Notable San Francisco: 10/8–10/14


Wednesday 10/8: Nell Bernstein reads from her new book Burning Down the House: The End of the Juvenile Prison System, and will be in conversation with formerly incarcerated youth, advocates, and the audience. Free, 6 p.m., Youth Radio.

Kim Addonizio celebrates her second collection of stories, The Palace of Illusions, with a reading and discussion (and maybe some harmonica). Free, 7:30 p.m., The Booksmith.

The Berkeley Slam features Jelal Huyler, who’s been part of the Bay Area literary and hip-hop scenes for years (and was our own grand slam champ in 2010!). This year, he was on the New Sh!t Show Team at the National Poetry Slam, and he runs the hip-hop cypher Oakland Mind. $7-10, 8 p.m., The Starry Plough. – Wonder Dave

University of San Francisco hosts Paul Lisicky as part of their series, Lone Mountain Readings. Free, 7:45 p.m., USF Lower Campus, Fromm Hall, Maraschi Room.

Mylene Fernández-Pintado will be in town from Havana to celebrate the publication of A Corner of the World. She will read from and discuss the book with translator Dick Cluster. Free, 7 p.m., City Lights.

Eleven Eleven launches issue 17 with readings by Jeff Ewing, Alexandra Mattraw, Tim Xonnelly, and Jen Siraganian. Free, 7:30 p.m., Writers’ Studio.

Longtime North beach resident Diego Deleo and friends read poems, with open mic. Free, 7 p.m., The Emerald Tablet.

Lunada Literary Lounge features Nina Serrano, Dylan Amaro-McIntyre, and Alejandro Mojica, with a bilingual open mic. Sign-up at 7:15 p.m.. $5, 7:30 p.m., Galería de la Raza.

Thursday 10/9: Sister Spit hosts the launch for their latest title, our own Thomas Page McBee‘s Man Alive. Heidi Julavits has said: “It’s a confession, it’s a poem, it’s a time warp, it’s a brilliant work of art.” Free, 7 p.m., City Lights.

Why There Are Words has a monster lineup for its appropriately “Plenty”-themed show: Katie Crouch, Carol Edgarian, Anne Germanacos, Joshua Mohr, Bich Minh Nguyen, Ellen Sussman, and Josh Weil. $10, 7:15 p.m., Studio 333.

Joyce Maynard reads as part of Story Hour. Free, 5 p.m., UC Berkeley, Morrison Library in Doe Library.

Roz Chast presents her work as part of City Arts & Lectures. $27, 7:30 p.m., Nourse Theater.

The first-ever Two Voices Salon is a discussion with Best Translated Book Award-winning Ottilie Mulze, who will Skype in from Prague to talk about Seiobo There Below by Laszlo Krasznahorkai. Free, 6 p.m., Center for the Art of Translation.

Voz Sin Tinta features Raina J. Leon, Danniel Riddle Rodriguez, and Ashley Infantei, along with a bilingual open mic. Free, 6:30 p.m., Alley Cat Books.

Friday 10/10: Our very own Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton host the SF release party for their book Pen & Ink with many special guests, including Daniel Handler, Michelle Tea, Cassy Fritzen, Caroline Paul, Chris Colin, and Alexis C. Madrigal & Sarah C. Rich. Free, 7 p.m., The Make-Out Room.

Litquake kicks off its annual nine-day festival with a Quinceañera 15th Anniversary Bash, a social with live music from Acapulco Mariachi Trio, complimentary cocktails from Hornitos Tequila, cake from Bi-Rite Creamery, and DJ Alarm on the spins. $15, 7 p.m., Z Space.

Cornel West discusses his forthcoming book Black Prophetic Fire (amongst other things) with Astra Taylor as part of City Arts & Lectures. $27, 7:30 p.m., Nourse Theater.

Saturday 10/11: Litquake has events all day, and in multiple Bay Area cities. Check today’s full schedule here.

Off With Your Heads features five poets: Judy Bernhard, Maggie Glover, David Koehn, Mary Mackey, and Aimee Suzara. Free, 12:30 p.m., Hotel Rex.

Cornel West presents a talk entitled Prophetic Imagination: Confronting the new Jim Crow and income inequality in America. $15, 3:30 p.m., St. Mary’s.

Bucky Sinister, Charlie Getter, and Zarina Zabrisky read and/or perform Words en Plein Aire—in the San Rafael City Plaza. Free, 4:30 p.m., 998 4th Street.

Eric Drooker and Chuck Sperry present Radical Comics. Free, 5 p.m., Hotel Rex.

Cipactli, San Francisco State University’s Latina/Latino Studies Journal of Art and Literature, features readings by Jose Hector Cadena, Brenda Montano, Daniel Suarez, Ricardo Tavarez, and Katie Tomzynski. Free, 6:30 p.m., Alley Cat Books.

Bich Minh Nguyen, Christina Nichol and Stuart Rojstaczer read Modern Tales from the Heartland. $5, 7 p.m., The Emerald Tablet.

Writers With Drinks hosts Jonathan Lethem, Molly Antopol, NoViolet Bulawayo, Natasha Moni and Mallory Ortberg. $5-20, 7:30 p.m., The Make-Out Room.

Be About It hosts MA-based Timothy Gager, Carmella Veronica, Paul Murufas, and Christine Hyung-Oak Lee. Free, 6:30 p.m., E.M. Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore.

SF State presents veteran poets Ed Roberson (visiting from Chicago) and Michael Palmer. $10, 7 p.m., Unitarian Center.

Litquake launches its first book, Drivel, based on their popular (and hilarious) Regreturature series, with contributors Po Bronson, Andrew Sean Greer, Tupelo Hassman, Joe Loya, Wendy MacNaughton, Ellen Sussman, Peter Orner, and Julia Scott, as well as spins by DJ Toph One. $12-15, 8 p.m., Z Space.

Sunday 10/12: Litquake has events all day, and in multiple Bay Area cities. Check today’s full schedule here.

Litquake in the Castro returns with Caroline De Robertis, Kevin Fisher-Paulson, Jason K. Friedman, Jean Ryan, Leslie L. Smith, Renate Stendahl, and Kat Marie Yoas. Free, 1 p.m., Magnet.

The latest issue of The Best American Nonrequired Reading is presented by co-editor Daniel Handler, Andrew Altschul, and Adam Johnson. Free, 3 p.m., Z Space.

NoViolet Bulawayo is in conversation with Chinelo Okparanta on the theme Stories from Home, moderated by Sarah Ladipo Manyika and with music by Music provided by Emmanuel Nado of KALW’s AfricaMix. $10, 1 p.m., Z Space.

Boris Fishman and Molly Antopol are in conversation about being young émigré writers. $10, 1 p.m., Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Lewis Buzbee, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Rebecca Solnit, and Astra Taylor discuss The State of the (Dis)Union: Culture, Education, and Politics. Free, 5 p.m., Hotel Rex.

Barely Published this year features Peter Bullen, Sarah Griffin, Nancy Davis Kho, Lee Daniel Kravetz, Patrick Letellier, Caitlin Myer, Carron Oswald, and Sonya Renee Taylor. $5, 7 p.m., The Make-Out Room.

Attempting Normal: Marc Maron and Jack Boulware in conversation. $15-20, 7 p.m.,  Z Space.

Mill Valley Library’s storytelling series features Nato Green, Josh Healey, Bill Katovsky, Joyce Lee, and Eve Pell. Free, 7 p.m., Mill Valley Library.

Laurie Blanton, Emily Kiernan, Ethel Rohan, Siamak Vossoughi, and Sarah Fran Wisby all present Badass Briefs. $5, 7 p.m., The Emerald Tablet.

Monday 10/13: Litquake has events all day, and in multiple Bay Area cities. Check today’s full schedule here.

A mini-version of the annual Digi.lit: The Digital Publishing Revolution features Girl Friday Productions executive editor Kate Chynoweth, CEO of Blurb Eileen Gittins, founder of Untreed Reads Jay A. Hartman, and literary agent Ted Weinstein. Advance registration is required. Free, 5 p.m., Foundation Center.

Litquake pays tribute to Heyday’s Malcolm Margolin, in celebration of 40 years, with Kim Bancroft, L. Frank, Andrew Lam, Rebecca Solnit, Oscar Villalon, Charlie Winton, and Paul Yamazaki. Free, 6:30 p.m., Book Club of California.

I Watched the World… 30 Years After Brautigan includes tributes by friends Joanne Kyger, Michael McClure, and David Melzter, as well as Robert Hass, Paul Swensen, and Ianthe Brautigan-Swensen. Free, 6:30 p.m., UC Berkeley, Morrison Library in Doe Library.

Original Shorts features short stories by Diane Cook, Mark Cronin, Paul Donohue, Thaisa Frank, Stephen Gutierrez, and Tim Pratt. $5, 7 p.m., The Make-Out Room.

Quiet Lightning presents a literary mixtape featuring readings by Sally Ashton, Pablo Baeza, Peter Bullen, Kai Carlson-Wee, Linette Escobar, Shideh Etaat, Kate Folk, Kei X. Griot, Avren Keating, Rose Linke, Sara Marinelli, Karen Penley, Jill Tomasetti, and Chloé Veylit, with books of the night’s show featuring art by Sidney Stretz included for the first 150 people. The show is in conjunction with SOMArts and ArtSpan, whose annual SF Open Studios and Day of the Dead exhibitions—featuring more than 450 local artists, are on view during the event. $10, 7:30 p.m., SOMArts.

Porchlight Storytelling: Brushes with the Other Side of Fame features Antonia Crane, Caitlin Doughty, Owen Egerton, Jennifer Longo, Joshua Safran, Wendy Spero, and Frances Stroh. $20-25, 8 p.m., Verdi Club.

Emma Donoghue is in conversation about her latest novel, Frog Music, with Jewelle Gomez. Admission includes a hardback copy of the book. $25, 8 p.m., Z Space.

Tuesday 10/14: Litquake has events all day, and in multiple Bay Area cities. Check today’s full schedule here.

Consistently one of Litquake’s most interesting events, Ransom Stephen’s panel this year is focused on the question: Does Literature Make You an Empath, and the following people will be weighing in: mystery writer Cara Black, novelist/therapist Holly Brown, romance author Julie Ann Long, editor-in-chief and director of programs at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center Jason Marsh, novelist/poet/essayist Elizabeth Rosner, and Caren Walker, a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology at U.C. Berkeley who is studying how children learn about the causal structure of the world. $15, 6:30 p.m., Mechanics Institute Library.

Identity Theft features longtime collaborators and friends James Luna and Guillermo Gómez-Peña presenting performance art and activism in two parts: “Native Stories: For Fun, Profit & Guilt”, by Luna, featuring Sheila Tishmil Skinner, and a new spoken word monologue by Gómez-Peña. $20, 7 p.m., Z Space.

The always-popular Straight, No Chaser: Writers at the Bar this year features Jack Boulware, Edan Lepucki, Beth Lisick, Joshua Mohr, Kem Nunn, Rosie Schapp, and Alia Volz. Free, 7 p.m., Vesuvio.

California College of the Arts MFA Program presents faculty and alumni readings: Opal Palmer Adisa, Jordan Karnes, Vernon Keeve III, Kevin Killian, and Laura Schadler. $5, 7 p.m., The Make-Out Room.

The Litanies of Noir: A Talk Show features Eddie Muller, David Talbot, and Ben Tarnoff, as well as music by Mr. Lucky and the Cocktail Party. Hosted by Peter Maravelis. An invitation, available for pickup at the City Lights counter, is required. Free, 7:30 p.m., undisclosed location.

Literary Death Match presents readings by Jeremy Adam Smith, Danez Smith, Kriistina Ehin, and April Joseph, with judges Christopher Moore, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, and one TBD. $15-20, 8 p.m., Public Works.

The Well-Red series features Santa Clara County Poet Laureate David Perez and Jennifer Gigantino. $2, 6:30 p.m., Works/San Jose.


Videos and reviews from some of last week’s notables: Wave Books (Garrett Caples, Anthony McCann, Hoa Nguyen, Cedar Sigo, Rachel Zucker); Steven Gray reviews Gillian Conoley‘s presentation of Henri Michaux.


This week’s featured local author is Emily Meg Weinstein (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 →