Writers of Northern California

IMG_5933   The land is constantly speaking to us. As I look over San Francisco Bay, I am reminded that there is so much more underneath the surface than I am aware of. As I feel socked in by chilling fog, I know that at any minute, the sun can come out and the world smiles again. As I stand next to my redwood tree on my Mt. Tamalpais hike, I know that to soar, I must be rooted securely into the ground. The Miwok Indians of Northern California knew this. They were integrally connected to the land, working with her power and her presence allowing her to inform their stories, their oral traditions of the beginnings of life, of the trickster coyote and the ethereal hummingbird. I have lived in California since 1997 but only recently have I realized how much this land has been trying to speak to me. “Tell my stories,” she says. “The stories are in the earth.” It is with this new foraged friendship and connection that I begin the spirit of this blog writing about the literary history of the San Francisco Bay Area. All of the writers who have lived and written here, like me, have really been writing stories the land has been telling them all along. From John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row to Jack London’s Call of the Wild, the Beat Poets primal “Howl” to the Naturalists raw humanity. All these writers have channeled a sense of place, of the magical, mystical beauty and pulsing energy that bubbles up from the rolling heathered hills, the briny ocean, and the branched forests that is so quintessentially Northern California. May I tap into that ability to hear the land and write in a way so many writers have come before me. And may I also discover what the land was telling them.

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