Small Press Author Reading Series

In light of so many cancelled book tours as of late, Hidden Timber Books is hosting other small press authors via Zoom for readings. These events are FREE, all you need to do is register for the link to join. Attend one, attend them all, and spread the word! *Please make note of time zones listed.

(If you need accommodations for the reading, please contact us several days prior to the event. We’ll do our best to make it accessible!)

Vanessa Hua

In her powerful collection, first published in 2016 and now featuring new stories, Vanessa Hua gives voice to immigrant families navigating a new America. Tied to their ancestral and adopted homelands in ways unimaginable in generations past, these memorable characters straddle both worlds but belong to none.

Veering between dream and disappointment, these stories shine a light on the conflict between self and society, tradition and change. From a Hong Kong movie idol fleeing a sex scandal to an obedient daughter turned Stanford pretender, from a Chinatown elder summoned to his village to a Korean American pastor with a secret agenda, the characters in the collection illustrate the conflict between self and society, tradition and change. With insight and wit, Hua writes about what wounds us and what we must survive.

Tuesday | July 7, 2020 | 1pm Central

VANESSA HUA is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of A River of Stars. A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, she has also received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award, and a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post.

Ellen Birkett Morris
LOST GIRLS (Touch Point Press)

Lost Girls (published by Touch Point Press) explores the experiences of women and girls as they grieve, find love, face uncertainty, take a stand, find their future, and say goodbye to the past. A young woman creates a ritual to celebrate the life of a kidnapped girl, an unmarried woman wanders into a breast feeder’s support group and stays, a grieving mother finds solace in an unlikely place, a young girl discovers more than she bargained for when she spies on her neighbors. Though they may seem lost, each finds their center as they confront the challenges and expectations of womanhood.

Sunday | July 12, 2020 | 2pm Central

ELLEN BIRKETT MORRIS is an award-winning writer, teacher and editor based in Louisville, Kentucky. Morris is the author of SURRENDER (Finishing Line Press). Her fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, Antioch Review, Notre Dame Review, and South Carolina Review, among other journals. Her commentaries have been heard on public radio stations across the United States.

Melanie S. Hatter

Selected by Edwidge Danticat as the winner of the inaugural Kimbilio National Fiction Prize, Malawi’s Sisters is about the murder of a young black woman by a white man, and was inspired by the 2013 shooting of Renisha McBride.

Of Malawi’s Sisters, Edwidge Danticat writes: This story is both timely and well executed. We rarely see the private side of the devastating aftermath of police/vigilante/help-seeking and shot-related deaths that this writer describes here in such a suspenseful and nuanced manner. This is the kind of book that might encourage and inspire in depth conversations and discussions and help readers think more deeply about a subject they might have mistakenly thought they knew all about.” 

Sunday | August 2, 2020 | 2pm Central

MELANIE S. HATTER is an award-winning author of two novels and one short story collection. Selected by Edwidge Danticat, Malawi’s Sisters won the inaugural Kimbilio National Fiction Prize, published by Four Way Books in 2019. The Color of My Soul won the 2011 Washington Writers’ Publishing House Fiction Prize, and Let No One Weep for Me, Stories of Love and Loss was released in 2015. Melanie received a 2019  Maryland State Arts Council grant for her writing. She is a participating author with the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools program, and she served four years on the board of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation.

Joanne Nelson
THIS IS HOW WE LEAVE (Vine Leaves Press)

Against a background of family runaways, award-winning memoirist Joanne Nelson explores what it takes to stay when the going begins to dazzle and the staying seems way too ordinary. With a great grandfather who disappears, a grandfather who strays, and a father who walks away, she’s lived a life liable to give way at any time. Nelson’s working-class roots and catholic schoolgirl upbringing, experimentation with all things negative, and hopeful creation of a new family life all serve a passionate story that examines the many ways we leave our communities, our families, and even ourselves.

Sunday | August 16, 2020 | 2pm Central

JOANNE NELSON is the author of This Is How We Leave (Vine Leaves Press). Her ongoing writing practice focuses on creative nonfiction, essays, commentaries on craft, reviews, and the occasional poem.

Joanne is a contributor to Lake Effect on 89.7 WUWM, her local NPR affiliate. Her writing appears in anthologies and literary journals such as BrevityConsequence, and Redivider. She lives in Hartland, Wisconsin where she develops and leads community programs, maintains a psychotherapy practice, and adjuncts. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and an MSSW from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Athena Dixon

The Incredible Shrinking Woman, the debut collection from Athena Dixon, is a quiet retelling of a life in the background. This series of short essays highlights her desire to hide, the implosion of the life she’d always wanted, and how she reemerged on the other side stronger than before. She explores the intersection of what is to be invisible, disconnected, and rebuilding in a world that often expects freedom to be boisterous. These essays remind us that often that very freedom can be a whisper.

Sunday | August 30, 2020 | 2pm Central

A native of Northeast Ohio, ATHENA DIXON, is a poet, essayist, and editor. She is Founder of Linden Avenue Literary Journal. Athena’s work has appeared in various publications including GAY Magazine and Narratively. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. A Callaloo fellow, a V.O.N.A. fellow, and a Tin House Workshop attendee, Athena is the author of No God In This Room, a poetry chapbook (Argus House Press 2018) and The Incredible Shrinking Woman (Split/Lip Press 2020). Her work also appears in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket Books 2018). Athena is the co-host of the New Books in Poetry Podcast via the New Books Network. She resides in Philadelphia.

Jane P. Perry

White Snake Diary explores the diary as a literary genre: what it looks like and what it can tell us about life and self-inscribers. Uniquely, White Snake Diary is also a diary, offering a timely #MeToo profile of growing up female. White Snake Diary capitalizes on the fascination of diaries either as precursors to our social media culture or as mirrors of our intimate absorption.

Perry pulls on the allure of the repurposed with found photos, childhood school assignments, diary entries, cereal box text, letters, a newspaper clipping, doodles, essays, and professional reports. Perry writes with humor and attention to the little moments most people miss.

Tuesday | September 8, 2020 | 6:30pm Central

Jane P. Perry’s book White Snake Diary: Exploring Self-Inscribers published from Atmosphere Press April 10, 2020, highlighting now more than ever a diary’s documentarian and reflective functions in this time of tragedy and reckoning.  She has been interviewed by Paula Whitacre, and since quarantining has had diary-related pieces published in Persimmon Tree, McSweeney’s Quarterly ConcernWomen Writers, Women’s Books, and Covid Tales Journal. She is an expert on outdoor play. Her bookOutdoor Play: Teaching Strategies with Young Children is published with Teachers College Press. Jane is a member of The Society of Fearless Grandmothers and 1000 Grandmothers For Future Generations. She lives as a guest of the Lisjan Ohlone on the unceded territory of Huichin (Oakland). You can find her at

Carly Israel

A child of alcoholics and grandchild of Holocaust survivors, Carly Israel struggles to conceal her addictions and self-hatred—a path that can only end in death or sobriety. She embarks on a journey of healing, but faces a new set of challenges when her youngest child develops life-threatening medical issues. With grace and love, she faces obstacles head-on, and along the way, she thanks friends, family members, bullies, and unkind strangers.

Thursday | September 24, 2020 | 6pm Central

CARLY ISRAEL, founder of the podcast Northstar Big Book, has written about parenting, divorce, and recovery for the Huffington Post and other venues. She mentors others in recovery, and is committed to looking for the gift or lesson in every experience. Seconds and Inches is her first book.

Donna Miscolta

Set in California in the 1960s and ’70s, the linked stories in Living Color
take Angie Rubio year by thorny year from kindergarten through high
school, offering a humorous, biting, but always compassionate portrait of
the artist as a shy, awkward Mexican-American girl.
Against the backdrop of the Cold War and civil rights eras, Living
Color delivers the milestones of American girlhood—slumber parties,
training bras, proms—through the eyes of “brown, skinny, and
bespectacled” Angie, who learns early that pageant winners,
cheerleaders, and the Juliets in school plays are always white, and that
big vocabularies are useless in navigating cliques and clubs.

Thursday | October 8, 2020 | 7pm Central/5pm Pacific

DONNA MISCOLTA (photo by Meryl Schenker) is the author of three books of fiction: When the de la Cruz Family Danced, Hola and Goodbye: Una Familia in Stories, and Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories. Her first book, the novel When the de la Cruz Family Danced was published in 2011 by Signal 8 Press, a Hong Kong-based, independent publisher as a result of the editor reading an excerpt from the manuscript in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Both Cha and Signal 8 focus on writing that reflects the Asian and Asian American experience. Donna was born in San Diego and grew up in National City, California.

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