Notable San Francisco: 10/29–11/4


Wednesday 10/29Ari Larissa Heinrich is in town from San Diego to speak with Scott Esposito about the work of Qiu Miaojin, whose Last Words from Montmartre Heinrich has just translated from the Chinese (Free, 7 p.m., City Lights).

The Center for Literary Arts hosts Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (Free, 7 p.m., Center for Literary Arts).

The New York Times presents the first of a new events series, Look West—in conjunction with Bank of the West—”that brings game-changing innovators in the arts, media and technology on stage for engaging discussions with New York Times journalists before live, local audiences in states throughout the Western US”. The series is a way to promote their new title, By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from the New York Times Book Review (and, presumably, to boost NYT sales in the West). The first event features Dave Eggers ($25, 6:30 p.m., SFJazz).

Passages on the Lake features William Gainer, Chansonette Buck, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Karlyn DeSteno, Gina Gold, and Caitlin Myer (Free, 6:30 p.m., The Terrace Room).

Thursday 10/30: William Gibson is in town from Vancouver to read from his first new fiction in four years, The Peripheral (Free, 7:30 p.m., The Booksmith).

5 Under 35 honoree and recipient of the Rona Jaffe Award Merritt Tierce reads from her debut novel, Love Me Back (Free, 7 p.m., Green Apple Books).

Oatmeal Magazine presents issue #7, Moatmeal: Castles & Dragons!, with readings, an open mic, and screen-printed goods (Free, 8 p.m., Awaken Cafe).

You’re Going to Die haunts Viracocha with a special Dia de los Muertos Edition, with performances by Elizabeth Hunnicutt, Amity Rose, Jasmine Wilkerson Sufi, Timothy Furstnau, and musical guest Tarimba. All are asked to bring a photo, a piece of clothing, a letter from, or something else related to a deceased love one, and all performers must share something directly relating to someone who’s died ($10, 8 p.m., Viracocha).

Moonlighting SF presents a Halloween variety show hosted by Joe Tobin, with DJ Duserock and performances by local writers and musicians ($13, 8 p.m.,  50 Mason Social House). – Baruch Porras-Hernandez

Friday 10/31: Olympia-based Miranda Mellis (The Spokes, None of This Is Real, The Revisionist) reads from and discusses her work as part of CCA’s Writers Series (Free, 4:30 p.m., Writers’ Studio).

William Gibson reads from and discusses The Peripheral in the North Bay (Free, 1 p.m., Book Passage Corte Madera).

The Other Fabulous Reading Series hosts a mighty lineup in Berkeley, with a concert from Stella Peach, followed by poets David Abel and Chris Ashby, visiting from Portland, and Laura Moriarty (Free, 7 p.m., The Long Haul Infoshop).

Haunted showcases Bay Area literary writer/organizers performing work on the theme Haunted: Evan Karp, Lauren Traetto, Baruch Porras Hernandez, Tomas Moniz, Jaz Sufi, and Ivan Hernandez, followed by Balkan Brass band Fanfare Zambaleta ($10-13, 8 p.m., Doc’s Lab). – Wonder Dave

Saturday 11/1: Kathryn Ma, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award for All That Work and Still No Boys, and author of the debut novel The Year She Left Us, which was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice, gives an early afternoon author talk (Free, 3 p.m., Main Library).

The Grand Opening of Studio Morey features readings by Hollie Hardy, Sarah Wisby, SB Stokes, and James Zealous, with live music by Heather Michelle, Logan Simon, and Don Morey himself, who will also offer free printmaking demonstrations. The event includes food from Smokin’ Oak Barbecue and wine from Periscope Cellars Winery (Free, 5 p.m., Studio Morey).

Bernal Yoga returns with readings by Claire Chafee, Hollie Hardy, Sarah Kobrinsky, Jacques Rancourt, Ethel Rohan, and Austin Smith, and music by Hao Tran ($5, 8 p.m., Bernal Yoga).

Over in Oakland, Be About It celebrates the new Honey issue, with readings by Jesse Prado, William Taylor Jr., A. Razor, Kimberly Kim, MH Heir DaCosta, Paul Corman-Roberts, and J de Salvo (Free, 6 p.m., location upon request).

Sunday 11/2Elmaz Abinader reads from her new collection of poetry, This House, My Bones, which was the Editors Selection at Willow Books/Aquarius Press. She’s joined by Faith Adiele and Sara Campos (Free, 2 p.m., Sahara Import).

Bazaar Writers Salon features novelist Kevin Allardice (Any Resemblance to Actual Persons) and Stegner Fellows Matthew Moser Miller (poetry), and Rachel Smith (fiction) (Free, 6 p.m., Bazaar Cafe).

Radio Ambulante presents their fourth-ever live show, a bilingual event on the theme Outsiders, featuring stories from SF, LA, and across Latin America, with Bay Area DJ crew La Pelanga and a short film from the Colombian animator Malalegría based on a text from the Chilean novelist Álvaro Bisama ($20, 5 p.m., YBCA).

Diane di Prima reads from her first collection of new poems in more than two decades, The Poetry Deal (Free, 3 p.m., Diesel, A Bookstore).

Poetry Unbound puts on a special show in conjunction with the new great weather for MEDIA anthology, featuring readings by Jane Ormerod, Daniel Yaryan, Lauren Marie Cappello, Kit Kennedy, Julia Vinograd, Clive Matson, and Mary Mackey, with a brief open mic ($5, 5 p.m., Art House Gallery).

Monday 11/3: Writers on Writing presents Ronaldo V. Wilson reading from and discussing his poetry collection Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (Free, 7 p.m., SFSU).

Rivertown Poets presents Erica Goss and Francesca Bell, along with an open mic (Free, 6:30 p.m., Aqus Cafe).

Tuesday 11/4: The Holloway Series hosts poet Clark Coolidge (Free, 6:30 p.m., UC Berkeley, Maude Fife Room).

Will Boast reads from his memoir Epilogue, in conversation with ZYZZYVA’s Oscar Villalon (Free, 7 p.m., Green Apple Books on the Park).

City Arts & Lectures hosts Marilynne Robinson in conversation with Isabel Duffy ($27, 7:30 p.m., Nourse Theatre).

Rebecca Solnit reads from and discusses her new book The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness (Free, 7 p.m., Diesel, A Bookstore).

Amarnath Ravva reads from his new novel American Canyon (Free, 7 p.m., Green Apple Books).


Videos and reviews from some of last week’s notables: Steven Gray reviews George Herms; Christopher Patrick Steffen reviews David Mitchell with Adam Johnson; Quiet Lightning (Casey Childers, Alexandra Naughton, Bucky Sinister, Derrick Brown); Under the Influence (Jaime Cortez, Christine No, The Third Thing, Michael Disend, Koon Woon).


This week’s featured local author is Alexis Coe (click to read an interview):

Evan Karp is the founder and executive director of Quiet Lightning and the founding editor of Litseen. He writes literary columns for the San Francisco Chronicle, SF Weekly, and SF/Arts. More from this author →