Featured Authors & Actors 4/13/19

About the Authors

Jamil KochaiJamil Jan Kochai is the author of 99 Nights in Logar. He was born in Peshawar, Pakistan in 1992, but he originally hails from Logar, Afghanistan. He was a Truman Capote Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his fiction has been published in PloughsharesThe O. Henry Prize Stories 2018,  A Public Space, and The Sewanee Review.


Maria KuznetsovaMaria Kuznetsova was born in Kiev, Ukraine and moved to the United States as a child. Her debut novel, Oksana, Behave! was published in March by Spiegel & Grau/Random House and is a Barnes & Noble Spring 2019 Discover pick. Her work can also be found in places such as Guernica, The Threepenny Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and The Southern Review. She lives in Iowa City with her husband, daughter, and cat.

About the Actors


Arslan SaeedArslan Saeed will read “Saba’s Story” by Jamil Jan Kochai. Saeed, a senior at CSU Sacramento, is currently pursuing a B.A. in communication studies and a minor in theatre arts. He is thrilled to be collaborating with Stories on Stage Davis. His most recent roles include Tom Snout in the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at CSU Sacramento, Count Bellair in the production of The Beaux’ Stratagem, and John Willoughby in the production of Sense and Sensibility at Sacramento City Theatre. Saeed would like to thank all his mentors and family for their support.




Kelley OgdenKelley Ogden will read “I Pledge Allegiance to the Butterfly” by Maria Kuznetsova. Ogden is an accomplished performer, director, and producer whose work has been seen throughout the area. Co-founder of acclaimed fringe theater company KOLT Run Creations, she has performed with Capital Stage, Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, Main Street Theatre Works, and Theater Galatea, among others. Ogden earned her BFA in performance from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.




Featured Authors & Actors 3/9/19

About the Authors

Crystal WilkinsonCrystal Wilkinson is the award-winning author of the novel The Birds of Opulence (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence) and two story collections, Water Street and Blackberries, Blackberries. Nominated for both the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Kentucky Arts Council, The Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is a recipient of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including most recently in the Oxford American and Southern Cultures.  She currently teaches at the University of Kentucky, where she is Associate Professor of English in the MFA in Creative Writing Program. She and her partner, poet and artist Ron Davis, own Wild Fig Books & Coffee in the North Limestone neighborhood in Lexington. (Photo: Justin Skeens)


Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her first novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree (Doubleday), is an Indie Next selection, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a New York Times editor’s choice. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Buzzfeed, Nylon, and Guernica, among others. Rojas Contreras has received numerous awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, VONA, Hedgebrook, The Camargo Foundation, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. She is the book columnist for KQED, the Bay Area’s NPR affiliate. She teaches writing at the University of San Francisco, and works with immigrant high school students as part of a San Francisco Arts Commission initiative bringing writers into public schools. She is working on a family memoir about her grandfather, a curandero from Colombia who it was said had the power to move clouds. (Photo: Jeremiah Barber)

About the Actors

Alana Mathews ArcurioAlana Mathews Arcurio is excited to return to Stories on Stage Davis to read “In Plain Sight” by Crystal Wilkinson. She has previously read excerpts from Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile and from a forthcoming novel by Jacinda Townsend. In addition to performing for Stories on Stage Sacramento, Arcurio was cast as Martha for the staged reading of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Sacramento Theatre Company. She appeared in several productions with Celebration Arts and received an Elly nomination for Best Lead Actress for her role of Marta in Sorrows and Rejoicings by Athol Fugard. She most enjoys the role of mom to her three children, Caleb, Jordan, and Josiah, when they are home from college.


Katherine MillerKatherine Miller will read “The Hour of the Fog” by Ingrid Rojas Contreras. Miller is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association and began her professional theater career performing in regional theaters of Northern California. A former member of the Sacramento Theatre Company, her credits there include Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest, Vicky/Brooke in Noises Off, The Goddess Parvati in Arranged Marriage, Ifigenia in Electricidad, and Padma in Queen of the Remote Control. As a member of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, her credits abroad include the role of Tecmessa in Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Ajax in Afghanistan and Artemis in Valina Hasu Houston’s The Intuition of Iphigenia; both productions were world premieres performed in Greece in 2012. Other favorite shows include Fat Pig, Much Ado About Nothing(Capital Stage), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew, and Othello(Sacramento Shakespeare Festival). Miller also has local and national commercial credits, such as the currently-running commercial introducing Guy Fieri’s new season of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.


Featured Authors & Actors 2/9/19

About the Authors

Jamel Brinkley

Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories (Graywolf Press), a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, the John Leonard Prize, and the Story Prize, and winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His writing has appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2018Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, and Tin House, among other placesA graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was also a Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University.



Nick WhiteNick White is the author of two books of fiction: Sweet & Low, a collection of stories, and How to Survive a Summer, a novel. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Kenyon ReviewIndiana Review, Catapult, The Literary Review, Guernica, and elsewhere. He is an Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University.

About the Actors

Evan WhiteEvan White will read “Gatlinburg,” by Nick White. Evan is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English. As an undergraduate, he co-founded Absurd Publications and published an anthology of poetry and short fiction, All the Vegetarians in Texas Have Been Shot, and the creative journal The Oddity. He has designed and published half-a-dozen books as a freelance designer, including: Pub Quizzes: Trivia For Smart People; Where’s Jukie?;and the children’s book Che the Rat Lives in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is also the designer for Under the Gum Tree magazine in Sacramento. The first issue of the magazine featuring his re-design was named in the 2017 edition of The Best American Essays as a “notable issue of the year.” His writing has appeared in two editions of Sacramento Voices, an annual anthology of poetry and short fiction, and his story “Patterson,” first performed at Stories on Stage Davis, received an honorable mention in Glimmer Train’s 2016 Short Story Award contest. White has been on the board of Stories on Stage Davis since 2015. Currently he works as a designer for the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis.

David ScottDavid Scott will read “I Happy Am,” by Jamel Brinkley. David is a case manager and trauma response specialist at the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, California. A father and writer, he remains passionate about communal performance.