Friday, Apr 19, 2024 7:00p -

Porter Square Books: Boston Edition
50 Liberty Drive
Boston, MA 02210

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Porter Square Books and GrubStreet are excited to welcome Joan Gelfand for the release of her latest book Outside Voices: A Memoir of the Berkeley Revolution! She will be in conversation with Annie Stone. This event will take place on Friday, April 19 at 7pm at Porter Square Books: Boston Edition (50 Liberty Drive, Boston, MA 02210)!

RSVP here to attend this in-person event!


This event is co-sponsored by GrubStreet and Porter Square Books



Berkeley, 1972: a hotbed of creativity where painters, filmmakers, musicians, and writers inspire a young poet.

Second-wave feminism, inspired by Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Betty Friedan is swelling into a tsunami. Women are joining together to change power dynamics in politics, the home, and the workplace.

On election day, Joan Gelfand casts her vote for George McGovern and boards a plane from New York to California. With one introduction to a woman musician, Joan’s journey to become a writer is born. Embraced by a thriving women’s community of artists, filmmakers, musicians, poets, and writers, Joan is encouraged to find her voice.

Mentored by paradigm-changing writers, Joan finds the courage to face her darkest fears through poetry and art, mining the trauma she experienced after losing her father and questioning her Jewish identity. Reminiscent of Paris in the twenties, Greenwich Village in the sixties, and Berlin in the eighties, Berkeley in the seventies was the “it” city of America.

Outside Voices reports the ups and downs of finding one’s way as an artist, living with a women’s band, forging an independent Jewish identity, founding a women’s restaurant, and becoming a published writer and songwriter while exploring the limits of sexuality and spirituality. The story includes road trips to music festivals in the woods, beaches in Mexico, concerts in Southern California, and a retreat in the Pacific Northwest.

A triumphant story of determination and will, Outside Voices is a backstage look at the women’s movement that sets the stage for decades of change. This book is a firsthand look at how the power of community emboldened innovation, social change, and self-discovery.


“Joan Gelfand documents her thrilling coming-of-age ride through one of America’s most explosive and exciting moments of history. The book travels between the trauma of her traditional Jewish immigrant New York City childhood to the daring experiments of Berkeley, California in the 1970s. It’s not San Francisco’s Summer of Love, it’s the whirling aftermath. Gelfand’s prose buzzes with the beats and pulses of a young woman finding and coming to terms with herself and her past as a poet amidst a vibrant community of musicians, anti-war and women’s rights activists, and queers. It is a brave and joyous read, a timely reminder of how fragile free speech, democracy, the arts, and deliberate acts of love remain. Timely, delicious, and deeply honest, it reminds us how urgent the women’s movement and Berkeley’s imprint are in current-day conversations about democracy.”

— Elizabeth Block, Christopher Isherwood Foundation Award-Winning fiction writer, poet, and essayist

“Joan Gelfand’s memoir, Outside Voices, is a trip down Memory Lane for anyone who lived in Berkeley in the mid-sixties through mid-seventies, at the dawn of the Women’s Movement, told from the as-yet-unexplored point of view of a young Jewish Lesbian from New York. Grieving the death of her father, trying to find herself as a poet, Gelfand takes the reader on a nostalgic through-the-looking-glass tour of the radical people and wild places in Berkeley that informed her career as a critic, teacher, and writer. ‘[I]n Berkeley,’ the poet enthuses, ‘spring is stretched out like a delicious piece of saltwater taffy, all sweetness and joy.’”

— Barbara Quick, Novelist, Poet & Journalist


Joan Gelfand is the author of three volumes of poetry, an award-winning chapbook of short fiction, and a novel, Extreme, which was a finalist in the International Book Awards. Her poem about Lawrence Ferlinghetti was the basis for a film, The Ferlinghetti School of Poetics, which was featured in over twenty international film festivals. Her writing has appeared in more than 150 literary magazines and journals, including Huffington Post, LA Review of Books, Levure Litteraire, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and the San Francisco Chronicle, which published her tribute to Ferlinghetti upon his death. A beloved teacher and mentor, Joan is President Emeritus of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Her guide You Can Be a Winning Writer: The 4 C’s Approach to Author Success is an Amazon #1 bestseller. Joan holds a BA from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Adam Hertz.  

Annie Stone has been working with authors and publishers on both developing great content and connecting stories with their perfect audiences for more than a decade. She has acquired and edited books for traditional publishers (Harlequin, HarperCollins) and served as an Acquisitions Director at audio publisher Podium and serial fiction app YONDER. Annie also spent several years as the Head of Business Development at BookBub, where her team helped authors and publishers all over the world reach new readers and find more fans. Currently, she is teaching a course on publishing startups in the NYU Masters in Publishing program. When she's not teaching in NYC, she can be found in Somerville, Massachusetts with her eccentric cat and her large pile of books.

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04/19/2024 19:00:00 04/19/2024 20:00:00 America/New_York Joan Gelfand, author of Outside Voices, in conversation with Annie Stone <p><strong>Porter Square Books </strong>and <strong>GrubStreet</strong>&nbsp;are excited to welcome&nbsp;<strong>Joan Gelfand&nbsp;</strong>for the release of her latest book <a href="https://www.p... Porter Square Books: Boston Edition, Boston, MA 02210 false MM/DD/YYYY