Authors

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Iris Berry

Iris Berry is the co-founder of Punk Hostage Press. She is a native Angeleno who writes about her personal experiences from the sun-baked asphalt and violence on the streets of Pacoima to running away to the allure of mid 70’s Hollywood at the age of 15, to looking for a better life against the historical backdrop of the Los Angeles skyline.  Her poetry and prose, as well as her performances in such memorable groups as the Lame Flames and the Ringling Sisters, are an integral part of L.A.’s contemporary literary movement. She has recently featured articles and interviews in Slake, her most recent being an in-depth interview with Art Kunkin, the founder of the Los Angeles Free Press back in the early 60s. Her latest book, The Daughters of Bastards‘, features some of her most intimate work she has shared with the public to date. A working title that she has compiled these personalized stories under for the last 10 years, these poems and stories represent a grappling with the idea of origin and the drift that occurs when the umbilical has been cut and the search begins for what might have been lost at the beginning.The Daughters of Bastards‘ reflects her experiences and gives insight to some of her adventurous times growing up on the streets of Hollywood in the golden era of the LA punk rock scene. Currently a member of the Board of Directors for Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. In 2009 she received her 2nd certificate of merit and achievement from the City of Los Angeles for her contributions as a Los Angeles writer, historian, and the charity work she has done, producing large-scale fundraising events for various charities.

 

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A. Razor

A. Razor was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1963, and brought to California at the age of one. Raised with a strong desire to read and write, but an even greater desire to survive his circumstances, which has aided his experience and longevity so far. He began writing and publishing in Los Angeles, around 1980 in various underground zines and publications. Expanding outward from there, he was discovered by Drew Blood Press, Ltd. in 1984, where he published 11 chapbooks up to 1995. He has read his work at many readings and spoken word events over the years and been published in many types of publications, ranging from those that are considered reputable to those that are of ill repute. He has fought hard to live and express his art in many different ways and in many different places. He became a member of the Hollywood Institute of Poetics in Los Angeles, CA in 2009. He has participated recently in the Poets In Prison panel at Beyond Baroque and the 2011 ALOUD reading series held at the Downtown Los Angeles Public Library. In 2012 he teamed up with Iris Berry to launch Punk Hostage Press, on which he released 5 titles of his own work and edited 10 more titles from as many writers, Danny Baker, Iris Berry, C.V. Auchterlonie, Carolyn Srygley-Moore, Rich Ferguson, Dennis Cruz, Frank Reardon, Alexandra Naughton, SB Stokes and Hollie Hardy. He collaborated on book cover designs with graphic artist Geoff Melville for many of these books.

His long-anticipated offering, Better Than A Gun In A Knife Fight was released in May 2012 on Punk Hostage Press, edited by Iris Berry with an introduction by Bucky Sinister. In 2012 also saw the release of ‘Drawn Blood: Collected Works on D.B.P.,Ltd. 1985-1995, also on Punk Hostage Press and with an introduction by Maureen McNally. A small, 48-page, commemorative edition of A. Razor’s work was released just before December and entitled Small Catastrophes in a Big World, edited by the author himself. Beaten Up Beaten Down was released on Punk Hostage Press the 22nd of November, 2012. It features an eccentric mix of writing styles, both poetic and prosaic, that reflect the contemporary influences on the culture of this most marginal of artists. S.A. Griffin provides the colorful and apt Introduction for this book. Also released in 2013 was a 50 poem collection to celebrate the author’s 50th birthday, entitled ‘Half-Century Status. His writing has always explored the world that he has sought to be a part of and to rebel against at the same paradoxical moment. He has traveled extensively, seeking and enduring everything from homelessness and imprisonment to serenity and peace.

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Danny Baker
Danny Baker

Danny Baker, a runaway at 14 from the facade of a gilded house in the hills above Los Angeles, has seen life from the gutters to the towers. A high-school dropout, he landed on Wall St. at 20 in a move that only served to add to the dissonance of a rebel mind constantly searching for a youth never experienced. Danny explores his conflict in dichotomous writes of both unflinching, sometimes brutal intensity and honest empathy for the human condition. His first book, ‘Fractured’, edited by A. Razor as the debut release of Punk Hostage Press was released in April, 2012. Danny was recently included in a chap, The Musophobist, with three other poets, published by Unadorned Press. Danny’s work has been featured in multiple issues of both Paraphilia Magazine and The Edgar Allan Poet Library. Additionally, his efforts can be found in The Examiner, The Nervous Breakdown & Deep Tissue 16.

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C. V. Auchterlonie

C.V. Auchterlonie is a contemporary poet of Deep Cove, North Saanich, BC, where she currently resides with her family. She originally hails from Takapuna, New Zealand. She has spent two-thirds of her life devoted to the poetry scene, and she’s spent the past five years actively pursuing publication via the small press and online literary magazines. Some of her publications include: Eternal Autumn Within, Erbacce Press, 2009, her debut collection of poems, released in November of that year. She has also appeared in Luciole Press, Calliope Nerve Media, Peripheral Surveys and Bone Orchard Poetry.

Her collection entitled impress’ is now available here from Punk Hostage Press.

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Carolyn Srygley-Moore

Carolyn Srygley-Moore was born in York, Pennsylvania. She graduated, with awards, from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She has been published by numerous reviews and anthologies. Most recently her work has appeared in Bone Orchard Poetry, Up the Staircase and Thus Spoke the Earth, a Haitian anthology. She is also a poet activist with ,www.real.stories.gallery.com.  Carolyn has been nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Web. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband and daughter. Her book miracles of the BloG: a series’  from Punk Hostage Press is available here.

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Rich Ferguson

Rich Ferguson has performed across the country and has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka, T.C. Boyle, Loudon Wainwright, Bob Holman, and many other esteemed poets and musicians. He has performed on The Tonight Show, at the Redcat Theater in Disney Hall, the New York City International Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, the South by Southwest Music Festival, the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, the DocMiami International Film Festival, the Topanga Film Festival, and Stephen Elliott’s “Rumpus.” He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (the sequel to the double Grammy-nominated film 1 Giant Leap), featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, Krishna Das, and others. He has been published in the LA TIMES, has been anthologized by Uphook Press (gape-seed), Smith Magazine (The Moment), TNB Books (The Beautiful Anthology), spotlighted on PBS (Egg: The Art Show), and was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, LA. Ferguson is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and also a regular contributor and poetry editor to the online literary journal, The Nervous Breakdown.

His book 8th & Agony’ is available from Punk Hostage Press here.

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Yvonne de la Vega
Yvonne de la Vega

Poet Yvonne de la Vega’s body of work is compiled in her first book. The book’s Foreword is a wonderful contribution by Ray Manzarek of The Doors. An author himself, the foreword is a beautifully written piece of prose that is an ode to Jim Morrison’s “City of Night”, as well as a promise that all who read Yvonne are in for “a hell of a good time. “Ray’s apparent love for LA. is that common thread that runs through every LA Poet from Bukowski to Morrison, and he honors de la Vega’s work from that familiarity of the city they’ve both shared a lifetime in. Ray muses, that, “Yvonne is the lucky little lady in the lights.”

Her book of poetry, Tomorrow, Yvonne. Poetry & Prose for Suicidal Egoists’ is available here from Punk Hostage Press.

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Jack Grisham
Jack Grisham

Jack Grisham lives with his wife Robin and their four children in a haunted schoolhouse in Huntington Beach California. He is a Hypnotist and a storyteller, a surfer, and the front man for the band T.S.O.L. Jack is also the author of ‘An American Demon’ and frequently lives up to its name-but thankfully, not too often.

His collection of short stories Untamed is out now on Punk Hostage Press.

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Dennis Cruz
Dennis Cruz

Dennis Cruz is a Los Angeles native who has been writing prose, poetry, and fiction for over 20 years. Born in San Jose, Costa Rica, his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was just an infant. His work has been featured on public radio stations KPFK and KXLU, and he has performed extensively throughout the Los Angeles area. He has featured his work in many Los Angeles literary establishments, including; Beyond Baroque, Skylight Books, and The World Stage. He was also selected as one of the newer poets to watch, by the ALOUD series at the Los Angeles Public Library. He lives in North-East Los Angeles with his wife and son.

His latest collections of poems, Moth Wing Tea, is now available here on Punk Hostage Press.

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 Pleasant Gehman
Pleasant Gehman

Pleasant Gehman is a true renaissance woman: writer, dancer, actor, musician and painter.A Hollywood icon, during the 1970’s, she was one of the first punks in Los Angeles, documenting the scene she helped create in her fanzine “Lobotomy”. During the 1980’s, she toured across North America fronting her three bands, all of whom released recordings: The Screaming Sirens, The Ringling Sisters, and Honk If Yer Horny. She was also the booker for the seminal Los Angeles clubs Cathay De Grande and Raji’s.

Since the early 1990s, Pleasant has performed under the stage name Princess Farhana, she has appeared internationally and a professional belly dancer and burlesque performer and teacher. She has danced and acted in numerous motion pictures, in music videos, and on television. She has appeared in many documentaries on belly dance and burlesque, performing and as an interview subject. In 2009, she was the star of Steve Balderson’s film Underbelly: A Year In The Life Of Princess Farhana which was released worldwide in theaters as well as on DVD.

Her latest book, ‘Showgirl Confidential: My Life Onstage, Backstage and On The Road is available now on Punk Hostage Press.

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Frank Reardon
Frank Reardon

Frank Reardon was born in 1974 in Boston, Massachusetts and spent his
first 28 years living there. Since then, he has lived all over the country,
in places such as Alabama, Kansas City, and Rhode Island. He currently lives
in the Badlands of North Dakota, still looking for a way to get out.

Frank has been published in various reviews, journals, and online zines. His first
book, Interstate Chokehold, was published by NeoPoiesis Press in 2009,
His second Nirvana Haymaker was published by NeoPoiesis Press in 2012.

His latest book, Blood Music is available here  on Punk Hostage Press.

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Alexandra Naughton

photo by Joe Carrow

Alexandra Naughton

is a writer in Oakland, California. Her zine, Be About It, is something to see, so look for it. She hopes Billy Corgan reads her book of Love Songs about him someday.

Her books can be purchased here:  I Will Always Be Your Whore: Love Songs for Billy Corgan 

 You Could Never Objectify Me More Than I’ve Already Objectified Myself

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SB Stokes

SB Stokes, a fourth generation Californian, holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is one of the founders of Beast Crawl, Oakland’s annual literary festival. He has produced the blog MASS COMMUNICATIONS since 2004 and currently lives and loves, in Oakland, California.

His first book, A History of Broken Love Things, Punk Hostage Press 2014, can be obtained online here.

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Joel Landmine

Underground poet Joel Landmine was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He got his start at the now-defunct Tenderloin Reading Series and has been a mainstay of the Anger Management & Revenge and Bitches’ Brew Reading series. He has been a featured reader at San Francisco’s Litquake festival five years running, and Oakland’s Beast Crawl festival, as well as countless other Bay Area reading series. He has begrudgingly survived several near-death experiences. He lives with his cat in Oakland, CA. This is his first collection of poetry.

Yeah, Well… , Punk Hostage Press 2014, can be obtained online here.

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S.A. Griffin

 S.A. Griffin lives, loves and works in Los Angeles. A Cadillac wrangling Carma Bum progenitor, S.A. is the co-editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. In 2010 he created The Poetry Bomb, a former Vietnam-era practice bomb converted into an art object and then filled with over 900 poems from around the world. Named Elsie, after his paternal grandmother, he packed Elsie up in his 1995 Ford Econoline van and then took her on The Poetry Bomb Couch Surfing Across America Tour of Words 2010, covering over 11,000 miles around the U.S. in five weeks, all in an effort to inspire civil disagreements. Father, husband, Vietnam-era vet and working actor since 1978, he drives too fast, sleeps too little and thinks too much.

Dreams Gone Mad With Hope, S.A. Griffin’s latest book, can be obtained online here.

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Hollie Hardy

HOLLIE HARDY can teach you how to survive anything. She is an adjunct English instructor at Berkeley City College and lecturer at San Francisco State University, where she received a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry. An active participant in the local Bay Area literary scene, Hardy co-hosts the popular monthly reading series, Saturday Night Special, An East Bay Open Mic. She is one of the founders of the annual Beast Crawl Literary Festival in Oakland, curator of Litquake’s Flight of Poets, and a former Editor-in-Chief of Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review. Her work has appeared in The Common, Eleven Eleven, Milvia Street, One Ded Cow, Parthenon West Review, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, sPARKLE & bLink, Transfer, and other journals. She lives in Oakland, California. More info at www.holliehardy.com

Here book can be purchased here: How To Take A Bullet And Other Survival Poems

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Nadia Bruce-Rawlings
Nadia Bruce-Rawlings

Nadia uses grains of her often, gritty life to infuse her stories with cathartic realism. Her stories “Fire” and “Scars” have both been finalists in Glimmer Train’s writing contests and are included here in SCARS, her first anthology from Punk Hostage Press. Nadia Bruce- Rawlings grew up traveling the world and living in various countries before settling in Los Angeles. In LA she briefly worked at a vitamin factory and then began a long career in independent film distribution. A single mom for 11 years, she and her new husband have settled into the Nashville area, where she writes by the lake when she can escape their five kids and two dogs.

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A.D. Winans
A.D. Winans

A. D. Winans is a native San Francisco award-winning poet and writer.

He is the author of over sixty books of poetry and prose, including North Beach Poems, North Beach Revisited, Billie Holiday Me And The Blues, Drowning Like Li Po in a River of Red Wine, In The Dead Hours of Dawn, Love – Zero, San Francisco Poems, In The Pink, and On My Way To Becoming A Man.

In 2006 He won a PEN Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. In 2009 PEN Oakland awarded him a lifetime achievement award. His name is on a plaque in North Beach with other poets and artists who have contributed to the North Beach literary scene, including Francis Ford Coppola, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Micheline, and other major Beat poets and writers.

Click here to order: Dead Lions by A.D. Winans

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Michele McDannold
Michele McDannold

Born in Jacksonville, Illinois, Michele McDannold grew up in the nearby village of Meredosia, population never more than 1200. She has lived in west central Illinois most of her life except for one year in Las Vegas and a short stint in Nebraska.

Michele started writing poetry in grade school and maintained a connection with writing as an occasional pastime and coping mechanism. It was not until her early thirties that she began pursuing her poetry seriously and seeking publication. Since then, her poetry has been published in a wide range of print and online publications and anthologies.

Having only recently returned to a university to further her education, Michele’s writing style is self-taught, developing over time and life experience, aided by a “sick” love for books. Her poetry tends toward the narrative-daily and life observations told in colloquial speech. Her perspective comes from that of a marginalized artist struggling with poverty, mental illness, motherhood and society’s expectations of a woman and wife living in a small Midwestern town.

Michele is no newcomer, she has been and still is an active participant in the small press community, making a huge impact for a number of years now. She was the Editor-in-Chief at “Red Fez Publications” for over five years, and in her own words, “for about as long as the most awesomest director Leopold McGinnis could stand for it.” She is the founder of “The Literary Underground” a grassroots effort committed to supporting independent artists, promoting diversity in creativity and fostering community in the small press communities. Michele is currently the editor/publisher for “Citizens For Decent Literature Press”, actively working on the “This Is Poetry” project with co-editor Brian W. Fugett of “Zygote in my Coffee” and proud as hell to have published the book of poetry “Random Acts of Terror” by Luis Rivas. In her spare time (haha), she helps Catfish McDaris out over at “Ppigpenn“–a literary arts blogzine, and those folks over at “Blotterature Literary Magazine” pretend to listen to the rambling on occasion.

Michele currently resides in Jacksonville, Illinois with her two teenage children and occasionally her wayward twenty-year-old child. She is a full-time student and does a massive amount of hustle to keep the dream alive. Her cat’s name is Ghost. He leaves her dead things as “offerings.”

Purchase her book here:  Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days

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Lee Q
Lee Quarnstrom

Lee Quarnstrom has asked his wife to order just one memorial word on his gravestone – Beatnik.Born in a small Washington lumber mill town and raised for the most part there and in Chicago, Quarnstrom moved to the Bay Area in the mid-1960s in time to join the Merry Band of Pranksters, the acid-fueled crew aboard author Ken Kesey’s psychedelically painted bus with “Further” as its destination and a warning across its rear: “Caution, Weird Load.” With the musical Grateful Dead in tow, the Pranksters brought psychedelia to the west coast with their famed Acid Tests!

Prior to his move to California, Quarnstrom was a young Chicago newspaperman in the final days of the Windy City’s old-time, “Front Page” journalism. Lucky enough to have read Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD before freeways replaced two-lane blacktop roads, he began years of wandering by sticking out his thumb and hitching rides back and forth and up and down around the country. Stops along the way included New York City, Mexico City, Seattle, a remote redwood canyon in the Santa Cruz Mountains, nearby Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles, where he was Executive Editor of the notorious smut magazine, Hustler.
Quarnstrom did, in fact, spend one summer felling tall trees and blasting boulders as Assistant Dynamiter on an Olympic National Park trail crew. And the woman he’s asked to describe him on that tombstone is indeed his seventh wife.

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Hannah Wehr

Hannah Wehr

Hannah Wehr has spent seven years teaching poetry, creative writing, and Language Arts in juvenile correctional facilities throughout California. She has spent six years as a performance poet, college lecturer, prison poetry panel member, and is the recipient of awards from the Los Angeles City Council for her assistance in the creation of The Hollywood Institute of Poetics. A contributing author to “What I Know Now: Writings From Inside” from Stanford University and author of “How To Start a Writing Program for Incarcerated Youth”, Hannah lives in Northern California where she teaches English, Classic Film, and Drama at a juvenile detention facility in the Bay Area.

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Russell Jaffe

Russell Jaffe is a junior high teacher at The Chicago Free School and formerly—maybe someday again—was Co-Editor and MC/coordinator of Strange Cage, a chapbook poetry press and reading series. He is the author of the poetry collection This Super Doom I Aver (Poets Democracy Press, ’13) and a few chapbooks. His poetry and articles about art have appeared in a bunch of journals. He’s currently a proud father, contributing writer for Queen Mob’s Teahouse (queenmobs.com), and 8 track collector.

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MaishaZ

Maisha Z Johnson

Maisha Z. Johnson is writer and editor living in Oakland, CA. She has an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University and she studied creative writing at San Francisco State University. Maisha works at the intersections of creative arts, healing, and social change. She’s also the author of Through Your Own Words: 51 Writing Prompts for Healing and Self-Care, as well as three poetry chapbooks: Split Ears, Uprooted, and Queer As In. Her work has been published in numerous journals, nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, and won awards and competitions including Literary Death Match, The Lit Slam, and the Leo Litwak Award.

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