Literary Issue 2017: Literary Watchlist

Literary Watchlist: Silicon Valley Poets & Writers to Know

Viet Thanh Nguyen | It's Lit | Kirstin Chen | Ron Hansen | Arlene Biala | Literary Watchlist

Stanford professor Adam Johnson has won two Pulitzer prizes for his fiction.

No matter the home, whether it be San Jose State, Santa Clara University or in a shoebox apartment in the heart of the valley, these writers embody the inventive literary spirit of the South Bay. David James Keaton's new anthology, Hard Sentences, compiles stories about Alcatraz. Jose Luis Gutierrez writes poems that capture the diverse complexity of the area, as does Julia Halprin Jackson, whose poems express a uniquely South Bay spirit. Poets Leslie Patron and Erick Sáenz run one of the most interesting and thoughtful San Jose-centric publications, Cheers From the Wasteland. "Mighty" Mike McGee is the one of the loudest proponents of poetry in the South Bay, while Pulitzer Prize-winner (twice!) Adam Johnson, who teaches at Stanford, writes stunning but equally hilarious and unnerving short and long fiction. With two Nebula Awards, Rachel Swirsky is one of the most exciting young science-fiction and fantasy writers. At the Santa Clara Review, Kirk Glaser helps facilitate the most interesting writing in Santa Clara, as well as writes poetry that often touches on distinctly Californian themes. T.T. Monday, the pseudonym of Nick Taylor, writes wild, uproarious stories often dealing with baseball. However seemingly disparate, together these writers share originality, a keen sense of themselves and their community in a place that is often stranger than fiction.