Latinx writer, MK Chavez is the author of several chapbooks including Mothermorphosis. Dear Animal, a full-collection was released in October 2016 by Nomadic Press. Chavez is co-founder/curator of the reading series Lyrics & Dirges and co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival. She is a fellow with CantoMundo and the San Francisco Grotto. In 2017 Chavez’s poem The New Whitehouse, Finding Myself in The Ruins, was selected by Eileen Myles for the Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Award, and is a recipient of a 2017 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award.
Philip Harris received his MFA in Fiction from San Francisco State University in spring 2017. He currently lives in the Bay Area, where he tells stories through his words, illustrations, and photographs, all while continuing his search for the perfect burrito. His first chapbook The Flowers in my Mothers' Name was recently published by Nomadic Press. His work has appeared in Vogue UK, The Los Angeles Review, The Atticus Review, The Tusk, and Transfer. Philip is also the co-host and co-creator of the weekly podcast Queers in Space.
Raised in the shadow of Houston refineries, Emily Pinkerton currently lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an MFA candidate at San Francisco State University, and her writing has previously appeared in Juked, BlazeVOX, Pith, Hobart, and LEVELER, among others. She is a winner of the San Francisco Browning Society's Helen Eliot Award for a Dramatic Monologue and her first chapbook, Natural Disasters, was recently published by Hermeneutic Chaos Press.
Chrissy Anderson-Zavala is a writer and educator from Salinas, California. She currently works as a teaching artist and education consultant in San Francisco, while pursuing a PhD in social and cultural contexts of education with designated emphases in critical race and ethnic studies and feminist studies at UC Santa Cruz.
Vicente R. Viray holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco. His writing has appeared in California Northern, Chelsea Station, The Greensboro Review, and Mary: A Journal of New Writing, among other places. A native San Franciscan, he still lives in the city with his partner Paul and their son Zachary. During the day, he works for a public sector health provider that serves individuals with serious mental illness.
Leora Fridman is author of My Fault (Cleveland State University Press, 2016) among other books of prose, poems, and translations. More at leorafridman.com.
The Alley Cat Residency
The Alley Cat residency program was founded in 2014 with the goal of offering writers a welcoming space to work in the heart of a lively literary community. We currently host six writing residencies per year.
Residents enjoy flexible, drop-in access to an inspiring writing space: an art gallery located inside a community-oriented independent bookstore in the Mission. Every resident receives:
·Generous discounts on new and used books · An Alley Cat blank book · Wi-Fi access · A chapbook of their work published by Alley Cat at the end of their residency · A chapbook release party and reading hosted by Alley Cat at the end of their residency
The residency welcomes writers to pursue whatever goals, projects, or ideas they’re interested in. The only requirement is that residents produce a short chapbook manuscript by the end of their residency.
Please note: The residency does not include accommodations or meals, so it may be best suited for local writers; non-local writers are welcome to apply, but are responsible for arranging their own accommodations.
Past residency program administrators include Jordan Gower, Raul Ruiz, and Jason Mull.
About the Space
The gallery is pleasant and airy, with high ceilings and a skylight. Its eclectic art exhibits rotate frequently. Because the gallery is located in a bookstore, it’s not an entirely private or quiet space; you can determine for yourself whether this is compatible with your writing practice. (If you’re comfortable writing in coffee shops, you would likely be comfortable here.) Depending on scheduling, you may sometimes share the space with another resident.
Alley Cat does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, national origin, gender, sexuality, ability, education, or income. We want to make this residency accessible to all writers, and we especially encourage marginalized and underrepresented writers to apply.
Some notes on accessibility: The bookstore and gallery are wheelchair accessible. The bathroom is not approved as accessible (the toilet is one inch too far from the wall), but does have grab bars and a sink and toilet installed at the appropriate height. Because the bookstore is a public space and not scent-free, we are unfortunately unable to offer a scent-free environment.
If there is a way that we might be able to make the residency more accessible to you, please let us know in your application (there's an optional question about access needs). Our resources are limited—the program is run by volunteers and has no funding—but we are committed to accommodating residents’ needs whenever possible.
How Do I Apply?
Residents are selected by a rotating panel of local writers; decisions are based primarily on writing samples. There is no application fee.
We have two residency periods every year, and three residents participate in each residency. This year:
·Residency Period B runs from September 2018 – December 2018 (Currently Accepting Applications)
·Residency Period A runs from February 2019 – May 2019 · Residency Period B runs from July 2019 – October 2019
Applications for Residency Period B will be open from July 2018 – August 31st