Featured Authors & Actors 5/11/19

About the Authors

Pam HoustonPam Houston is the author of the memoir Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, as well as two novels, Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, two collections of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and a collection of essays, A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Short Stories of the Century among other anthologies. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Award for contemporary fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award and several teaching awards. She teaches in the Low Rez MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is Professor of English at UC Davis, and co-founder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers. She lives at 9,000 feet above sea level near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

Melinda MoustakisMelinda Moustakis is the author of Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award and was a 5 Under 35 selection by the National Book Foundation. She is the recipient of an O. Henry Award, the Hodder Fellowship, the NEA, the Kenyon Review Fellowship, the Jenny McKean Moore Fellowship, and most recently the Rona Jaffe Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library. She is currently a visiting professor at UC Davis.


About the Actors

Martha Omiyo KightMartha Omiyo Kight will read “The Season of Hunkering Down” by Pam Houston. Kight has been very active in the Sacramento area theatre community for four decades as an actor, singer, director, props mistress, and costumer. Most recently, she appeared in Sacramento Theater Company’s world premiere of the musical drama The Donner Party and the encore of The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!). Her credits in area theaters include, Violet Weston in August: Osage County, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Sister Aloysius in Doubt, Ruth in Pirates of Penzance, as well as leading roles in A New BrainNoises Off,  Angels in America, and The Importance of Being Earnest. She has been writing poetry and reading her own and others’ work since 2009. Her poetry has been published in three Sacramento Voices anthologies and featured at Poetry Live Sunday in Placerville. She was also featured reader for Evan Myquest’s “Death Valley Days” and Gene Avery’s “Death by Deer Rifle.” This will be her third appearance at Stories on Stage Davis, and she has also read for Stories on Stage Sacramento.

Patricia GlassPatricia Glass will read “The Last Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show” by Melinda Moustakis. Glass has been involved in dramas, comedies, musicals, voice-overs, staged readings, and storytelling for more than thirty years; locally for the past seventeen. Her most recent credit is playing Dorothy Brock in 42ndStreet at the Woodland Opera House. Glass earned a BA in theatre from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and has worked for UC Davis for the past seventeen years.

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.