Sunday Oct 4 at the Henry Miller Library: Big Sur Redwood Auction!

One year after auctioning off the first set of 10 slabs from a fallen 500-year old old-growth coast redwood tree, the Henry Miller Memorial Library is
set to auction off ten more!

But first, the epic backstory…

Years before Europeans stepped foot in California…decades before Martin Luther challenged the foundation of the Western religious tradition…A century before Galileo claimed that the earth revolved around the sun….

…a 200 foot old-growth coast redwood tree stood approximately 10 feet to the southeast from where you are currently standing.

There it stood for close to 500 years. Until December 2, 2012.

At 9 am, a staff member was eating breakfast in the back office when he heard that terrifying, unmistakable sound. He ran out and instantly saw an explosion of what looked like sawdust near the base of the tree, as if a stick of dynamite was detonated in its trunk.

And then it fell.

Upon examining the wood, local lumberjacks were amazed at what they found: pure, pristine, unadulterated redwood, ideal for artistic or household uses like tables, benches, counters, doors, and paneling.

In 2014, the Library auctioned off ten slabs.

And now, our Sunday Oct. 4, 2015, we’ll be auctioning off ten more.

You will be unable to find old-growth redwood of such quality and consistency, nor from such a hallowed and historic location.

Proceeds will beneft the Henry Miller Memorial Library, a 501 (c) 3 nonproft arts organization.

Wine served by True Myth Winery

You will be allowed to bid remotely - click for details.

Visit for updates and information regarding specific slabs.

Questions? Call us at 831-667-2574.

Posted on:

The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series announces the winners of its 2015 summer series, as selected by its 8-person jury!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Press contact: Magnus Toren –

The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series Announces the Winners of its 2015 Summer Series In its 10th annual series, Jury selects AYA by Mihal Brezis & Oded Binnum, as First Place Winner; 2015 Audience Award goes to The Phone Call by Mat Kirkby.

AUGUST 31, 2015 (BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA) – The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series announces the winners of its 2015 summer series, as selected by its 8-person jury. Aya, by Mihal Brezis & Oded Binnum, Israel, came in first place, followed by The Phone Call by Mat Kirkby, U.K, in second place. Third place went to Plein Soleil (Blazing Sun) by Fred Castadot, Belgium.

The 2015 Audience Award went to The Phone Call. Recognized as one of the most exciting and innovative short film series in the world, the Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series celebrated its 10th year in 2015. 2015 was the series’ most successful to date, having receiving over 1,400 submissions from over 35 countries.

The Screening Series has no submission fees or restrictions on content or genre.

The Big Sur International Short Film Screen Series Jury consists of composer Philip Glass, experimental performance artist Laurie Anderson, actress Kirsten Dunst, Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, film director Michael Polish, film editor Susan Littenberg, and film producer Lawrence Inglee.

The Series’ screening committee whittled down the 1,400-plus submissions to 53 films which were screened across the summer.

7210_10151693244458234_822359979_nEvery Thursday night in June, July, and August, hundreds of visitors came to the Henry Miller Memorial Library — a 501 (c) non profit art center and the Series’ “parent” organization — to watch four of five of these films. A selection of 11 of these 53 films were subsequently sent to the Series Jury who then selected the “best of the best.”

“It’s been an incredible journey across the past 10 years, and I can without a doubt say that this year’s crop of films was the most impressive yet; not just in quantity, but in the scope of content; quality of writing, cinematography, acting…and in terms of dealing with some pressing social issues in a thoughtful and provocative way,” said Series Director Magnus Toren.

“And the breadth of diversity was as strong as ever as well. Selections ran the gamut — comedies, dramas, documentaries, animation, you name it. The series has become known for an element of unpredictability and I think our audience members appreciate that.” The Series is now accepting submissions for its 2016 installment. To submit and for more information regarding the series, as well as previous selections and winners, visit

The 2015 finalists:
  • Grey Bull by Eddy Bell, Australia
  • Lost in Stångby by Marie Thérèse Ahlbeck, Sweden
  • Garbo by Venetia Taylor, Australia
  • A Doll’s House by Tobias Gundorff Boesen, Denmark
  • Keys to Heaven by Hamy Ramezan, Finland
  • God of Love by Luke Matheny, USA
  • Syndromeda by Patrik Eklund, Sweden
  • Plein Soleil (Blazing Sun) by Fred Castadot, Belgium
  • Chronicles of Courage by Ernest Mills, U.K.
  • Aya by Mihal Brezis & Oded Binnum, Israel
  • The Phone Call by Mat Kirkby, U.K
Posted on:

Sign up for the Henry Miller Library Digest and get lots of cool stuff! (And support your favorite nonprofit arts center!)

Sure, you love getting your occasional email from the HML, but you crave EVEN MORE?
Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 10.16.05 AM
More content, more special deals on books and merchandise, more rare videos, essays on Miller, pictures of Theo, and more, well, everything?

Then sign up for the HML Digest!  For as little as $2 a month, you’ll get “the best of the best” delivered to your inbox every month — all while supporting your friendly nonprofit book store here in the woods!

Don’t believe us? Click here for last month’s Digest. You’ll a rare video of Henry, Theo and Ryan Adams, “The Greatest Day of Joanna Newsom’s Mom’s Life,” Philip Glass, and more…..

All of this could be yours — indefinitely!! — and for less than it costs for a mocha grande soy latte (extra hot).

Sign up HERE for the Digest and thanks, as always, for your support!

Posted on:

Tomorrow (Sunday Aug 8) at 4 pm the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur: “Lovebattles: Carol and John Steinbeck!”

Tomorrow (Sunday Aug 8) at 4 pm the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur: “Lovebattles: Carol and John Steinbeck!”

Join us for a pleasant afternoon “Under the Persimmon Tree” with Susan Shillinglaw, author and scholar, dramatist Taelen Thomas, and musician Steve Mortensen, all of whom will explore the life and legacy of John Steinbeck!

Free! Bring a picnic! Questions? Call us! 831-667-2574!


Posted on:

In today’s installment of “What I’ve Been Into,” we present… Dan R.!!!

As you know, we here in Big Sur are a primitive lot. Internet is slow. Food after 10 pm is non-existent. And access to the collective Zeitgeist is the police blotter in the Carmel Pine Cone.

It’s these little things that make our sleepy existence here quaint, comforting, and easy to ridicule.

But it comes at a cost. Namely, our connection to “the real world.” So we need your help.

Every week during our movie nights, we’re going to show a brief video clip called “What I’ve Been Into.”  We’d like you to be the person in that video.

Here’s today’s installment: Dan. R!

Whip out your iPhone, introduce yourself, and tell us what you’ve been into. Your face will be on the big screen in front of 120 drooling Big Sur hillbillies and, if you play your cards right, our YouTube channel as well!Are you binge-watching “Game of Thrones?” Fair enough. Downing espresso at the new cafe down the street? Great. Is there a new meme (sp?) you like? You can do better, but tell us about it anyway!

Enlighten us. Patronize us. Give us a window into your 21st-century world. We’ve heard (mostly) good things!

Do it!  Do it now!
Email us at
Posted on:

Tomorrow (Sun) at the Henry Miller Library – “Under the Persimmon Tree” with Andi Teran​, author of “Ana of California.”

9780143126492 (1)Tomorrow (Sun) at the Henry Miller Library at 4 pm (free) – Join us for a talk “Under the Persimmon Tree” with Andi Teran​, author of “Ana of California.”

Here’s what folks have to say about this novel which examines the modern-day agricultural movement in the Golden State:

“Andi Teran’s first novel is vivid and fully realized, an entire universe expertly condensed into the pages you hold in your hands. Ana herself is a complicated delight, and by the end of the book I wanted to scoop her up into my arms.” —New York Times bestselling author Emma Straub

“Anne of Green Gables fans will rejoice; newcomers will find a satisfying tale; and Ana’s high jinx will leave both types of readers smiling and asking for more.” – Kirkus Reviews

More praise here.

Posted on:

This Sunday July 19 (4 pm)- Under the Persimmon tree with Robert Greenfield!

On Sundays in July-Sept, we’ll host some of the country’s most accomplished authors, artists, and journalists “Under the Persimmon Tree.” July 19th features Robert Greenfield, Carmel-based author, journalist, and screenwriter best known for his work with the Rolling Stones!

liu023Check out this great interview with Robert, who talks about his career and his craft.  Some money quotes:

If you’re very lucky, perhaps you’ve seen The Rolling Stones in concert or, maybe you harbor some collectable vinyl albums. It’s unlikely, however, that you’ve gone on tour with the Stones, spent dozens of hours interviewing members of the band, or even spent days living at Mick Jagger’s villa. Award-winning author and summer Peaks Island resident Robert Greenfield has done those things; it’s fair to say that our understanding of music in 20th century society is better for it.

Greenfield said, “Writing about extraordinary people you can learn something about life that is different than writing about people with quiet lives.” In part, Greenfield attributes the success of his career — writing about icons of the music industry — to “feeling passionate about the work and remaining absolutely trustworthy in trying to capture the humanity of people who can really be very difficult.”

Read the whole thing here!

Posted on:

Miller was not a Geologist nor was he the ‘last invader.’ Discuss.

bs and oranges2Henry Miller’s “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch” is the quintessential love-letter to Big Sur.

The book is replete with countless gorgeous passages speaking to the area’s natural beauty and the wonderful people who lived here back in the salad days of the 40s and 50s.

Here’s Henry, upon first setting eyes on Big Sur:

“When I first beheld this wonderous region I thought to myself — “Here I will find peace. Here I shall find the strength to do the work I was made to do.”

Further — and this, I believe, is the most succinct and accurate approximation of Big Sur I’ve yet to come across — he describes the area’s “magnetic, healing ambiance.”

He also talks about the concept of the “last invader,” the idea that those living in Big Sur at the time represented the last wave of settlers to the reason. Echoing a distinctly American strain, Miller alludes to the imagesprelapsarian impulse encoded in our DNA, the idea that we must preserve this peace and solitude at all costs and not let anyone else in to ruin it.  (Ed: no one bothered to ask the Native Americans about their opinion on this.)

Our point? Miller’s ability to encapsulate the essence of the area cannot be surpassed. His ability at predicting the future, however, leave a bit to be desired.

Towards the end of “Oranges” — on page 403, to be exact — he talks about how he gazes out into Big Sur’s barren, rolling hills and valleys and envisions…Greece, noting:

“I sometimes think how wonderful will be the day when all these mountain sides are filled with habitations, when the slopes are terraced with fields, when flowers bursts forth everywhere [Ed: no word on if he envisioned an "In n' Out"]

“I picture….colossal stairways curving down to the sea where boats lie at anchor….I hear laughter like pealing rapids, rising from thousands of jubilant throats.

“I can visualized multitudes living where now there are only a few scattered families. There is room here for thousands upon thousands to come. It could happen, in fact, in a very few years from now. What we dream is the reality of tomorrow [Ed. This is not true. A dream is just a dream.]

We could go on, but you get the point. We love Henry for his boisterous irrepressible spirit and frquent forays into optimistic thinking, but while he may have been a Bohemian/Metaphysicalist/etc. bar none, he, alas, wasn’t a geologist.

In fact, by the time you finishing reading this blog, Bixby Bridge will have sunk 18.5 feet into the hillside.  JK y’all.

In closing, fifty years on, Miller’s vision of a crowded, bustling Mediterranean Eden have yet to come to past. Mother Nature had the last word. Simply put, given the region’s rugged landscape, further development is, geologically speaking, impossible. (This is lamentable because the In n’ Out in Seaside isn’t set to open until November at the earliest.)

Well! Looks like we’ll just have to settle for a still-relatively-under-developed, but nonetheless-increasingly-crowded Eden for the time being!

Posted on: