Golden State 2017 presents short fiction and non-fiction about life in California.
This year's edition, our fourth, features work by 28 authors compiled by Lisa Locascio. Read the Editor's Note here.
Lisa Locascio, this year's Golden State anthology editor, is publisher of Joyland Magazine and editor of the ekphrastic collaboration magazine 7x7. Her work has appeared in The Believer, Bookforum, Santa Monica Review, n+1, Western American Literature, Tin House online, and many other magazines. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University.
A Southern California native, Rebecca Baumann is the Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Review and Publicist at Red Hen Press. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Mount Saint Mary's University, and has presented her work throughout Los Angeles County, including at The Last Bookstore and Garden in Verses Santa Ana Poetry Day, among others.
Henri Bensussen was born in L.A. and has lived on the Mendocino coast, land of winter rains and summer fogs, for the past 17 years. She writes about her world as a way to understand it while she is still living it. She has published poems and stories in various journals and anthologies, including Blue Mesa Review, Skin to Skin, Sinister Wisdom, Common Ground Review, and Into the Teeth of the Wind, where she often finds herself. A poetry chapbook, Earning Colors, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press. She earned a B.A. in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. “Mystery of the Narcissistic Impulse” first appeared in So To Speak.
Lyndsey Ellis is a St. Louis native who lives and works in Oakland. She received her MFA in Writing from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Ellis is a recipient of the 2016 Joseph Henry Jackson literary award from the San Francisco Foundation. She’s a VONA/Voice alumna and was a writer-in-residence at Vermont Studio Center. She’s currently working on her first novel. “Opening Raynah” first appeared in Black Fox Literary Magazine.
Seth Fischer’s work has appeared in PANK, Guernica, Buzzfeed, Best Sex Writing, and other journals and anthologies. His essay work was also selected as notable in The Best American Essays, and he has attended residencies at Ucross, Lambda Literary, Jentel, Woodstock Byrdcliffe, and elsewhere. He was the first Sunday editor at The Rumpus, and he is also a professional developmental editor of novels and memoirs. He teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles and Writing Workshops Los Angeles. “Bow And Arrow” first appeared in The Rumpus.
Kate Folk’s fiction has appeared in Conjunctions, Hayden's Ferry Review, Joyland, and Tin House online. She is a 2016-17 Affiliate Artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Originally from Iowa, she has lived in San Francisco since 2008. “Lost Horse Mine” first appeared in Juked. www.katefolk.com
Ron Gutierrez is director of TERTULIA, a Los Angeles based literary salon, now in its sixth year. His stories are published in Connotation Press, Black Candies, and the anthologies Sex by the Book and Texas Told ‘Em. He’s studied with the UCLA Extension Writers Program, serves on the organizing committee of Lit Crawl LA, and is hard at work on his second novel. “The Chain” first appeared in The Rattling Wall.
Elizabeth Hall is the author of the chapbook Two Essays (eohippus labs) and I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris (Tarpaulin Sky Press). Her work has appeared in Best Experimental Writing, Black Warrior Review, Denver Quarterly, LIT, Two Serious Ladies, and elsewhere. She lives San Pedro, CA. “Crying With The Cosmic Cowboy” first appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books.
Jasper Henderson is a writer and teacher from the Mendocino Coast. His work has appeared in the Noyo River Review and Permasummer. He publishes an occasional travelogue through his website, jasperhenderson.com. As a poet-teacher with California Poets in the Schools, he works with over 200 students every year. His cat is named Sybil, after the sibilant, favorite sound of cats across the galaxy.
William Hillyard has been a dishwasher and a waiter, a guitar maker, an environmental scientist and a Census enumerator as well as, for 48 hours, the creator and executive producer of a reality TV show. These days he calls himself a writer, but that’s really just a euphemism for being unemployed. “Wonder Valley” first appeared in Denver Voice and was listed as “Notable Nonrequired Reading” in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010.
Cheryl Diane Kidder's work, nominated seven times for the Pushcart Prize, has appeared in numerous journals, including Boaat Press, Front Porch, High Desert Journal, Potomac Review, CutThroat Journal of the Arts, Weber—The Contemporary West, Pembroke Magazine, Brevity, Brain, Child, Identity Theory, and elsewhere. She is the Assistant Fiction Editor at Able Muse and lives in Tucson. “Beds” first appeared in In Posse Review.
Anne-Marie Kinney is the author of the novel Radio Iris. Her work has appeared in Black Clock, The Rattling Wall and other journals, as well as online at Entropy and Trop. She co-curates Los Angeles’s Griffith Park Storytelling Series. “The Ritualist” first appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review.
Susanna Kwan’s work has appeared in The Rumpus, Devil’s Lake, and other publications. She completed an MFA at Vanderbilt University and has received fellowships from the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto and Kundiman. She lives in San Francisco. “Winter of Departures” first appeared in Joyland.
Andrea Lambert wrote Jet Set Desolate, Lorazepam & the Valley of Skin and the chapbook G(u)ilt. Her work appears in 3:AM Magazine, The Fanzine, Entropy, Angel’s Flight Literary West, HTMLGiant, Queer Mental Health, Five:2:One Magazine, Hinchas de Poesia and ENCLAVE. Anthologies: Haunting Muses, Writing the Walls Down, The L.A. Telephone Book Vol. 1, 2011-2012, Off the Rocks Volume #16, You’ve Probably Read This Before, and Chronometry. Website: andreaklambert.com. “The View Like An Ashtray” first appeared in Lambert’s chapbook G(u)ilt (Lost Angelene, 2011).
Lou Mathews is an L.A. based novelist, short-story writer, playwright and former journalist and magazine editor. He has received a Pushcart Prize, a Katherine Anne Porter Prize, and National Endowment for the Arts and California Arts Commission fellowships in fiction. His stories and essays have been published in Black Clock, Tin House, New England Review, and many other literary magazines, ten fiction anthologies and several textbooks. His first novel, L.A. Breakdown, was an Los Angeles Times Best Book. “Last Dance” first appeared in ZYZZYVA.
Kat Meads is the author of 16 books and chapbooks of poetry and prose, including 2:12 a.m. – Essays, recipient of an Independent Publishers Gold Medal (IPPY) and a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year finalist. A native of North Carolina, she lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains and teaches in Oklahoma City University’s low-residency MFA program. “What Lies In Closets” first appeared in Crazyhorse.
Elizabeth McKenzie’s novel The Portable Veblen was published by Penguin Press in 2016. She is the author of the novel MacGregor Tells The World and Stop That Girl, short-listed for The Story Prize. Her fiction has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and has been included in The Atlantic, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and others. McKenzie is senior editor of the Chicago Quarterly Review and the managing and fiction editor of Catamaran Literary Reader. “Savage Breast” first appeared in The New Yorker.
Anthony J. Mohr's writing has appeared in, among other places, 2013 California Prose Directory, Compose, Eclectica, Front Porch Journal, Hippocampus Magazine, The MacGuffin, Word Riot, and ZYZZYVA. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Once upon a time, he was a member of the L.A. Connection, an improv theater group. By day he is a judge on the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. “Rainy Day Schedule” first appeared in DIAGRAM.
Excerpts of Micah Perks’ third book What Becomes Us, published by Outpost19 in October 2016, won a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and The New Guard Machigonne 2014 Fiction Prize. Her short stories and essays have been published widely. She lives with her family in Santa Cruz where she co-directs the creative writing program at UCSC. More details and work at micahperks.com. “There Was Once A Man Who Longed For A Child” first appeared in Joyland.
Ashton Politanoff lives in Redondo Beach, CA. His writing has appeared in Green Mountains Review, Hobart, Sleepingfish and elsewhere. Many of his stories take place in the beach cities of the South Bay. He teaches English at Cal State Long Beach, Cerritos College, and Long Beach City College. His story “One End and Aim” originally appeared in NOON 2016 edited by Diane Williams.
Vincent Poturica lives with his wife in Long Beach, California, where he teaches at local community colleges. His writing appears or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Forklift, Ohio, and Western Humanities Review. “Dad’s House” first appeared in New England Review.
Barbara Jane Reyes is the author of To Love as Aswang. She was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the author of three previous collections of poetry, Gravities of Center, Poeta en San Francisco, and Diwata. Invocation to Daughters is forthcoming from City Lights Publishing. She teaches in the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program at University of San Francisco. “The Day” first appeared in The Margins, the journal of the Asian-American Writers’ Workshop.
Zoë Ruiz lives and writes in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, The Rumpus, Salon, Ohio Edit, Two Serious Ladies, and the anthologies California Prose Directory (2014) and Rooted. She is also a book publicist and book editor, most recently ofNothing Ever Dies by Pulitzer Prize Winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, which made the 2016 National Book Award Longlist for nonfiction. Find her on twitter: @ruizzoe. “Summer” first appeared in Ohio Edit.
Patty Somlo’s most recent books are The First to Disappear (Spuyten Duyvil), which was a Finalist in the 2016 International Book Awards. She has received four Pushcart Prize nominations, been nominated for storySouth Million Writers Award and had an essay selected as Notable in Best American Essays 2014. www.pattysomlo.com. “Journey Back Home” first appeared in her memoir Even When Trapped Behind Clouds: A Memoir of Quiet Grace (WiDo Publishing).
Kara Vernor’s fiction has appeared in Wigleaf, PANK, Green Mountains Review, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. She has been a Best Small Fictions finalist, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference Estelle Frank Fellow. She is currently an Elizabeth George Foundation scholar at Antioch University LA, and her fiction chapbook, Because I Wanted to Write You a Pop Song, is available from Split Lip Press. “David Hasselhoff Is From Baltimore” first appeared in Smokelong Quarterly.
Alia Volz is a daughter of San Francisco with a nasty case of wanderlust. Her essays, stories and translations appear in the New York Times, Threepenny Review, Utne Reader, New Enlgand Review, The Normal School, Barrelhouse's 2016 anthology Dig If You Will The Picture: Remembering Prince, and elsewhere. She recently completed her first novel, a mean little cowboy noir in which all of your favorite characters die. “In Any Light, By Any Name” first appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Tin House.
Gary Young’s books include Hands, The Dream of A Moral Life, Days, Braver Deeds and No Other Life, which won the William Carlos Williams Award. His most recent books are Even So: New and Selected Poems and Adversary. He teaches creative writing and directs the Cowell Press at the University of California Santa Cruz. In 2009 he received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Selections from “At Sixty” appeared in Askew, Chicago Quarterly Review, 45th Parallel, Miramar, The New Flash Fiction Review, Ploughshares, phren-Z, Quarter After Eight, and String Town.
Axel Wilhite (cover artist) lives in Los Angeles and has shown his paintings in the United States and in Europe. He is a co-founder of 7x7.LA, an online magazine that facilitates and publishes creative collaborations between artists and writers.
Olga Zilberbourg is a bilingual author; born in St. Petersburg, Russia, she calls San Francisco her home. Her third book of stories was published in Russia in 2016. Her English-language fiction has appeared in Epiphany, Narrative Magazine, Hobart, B O D Y, Santa Monica Review, J Journal, Prick of the Spindle, and other print and online publications. Olga serves as a co-moderator of San Francisco Writers Workshop. “Outer Sunset” first appeared in Printers Row.
Previous editions of the annual anthology were published in a series titled California Prose Directory.
The 2016 edition was edited by Sarah LaBrie. Check out the esteemed contributors here.
The 2014 edition of the California Prose Directory is edited by J. Ryan Stradal. Its line-up of authors is here.
The California Prose Directory was originally conceived and edited by Charles McLeod. The inaugural edition is available here.