Hardy

Hollie Hardy leaps tall buildings in a single bound. She can teach you how to survive anything. Her first collection of poetry, How to Take a Bullet, And Other Survival Poems, is currently looking for a home. She holds an MFA in poetry from SFSU, and teaches writing classes at Berkeley City College and San Francisco State. She is a core producer for the Beast Crawl literary festival in Oakland, co-curator of Litquake's Flight of Poets, co-host of Saturday Night Special, an East Bay Open Mic, and a former Editor-in-Chief of Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review. Her work has appeared in Eleven Eleven, sPARKLE & bLINK, The Common, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, Parthenon West Review, One Ded Cow, Transfer, Milvia Street, and other journals you probably never heard of. She lives in Oakland. Write to Hollie if you want to give her money.

Joyce Lee

Joyce Lee is the 2009-2010 Oakland Grand Slam Champion (the only woman to do it). She has been in slam for 5 years but has been writing poetry, plays and short stories for over 22 years. She has been featured on every American Coast as well as Internationally in places such as Yoshi's of San Francisco, Oakland's Art and Soul Festival, Switzerland's Border Slam, Germanys Frankfurt Slam, the Nuyorican in Manhattan New York. Joyce is a frequent storyteller for Muni Diaries of San Francisco and APRs Snap Judgment. Long story cut short: she's awesome, fun, people dig her and more than likely you will too!

William Taylor Jr.

William Taylor Jr. currently lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His books of poetry include Words for Songs Never Written and The Hunger Season. An Age of Monsters, his first book of fiction, is available from Epic Rites Press, along with his latest book of poetry, Broken When We Got Here. The Blood of a Tourist, a collection of new poems, is forthcoming from Sunnyoutside Press. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and he was the recipient of a 2013 Acker Award.

John Swain

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Crisis Chronicles Press published his most recent chapbook, White Vases.

Erma Kyriakos

Erma, also known as Miss Erma, creates a sound world that is refreshing and enrapturing. Her melodies are bouncy and bright as she carries you right to The Edge, pushes you over and then catches you again. An orchestral twinge is sure to surprise. A guitar playing, piano playing, singing violinist who performs, teaches, and never stops learning. Music at

Todd Siegel

Todd is highly playful with language, writing live poetry within text messages and simply cannot stop himself from perpetual phrase turning while wandering with friends & his infinitely lovely wife, Cybele - with whom he co-produced this Word Performance series.. In perpendicular, he's been designing user experiences, recently with Tempo AI, all while relentlessly endeavoring to innovate merch solutions to drive more revenue to music artists with Merchluv.

Cybele Zufolo Siegel

Cybele Zufolo was an Adjunct Instructor of Literature and Poetry at the New and is a grant recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She studied ballet at the School of American Ballet and was a dancer with the New York City Ballet Co. for seven years as a youth. Cybele and Todd are the founders of the Word Performances reading series.

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