Literary spaces—the kind that make you feel at home, make you forget you’re in the middle of a major urban jungle, the kind that speak womb to musty pages to ink and weathered paper—are hard to find these days. We felt it necessary to carve out such a space in Fruitvale, Oakland; to offer a bit of respite along the fervor of Foothill Boulevard and the buzz of a city amongst cities in transition—renewal and destruction. It was a space built by its weekly inhabitants, as all literary spaces are, perhaps. Their energies lining the walls post-performance, the laughter and tears, raised voices and middle-finger rises—the spaces absorb the energies released and pretty soon it’s a soup of homeless letters and phrases, of misses in the night and full-fledged landings mid tarmac. We try to offer home to poets and musicians, performers and listeners, wanton for a bit of intimate time spent together over wine and freshly brewed coffee.
For the second feature in this series, J. K. Fowler of Nomadic Press talked with three phenomenal Fruitvale-based writers: Paul Corman-Roberts, Missy Church, and Cassandra Dallett. J. K. and crew all answered some questions about one of their favorite small press performance spaces in Oakland, the Nomadic Press Oakland Workspace in Fruitvale.
What do you love about this literary space?