Forum Magazine Showcase (2017)

Jane Underwood Poetry Prize


The Jane Underwood Poetry Prize Open to Submissions!

Currently in its inaugural year, The Jane Underwood Poetry Prize was established to celebrate and memorialize Jane Underwood, both founder and long-time director of The Writing Salon, who passed away in 2016.

Open to all California poets, the prize is awarded for a single poem. For a fee of $15, contestants may submit one entry of up to three poems. The submission deadline is November 1, 2017 and the winner (and finalists) will be announced in January 2018. The prizewinner will receive an award of $250, publication of the winning poem at The Writing Salon’s website, and an invitation to do a featured reading at The Writing Salon in San Francisco. The judges for this year’s contest are Julie Bruck, Alison Luterman, and Kathleen McClung. To submit to the prize and for more information, visit

The Writing Salon, founded by Jane Underwood in 1999, is a creative writing school for adults. We run creative writing courses from two locations, one in San Francisco and one in Berkeley, in addition to online classes.  With our faculty of highly skilled and knowledgeable writers, The Writing Salon offers classes across a wide range of subjects, genres, and experience levels. (The Writing Salon)



Havarie. Dir. Philip Scheffner. Real Fiction Filmverleih, 2016.

The European Refugee Crisis: Havarie and the Art of Slow Cinema
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (2550 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110) 6:00PM-8:45PM, October 13, 2017

$15 adv./door

Moderator: Nilgun Bayraktar
Participants: Merle Kröger, Philip Scheffner

Goethe-Institut San Francisco presents a reading with Merle Kröger (Radio Bremen Crime Novel Award 2015 / German Crime Novel Award 2016) and a film screening with Philip Scheffner in collaboration with the Litquake Festival and the Center for the Art of Translation.

Inspired by a short cellphone video of a raft of refugees, shot by a tourist from the deck of a cruise ship, Merle Kröger and Philip Scheffner created both a feature film and a novel, Havarie (Collision). Scheffner’s film loops the original clip into a haunting 90-minute “slow cinema” hallucination and meditation on the nature of refugees, while Kröger’s book unspools a crime story from the same collection of characters. Kröger reads from her book, followed by a screening of Havarie, and then an onstage discussion with both Kröger and Scheffner. Moderated by CCA film professor Nilgun Bayraktar. (LitQuake 2017)

Poet Javier Zamora Reads at Mission Campus!

Zamora FlyerJavier Zamora was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States as a boy. He earned a BA from UC Berkeley and an MFA at NYU and is a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Unaccompanied is Zamora’s first poetry collection. His poetry has been featured in numerous magazines and he has received multiple honors including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

FORUM Magazine Showcase (LitCrawl SF; October 14th 2017, 6:30PM-7:30PM)


FORUM will be participating in LitCrawlSF. On the final day of LitQuake literary festival, LitCrawl events will be hosted by venues throughout San Francisco’s Mission District.

FORUM Magazine Showcase
Adobe Books (3130 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110)
(Phase II) 6:30PM-7:30PM, October 14, 2017

Curators: Jen Sullivan Brych
Participants: Brianna Allen, Kevin Cosby, Zachariah Greer Hauptman, John Isles, William Petersen, Bryce Riegel, Lucretia Samuel

 The complete schedule of LitCrawlSF events after the break.


Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, SEPT 15th to OCT 15th (Academy of American Poets)



by Ramón García

After Gail Wronsky

Reading Colette
I am reminded that I, too
come from a culture steeped in taste
variegated nourriture.

But being Mexican, I never made
much of it.  Amidst fancylesness
banqueting, savoring what couldn’t
be bought—joie de vivre,
the metaphysics of indulgence.

Not being French,
sex came with complications,
incurably guilt-sick.  Love, obtuse,
or melodramatic.

The senses, Sidonie’s beloved
home, was for me darkly decorated
in Christ, the proverbial lack of money.
But look, mole is a lush carmine,
hefty with spices, secret excesses.
Rancheras are operas.
The flesh, the supreme study,
can be mastered in many languages,
all of them dead.

Longing doesn’t have to cabaret itself
in philosophy.
Sensuality can also be mute,
after all, it doesn’t have much to say,
though it writes itself beautifully.

Literature, poetry,
doesn’t need Paris, chateaus,
Gallic cads or any kind of gentlemen.
It does with little commercialized California
towns entrenched by churches and canneries,
with barrio dancehalls where Mexicans
dance cumbia in celebration of a baptism
or for no reason at all.

In these mundane towns
as in the world of Colette
the spirit is manifest in what remains
of the home country, children, animals,
heartbreaks, family attachments, strawberries,
perfumes and flowers.
Every ranchera houses memories
the blissful plaintiveness
of living fully.

Ramón Garcí​​a is the author of two books of poetry: Other Countries (What Books Press, 2010) and The Chronicles (Red Hen Press, 2015). He is a professor at California State University, Northridge, and lives in downtown Los Angeles.
“Sidonie,” by Ramón García featured in “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month (American Academy of Poets, Sept. 19, 2017.)

“…noted in the record, / but the file cannot be found.” (Ken Kimmel)

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 9.56.09 PM 1

The Crush. Dir. Alan Shapiro. Warner Bros., 1993.


by Ken Kimmel

Trap is sprung
like clockwork.
One-million bits
of information
per second.
Bulging files
of xerox-white
spilling over–
onto the floor–
magically transformed
into opaque
microfiche replicas.
Acres of trees
outlived their usefulness.
Recycled from
Top-Secret status
to end in shreds.
Horn-rimmed glasses
of dull-witted,
welfare worker
lay low
on his nose,
held loosely together
by red tape.

The line for food stamps grows longer.

System is down,
come back tomorrow.
Fill out this form
and have a seat.
For ten-thousand bucks,
brunch with your
senator of choice.
Only thirteen
soldiers died,
men of honor, till
their last breath.
Register to vote and
for the draft.
Just one more form–
database bound.

Softly-clicking keys.

Arrival at destination
O-300 XQL
is noted in the record,
but the file cannot be found.
Are you a communist?
A socialist?
An anarchist?
A terrorist?
Drug dealer?

I’m an American.

Fill these out
in triplicate
and have a seat.

Cold stare fixed
on smug smile
as baby starts to cry.
Next in line.


Ken Kimmel, Winner of the American Academy of Poets Josephine Miles Prize
“Observations,” by Ken Kimmel originally published in City Scriptum ([Forum] 1990, City College of San Francisco).