Ryan Alpers’ Bowling Ball

Who, exactly, do you think would purchase a vintage bowling ball off Craigslist? And how exactly do you picture that exchange taking place? We loved Ryan Alpers’ hilarious piece, “Dick’s Balls,” as performed by Adam Magill in San Jose’s St. James Park on July 14:

Ryan Alpers teaches English and journalism in San Jose. He has a B.A. in literature from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a teaching credential from San Jose State University. While studying at the College of Creative Studies, he was published in the CCS Literary Magazine “Spectrum” and awarded the CCS Brancart-Richardson Award for fiction.

Adam Magill’s “Winston”

How does a dog comprehend loss? This summer we were taken by Adam Magill’s “Winston,” a beautifully written piece that hedges on a sharp turn. Here’s Melinda Marks reading Adam’s work on July 14 at our Words and Music show in San Jose’s St. James Park:

Adam Magill
Adam Magill

Adam Magill is a graduate of the Foothill Theater Conservatory and has received additional training at Seydways Studios in San Francisco. Recent credits include Stupid Fucking Bird at SF Playhouse and The Whale at Marin Theater Company. He is a regular contributor and company performer for the Play On Words literary performance series.

Marilyn’s “Snake” in “Paris”

We are huge fans of Marilyn Horn-Fahey’s short fiction–which is why we opened each act of our Words & Music show with one of her short stories. Here’s footage of Melinda Marks performing “April in Paris” on July 14 in San Jose’s St. James Park:

Thanks to Rick Alpers for filming our first act. Here’s Brian Van Winkle reading Marilyn’s second piece, entitled “Snake”:

Gary Singh’s Day in Question

Play On Words fans will surely recognize Gary Singh’s signature poetic style–declarative, language-focused, narrative poems. In case you missed it on July 14, watch the unbeatable Adam Weinstein perform two of Gary’s poems, starting with “”On a Mattress Above a Supermarket in the Capital of Silicon Valley”:

Here’s Adam reading Gary’s second piece, entitled “The Day in Question”:

Gary Singh is an award-winning travel journalist with a music degree who publishes poetry, paints and exhibits photographs. As a scribe, he’s published nearly 1000 works including newspaper columns, travel essays, art and music criticism, profiles, business journalism, lifestyle articles, poetry and short fiction. His poems have been published in The Pedestal Magazine, Dirty Chai, Maudlin House and more. He is the author of The San Jose Earthquakes: A Seismic Soccer Legacy (2015, The History Press).

Betsy Miller Gives Us a “Moment” in the Wind

When Melinda Marks started reading Betsy Miller‘s short story, “A Moment in the Rain,” the wind in San Jose’s St. James Park picked up. The temperature began to drop. Check out Melinda’s fabulous performance of Betsy’s chilling story:

Thanks to Michelle Anderson for capturing this on film.

POW fans might remember Betsy’s piece, “Bees,” that Adam Magill performed back in June. Betsy is one of the co-founders of Thinking Ink Press, a small independent press. She is currently working on a children’s picture book, Brooklynn Bunny’s Super Boots, and on a young adult novel called Dance, Interrupted.

Welcome to the World of Ben Black

When you visit a sculpture garden, what do you see? This week we were excited to perform two pieces by local writer Ben Black at our Words & Music show in St. James Park. Ben is a graduate of the creative writing MFA program at San Francisco State University. His work has been published in Smokelong Quarterly, New American Writing, Harpur Palate, The Los Angeles Review, and other journals. His stories have been finalists for the Calvino Prize and the Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Chapbook Contest, and one of them won the FOGcon 2013 Student Writing Award. He sometimes lectures at SFSU.

Here’s the wonderful Adam Weinstein reading “Sculpture Garden” (apologies, as part of our video was truncated):

And here’s Brian Van Winkle reading Ben’s second piece, entitled “Timber”: