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Our first Writers Issue speaks volumes
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From Jack London Square to Jack Kerouac Alley, Dashiell Hammett Street to Armistead Maupin backroom, the Bay's geography is dotted with ready reminders of its old-school literary heritage. (Meet us on your hover bike at the intersection of Violet Blue Way and Calle Mission Mission in the bloggable future.)

And yet — movie trailer narrator voice here — in a silicon age of textual blah-blah and publisher hype, of writers with a capital "W" and writers with basic HTML, of our virtual reality's underlying coders and an invigorated zine interest in for-your-eyes-only ... well, whatever, word. The pleasures of the text surround us, and a flock of new voices is always chirping in the wings.

We wanted to take advantage of the happy confluence of two major Bay literary events — celebrity-studded reading avalanche LitQuake (Oct. 9-17, www.litquake.org) and the thrilling, youth-oriented showcase Living Word Festival (Oct. 8-18, www.youthspeaks.org) — to highlight some writers participating in each, and a few local others we dig, like poet Arisa White, comics artist Eric Haven, and the cheeky Peter magazinesters. We also toss in the winners of our LIT123 contest. Garnishing our locavore word salad is our cover image from Steve Rotman's excellent new San Francisco Street Art (Prestel Publishing, 91 pages, $14.95). Grab your silver metafork and dig in.

>The monster: An excerpt from El Monstruo by John Ross

>>Bon voyage! An excerpt from Termite Parade by Joshua Mohr

>>Bay writes: Winners of our first LIT123 contest

>>Word alive: Selections from fresh young voices

>>A poem by Arisa White

>>Fine quintet: Four provocative haikus and a tanaka

>>An interview with comics artist Eric Haven

>>An interview with street art photographer Steve Rotman

>>The men behind Peter magazine