Interview with Bay Area Generations Reading Series
Fourteen Hills recently caught up with former poetry editor, Sandra Wassilie to discuss her new reading series, Bay Area Generations, which has its next event on March 24th.
How long has the series been running?
We had our debut show in September 2013 at The Emerald Tablet in San Francisco. And just celebrated six months of longevity at the Berkeley City Club last month in February. Recently, Candy Shue, Deborah Steinberg, and Fred Dodsworth joined co-founders, Charles Kruger and I to establish the founding board of directors to guide the series as it comes of age.
What's made you start your reading series?
When we, Charles Kruger and I, co-curated an event for Quiet Lightning, we found we are very different but work well together. Charles had been concerned with attracting, showcasing, and respecting older writers, and I had long been a promoter of youth developing a voice through the arts. We discussed how the two groups seemed to be segregated at different readings we attend. Charles came up with the idea of "Generations,” and together we developed the details.
How is it different than other series in the Bay Area?
Its key differences are: (1) submission-based rather than invitational; (2) submission by pairs, each of a different generation, (3) a curated format without introductions or banter (a model borrowed from Quiet Lightning), (4) a venue that alternates between East Bay and San Francisco localities, and (5) an explicit mission to integrate the generations.The writers form their own pairs and choose their own work to submit together. We call this the first level of curation. At the second level, Charles and Sandra, often with a guest curator, produce a program by choosing pieces that synchronize or contrast with each other—a distinctive flow and organization that is totally unexpected each time, but always energetic.
What can one expect at one of your events?
A certain magic that occurs when two people in front of others spark off of each other's work. A high quality experience of the varieties of writing and performing, and perhaps the courage to continue one's own particular path.
How can people submit to read at one of your events?
Writers who wish to submit should invite someone else of a different generation to submit as well. The two submissions are then sent by attachment in a single e-mail addressed to bayareagenerations.com with "submission for [date of performance]" included in the subject line. It doesn't matter if the pair are of different genders, write in different genres or styles or address different topics. The pairs can submit published work, unpublished work, or even collaborate on a piece. All styles and genres will be considered. The only restrictions are (1) the combined submissions must take no longer than 15 minutes to perform and (2) both partners must be available the night of the performance for which they are submitting, should they be selected. One will not be selected without the other. Along with their submission, pairs should include a brief statement about one another's work and why they would like to read together. Details regarding deadlines, performance dates and venues can be found on the website: http://bayareagenerations.com/how-to-submit/
Sandra Wassilie and Charles Kruger, Co-founders and Co-curators
March Event Details
Our next show is at Readers Bookstore, Fort Mason, in San Francisco, March 24th
doors open at 7 pm and reading at 7:30 pm. Suggested donation $5, refreshments
Our guest curator is Fred Dodsworth, who currently studies in the MA English in Creative Writing program at San Francisco State University.
Our readers for the evening: Readers for the evening will be announced on the BayArea Generations website and Facebook page this week!