Lunchtime Lecture: Gary Singh and Mighty Mike McGee
Celebrate the launch of Gary Singh’s book, Silicon Alleys, Selected Metro Silicon Valley Columns, 2005–2020, which compiles the best, the craziest, and the most unbelievable—but true stories of San José’s cultural landscape and history. Singh is joined by former Santa Clara County poet laureate, Mighty Mike McGee for a conversation that delves deeper into Singh’s column, focusing on the history surrounding SJMA’s building that once housed the post office and the San José Public Library, where Singh’s mother worked as a librarian, and how Jack Kerouac discovered the Buddhist Bible on-site. Singh will also share some stories about his favorite exhibitions as well as the parties and people who attended them.
About the Book
In 2005, the editors of Metro Silicon Valley, San José’s alternative weekly newspaper, gave Gary Singh his own column, “Silicon Alleys,” to explore the underbelly of San José from a perspective only a creative native could offer. To this day, he still writes the column every week. Now a selection of Singh’s greatest hits, over 250 columns in chronological order, is available in one mammoth volume, hand-picked by the columnist. Following a gnarly foreword by cyberpunk science fiction pioneer Rudy Rucker, a glorious mishmash of humanity emerges. UFO researchers sit right alongside rock stars, repo men, and professional wrestlers. Buddhist scholars hold column space with women’s drinking clubs. Abandoned strip malls return to life. From punk rock to high art, from dive bars to luxury digs, from literary vibes to forgotten history, no other body of work more aptly sorts out the guts of America’s 10th largest city than Singh’s weekly column.
About the Speakers
Gary Singh is a journalist with a music degree, a published poet, and a long-time newspaper columnist at Metro Silicon Valley. His byline has appeared over 1400 times in various consumer and trade publications, including travel essays, art and music criticism, profiles, business journalism, lifestyle articles, poetry, and short fiction. He is the author of The San José Earthquakes: A Seismic Soccer Legacy (2015, The History Press) and was recently a Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing at San José State University. He still lives in San José.
Mighty Mike McGee is a funny stand-up poet from San José, California. They/He's performed his comedic storytelling and poetry in thousands of cities and towns for millions of ears throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. McGee won all of the most coveted U.S. poetry slam titles and is one of the best known and liked people in the world of chatty writers. McGee was appointed Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley) for 2018 & 2019. McGee has been featured on CBC, NPR and HBO multiple times and takes pride in making people laugh and cry from the stage.