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New Works / New Voices

WritersCorp & Tillie Olsen at Intersection Benefit

In a special benefit for Intersection for the Arts, legendary fiction writer Tillie Olsen will, for the first time, read work she wrote as a teenager, joined onstage by WritersCorps youth and teachers.

This unique pairing will provide the public with the opportunity to hear unpublished work from a literary icon and a chance to acquaint themselves with the work of poets in their teens, twenties and thirties. Continuing the nurturing and supportive role that she has played to hundreds of writers over the decades, Olsen will share the stage with writers who are just beginning to find and develop their own voices.

“Tillie Olsen's richness of style, her depth of characterization, make for a work which must not, cannot be restricted by a particular time or place,” says The Washington Post.

Although she is much revered as one of our great modern writers, Ms. Olsen has only written a few works: the necessity of raising and supporting four children through “everyday jobs” silenced her for twenty years, during which public libraries were her institutions of higher learning.

A Nebraska native who began writing in the 1930s, Tillie Olsen (Tell Me A Riddle, Yonnondio: From The Thirties) has had work appear in over two hundred anthologies, including Best American Short Storie and the Norton Introduction to Literature. Over 240 critical articles and more than 10 full-length books have been written about Olsen’s life and work, and she is the recipient of several honorary degrees, N.E.A. fellowships, the O. Henry Award for best short story and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

In San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and the Bronx, N.Y., WritersCorps citizen-writers, working at human and social service organizations, have helped people of virtually every race, ethnicity and age improve literacy and communication skills, while offering creative expression as an alternative to violence, alcohol and drug abuse.

The San Francisco WritersCorps is comprised of students, teachers and program coordinators, who work together to produce the Youth Poetry Slam League, writing contests, poetry anthologies and other special projects.

For its New Works/New Voices series, Intersection for the Arts pairs some of the Bay Area’s most influential writers, who read new works, with developing writers, who receive greater exposure to the San Francisco literary community. Previous New Works/New Voices readings have featured Thom Gunn with Jim Powell, Cherrie Moraga with Reid Gomez, Bharati Mukherjee with Zainab Ali and Diane di Prima with Susan Thackrey.

Intersection works with writers in every genre and style -- novelists, poets, non-fiction writers, cultural critics, playwrights, short story writers -- providing a comprehensive context for contemporary literature. In recent years, Intersection has worked with new and seasoned writers, including Aya de León, bell hooks, Thom Gunn, June Jordan, Daisy Zamora, John Trudell, Tillie Olsen, Justin Chin, Alice Walker, Holly Hughes, Sherman Alexie, Jewelle Gomez, Francisco X. Alarcón, Martín Espada, Brighde Mullins, Jimmy Santiago Baca and Denis Johnson.

New Works / New Voices
Readings by Tillie Olsen & WritersCorps Poets

Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia St. (btwn 15/16), SF, 415.626.2787
Tuesday, May 21 @ 8 pm
$5 - $15 (your choice) sliding scale