Notable San Francisco: 9/26–10/2


Wednesday 9/26: Come join Preti Taneja as she reads from her Desmond Elliot Prize-winning debut, We That Are YoungCity Lights Booksellers in San Francisco at 7 p.m.

From the folks over at NaNoWriMo comes NaNoLitMo, a literary reading series for NaNoWriMo participants and local writers. This week’s reading features local writer Jasmine Guillory. Her reading will be followed by a mini-writing challenge and Q&A. The Octopus Literary Salon in Oakland at 7 p.m.

Thursday 9/27: Hear stories on how San Jose became home to the largest diasporic Vietnamese community in the world. Speakers include Mr. & Mrs. Lộc Vũ  (Viet Museum), Mr. & Mrs. Cường Đức Nguyễn (Viet Museum), Mr. Nam Phú Phạm (Dân Sinh Media), and Mr. Quyền Mai (Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation). San Jose State University Main Library (Room 225) in San Jose at 3:30 p.m.

It’s time for Book Passage’s annual Mystery Writers Conference! This year’s conference runs from September 27 through September 30. All events will be open to the public, although preferred seating will be given to conference participants. Book Passage in Corte Madera (events free and open to the public, $575 to register as a conference participant).

Celebrate Transit Books’s one-and-a-half birthday party with the launch of German poet Esther Kinsky’s award-winning collection of poems, River. This book launch will feature a reading from Rita Bullwinkel (author of Belly Up) and music from Matt Carney. Wolfman’s Books in Oakland at 7 p.m.

Friday 9/28: Join The Ruby’s September Writer in Residence Aja Gabel as she reads from her debut novel, The Ensemble. The Ruby in San Francisco at 7 p.m.

The Kearny Street Workshop will be featuring a reading from Elaine Castillo, author of America Is Not the Heart, and Ingrid Rojas Contreras, author of Fruit of the Drunken Tree. The reading will be followed by a Q&A with Tayo Literary Magazine co-founder, Melissa Sipin. Kearny Street Workshop in San Francisco at 7 p.m. ($8–$20, tickets required).

Saturday 9/29: Head over to the Beat Museum for the 11th annual Beat Museum Poetry Festival. This year’s Poetry Festival is also a 100 Thousand Poets for Change event! The Festival starts on Saturday and continues through Sunday. The Beat Museum in San Francisco at 12 p.m.

Fran Lebowitz will be in town for City Arts and Lectures. She will be in conversation with Lawrence Rinder, Director and Chief Curator at BAMPFA. The Nourse Theater in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. ($35, tickets required).

Sunday 9/30: As a part of its series on Frederick Wiseman’s documentaries, BAMPFA will be screening Belfast, Maine. The Nation called the documentary “an immensely rich and immeasurably valuable microcosm of American life at the end of the twentieth century.” BAMPFA in Berkeley at 2 p.m. ($5–$13, tickets required)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas will be discussing his newest book, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. The event will be moderated by Vanessa Hua. Book Passage in Corte Madera at 7 p.m.

Monday 10/1: Anita Felicelli, this week’s Local Book Pick, will be launching her debut story collection, Love Songs for a Lost Continent. Laura van den Berg called Felicelli’s collection an “expansive, inventive meditation on the shifting landscape of identity.” Books Inc. in Palo Alto at 7 p.m.

Join Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling (2014 winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award), as he reads from his newest book, The Shape of Ruins. Green Apple Books (9th Ave. location) in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday 10/2: Pulitzer Prize finalist and poet Evie Shockley will be reading as part of the UC Berkeley Holloway Reading Series. UC Berkeley (Maude Fife Room / 315 Wheeler Hall) in Berkeley at 6:30 p.m.


LOCAL BOOK PICK: This week’s Local Book Pick is Anita Felicelli’s Love Songs for a Lost Continent (Stillhouse Press, October 1, 2018)! Don’t miss Felicelli’s launch at Books Inc. Palo Alto on October 1.


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 →