Colgate Writers' Conference

Peter Balakian
Andrea Barzvi
Jennifer Brice
Paul Cody
Brian Hall
J. Robert Lennon
Patrick O'Keeffe
Jennifer Pooley
Bruce Smith
Jennifer Smith
Dan Wald
Video Archive
Contact Us

Site Meter

Cary Tennis

Cary Tennis graduated cum laude from the University of Miami in 1976 with a B.A. in literature and journalism and entered the masters program in creative writing at San Francisco State in 1978. He passed his orals (Wallace Stevens, William Faulkner and Vladimir Nabokov) and had his creative thesis approved ("The Riverwood House and Other Stories"), but he got distracted around 1980 and never actually got the degree. He went to work in the mailroom of Western Electric in San Francisco, worked as a bike messenger, formed a new wave band called the Repeat Offenders (wrote, sang, played guitar), worked as a rock journalist for the SF Weekly and generally tried to live out an idiosyncratic and highly personalized version of your basic poet-and-fiction-writer-as-brilliant-urban-rebel-and- scold throughout most of the 1980s, before he settled down in 1989 with a steady girlfriend, got married, quit the booze and tried to make a legitimate go of it. An entire decade spent basically screwing around had not resulted in an overly impressive resume of accomplishments, however, so he spent five more years in the late '90s sitting on a streetcar riding to and from downtown to a job at Chevron Corp, where he sent faxes and wore a tie. During that time, he worked on a novel and learned the finer points of copy editing. In 1999, he landed a job at After two years as copy chief at Salon, he was offered the chance to take over the advice column then written by writer and radio host Garrison Keillor. He did so. He has written the "Since You Asked" column since the fall of 2001 and has turned it into something unusual and one might even say literary. He lives near the Pacific Ocean in the Outer Sunset/Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Francisco with his wife Norma, who is a painter and graphic designer, and their two standard poodles, Lola and Ricky.


Type Date Links
(with Jennifer Haigh)
June 27th, 2008 Windows Media
Craft Talk June 28th, 2008 Windows Media