Thea Matthews is a poet / scholar / activist born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She writes on the complexities of humanity, grief, resiliency, and ultimately, the triumph over trauma. She has delivered her poetry at various readings and festivals, some of which include: Hazel Reading Series, Lyrics & Dirges, Red Light Lit, Gears Turning, Poem Jam, LitQuake, LitCrawl, the 16th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival, and the 11th annual Beat Poetry Festival. Thea has work featured in For Harriet’s Soar,Rag Queen Periodical, The Feminist Wire, City College of San Francisco’s literary magazine FORUM, as well as the women’s magazine For Women Who Roar. Currently, Thea is finishing her debut collection of poetry where she interweaves flower medicine with lived experience. (I bring you) FLOWERS will (hopefully!) be in your hands by 2020. Stay-tuned!
Martin is a librarian. Martin has written two books of poetry, including one about -- and also not about -- the Dewey Decimal system. Martin is currently working on a small book of fiction about a woman who works in a marble factory. Martin plays in the band cupii.
Penina is a writer and activist, working on a book about joint nonviolence in Palestine-Israel through the lens of her friend Sulaiman Khatib’s story. Her essays have appeared in +972 Magazine, All That’s Left, The Rumpus, and This Recording. She also plays music in the band Little Teeth."
July Westhale is the award-winning author of Via Negativa,Trailer Trash (selected for the 2016 Kore Press Book Prize), The Cavalcade, and Occasionally Accurate Science. Her most recent poetry can be found in The National Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, CALYX, The Indianapolis Review, Vinyl, Tupelo Quarterly, RHINO, Lunch Ticket, and Quarterly West. Her essays have been nominated for Best American Essays and have appeared in McSweeney’s, Autostraddle, and The Huffington Post, and is a staff writer at The Establishment. She was the 2018 University of Arizona Poetry Center Fellow.www.julywesthale.com
Audrey T. Williams is an Oakland-based Poet and Writer, originally from North Carolina. She earned her MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. Her current projects combine the influence of her multi-cultural ancestry with elements of fantasy and AfroFuturism. She is working on her first full-length manuscript, “Of Chutneys and Chitlins: Poems and Stories from a Multi-racial American Girl.”
Sara Larsen is a poet living in Oakland, CA. Her works include The Riot Grrrl Thing (forthcoming from Roof Books, 2019), Merry Hell (Atelos, 2016), and All Revolutions Will Be Fabulous (Printing Press, 2014). She is also the author of chapbooks Riot Cops en route to Troy and The Hallucinated, among others. From 2008-2011, she co-edited TRY magazine with David Brazil.
JasonWyman is many things. Right now, they are a writer in residency at Alley Cat Books exploring how artists be who they be through conversation, portraiture, and social media. They are also a social practice artist examining augmented being through a fully participatory futurist retrospective called BE JASON opening Friday, October 26 at Black & White Projects in San Francisco. Through The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture, Wyman co-creates intergenerational publications and cross-geographic idea and skill exchanges for the youth media field. Wyman has called San Francisco home for 20 years. They recognize that while it is now called San Francisco, this land is also the land that the Yelamu peoples called home way before colonizers and gentrifiers walked these paved streets.
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.
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.
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:
·The Current FALL residency period runs from September 2018 – December 2018 (Period closed and residents selected!)
· The SPRING residency period runs from February – May · The FALL residency period runs from July – October
Applications for 2020 Residencies will be open June 2019