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           ///a literary reading series at the university of california, merced ///

Wednesday, September 17th

Monica Garcia

One particularly crappy day at work, a girl named m. m. garcia wrote a decidedly pissed-off rant on craigslist. Her online tirade found itsway to the Best of craigslist section, where it elicited an influx of e-mails expressing sympathy, empathy, and even a few “you-go-girl”cheers. Thus was born Hate Mail, m. m. garcia’s little black gift to the world.

“I realized that there was a whole community of other people out there who were equally irritated by the people around them but felt helpless to express their anger. I wanted to make something funny and honest thatr epresented what we were all going through.” Garcia wrote and designed the book over the course of one summer before she began her graduate studies in publishing at Portland State University.It was, she says, “an experiment to see what kind of book I was capable of making all on my own.” She made and sold only a handful of her DIY copies before one of them found its way into the hands of her future publisher, Dame Rocket Press. A collaboration between Garcia and DameRocket’s publisher led to the current hardbound edition that was recently awarded the gold medal in the Gift/Holiday/Specialty Book category of the 2008 PubWest Book Design Awards.

Garcia currently lives in Portland, Oregon, but is about to relocate to London, England. “I love the way British people are so calm and polite on the outside, and seething with pent-up anger on the inside,” she muses. “They’re the perfect Hate Mail audience.”

The Wasted Years is garcia’s next project, which she describes as “a short story collection that celebrates those blissfully ignorant years between 18 and 29, when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing with your life—like a wind-up toy that goes in the most convenient direction until something gets in its way.” She promises it will be 99 percent less ranty.

Fall 2008 Readings

Wednesday, September 17th      Monica Garcia

Earle McCartney

TBA                                                     Faculty Reading