Wednesday 7/30: Will Chancellor reads from his debut novel A Brave Man Seven Storeys, which Molly Antopol has called “a globetrotting, witty, powerful and wildly ambitious novel that is at once a psychological journey and a terrific page-turner”. Free, 7:30 p.m., The Booksmith.
Literary Death Match returns to the Bay Area for its first-ever Oakland show, with readings by Tim Toaster Henderson, Mac Barnett, Nancy Davis Kho, and Jaz Sufi. $8-12, 7:15 p.m., Shadow Ultra Lounge.
Part of the 13th annual Outsound New Music Summit, PoetryFreqs is a chance to see the legendary ruth weiss perform a set of poetry, followed by a set by Doug Lynner (aka synthesizerman), and the debut of a 40-min work created by Pitta of the Mind (poet Maw Shein Win and electronic composer Amanda Chaudhayr) specifically for this event. $15, 7:30 p.m., Community Music Center.
Saturday 8/2: Come eat barbecue, buy your favorite poet a drink, and celebrate a new book of poetry out on Punk Hostage Press: How to Take a Bullet, And Other Survival Poems by Hollie Hardy. These poems are funny, sad, and strange, moving from the quotidian to the profound and back again. With music by Wreck This Place. Free, 6 p.m., San Francisco Motorcycle Club. – Jeff Von Ward
The Greatest Monkey Show on Earth! Two Nights only of Circus Performer Ross Travis’s incredible piece, which combines bouffon, clown, and spectacular feats of acrobatics to explore the themes of captivity versus freedom. Free, 8 p.m. (8/2 and 8/3), Circus Center. – Baruch Porras-Hernandez
Participants in the one and only San Francisco Writers Workshop will read to benefit Alley Cat Books, who graciously host the workshop readings every Tuesday evening: Judy Viertal, Elise Hunter, Kurt Wallace Martin, Karl Schoenberger, Andrew Rosenblum, and Asa Murphy. Free, 3 p.m., Alley Cat Books.
Tuesday 8/5: The 25th Annual National Poetry Slam kicks off five days in downtown Oakland, with opening ceremonies on the steps of City Hall followed by events leading up to the first two preliminary rounds. The festival continues through Saturday evening with events from 10am-1pm every day, including the Erotica Slam, The Button Poetry Showcase, NPS + Quiet Lightning, Head to Head haiku battles and more! $90 for festival pass (includes finals), 12 p.m., various locations. – Wonder Dave
This week’s featured local author is July Westhale (click to read an interview):