Sunday Stories/Brown People Don’t Read?


Sunday Stories is a writing group that started in 2008, and of course, meets on Sunday.  Sunday Stories is me, Scott Duncan, Lisa Gray, Blanca Torres, and Jenny Irizary.  We were all classmates in the Mills College Creative Writing program.  Likewise since 2008 we have hosted the Sunday Stories Reading Series, which is where we in the group and guests share their work, most often in the Blue Room of the Bliss Bar in San Francisco.

In 2011-2014 we have performed at Litcrawl also in San Francisco under the theme “Brown People Don’t Read?” and will again in July 2015 at Beast Crawl.  See the “Friends and Links” page for videos of our performances and also the new Brown People Don’t Read? website:

Members of Sunday Stories

Scott Duncan, frankly, is a lingerer and a lurker.  He’s seen a president eat enchiladas, escaped being held hostage by nuns, fled Mills College with an MFA, and makes his lair in Oakland.  Scott’s ancestors are Californio, Hispano, and Texian, so he’s half white guy and Mexican.  His novel in progress is The Ramona Diary of Scott Russell Duncan, a fictional travel diary reclaiming the mythology of Chicano California, which has much to do with a 19th century book named Ramona.  A chapter appears in the 2012 summer issue of Border Senses.

Lisa Gray received her MFA from Mills College where she began writing her novel One Summer, which tells the story of twelve girls who participated in a demonstration in Georgia, got arrested, and spent fifteen days in an old peach orchard’s slave quarters because during the long hot summer of 1963 southern jails overflowed with children protesters trying to change a culture. Lisa also writes short stories and memoir about growing up in New Haven, Connecticut’s mostly Black inner city during the late 1960’s and ‘70s. She has won scholarships to study at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, The Voices of Our Nations Foundation in San Francisco, and, most recetnly. She hates cold so spent last January at The Vermont Studio Center, where she completed a residency and worked with Howard Thurman. Last  July, she won the nationally acclaimed Pitchaplooza contest in San Francisco. Lisa teaches a course on Women’s Leadership in the context of social and civic justice at Mills College in Oakland and owns LDG Associates a business focused on supporting organizations engaged in social change work. Lisa’s work appears on-line where she’s contributed pieces on food, travel, and personal growth to places like and in the Spelman Spotlight: A Literary Journal.

Blanca Torres grew up on the dry, eastern side of Washington state. She left her hometown of Pasco to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she learned the meaning of culture shock. She has worked as a reporter for several major newspapers in Detroit, Kansas City, Fort Worth Texas, Seattle, Baltimore and now San Francisco, where she writes for the San Francisco Business Times. She earned a Masters of Fine Arts in fiction from Mills College and was the 2009 winner of the Marion Hood Boess Haworth Prize for Fiction for Children & Young Adults. In 2009, she completed a residency as part of Voices of Our Nation Arts. This past summer, she attended Cristina Garcia’s Dos Brujas writer’s conference and Summer Fishtrap in Eastern Oregon. She is putting together a collection of short stories and working on a memoir about her mother’s childhood in Mexico.
Jenny Irizary holds an MA in English and American Literature and a BA in Ethnic Studies with a focus on trauma, postcolonial theory, Latina feminist theories, Cultural Studies, and Caribbean Diasporic identities from Mills College. A neurotic Swede-Rican from the Russian River wine country, she now lives in Oakland, California.

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