Interview with Featured Member Gark Mavigan

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The first featured member of our 2019-2020 speaker series is poet and hip-hop artist Gark Mavigan. Originally from Stockton, he was a founding member of the city’s first slam team to compete in Brave New Voices—the world’s largest youth poetry slam. He has performed at The White House and the National Poetry Slam, sharing stages with the likes of Common, DMC (of Run DMC), Watsky, and MC Jin.

Gark’s words have appeared in The Huffington Post, EARMILK, sPARKLE & bLINK, Points in Case, Robot Butt, HotNewHipHop, and MapQuest, among other publications. Additionally, he has penned bylines on behalf of CEOs, covered music releases and festivals as a journalist, and crafted key messaging and PR strategies for leading technology companies—from NVIDIA to pizza-making robots to Kim Kardashian’s favorite baby monitor.

On the hip hop side, Gark is the creator of RAMENdon, the world’s first Top Ramen-themed EP. He recently released GOOD CHOICES, an LP that donates 100% of proceeds to nonprofits in San Francisco and Stockton. His music has graced the pages of 2DopeBoyz, Fiverr, RESPECT Mag, ELEVATOR, and more. Learn more about the “prose-fessional” Gark Mavigan at http://www.garkmavigan.com

“Meeting other writers face to face [has] helped share my work, connected me to reading gigs…most have become good friends!”

Gark Mavigan, Berkeley CWC featured member for September 2019

Interview with Slam Poet Gark Mavigan

Interview questions by CWC speaker chair and book publicist Cristina Deptula.

What’s the most important piece of writing advice that you could give to other writers?

Just write. Sitting, standing, coffee or tea, force yourself to fill the page. Finding inspiration is often like squeezing out the final gloop of toothpaste, but it’s worth the trouble. Even an “uninspired” free-write can produce some unexpected gems.

What one thing has helped promote your writing most?

Getting out and meeting other writers face to face. These folks have helped share my work, connected me to reading gigs, and introduced me to other writers in the community. More importantly, most have become good friends!

What are your writing habits?

slam poet Gark Mavigan
Meet Gark Mavigan at our fist meeting of the new season.

When I write at my apartment I’m constantly fighting the temptation to nap. A quaint coffee shop is my preferred writing den. I buy a cup of iced coffee (black, always), crank some instrumental music (either hip hop beats or ‘90s film scores), and squeeze that toothpaste tube as hard as I can.

I’m still very much in the Padawan stage of my writing career, though I’ve been lucky enough to have some of my pieces published. How do I manage my writing life? Poorly. But if I get ANY writing done in a given day, color me content.

Meet Gark Mavigan and September Williams at our Monthly Meeting Sunday, September 15th

Mavigan says he joined the Berkeley California Writers Club to meet other writers from all genres, and further saturate himself in the Bay Area writing scene. He is also looking to gather helpful feedback on his writing. If you are a writer who hates black licorice or if you have a strange fascination with the show Unsolved Mysteries; you already have something in common. Or you might ask him about attending his first writing conference in April (Lit Camp). You can meet him at the launch of our next speaker series Sunday September 15th.

We have a new schedule so be sure to get there early so you don’t miss Gark Mavigan or September Williams!

September 15th author, bioethicist, and filmmaker September Williams, M.D. will show us how to deliver facts in a package that doesn’t detract from the tone of the story. This is a meeting for writers looking to illuminate a truth or cause without being didactic. Click on the link below for details such as location, snacks, or to learn more about September Williams.

Causes Cross Genres: Infusing Facts into Fiction with September Williams is the first event in our annual speaker series.

Third Sundays September – June

Full Schedule of Events

Please NOTE NEW SCHEDULE

12:00 pm Setup
12:30 Doors open & member services
1:00 Featured Member: GARK Mavigan
1:15 Keynote Speaker: September Williams
2:00 Announcements & Networking
3:00 Marketing Group*
4:00 Craft Group*
5:00 The End

Say you’re coming on Facebook!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

Check for support groups and more member events on our Calendar.

9/15/19 – SPEAKER: “Causes Cross Genres” with September Williams

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Causes Cross Genres: Infusing Facts into Fiction with September Williams is the first event in our annual speaker series.

Some people find understanding through technical language and academic conveyance. But almost all people can learn through well-constructed Aristotelian Plot Curves. 

Using accurate scientific, medical or other precise technical information to inform fictional narratives is not for the faint of heart. It does not mean “dumbing down.” 

But for those committed to using every tool to convey the causes of humanity across race, class, culture, and genre—it often means an author must wade in well over her/ his own head. Exactly what tools do you need to get back to breathing air? How do you deliver science in a package that does not detract from the tone of the story or the truth of the ‘cause’ which the didactics seek to illuminate? Our September speaker seeks to answer these questions. Plus, her name is September!

Important!
Note new schedule below,
so you don’t miss the speaker

About September Williams

Physician-writer, bioethicist, and filmmaker September Williams, M.D. seeks a better understanding of and between ourselves in all her work.  She focuses on promoting resilience for people who are ill, aging, dying, or stressed by environmental and humanitarian violations. She is the author of The Elephant in the Room: Bioethical Issues in Human Milk Banking, which is representative of her nonfiction works covering health disparities, bioethics, and film, and a fiction writer as well. Chasing Mercury is a romance-suspense-memoir about families committed to human and environmental rights, and the first book of the “Chasing Mercury Toxic Trilogy.” The upcoming sequels are Weighing Lead and Mining Gold

September is also a member of the National Writers Union (AFL-CIO/UAW 1981), the International Federation of Journalists, and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. All of these organizations maximize the breadth of her work by informing, provoking thoughtful action, frequent tears and the greatest tool of all, laughter.         

For more information see: http://www.septemberwilliams.com

Full Schedule of Events

Please NOTE NEW SCHEDULE

12:00 pm Setup
12:30 Doors open & member services
1:00 Featured Member: GARK Mavigan
1:15 Keynote Speaker: September Williams
2:00 Announcements & Networking
3:00 Marketing Group*
4:00 Craft Group*
5:00 The End

$5 for members, $10 for non-members*

  • Coffee is provided, bring cookies and treats to share!
  • Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket

PLEASE PLAN TO PURCHASE A RAFFLE TICKET! Only $1 each or 6 for $5, every ticket supports the club’s equity program. You can win a book written by our club authors!

* Support groups are members-only but guests may audit
* Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are writers helping writers, a welcoming community.

1204 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612

Our meetings are right off 980 in downtown Oakland, at beautiful Preservation Park. Just off 12th Street, naturally you can get there from the 12th St. BART station. Those with limited ability can use the parking lot off of MLK Way; otherwise there should be plenty of FREE parking within the park and on surrounding streets.

Say you’re coming on Facebook!

SAVE THE DATES!
Our Forthcoming Events:

Check for support groups and more member events on our Calendar.