Belatedly, overly late, here is a little report on the mesmerizing but very brief Small Press Traffic reading that Miranda Mellis and Shahrnush Parsipur offered up on April 1st at ATA on Valencia Street in San Francisco. The afternoon was all lush prose. As an audience member I wanted to hear a bit more from these two powerful writers, but I am also happy to go away from a reading still hungry for more; no one wants to be held hostage for hours.
From her new book None of This is Real, Mellis read the Divination section. As is always the case with Mellis, her writing distills attention in language attuned to its own making; here, in this excerpt, the somatic speaks. But lucky you! Rather than rely on my faulty memory, you can read Miranda's prose here!
Miranda Mellis is the author of three books of fiction, None of This Real (Sidebrow Press), The Spokes (Forthcoming, Solid Objects), and The Revisionist (Calamari Press), and a chapbook of documentary poetics, Materialisms (Portable Press at Yo Yo Labs). The Revisionist, illustrated by Derek White, has been translated into Italian and Croatian and was the subject of a 90-foot mural by Megan Vossler. Mellis is an editor at The Encyclopedia Project. She teaches at Mills College, the California College of the Arts, and the Language & Thinking Program at Bard College. You can learn more about her here
And then Iranian activist and writer, Shahrnush Parsipur took to the podium and read a translation of her witty "The Story of the Men of Sialk Hills." I don't know much about Shahrnush's work as of yet, but I am certainly intrigued and pleasured enough to pursue it. Parsipur has generaously shared her story here. Enjoy.
An Interview by Pars Arts describes Parsipur thusly:
Shahrnush Parsipur is arguably one of the most important Iranian writers working today. First published when she was just sixteen years old, much of her writing casts a spotlight on the lives of women, in a style that combines frank language with magical realism. Parsipur has been jailed under both the Shah’s regime and that of the Islamic Republic for her work, which is currently banned in Iran. Most recently, Parsipur was the first-ever fellow of the International Writers Project at Brown University, and her e-book was published in late 2007.
You can read the interview with Parsipur here.