Friday, March 16, 2012

The L!brary is at Cuesta College.

Stop in and borrow a book two and get to know your friends and neighbors.

When: March 5-March 28, 2012
In collaboration with the Cuesta 2012 Book of the Year program, the Library! book exchange will be on display in the Cuesta College SLO campus library reading room (Bldg. 3200.)

As part of Cuesta's featured book/theme “In the Neighborhood” by Peter Lovenheim, the Library! shelves will feature a rotating lending collection of favorite reads contributed by Cuesta campus “neighbors”.

Find out what Cuesta's English professors, college librarians, fellow students and their President have been reading lately, then take a book home to sample it yourself!

For info, contact:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dining In Public

If you happened to stop by ARTS Obispo on the evening of December 10th in downtown San Luis Obispo, California, you would have learned about turducken, the deboned chicken/duck/turkey almost-matryoshka, where each bird is tucked into the other, starting with the chicken and finishing with the turkey. You would have also learned from reader Pam Bleisch the term "farce", which means to improve as if by stuffing. To serve a dish of one thing stuffed with something else, Pam read aloud to the assembled company, is theater. To stuff a dish with anything which already has something else inside of it, is also, undeniably, theater.

The selection being read to a dedicated crowd of bibliophiles gathered in ARTS Space Obispo was The Dinner at Trimalchio's, from "The Satyricon" by Petronius. For our end-of-the year event Reading In Public had decided to pay homage to the world of food, attempting a multicourse exploration of the connection between belly, mind and funny bone. Dining In Public, or DIP as we affectionately called it, was a riotous few hours of listening to people read from their favorite written works: everything from the 1988 interview conducted with then 91-year-old South Carolina farmer Bubba Henry, on butchering a hog back when lye was in common use ("you don't use that much, just test it with your finger, just to get the hair off. If you put too much, it will chop up your hand and tear the hog up ... "), to the right way to kill a coconut, a hilarious account from a recipe for Coconut Curry Chicken Explosion ("Force a sharp skewer into one of the coconut's eyes ..."), and on to cosmetics companies and their promotion of skin as a living, hungry entity which must be externally fed and nourished, an essay aptly titled Beauty and the Feast. Isabelle Gillette and Hannah Fowler, ages 11 and 10, read Shel Silverstein's "Where The Sidewalk Ends". Artist Lena Rushing wore a Pingu-like prop, and seven-year-old Eliot Báez composed a piece which he sang in Spanish, lamenting the fact that to him canned beans tasted like metal.

RIP had brought together local artists as well as readers, assembling an exhibit of 22 plates in various media, which represented the artists' favorite food-related book titles. Painter Cynthia Meyer finished first with a handsome tribute to the book "Naked Lunch" by William S. Burroughs, despite the difficulty she encountered with bamboo veneer turning out to be a sponge for oil paints. There were also a number of wonderful (and funny!) illustrated recipes done by several children, ages 3 through 12. To round out the experience, potter Mark Sensenbach loaned us several handmade dishes on which we set out, not dinner, but a small banquet of appetizers.

We didn't overstay our welcome that night. Allan Cooper, reading to us about dinner etiquette from "Home Dissertations", compiled by Mrs. E. Stevens Tilton in 1885, informed the audience that "after coffee, guests may at any time take their leave, all going within two hours". Our own feast had lasted for three, and even on a Saturday night there were still some readers and people in the audience who lingered, stopping to help with dinner's least favorite chore: clean-up. Thanks to all of the lovely people who stayed we were done well within Mrs. Tilton's 2-hour window. No one had actually sat down to dinner, but, as poet Francesca Nemko proclaimed, her voice ringing in the small space, it was a lovely evening with friends and "fabulous, beautiful, glorious food."

Pictured above: Mary Kay Harrington. Photo by Jano Kray

Monday, December 5, 2011

Come join us on Saturday night!

The list of readers is at left, come feast with us on Saturday night, from 6-9pm at ARTS Obispo!
And for those who can't join us in person, our exhibit is now on Flickr.

Monday, November 14, 2011

We're looking for readers!

Update: Online sign-ups are now closed. A big thank you to everyone who answered our call!

Words are of course an essential part of any balanced diet, so this time around Reading In Public will be paying homage to the world of food and drink. Dining In Public, or DIP, will be a multi-course, free-range event exploring the connection between belly, mind and funny bone. If you'd like to read at our December 10th event here is a link to our online sign-up form.

Part of our exhibit is now on Flickr. This will go live at ARTS Obispo in San Luis Obispo on December 2nd.
Above: Plate by Donna Kandel, photograph by Marta Peluso

Saturday, October 15, 2011

2 sneak peeks

Cynthia Meyer sent us her in-progress plate for the exhibit which goes up on the 2nd.

And Donna Kandel gets ready to paint. Thanks, Cynthia and Donna!

The exhibit goes up on December 2nd. Please note that we've moved the live event to Saturday, December 10th from 6-9 pm at Arts Obispo (December 2nd is also the night of the downtown holiday parade).

Monday, July 4, 2011

A call for artists

Above, top left, clockwise: "The Grapes of Wrath," "Stone Soup," "James and the Giant Peach" (in progress and very hard to photograph), and "Blueberries For Sal" (also in progress, equally hard to photograph, see Flickr for truer color).
More photos on Flickr.

Dining In Public (DIP) will be a multicourse, free-range event exploring the connection between belly, mind and funny bone. DIP consists of a live event, with invited members of the public reading excerpts from books and articles of their own selection, in combination with a 2-week exhibit.

The exhibit will be driven by a set of painted plates (RIP will supply the 9-inch bamboo veneer plates), each bearing the title and author's name of a book which has a connection with food. San Luis Obispo County artists are invited to take part in the Dining In Public exhibit of handpainted plates.
Send an email to with an url to your portfolio or email us two representative samples of your work (no large files please). Let us know the name of the book you'd like to paint (we need that information upfront to avoid duplicates).
The Reading In Public exhibit committee will review and make final decisions on the DIP artist pool.

1. All plates will have the title of the book and the author's name as part of the painting
2. We need a commitment from artists in the form of a rough sketch (done in a 9-inch circle) no later than August 31, 2011. Send an url of the image or email your sketch to Regretfully, artists who submit late sketches will have to be dropped from the pool.
3. Final painted plates are due NO LATER THAN Monday, November 7th, 2011.
4. Please indicate if your piece(s) can be sold (artists receive 70% of the price for which the piece is sold, and the remainder goes to support programs at ARTS Obispo, the designated local partner of the California Arts Council).
5. If you’d like to participate but do not have time for a plate, we are also accepting handpainted wooden/paper-mache/ceramic/other spoons. Each spoon must have a hole drilled into the top of the handle for hanging and should accommodate a loop of fishing cord. We do have a portfolio requirement for this portion of the exhibit. Interested artists can email for more information.

When & where:
ARTS Space Obispo, 570 Higuera St., #165 in San Luis Obispo, California
Exhibit opens with the live event on Friday, December 2, 2011 from 6-9

Email for more information.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thank you!

We'll have a longer post about the night's events soon, and what we'd quickly like to say is one great, big thank you to everyone who read and the many people who came to listen. It was a truly amazing event and we all had a great time.
We have a TON of great images on Flickr so do visit our photostream there.

Photos by Mark Velasquez and Catherine Trujillo

Thursday, January 6, 2011

HIP in New Times

New Times arts editor Anna Weltner did an article on Happy in Public. Read the full article here:
Thanks, Anna!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Schedule of readers for HIP

When: Friday, January 7, 2011, from 6 pm-9 pm at ARTS Space Obispo, 570 Higuera St., #165 in downtown San Luis Obispo.

6:05pm Steven deLuque

6:15pm Linnaea Phillips
Jan Marx
Pamela Bleisch
Ron Colvin
Bob Whiteford
Adam Monkaba
Hannah, Isabelle, Trevyn
Adam Hill
Mark Bryan
Tom DiSanto
Online submissions
Joyful 3
Josephine Crawford
Margaret Yun
Julie Frankel
Russell Swanagon
Brett Bodemer

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The happiest place on earth*

(* According to "Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way")

San Luis Obispo? One of the happiest places on earth?? Well, of course we just couldn't resist. Presenting Happy in Public, three hours of San Luis Obispo readers sharing the words that make them happy.

There are three ways to participate:
1. Become a reader
Sign up online now and secure yourself a 10-minute reading spot on the Reading Chair. Places are going fast!
2. Join us to listen to all those happy words on Friday, January 7th, 2011, from 6pm-9pm at ARTS Space Obispo, SLO Creamery, 570 Higuera St., #165, in San Luis Obispo, one of the happiest places on earth.*
3. We want to know: What makes you happy about living in San Luis Obispo? What makes you unhappy? TXT (805) 628-2283! We'll post your responses online.

This event is co-sponsored by Reading in Public and ARTS Obispo, SLO County Arts Council.
Photograph by Mark Velasquez.

Friday, August 6, 2010

We made a magazine

Preview Issue 2 and Issue 2
by clicking Show Preview to the right of the magazines' cover images

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Coming soon

A quick post about our next project which is still under wraps. It's a hefty one and we'll have details soon.
Photo above by the lovely Jennifer Young.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank you

An ENORMOUS thank you to everyone, both volunteers and all the folks in San Luis Obispo who came out and typed. And an equally HUGE thank you to Jen and Brandon of Sally Loo's, our readers and our amazing musicians!

(Photos are on Flickr)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Everything you need to know :)

Welcome to Typing in Public, Reading In Public's 2010 community event. Tomorrow, Saturday May 15th, between the hours of 8am to 2pm, you are all invited to type on any of our typewriters at these locations in the city of San Luis Obispo:
BlackHorse Espresso - 1065 Higuera Street
Linnaea's Cafe - 1110 Garden Street
Sally Loo's Cafe - 1804 Osos Street
San Luis Obispo Public Library - 995 Palm Street
Steynberg Gallery - 1531 Monterey Street
The Sanitarium - 1716 Osos

How long can I type?
If there are people waiting in line, about 10 to 15 minutes.

What do I type?
At the SLO Library we have Anna & Dan Gold transcribing love letters from 12-1pm. So, in that spirit, type whatever you like -- we want you to have fun with this. If you need inspiration, look through our Opening Lines, and if something piques your interest, you can type your own version of how it continues. If you're not the first typist, please feel free to take a look at what other people have done. Or start something and leave enough of a thread for someone else to pick up.
For inspiration, here is what a group of kids are doing. If you have a few minutes, look through the site, we posted many contributions from various people. We even have a contribution written in Na'vi!

When is this over?
At 2pm we’ll collect all the compositions for a 6pm installation and public reading (with live music!) at Sally Loo’s Cafe, 1804 Osos (not all of them will be read in public or used for the installation).

The fine print
By participating in Typing In Public you are granting RIP permission to publish works on the web and in future promotional venues, and you’re also giving us permission to read your words in public. Please don’t forget to sign your page(s) with your first name and an initial of your last name. Thank you!

Please be gentle with the typewriters. But...
- They are not anything like a modern keyboard, and each key needs to be tapped a little bit harder.
- Sometimes the ribbons will not advance and you may have to manually advance them.
- This is definitely not about words per minute -- type slowly or the keys will stick. Remember, many of the typewriters are older than most of us.

Bonus! All participants of Typing In Public will have an opportunity to have their names entered in a drawing, which will be held at Sally Loo’s Cafe, 1804 Osos, between 6pm-8:00pm. Winners must be present to claim their prizes. Please join us at Sally Loo's at 6pm and meet the Reading Chair, designed by (the amazing) Chris Allen of CWA Studios, from Reading In Public 2009!

Please say hi to our WONDERFUL volunteers as you see them -- they have unbegrudgingly given up some of their weekend time to stay with this project. Say hi to
Vanessa Amerson -- The Sanitarium, 8-11
Brett Bodemer -- Linnaea's, 8-11
Josephine Crawford -- SLO Library, 10-12
Tom Di Santo -- Sally Loo's, 10-11
Pete Evans and Lucy -- Sally Loo's, 9-10
Tom and Hannah Fowler -- Linnaea's, 12-2
Anna and Dan Gold -- SLO Library, 12-1
Kelsie Greer -- Blackhorse, 8-10
Zoie Harmon -- Sally Loo's, 11-2
Mignon Khargie -- All locations
Sara MacGrath and Lupe -- SLO Library, 10-11
Francesca Nemko -- Steynberg, 11-12
Marta Peluso -- BlackHorse, 10-12
Linnaea Phillips -- The Sanitarium, 11-2
Ashley Schwellenbach -- BlackHorse, 12-2
Bruce Silverberg -- Sally Loo's, 8-9
Laura Sorvetti -- Steynberg, 8-11
Cate Trujillo -- All locations
Cruz Trujillo -- All locations

Other ways to participate: If you take a photo you'd like us to post to Flickr, please email it to info[at] You can tweet us @readinginpublic with contributions and text us too at (805) 628-2283. TXT contributions will be sent to Twitter.
If you know something about typewriters, please identify yourself to our volunteers! We'll take all the expert help we get :)

Posters from first year students at Cal Poly

First year Digital Illustration and Design students did a series of posters which were inspired by Reading In Public. Thank you all, and a HUGE thank you to Enrica Lovaglio Costello, Assistant Professor Digital Media!
Above right: Poster by Bryn Hobson and we'll id the other as soon as we have that student's name.
(See more posters on Flickr)

Typing in Public at Cal Poly's Kennedy Library

Please join us tomorrow in the 2nd floor Cafe Lounge of Cal Poly's Kennedy Library for the very first event of Typing In Public, from 11am-2pm.

Image above courtesy of University Archives, Cal Poly SLO. Below, Dr. Kennedy types at Kennedy Library on Friday, May 14th, 2010. Kennedy Library is named after him. Photo by Patrick Kammermeyer.

We ♥ Dave Congalton

Our friend Dave Congalton of KVEC 920 made time for us on his show this past Tuesday, and you can listen to the clip here with Catherine and Brett (Mignon was out on jury duty). We loaned him a typewriter for a few days and were just delighted to read what the KVEC staff typed.
Thank you, Dave!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meet our musicians for Saturday 15th!

Anna Novotny and Ezra Henderson are 10 years old and classmates at Bellevue Santa Fe Charter School. They most recently were selected to the top 5 of the Clark Center's Star Search.

Anna, a singer and dancer, has performed in over 20 local shows and musicals. Math is her favorite subject in school, which helps her piece together rhythms and music. Her goal is to sing and dance around town and her dream is to collaborate with Taylor Swift.
Ezra is a one man band; he plays drums, guitar, piano and also writes his own songs. He has performed his music at restaurants and coffee shops around town. Ezra wrote 'Everything's Alright' this year and shared it at school. Anna loved it and their duo was born.
Many of their songs are written by Ezra's mother, Deborah Kirk. She accompanies them on guitar or keyboards.

The Booker Tease:
Four musicians Deconstructing the Rock & Soul music of Booker T. and the MG's.

Artist and musician Vincent Bernardy was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s the home of Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion. Growing up in the extremely cold Midwest, he learned from a young age that sometimes you can go outside and play in the snow and sometimes you simply can’t. This gave him much time to learn and perfect his art. He was born a creative child: painting, drawing, and musically inclined. Some of his music has been played on the radio and in some indie films. He opened for bands such as GREEN DAY and THE SUBURBS, and worked with popular musicians such as Andy Bernardy and Bob Stinson of the REPLACEMENTS. However, one of his most cherished moments in music was working with Brown Mark from PRINCE & the REVOLUTION.

Vincent's vision for his work is to invoke feelings in people that will cause them to be more creative & positive. Also to live more healthier lives filled with wonderment and awe. and

Jane Kostiw

Jane Kostiw

…was halfway between a rock and a hard spot. She had been there before and loathed the idea that she had again arrived at a point where a salvageable solution seemed out of reach. Taking a deep sigh she continued up the path letting her mind run its course of all the possible scenarios trying to capture the one that would have the least impact on the firm. After the unfortunate events that caused her predecessor to leave unannounced one day and the law suit that followed, Liz made sure she did everything with intention. Nothing was left to chance. This project started out well defined with a clear goal. Steps for contingencies had been worked into the process. Liz had even gotten blessing from the investors on the project in advance, not an easy task with Hal in the driver's seat and Sabrina taking a hard ball approach. How it had spiraled out of control without her knowing until now made her question Meg's loyalty. Had she let something slip without realizing it? Surely it couldn't have been an intentional breach and yet each idea Liz played out in her mind led her straight back to that day when Meg came rushing in her office to announce…

If this contribution has piqued your interest, feel free to build on it: Post your own version of the story's continuation here in comments, on Twitter, on Flickr, or text us at (805) 628-2283. You can also wait for the May 15th SLO event and type it all on a real live typewriter.

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