Lyrics and Dirges: Special Anniversary Celebration!


Lyrics and Dirges

Wednesday, August 19

7:30 pm

Pegasus Books Downtown







Pegasus Books Downtown is proud to host the 5th Anniversary of Lyrics and Dirges! Spotlighting the diverse literary community that lives in the Bay Area. This anniversary reading features a "Five" theme, and special readers: Allie Marini, Vernon Keeve III, Maisha Z Johnson, Joshua Kent Fowler, Peter Bullen and Brynn Saito.Hosted and curated by MK Chavez and Sharon Coleman.



Allie Marini Batts holds degrees from Antioch University of Los Angeles & New College of Florida, meaning she can explain deconstructionism, but cannot perform simple math. Her work has been a finalist for Best of the Net & nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is Managing Editor for the NonBinary Review, Unbound Octavo, & Zoetic Press, & has previously served on the masthead for Lunch Ticket, Spry Literary Journal, The Weekenders Magazine, Mojave River Review & Press, & The Bookshelf Bombshells. Allie is the author of Unmade & Other Poems, (Beautysleep Press, 2013) & You Might Curse Before You Bless (ELJ Publications, 2013). She has 5 collections forthcoming in 2015.


Vernon Keeve III is from Fredericksburg, Virginia and is currently attaining his MFA in Writing at California College of the Arts. He has future hopes of educating young artists that he feels are neglected within the current public school system. He plans to never stop writing. He thinks M. Night Shyamalan is a genius (sans The Last Airbender). And, he smiles a lot.


Maisha Z. Johnson is a Bay Area writer of Trinidadian descent and founder of Inkblot Arts, a project to amplify voices through writing, editing, and facilitation. Maisha works and writes for publications including Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous, and Pyragraph. Maisha is the author of Through Your Own Words: 51 Writing Prompts for Healing and Self-Care (Inkblot Arts 2014). She's also written a full-length collection of poetry, No Parachutes to Carry Me Home (Punk Hostage Press 2015) and three poetry chapbooks, Uprooted (Gorilla Press 2014), Queer As In (Inkblot Arts 2014), and Split Ears (Aggregate Space 2013).


Joshua Kent Fowler is a full-time editor, part-time professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Rutgers University in New Jersey, founding and managing editor of the nomadic sojourns creative collective with bases in Oakland, California, and Brooklyn, New York, doctoral candidate in Media and Communications at the European Graduate School in Switzerland, member of the PEN American Center and the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, and writer. He is currently writing a book about an undercover FBI agent in Albuquerque and Chicago Heights in the 1970s.


Peter (Thomas) Bullen, a Berkeley hairdresser who began writing at 49, sees his work as a happy collision between the tender and the preposterous, finding them affable companions on the page and in other interesting places. He was a Quiet Lightning (2014) Neighborhood Hero and a reader at Barely Published Authors for LitQuake 2014. His work has muddied up the pages of Sparkle and Blink, Blotterature, and Weave. On occasion, he is under the distinct impression that he has finished a novel. For fiction excerpts, stray thoughts, wishes:


Bryan Saito is the author of The Palace of Contemplating Departure, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award from Red Hen Press, and finalist for the 2013 Northern California Book Award and the Milt Kessler Poetry Award. Brynn is the recipient of a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellowship, the Poets 11 award from the San Francisco Public Library, and the Key West Literary Seminar’s Scotti Merrill Memorial Award. Currently, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she is the co-founder and Director of the Center for Spiritual Life and an adjunct Assistant Professor in the BA program at California Institute of Integral Studies.



Lyrics & Dirges is a monthly reading series that features a mix of prominent, emerging and beginning writers. Its aim is to highlight various forms of writing in an effort to spotlight the diverse literary community that lives in the Bay Area.

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704