© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Out in the Bay

Peers connect on Pacifica Pier in ‘Spell Heaven’

Pacifica Municipal Pier
Toni Mirosevich
Pacifica Municipal Pier

As we await the reopening of the Pacifica Pier — now closed due to recent storm damage — we bring you poet Toni Mirosevich's stories of connection on this historic pier.

How do we find human connection? Being “in with the out crowd?” An author and poet finds peers on the pier. Specifically, on the Pacifica Municipal Pier, closed this January due to storm damage.

As we eagerly await its reopening, we re-present Toni Mirosevich reading from her book Spell Heaven and other stories and telling us about finding connection on the pier on this edition of Out in the Bay.

In Spell Heaven, a lesbian couple moves to a coastal town and unexpectedly finds a sense of belonging with a group of outsiders. The collection, set in “Seaview,” reflects on finding meaning and connection in an increasingly isolated world.

Seaview is a name Mirosevich dreamt up for the real town of Pacifica, where she lives, just down the coast from San Francisco, and Spell Heaven mirrors her actual life. The book’s narrator, like her, is a retired creative writing professor looking for meaning.

“I saw a sign on a post down by the sea one day. It said ‘I’ve lost something. I don’t know what it is. Can you help me find it?’

“And I thought, that’s very true to who this narrator is,” says Mirosevich. Like many of us, especially in this COVID era, “she’s lost some kind of meaning, some kind of connection.” Her stories show how dropping presumptions about others, and making friends out of strangers, can rebuild connection.

In the title story, a child’s note found on the pier gets Mirosevich musing on different meanings of “heaven.” (Listen for it about halfway through our conversation.)

Please help us keep bringing queer air to your ears. Out in the Bay is an independent non-profit production. We receive no funds from podcast platforms nor from radio stations that air Out in the Bay weekly. Your gift will help keep LGBTQ voices and stories coming to you and others who might not be able to give. (Donate tabs on our website will take you to a Media Alliance interface. Media Alliance is our non-proft 501(c)3 fiscal agent. Your gift will be earmarked for Out in the Bay.)

This episode was edited by Christopher J Beale and first aired in June 2022. Photo of Pacifica Municipal Pier by Toni Mirosevich.

Stay Connected
Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.