Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Alan Kaufman & Clara Hsu

January 13, 2009

Alan Kaufman's novel Matches was published by Little, Brown and Company in the Fall of 2005. David Mamet has called Matches "an extraordinary war novel," and Dave Eggers has written that "there is more passion here then you see in twenty other books combined." Kaufman's critically-acclaimed memoir, Jew Boy (Fromm/Farrar,Strauss, Giroux), has appeared in three editions, hardcover and paperback, in the United States and Great Britain. He is the award-winning editor of several anthologies, the most recent of which, The Outlaw Bible of American Literature, was recently reviewed on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. There are two more volumes in Kaufman's Outlaw anthology series: The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and The Outlaw Bible of American Esaays. He has taught in the graduate and undergraduate schools of the Academy of Art University and in writing workshops in San Francisco. His work has appeared in Salon, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Partisan Review and The San Francisco Examiner. Kaufman has been widely anthologized, most recently in Nothing Makes You Free: Writings From Descendents of Holocaust Survivors (WW Norton). Kaufman is a member of PEN American Center. Kaufman's papers and manuscripts are on deposit in the Special Collections Library of the University of Delaware and he is profiled in the Europa Biographical Reference Series.

Clara Hsu: When she was a little girl, Clara wanted to be a hermit and martial artist living in the mountains of China. Life's mysterious path took her to the United States. In this reality, she practices the art of multi-dimensional being: mother, musician, philanthropist, activist, purveyor of Clarion Music Center (a world music shop of exotic musical instruments), traveler, and ultimately, poet. Clara was a nominee for the Pushcart Prize in poetry (2001). Some of her poems can be found in the Homestead Review, the North Coast Review, the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and the internet journal Red River Review. Her poem on censorship was published in 2003 by the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance. Clara gives feature readings at various Bay Area venues and benefit events, but her home is the Sacred Grounds Café (Hayes and Cole), where poetry reading happens every Wednesday night. In December 2005, Clara sold her music business of 23 years to focus on her art and her unusual performance ensemble Lunation, which combines Chinese and original poetry with Asian traditional instruments. She is also developing the concept of the Poetry Hotel, organizing free social activities for the poet community in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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