Notable San Francisco: 5/25–6/1

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Wednesday 5/25: Vietnamese-American writer Andrew Lam (Birds of Paradise Lost) is the son of a South Vietnamese general who emigrated to the US after the fall of Saigon. Lam was featured in the PBS documentary My Journey Home in which three immigrant American writers were followed as they paid visits to their ancestral homelands. He is the winner of a PEN Open Book Award. Free, 6 p.m. San Francisco Public Library.

David Schneider will discuss his biography of Philip Whalen, Crowded by Beauty: The Life and Zen of of Poet Philip Whalen. Free, 7 p.m., Diesel Books Oakland.

Thursday 5/26: Oakland’s Nomadic Press continues to publish quality books by local writers at an astonishing rate. Six of their best read tonight at Pegasus: Tango Eisen-Martin, Cassandra Dallett, Soma Mei Sheng Frazier, Allie Marini, Nick Johnson, and MK Chavez. Free, 7:30 p.m., Pegasus Bookstore Downtown Berkeley.

Poetry Flash presents Carol Snow (Position Paper: New and Selected Poems) and Brian Teare (The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven) read at Moe’s Books. Free, 7:30 p.m., Moe’s.

Saturday 5/28: The San Francisco Public Library presents anti-war activist David Swanson reading from the brand-new second edition of War Is A Lie. Swanson will be accompanied by Daniel Ellsberg, the whistle blower responsible for the leak of the notorious Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War era. This will be a close encounter with history. Free, 11 a.m., San Francisco Public Library.

Sunday 5/29: Respect: The Bay Area Poets Coalition was founded in 1974 and continues sponsor readings publications, and writing contests. Their biennial three and half hour open-mic reading at the San Francisco Public Library has an unusual format: the features are chosen by lottery. The Open Mic portion continues until everybody has a chance to read. Free, 1 p.m., San Francisco Public Library.

Monday 5/31: YA author Kwame Alexander won both a Newbery Medal and a Coretta Scott King Medal for The Crossover. He is the author of 21 books. He will be reading at the Berkeley Public Library. Never heard of him? Ask your twelve-year-old. Free, 6 p.m., Berkeley Public Library. 

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This week’s theatre recommendation is John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation at Custom Made Theatre. Prominent Bay area stage director Stuart Bousel describes Six Degrees of Separation as his favorite play. Custom Made Theater is one of San Francisco’s best small theaters. This is a good match, and the buzz on this production has been remarkable. You probably want to see this one. For further information, click here. 

For more extensive coverage of the Bay Area theatre scene, visit TheatreStorm.

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Evan Karp presents video of this week’s featured local author, Khalil Anthony Peebles. Read an interview here.

And here’s some older video of one of last week’s SF notables, Jezebel Delilah X. 

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If you have a Bay Area event listing you’d like us to consider for Notable SF, please contact [email protected] as far in advance as possible, and include the date of the event in the subject line.


Charles Kruger is a Bay area arts practitioner known as "The Storming Bohemian." He tries to do as much as he can. More from this author →