Wednesday 7/23: James Nestor talks about and reads from his latest book, Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves, for which he traveled 2,500 ft below in a DIY submarine. $15, 6 p.m., Mechanics Institute Library.
Portland’s Future Tense Books presents a launch for the new memoir by Wendy C. Ortiz, Excavation, with readings by the author, Brynn Saito, and Jan Richman. Hosted by Tomas Moniz. Free, 7:30 p.m., Pegasus Books Downtown.
Thursday, 7/24: National Book Award winner William T. Vollman (Europe Central) makes a rare appearance to read from his new collection of ghost stories, Last Stories and Other Stories. The event will be held at a secret location; invitations are mandatory and may be picked up at the front counter of City Lights. Free, 7 p.m., TBA.
Like OMG! Litquake totally presents this rad event Less Than Zero: Homage to ‘80s Lit, Big Hair, and Distressed Denim with Joshua Mohr, Alia Volz, Andrew Dugas, and Michelle Tea reading iconic literary works from that era. Bring your own coke spoon or one will be provided. $15, 8 p.m., Verdi Club. – Jeff Von Ward
Writing Without Walls tackles the theme Performance, with readings by Jonathan Downer, Moneta Goldsmith, Sarah Kobrinsky, Rex Leonowicz, Jennifer Lewis, Xan L. Roberti, and John Oliver Simon. Free, 7:30 p.m., Cafe du Soleil.
Friday 7/25: BustingOut Storytelling: Celebrate, hosted by Kay DeMartini, features storytellers Don Reed, Faith Adeile, Irish Dave Scott Sanders, and Doug Cordell. $15-20, 8 p.m., Geoffreys Inner Circle. – Baruch Porras-Hernandez
Under the Influence presents Patrick James Dunagan, Turner Capehart Canty, Candy Shue, Bill Hughes, and Zack Haber channeling major influences and their own work that in some way channels or reflects those influences. $5-10, 7:30 p.m., The Emerald Tablet.
Saturday Night Special celebrates a three-year anniversary and the publication of co-host Hollie Hardy’s collection How to Take a Bullet and other Survival Poems with a reading by Hardy and a How To open mic. Free, 7 p.m., Nick’s Lounge.
Bay Area Poetry Marathon returns with a knockout lineup, guest curated by erica lewis: Michelle Detorie, Carrie Hunter, Evan Kennedy, Lauren Levin, Alexandra Naughton, Ted Rees, Dan Thomas Glass, Della Watson, Jessica Wickens, & Valerie Witte. $5, 7 p.m., The Emerald Tablet.
Monday, 7/28: Two-time National Magazine Award-winner Sean Michaels visits to read from his debut novel Us Conductors, based on the fascinating life of Lev Sergeyvich Termen, who invented the theremin and became a reluctant Soviet spy. With theraminist Meredith Yayanos. Free, 7:30 p.m., The Booksmith.
Bay Area Generations is in SF this month, with a handful of pairings: Sharon Coleman and Mary Mackey, Herman Lin and Jon Sindell, Joel Landmine and John Panzer, Diego Deleo and Sarah Carpenter, with music by pianist Michael Parsons. $5, 7:30 p.m., Hotel Rex.
This week’s featured local author is Terry Taplin (click to read an interview):