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Inter•Col•Lab: A Reading and Film Screening with Valerie Witte, Sarah Rosenthal, and Ayana Yonesaka

March 28, 2020 @ 4:00 pm PDT


The Bindery hosts a special afternoon of interrelated, genre-crossing collaborations: a book of sonnets and letters, an essay collection, and a film, all of which investigate postmodern dance.

In their book The Grass Is Greener When the Sun Is Yellow, poets Valerie Witte and Sarah Rosenthal engage with the work of dancer-choreographers Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer. Through research into these innovative women’s dances, ideas, and lives, Witte and Rosenthal use language from and about the choreographers to create a series of co-written sonnets that are interwoven with letters between the two poets. These letters describe the process of composing the poems and branch into discussions of dance, poetics, gender, transgression, and the unfolding disaster of the current political scene. Together, the poems and letters construct an environment of reflection, intimacy, and vulnerability, one that is both challenging and invitational.

Witte and Rosenthal will read from The Grass Is Greener, and briefly describe the essay project which their book has spawned. Rosenthal and dancer-choreographer Ayana Yonesaka will then introduce and screen their short film, We Agree on the Sun, which draws on one of the essays to explore the intersection of dance and houselessness. A Q&A will follow. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

Sarah Rosenthal by Denise NewmanSarah Rosenthal is the author of several books and chapbooks including The Grass Is Greener When the Sun Is Yellow (The Operating System, 2019; a collaboration with Valerie Witte) Lizard (Chax, 2016), and Manhatten (Spuyten Duyvil, 2009). She edited A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Poets of the Bay Area (Dalkey Archive, 2010). She has done grant-supported writing residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Soul Mountain, Ragdale, New York Mills, Hambidge, and This Will Take Time, and has been a Headlands Center Affiliate Artist. She lives in San Francisco where she works as a Life & Professional Coach, develops curricula for the Center for the Collaborative Classroom, and serves on the California Book Awards jury. More at sarahrosenthal.net. Author photo by Denise Newman.

Valerie Witte by Andrew HedgesValerie Witte is the author of a game of correspondence (Black Radish Books, 2015) and The Grass Is Greener When the Sun Is Yellow (The Operating System, 2019; a collaboration with Sarah Rosenthal), as well as two chapbooks. She is a founding member of the Bay Area Correspondence School, and for eight years, she helped produce many innovative books by women as a member of Kelsey Street Press. In her daytime hours, she edits education books in Portland, OR. Read more at valeriewitte.com. Photo by Andrew Hedges.

Ayana Yonesaka by jGuerzonPictorialsBorn and raised in Sapporo, Japan, Ayana Yonesaka moved to San Francisco in 2009 to pursue her career in dance. Since graduating summa cum laude with a BA in Dance from San Francisco State University in 2013, she has worked in the Bay Area as a dance instructor, performer, and choreographer. In addition to teaching at San Francisco Youth Ballet Academy, RoCo Dance & Fitness, and ODC, she also directs ayanadancearts, a company she founded in 2017. Ayana aims to create highly innovative choreography that is rooted in contemporary dance aesthetics with a strong Japanese cultural narrative. Her work seamlessly navigates her Japanese and American identities, choreographing through a unique cross-Pacific framework. Photo by jGuerzonPictorials.

Please note: this event will be held at The Bindery, 1727 Haight.

This is a free, all-ages event. The bar opens with the store at 2pm; event starts at 4pm.

RSVP appreciated but not required.

As with all of our events, seating may be limited; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below — when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you’d like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of The Grass is Greener When the Sun is Yellow, order below and be sure to put your request in the comments field.

Accessibility is important to us! If you have special needs please let us know and we’ll do our absolute best to accommodate you: events@booksmith.com.


March 28, 2020
4:00 pm PDT
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The Bindery
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The Bindery
1727 Haight St
San Francisco , 94117 United States
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