Wednesday 11/5: Haunted Reflections: Walter Benjamin in San Francisco is a nearly weeklong celebration of the great philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin, as organized by City Lights, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Goethe Institut San Francisco, Harvard University Press, Mechanics’ Institute Library, San Francisco Art Institute, and Department of History/University of California at Berkeley, includes panel discussions, critical presentations, walking tours, and more (Most events are free, various times and locations, begins at 7 p.m., City Lights).
Scott Esposito of Two Lines Press discusses the work of French writer and artist Edouard Levé with Levé’s two English-language translators, Jan Steyn and Lorin Stein (editor of The Paris Review) (Free, 7 p.m., The Lab).
Thursday 11/6: Shipwreck this month bends the rules to host friends of Lemony Snicket/Daniel Hander appropriating his characters, with Handler reading each piece. Authors include Andrew Sean Greer, Michelle Richmond, Seanan McGuire, Ken Grobe, Alexis Coe, and someone to be determined. The show is already standing room only, but admission includes drinks ($10, 7 p.m., The Booksmith).
Literary Death Match returns to the Contemporary Jewish Museum as Davy Rothbart, Karen Leibowitz, Joel Stein, and Gabe Delahaye duke it out, judged by Rabbi David Kasher, Rebecca Bortman, and Oscar Villalon ($10, 6:30 p.m, Contemporary Jewish Museum).
The Lunada Literary Lounge hosts features Achy Obejas, Megan Bayles, Reese Okyong Kwon, Carolina De Robertis, and Maceo Montoya along with a bilingual and music-friendly full moon open mic ($5, 7:30 p.m., Galería de la Raza).
[The] Flash Fiction Collective returns for their second event, featuring Susan Steinberg, Thaisa Frank, Cornelia Nixon, and the hosts: Jane Ciabattari, Grank Faulkner, and Meg Pokrass (Free, 7 p.m., Alley Cat Books).
Friday 11/7: Michelle Richmond reads as part of the Writers Series (Free, 4:30 p.m., Writers’ Studio).
Jane McDermott reads from her debut collection, Look Busy: One hundred 100-word stories by and for the easily distracted, which won the Michael Rubin Book Award winner (Free, 7 p.m., Green Apple Books on the Park).
Studio One Reading Series hosts KMA Sullivan and Phillip B. Williams, along with art by Charlie Reilly. As always, the event will include snacks, but starting this month snacks includes free Lagunitas (Free, 7:30 p.m., Studio One Art Center).
Not for Profit: What I Did for Love Not Money is Lit Camp’s first fundraiser, featuring readings by Andrew Sean Greer, Michelle Richmond, and Anthony Marra, along with a raffle, an auction, and free beer. The first 20 people in the door get to enter for a drawing, of which 5 will be invited to read a page of their own writing ($5-10, 7 p.m., Sports Basement).
A launch for the second issue of Macaroni Necklace features Alana Siegel, Elanor Liu, Johnny Hernandez, Natalie Cornflakes, and Samantha Giles (Free, 7:30 p.m., E.M. Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore).
Saturday 11/8: Featherboard Writing Series features writer-in-residence Tom Comitta, Laura Woltag, and David Koehn, in conjunction with the exhibition Experimental Space (Free, 6 p.m., Aggregate Space).
Lone Glen hosts poets Genine Lentine and Linda Norton (Free, 7:30 p.m., 3132 Harrison Street, Oakland).
Sunday 11/9: Onward! A Celebration and Benefit for David Meltzer has Clark Coolidge, Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, Andrew Joron, Les Grottesman, and Julie Rogers gathering to read, along with music by Cloud Shepherd & The Rabbles and signed broadsides available for sale ($20 suggested donation, 7:30 p.m. Bird & Beckett).
Monday 11/10: Jeff Chang reads from and discusses his anticipated second book, Who We Be: The Colorization of America ($12, 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church of Oakland).
Quiet Lightning returns to Viracocha for a show featuring Simon Crafts, Alexander Peterson, Jesse Nathan, Christine No, Jayna Swartzman, Ginger Buswell, Michael McLaughlin, Jessica Hahn, and Caroline O’Connor Thomas ($10-20, 7:30 p.m., Viracoca).
RADAR writers read from City Lights authors as part of their yearlong celebration of Banned Books. Featuring Juba Kalamka, Camille Roy, Ben McCoy, Maryam Rostami, Anisse Gross, and Ariel Gore (Free, 7 p.m., City Lights).
The first of a new semi-monthly ZYZZYVA-sponsored series features Lydia Millet in conversation with Oscar Villalon about her new novel Mermaids in Paradise. In the last few years, Millet has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award (Free, 7 p.m., Green Apple Books on the Park).
Videos and reviews from some of last week’s notables: Alette in Oakland (Eileen Myles on Alice Notley); Haunted (Ivan Hernandez, Evan Karp, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Lauren Traetto, Jaz Sufi, Tomas Moniz).
This week’s featured local author is Art Middleton (click to read an interview):