ELEVATE: An Urban Residency



For July-August Residency: Application deadline June 15th

For Sept -October Residency: Application deadline Aug 1

For November-December Residency: Application deadline Oct 1

ELEVATE: An Urban Residency

Small Press Traffic in partnership with Real Time and Space, invites submissions for an experimental run of its Residency Program, ELEVATE.

ELEVATE grants selected experimental writers, at any stage in their career, free studio space (no housing) in a decommissioned elevator at Real Time and Space in Oakland, CA, as well as an opportunity to perform creative and critical work. One resident will be chosen for each session.

The duration of each residency will last for two months, includes an opportunity for the resident to perform creative work and give an artist talk.  Residency candidates local to the Bay Area in California will receive a $250 stipend for the duration of the residency; out-of-town candidates will receive a $500 stipend.


Since 1974 Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center (SPT) has been at the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area innovative writing scene, bringing together readers, writers, and independent presses to engage, create, present, critique and archive their work.

Small Press Traffic’s mission is to provide a local and national platform for experimental writing, paying particular attention to underserved writers and those that identify as women, LBGTQ and/or people of color. SPT offers writers a continuum of support, from the generation to the connection to a readership both inside and beyond the experimental writing community.



Real Time and Space (RTS) is comprised of 15 work-only artist studios and an artist residency program located in a former print shop in Oakland’s Chinatown. The mission of RTS is to provide a productive and participatory workspace for its members and residents by fostering opportunities for dialog, collaboration, and cross-disciplinary interaction. Our members include a wide range of artists, writers, curators, and designers. By offering a residency program open to local, national, and international cultural producers, RTS seeks to facilitate the exchange of ideas within and beyond the Bay Area artistic community. Numerous public programs such as artist talks, film screenings, and social events enhance our overall mission by supporting further opportunities for conversations to take place.


ELEVATE offers the opportunity to integrate critical and creative practices into a new set of parameters, and the potential of challenging established routines, activities and assumptions. ELEVATE asks experimental writers to question what constitutes creative space, and creative community. Successful candidates will be offered one of three two-month residencies in this initial pilot of the program in 2016.

The Objectives

The aim of this residency program is to generate a new work or body of work.  During their residency, candidates will be asked to perform their creative work at a local reading for Small Press Traffic and give either a critical talk or have a conversation with another writer/artist.

The Application

Proposals will be considered from experimental writers of any genre. Successful candidates will be notified within one week of the submission deadline.

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that consider the notion of community, although this is not required.

The Logistics

+ The Residency will include access to studio space only. There is no housing attached to this project.

+ Residents are expected to fund their own travel to and from Oakland.

+Residents will receive a $250(local) or $500 (non-local) stipend at the beginning of their residency.

+ Residents are expected to arrive at Real Time and Space prepared to work independently on their work for the duration of the residency in whatever capacity that is possible


Please submit the following as ONE PDF in the following order, along with a $12.00 application fee:

+ one page cv if available

+ artist statement (maximum 500 words) including why ELEVATE would be useful to your current project

+ a residency proposal (maximum 500 words) including the session for which you are applying (July-Aug; Sept-Oct; Nov-Dec)

+ maximum 10 pages of relevant previous work


Posted in event | Leave a comment

We’re having a FIELD DAY






Small Press Traffic is excited to host FIELD DAY on Sunday, September 18th, from 12 to 5:00 p.m. at Roberts Park in Redwood Regional Park!

The event offers guests the chance to compete in SACK RACES, EGG TOSSING and KICKBALL and other delightful games to help you revel in your excess or lack of dexterity all while helping to support SPT’s programming for the upcoming year.

Tickets are PAY WHAT YOU CAN with a suggested donation of $10- but no one is turned away for lack of funds! Just come out with us and get your field on!

Posted in event | Leave a comment

4/23: Layli Long Soldier & Cedar Sigo co-presented by Woolsey Heights

So excited to host this fantastic duo along with Woolsey Heights!

Layli Long Soldier and Cedar Sigo
Saturday April 23rd
at Woolsey Heights
1628 Woolsey Street, Apartment C
Berkeley, CA 94703

Doors open at 8pm/Reading at 9pm



Layli Long Soldier holds a BFA in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Bard College. She resides in Tsaile, AZ on the Navajo Nation and is an English faculty member at Diné College. She has served as a contributing editor to Drunken Boat. Her poems and critical work have appeared in The American Poet, The American Reader, The Kenyon Review, PEN AmericaThe Brooklyn Rail, Eleven Eleven andMud City, among others. She is a recipient of the NACF National Artist Fellowship, a Lannan Fellowship and a 2016 Whiting Award. Her first chapbook of poetry is titled, Chromosomory (Q Ave Press, 2010) and forthcoming manuscript is titledWHEREAS (Graywolf Press, 2017).

Cedar Sigo was raised on the Suquamish Reservation in the Pacific Northwest and studied at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. He is the author of eight books and pamphlets of poetry, including Language Arts (Wave Books, 2014), Stranger in Town (City Lights, 2010), Expensive Magic (House Press, 2008), and two editions of Selected Writings (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2003 and 2005). He has taught poetry at St. Marys College, Naropa University, Institute of American Indian Arts and University Press Books. He lives in San Francisco.

Posted in event | Leave a comment

3/27: Karen Weiser and Julie Patton now featuring Julian Talamantez Brolaski!

Please join us for the inimitable Karen Weiser and Julie Patton!

Julie Patton is unfortunately stuck in NYC and won’t be joining us in person, but we are going to beam her in virtually! Shazam! PLUS as a special added bonus we will be joined (in person)by JULIAN TALAMENTEZ BROLASKI!!!!
Julian Talamantez Brolaski is the author of Advice for Lovers (City
Lights 2012) and gowanus atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011). Julian lives in Oakland, where xe sings with the country band The Western Skyline (

Sunday March 27th
at Artist Television Access
992 Valencia Street, SF
Doors open at 5pm/Reading at 5:30pm

admission: $6-10 sliding scale/Members FREE
Tickets available at the door.

Karen Weiser is the author of two full length collections of poetry: the recently released Or, The Ambiguities and To Light Out (UDP), as well as various and assorted chapbooks. Currently she’s working on the libretto for an opera (“You Who Made the Heavens Incline”) in collaboration with composer Peter Gilbert. It is about one of the first great composers, Kassia, a 9th century Byzantine nun. She lives in New York City where she teaches and writes on 19th century American Literature.

Julie Ezelle Patton was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.  Her work has primarily appeared in spoken-sung live performances in honor of the embodied presence of language.  She has performed throughout North America and Europe for decades. 

Patton’s most recent bound-ink-to-paper production is Notes for Some (Nominally) Awake. Her work has appeared in ((eco (lang)(uage(reader))I’ll Drown My BookWhat I Say and other publications. Julie is a self-­proclaimed “phonemenologist” whose book length serial poem B (Tender Buttons Press) and Writing with Crooked Ink (Belladonna) are forthcoming. In 2015, Julie was honored with a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award and an Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist Residency. She has taught creative writing at Case Western Reserve University, New York University and “around the block” through Teachers & Writers Collaborative and other arts organizations. She is the founding director of Let it Bee Ark Hive and the Salon des Refuge collective.

Posted in event | Leave a comment

APRIL: take an online workshop with BRANDON BROWN!

BRANDON BROWN’s Translating, Cooperating Straying: a workshop

April 9th, 16th and 23rd
12-2:30pm PST/3:00-5:30 ESTtuition: $125-150
sliding scale (pay what you can)
Each class will be held online through a video conferencing website. 

Translating, Cooperating, Straying 

This workshop will look at and practice various methods for generating new writing using formal devices: translating, cooperating and straying. We will, in part, define and expand the definition of these devices together. The goal of the workshop is for participants to write new work, share and discuss each other’s work in terms of its formal idea, design and execution. By studying each other’s forms, works and engaging in discussion about form, we will hopefully consider together how and why writing can and does happen, making new and better and weirder permissions and departures for ourselves as poets. We will study first methods of translation and ekphrasis as a way to relate to existing works in order to create new ones; secondly we will explore “cooperation” as a particular form of collaboration, giving each other “instructions” for creating new work and studying what it means to give and receive such instructions; finally, we will undertake the collective task of estranging our writing bodies from the physical and intellectual niches in which they are most familiar, to see what we find if we give ourselves permission to (collectively) stray.



Brandon Brown is from Kansas City, Missouri. He moved to the Bay Area in 1998, and received a B.A. and M.F.A. from San Francisco State University. He is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Top 40 (Roof) and the forthcoming The Good Life (Big Lucks). His poetry and prose have appeared recently in Open Space, the blog and magazine of SFMOMA, Art Practical, Maggy, Elderly, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Where Eagles Dare. He is an editor at Krupskaya and occasionally publishes small press materials under the imprint OMG!

Photo by Alli Warren


Please email


Posted in event | Leave a comment


Please join us for a once in a lifetime kind of day with Bernadette Mayer that includes a small in-person workshop and a public reading and conversation!

Saturday February 13th, 2016

Grace Street Catering

4629 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Oakland, California 94609

admission: $6-10
SPT Members FREE/no one turned away for lack of funds

Doors open at 7:30pm/Reading begins promptly at 8pm

Tickets available at the door ONLY PLEASE BE PROMPT.


You have a special one-time-only opportunity to take a workshop with in-person with Bernadette Mayer! This workshop is not online with limited capacity.

Saturday Feb 13th
snacks included
location TBA

Tuition $75 general
$50 students, SPT members and low-income writers
to sign up email

An avant-garde writer associated with the New York School of poets, Bernadette Mayer was born in Brooklyn, New York, and has spent most of her life in New York City. Her collections of poetry include Midwinter Day (1982, 1999), A Bernadette Mayer Reader (1992), The Desire of Mothers to Please Others in Letters (1994), Another Smashed Pinecone (1998), and Poetry State Forest (2008).

Known for her innovative use of language, Mayer first won critical acclaim for the exhibit Memory, which combined photography and narration. Mayer took one roll of film shot each day during July 1971, arranging the photographs and text in what Village Voice critic A.D. Coleman described as “a unique and deeply exciting document.”

Mayer’s poetry often challenges poetic conventions by experimenting with form and stream-of-consciousness; readers have compared her to Gertrude Stein, Dadaist writers, and James Joyce. Poet Fanny Howe commented in the American Poetry Review on Midwinter Day, a book-length poem written during a single day in Lenox, Massachusetts: “In a language made up of idiom and lyricism, Mayer cancels the boundaries between prose and poetry, . . . Her search for patterns woven out of small actions confirms the notion that seeing what is is a radical human gesture.”

The Desire of Mothers to Please Others in Letters consists of prose poems Mayer wrote during her third pregnancy. She also combined poetry and prose in Proper Name and Other Stories (1996). Reviewing that collection in the Lambda Book Report, Susan Landers noted Mayer’s “Steinesque syntactical play, her meta-narrative maneuvers à la Barth or Borges, and a language poet’s interest in language.”

Ange Mlinko’s review of Two Haloed Mourners (1998) in the Poetry Project Newsletter describes its structure: “The book starts out dense, vagrant, proceeding on a combination of automatic writing and methodical structural repetitions. It picks up speed, changes gears from poetry to prose and back again, tries out a sestina where both beginning and ending words recur. . . . Then something explodes midway through the book, as though all this formal experimentation was the rumbling and smoldering of Mt. Saint Helens erupting over the circumstances of Bernadette Mayer’s move back to the Lower East Side from New Hampshire, where what was menace in the air of rural America is met head-on in the New York of Reagan and Wall Street.”

Bernadette Mayer has worked as an editor and teacher. She edited the journal 0 TO 9 with artist Vito Acconci and established United Artists press with the poet Lewis Warsh. United Artists Press, under Mayer and Warsh, published a number of influential writers, including Robert Creeley, Anne Waldman, James Schuyler, and Alice Notley. Mayer has taught at the New School for Social Research and The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in New York City.

Posted in event | Leave a comment


We are so excited to invite you to the 14th annual Poets Theater festival- this year at California College of the Arts’ Timken Hall!
This year’s lineup, scheduled for Friday and Saturday January 22nd and 23rd, includes our boundary-breaking, genre-bending collaborations between writers, filmmakers, and visual artists and features many playwright’s SPT debut! 

Join us Friday January 22nd at 7:30pm in Timken Hall, CCA San Francisco for plays by:
Will Alexander 

+Laynie Browne

+Alicia Cohen

+Kathleen Frumkin

+Ish Klein directed by Julian Talamantez Brolaski!

and special performances led by Zoe Tuck!

And then come back Saturday January 23rd at 7:30pm in Timken Hall, CCA San Francisco for plays by:

+ Stanley & Leo Apps

+Patrick Durgin directed by Annie O’Hare!

+Sean Labrador Y Manzano

+Steve Orth (with special guest star!)

+Amanda Ngoho Reavey directed by Roberta d’Alois!

+Avra Spector & Evan Schnair

+Aimee Suzara directed by Ryan Marchand!

+Jennifer Karmin & J’Sun Howard

+Geraldine Kim

TICKETS for each night:
$20 online
$25 at the door
$40 for a weekend pass at the door

To buy tickets in advance visit Brown Paper Tickets

for Friday

for Saturday

Posted in event | Leave a comment

an evening with Claudia Rankine and Karen Green

Please join us for a magical night.

at California College of the Arts, Timken Hall
1111 8th Street SF 94107

Doors open at 5pm/reading starts at 5:30pm

admission: $10-25 sliding scale
SPT Members and CCA students FREE

Claudia Rankine is the author of Citizen: An American Lyric; Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; Plot; The End of the Alphabet; and Nothing in Nature is Private. She won the PEN Open Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry—for Citizen, the first book ever to be named a finalist in both the poetry and criticism categories. In 2014 she was a National Book Award Finalist, and received Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize. Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a NY Times bestseller in the nonfiction category. Rankine co-edited the anthologies The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind and American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language, and her work is included in several anthologies, including Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, Best American Poetry 2001, Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of the Century, and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry.

Karen Green is an artist and writer living and working in Northern California. She is the author of Bough Down. You can find her work

Posted in event | Leave a comment

Obsessions: a talk with Elaine Kahn

the Obsessions talk series is about one writer’s obsession and the ways in which it informs their practice.

admission $6-10 sliding scale/ members free. No one turned away for lack of funds.

November 22, 2015: doors open at 5pm; event begins at 5:30pm

Elaine Kahn is an artist born in Evanston, Illinois and currently based in Oakland, California. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a BFA from California College of the Arts. Elaine’s music project, Horsebladder, has releases on Ecstatic Peace, Night People, and Hot Releases. She is the author of several chapbooks, most recently A Voluptuous Dream During an Eclipse (Poor Claudia, 2012). Elaine is a founding member of the P.Splash Puppet Collective and managing editor of the small press Flowers & Cream. A full length collection of her poetry, Women in Public was published by City Lights Books in 2015.

Posted in event | Leave a comment

Monica McClure & Trisha Low

Please join us for this stellar line up at Artist Television Access on November 15, 2015

doors open at 5pm/event begins at 5:30pm

Admission $6-10 sliding scale/members free

Monica McClure is a writer and performer based in New York. She is the author of Tender Data (Birds LLC, 2015); and chapbooks Mala (Poor Claudia, 2014); Mood Swing (Snacks Press, 2013).

Trisha Low is the a poet and performer. She is the author of The Compleat Purge (Kenning Editions, 2013). She lives in Oakland and is currently working on a book entitled Socialist Realism.

Posted in event | Leave a comment