Notable San Francisco: 9/5–9/11


Wednesday 9/5: Come join John Larison as he reads from Whiskey When We’re Dry. Larison’s debut novel follows the story of Jessilyn Harney as she disguises herself as a boy and heads west in the spring of 1885. Book Passage in San Francisco at the Ferry Building at 6:30 pm.

As victims of the horrors of the twentieth century begin to pass away, how can we ensure that their stories aren’t forgotten? Elizabeth Rosner reads from the newly released paperback edition of Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory. East Bay Booksellers in Oakland at 7 p.m.

It’s the launch party for this week’s Local Book Pick! Mia Ayumi Malhotra reads from Isako Isako, her debut collection of poems. Isako Isako follows four generations of women in one Japanese-American family to explore the legacies of cultural trauma. Malhotra is joined by Jennifer S. Cheng, drummer Paul Sakai, and Lantern Review editor Iris A. Law. The Bindery in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday 9/6: Kamila Shamsie reads from the paperback edition of Home Fire. Shamsie’s latest book won the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Green Apple Books (9th Ave. location) in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Love flash fiction? Head over to The Bindery for the San Francisco launch of Norton’s new anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction. There will be readings by Stace Budzko, James Claffey, Gay Degani, Grant Faulkner, Thaisa Frank, Molly Giles, Cadence Low, Melissa McCracken, Lynn Mundell, Pamela Painter, and Nancy Stohlman. The Bindery in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Come listen to some great music by local bands Prinsess, GLO, and S.S. ESS over in Oakland. The Octopus Literary Salon in Oakland at 9 p.m.

Friday 9/7: Listen to the poems Oakland Youth Poet Laureates, Finalists, and Honorable Mentions from the past SEVEN years. The night will feature the release of the latest issue of 510 Journal as well as food from Two Mamacitas Pop-Kitchen and music from DJ XCARIOSITOSX. Chapter 510 & The Dept. of Make Believe in Oakland at 6 p.m.

Michael Krasney, host of KQED’s Forum, will be leading an author panel discussion with Elaine Castillo (America Is Not the Heart), Rahul Kanakia, and Book Passage president Elaine Petrocelli. Main Reading Room at the Mill Valley Public Library in Mill Valley at 7 p.m. (advance registration recommended).

Saturday 9/8: Wildfires are a growing threat for every California resident. Journalists from the Center of Investigative Journalism’s Reveal and Alta: Journal of Alta California discuss how the North Bay’s past, present, and future with respect to fire. Book Passage in Corte Madera at 11 a.m.

It’s going to be a great and lively night at the Babylon Salon. Join Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Tommy Orange, Lisa Locascio, Katharine Dion, and Ismail Muhammad. With a lineup this amazing, you should plan on getting there early! The Armory Club in San Francisco at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)

San Francisco’s longest-running spoken word show features five amazing writers: Pulitzer Prize winning Jane Smiley (Golden Age), R. O. Kwon (The Incendiaries), Maria Dahvana Headley (The Mere Wife), California Book Award finalist Barbara Jane Reyes (Invocation to Daughters), and Courtenay Hameister (Okay Fine Whatever). The Make-Out Room in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. ($5–$20, all proceeds benefit the Center for Sex & Culture).

Sunday 9/9: This year’s Vallejo Unity Day, a celebration of Vallejo’s cultural diversity) will feature poetry readings from ten local poets. At Unity Day will be Vallejo Poet Laureate D.L. Lang, Nina Serrano, Aqueila Lewis, Ja Hicks, Lady D, Erika Snyder, Jeff Williams, Regina Sparrow, and Amber Von Nagel. Vallejo City Park in Vallejo from 10 a.m. onwards.

Want to learn how to transform plants into inks? Head over to the UC Botanical Garden for an ink-making class. UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley at 10 a.m. ($60–$65, tickets required).

Ready to dance? There will be Rumba and drums in the Alley Cat Books gallery. Alley Cat Books in San Francisco at 2 p.m.

T Bone Burnett, the musician behind the soundtracks for films such as Inside Llewyn Davis, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and The Hunger Games, will be taking audiences on a tour of his work and collaborations with musicians across genres. Ruth Finley Person Theater at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa at 7 p.m. ($49–$99, tickets required).

Monday 9/10: Roxane Gay will be speaking as a part of the Berkeley Center for New Media’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium. BAMPFA in Berkeley at 6:30 p.m. (this event is currently sold out but first-come, first-serve seats will be available at 6:30 p.m.).

Do you have a goal you’re trying to reach? Something you need for your business or yourself? Inspired by Barbara Sher’s 1979 book Wishcraft, The Ruby is hosting a Resource Party/barn-raising. The Ruby is an inclusive arts-and-letters gathering space for Bay Area women. The Ruby in San Francisco at 6 p.m.

Tuesday 9/11: Join Perfectly Queer for readings on Ancestors: Real, Imagined, and Literary. Reading at this event will be Anand Vedawala, Andrew Lam, and Wayne Goodman. Dog Eared Books in San Francisco at 7 p.m.

The Well-RED Reading Series will feature the poets Lisa Dominguez Abraham and Stephen Kessler. Works/San José art and performance center in San José at 6:30 p.m. ($2 admission, no one turned away).

Rebecca Clarren will be reading from her debut novel Kickdown at the beautiful Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore in Berkeley. Kickdown is a tightly written story of two sisters as they return to their family cattle ranch in Colorado and the Iraq war veteran who steps in to help. Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore in Berkeley at 7:30 p.m.


LOCAL BOOK PICK: This week’s pick is Mia Ayumi Malhotra’s Isako Isako (Alice James Books, September 4, 2018)! Publishers Weekly wrote of this book: “Malhotra writes toward what one cannot know and unravels that which one cannot believe.”


If you have a Bay Area event listing you’d like us to consider for Notable SF, please contact [email protected] as far in advance as possible, and include the date of the event in the subject line.


Logo art by Max Winter.

Nishant Batsha's fiction and essays have been published in TriQuarterly, The Offing, and The Caribbean Review of Books, among other publications. He is currently revising his debut novel trilogy: Washed Ashore, All That Floats, and The Tideline. He can be found at or on Twitter @nishbatsha. More from this author →