BookSwell is producing the WeHo Reads 2022 literary season!

Great news! BookSwell has been selected by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division to produce the 2022 WeHo Reads season. BookSwell founder and managing editor Cody Sisco proposed a series of eight online events on the theme of creating joy in the midst of sorrow that will take the audience on a memorable journey throughout 2022.

Literary communities have continued to struggle through difficult times and yet many writers are not only confronting sources of pain and injustice but also creating paths toward healing, lightness, and joy. We aim to recognize the contribution of writers and lift up their voices.

Stay tuned for more info!


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If you missed our events in 2020 and 2021, catch up on our YouTube channel or check out the highlights below:

  • WeHo Reads: Pride & Joy in the Matrix


  • WeHo Reads: Explorations Beyond Borders


  • WeHo Reads: Trans | Future | Poetics


  • Meet Prominent Members of Women Who Submit

    Cody Sisco first heard about Women Who Submit from Sakae Manning, a brilliant writer and friend who he met through the Los Angeles Writers Critique Group. When he started BookSwell, he asked Sakae to join the advisory group to guide our efforts to lift up the voices of marginalized writers. That led to organizing our first event at Lambda Literary LitFest 2019 “Intentional Intersectionality: Amplifying Queer Voices of Color,” which included a discussion about advocacy and community featuring Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, a co-founder of Women Who Submit. When Cody was developing the proposal for the Road to Joy for the City of West Hollywood Arts Department, he met Xochitl over drinks at Frogtown Brewery to brainstorm the event–the first time they had met in person since the AWP Conference in March 2020 before the full brunt of the coronavirus pandemic hit and when WWS launched their first anthology, ACCOLADES. Now it’s time to celebrate their second anthology, GATHERING. Women Who Submit seeks to empower women and nonbinary writers by creating physical and virtual spaces for sharing information, supporting and encouraging submissions to literary journals, and clarifying the submission and publication process. Meet some of the influential members who will be participating in Read More …


  • Spectrum 1 News SoCal Covers WeHo Reads Event with Women Who Submit

    Amy Paffrath from Spectrum 1 News SoCal spoke with Women Who Submit member and author Thea Pueschel about navigating creativity and healing during times of sorrow and the WeHo Reads event on March 16. Check it out!


  • WeHo Reads: How We Gather | A Celebration of Women Who Submit’s New Anthology Gathering


  • Continue the Road to Joy with WeHo Reads: Justice and Resilience: A Journey in Poetry


  • The Road to Joy starts with WeHo Reads: Songs and Signs of Hope and Healing

    Contributors Shonda Buchanan A Pushcart Prize nominee, a USC Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow and a Department of Cultural Affairs City of Los Angeles (COLA) Master Artist Fellow, Shonda Buchanan is the author of five books, including the award-winning memoir, Black Indian. An award-winning poet, fiction, nonfiction writer and educator, Shonda has been a journalist for 25+ years, publishing in the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Indian Country Today, and The International Review of African American Art. VP of Beyond Baroque Literary Art Center’s Board of Trustees, Shonda is also a Sundance Institute Writing Arts fellow, a PEN Center Emerging Voices fellow and a Jentel Artist Residency fellow. Finalist for the 2021 Mississippi Review poetry contest, Shonda’s memoir, Black Indian, won the 2020 Indie New Generation Book Award and was chosen by PBS NewsHour as a “top 20 books to read” to learn about institutional racism. Her memoir begins the saga of her family’s migration stories of Free People of Color communities exploring identity, ethnicity, landscape and loss. Her first collection of poetry, Who’s Afraid of Black Indians? was nominated for the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Read More …


Storytelling and the Muslim Community

November 18, 2021 @ 6:00 pm

Join Red Hen Press and Mount Tamalpais College (virtually) on Thursday, November 18 at 6 p.m. for this special partnership event highlighting storytelling and the Muslim community.
The event will feature writers Ayeh Bandeh-Ahmadi, Umar Hanif, Tariq Luthun, and Faisal Mohyuddin from Red Hen’s New Moons: Contemporary Writing by North American Muslims anthology, anthology editor Kazim Ali, filmmaker R.J. Lozada, and Mount Tamalpais College alum Sajad Shakoor, we are proud to present an important and vital conversation on the power and necessity of storytelling from members of underrepresented and too-often neglected communities.

The event will feature brief readings, a short film screening, and a panel discussion.

Details

Date:
November 18, 2021
Time:
6:00 pm
Cost:
Free
Event Category:
Event Tags:
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Website:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eTQ2E8NdTtiHkynEXpR3NQ

BookSwell Intersections Season 2 Episode 2
an interview with Yodassa Williams

The coronavirus crisis can’t stop art!

Cody Sisco interviews Yodassa Williams about her debut fantasy novel, The Goddess Twins, coming of age and finding one’s voice, black girl magic and creativity, and the revelatory experience of going to Burning Man.

Yodassa Williams shows off her new novel, The Goddess Twins, in the magical locale of Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA

Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70 percent Jedi, 30 percent Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award-winning performing storyteller, an alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and the Fortify Writer’s Retreat, and the creator of the podcast The Black Girl Magic Files, Yodassa (Yoda) launched Writers Emerging, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color, in 2019. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in the Bay Area. The Goddess Twins is her debut novel.

Listen Now

Link to BookSwell Intersections Podcast on Spotify