Notable San Francisco: 12/12–12/18


Wednesday 12/12: Join Steve Sparks and Molly Parent, owners and operators of the marvelous Point Reyes Books, as they discuss bookselling in the modern age. The New School at Commonweal in Bolinas at 2 p.m. (free, registration required).

Artist, director, and award-winning cinematographer Arthur Jafa joins UC Berkeley Professor Stephen Best in conversation about Jafa’s transition to gallery art, the politics of his aesthetics, and the turn towards Afropessimism. BAMPFA in Berkeley at 6 p.m. (talk included in museum admission).

City Lights celebrates the release of Marcia Douglas’s The Marvellous Equations of the Dread. Built off of her Natural Herstory multimedia performance series, Douglas’s book was longlisted for the 2017 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. City Lights Booksellers in San Francisco at 7 p.m.

Thursday 12/13: Sausalito reading series Why There Are Words presents Ultimate. Join Rae Gouirand (Glass Is Glass Water Is Water), Vanessa Hua (A River of Stars), Sandra Hunter (Trip Wires), Carrie La Seur (The Weight of an Infinite Sky), Melissa Stein (Terrible Blooms), and Nancy Tingley (A Death in Bali) for a night of readings! Studio 333 in Sausalito at 7 p.m. ($10, tickets required).

Elaine Miller Bond, Rahel Dacus, Carol Dorf, Gail Rudd Entrekin, Rafael Jesús González, and Cynthia Leslie-Bole will be reading from Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. Orinda Books in Orinda at 7 p.m.

Join Sara Mumolo and Caroline O’Connor Thomas as they read from their latest poetry collections, Day Counter and Unusual Light Source. Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Friday 12/14: Don’t miss this week’s Local Book Pick event! Michael Adamson will be reading from Oil and Urbanization on the Pacific Coast, the story of oilman Ralph Bramel Lloyd. Lloyd developed one of America’s largest oil fields and invested his earnings in commercial real estate up and down the west coast. University Press Books in Berkeley at 6 p.m.

Join the staff of SFSU’s Fourteen Hills for a holiday party! There will be a raffle, as well as readings from the Fourteen Hills staff. Alley Cat Books in San Francisco at 7 p.m.

Saturday 12/15: John Jay Osborn will be reading from Listen to the Marriage, a dramatic story of a marriage told entirely from sessions at a marriage counselor’s office. Book Passage in Corte Madera at 4 p.m.

American Bach Soloists will be performing Handel’s Messiah! Join some of the leading performers in the field of Baroque music as the present this holiday classic. Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park at 7 p.m. ($50–$95, tickets required).

Sunday 12/16: Join Congresswoman Barbara Lee as she discusses Renegade for Peace and Justice: A Memoir of Political and Personal Courage. Congresswoman Lee will be in conversation with retired Congresswoman Lynn C. Woolsey. Santa Rose Junior College, Petaluma Campus in Petaluma at 2:45 p.m. ($30, tickets required).

Michael Wall discusses alien life, antimatter, space travel, and more, as he reads from Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (For the Cosmically Curious). Wall will be in conversation with Jonathan Keats. Bar Fluxus in San Francisco at 5 p.m.

Monday 12/17: Join Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power, The Beautiful Struggle) for a night of conversation. Jewish Community Center of San Francisco in San Francisco at 7 p.m. (please note that this event is currently sold out).

Get Lit with Nomadic Press! 12–15 writers will be reading from their never-before-read material! The night will be hosted by Abe Becker with music by Giavanna Ortiz de Candia. The night’s writers include Christine No, Liz Green, Louis Evans, Katelyn Lucas, Jordan Wilson, Lauren Parker, Melissa Jones, Reginald Edmonds, G. Macias Gusman, Norma Smith, Niambi Walker, Iris Miriam Bloomfield, Vernon Keeve III, Leticia Bradford, Theo Konrad Auer, and Norm Mattox. Ale Industries in Oakland at 7 p.m.

Tuesday 12/18: n+1’s film critic A.S. Hamrah will be reading from The Earth Dies Streaming: Film Writing 2002-2018. Hamrah will be in conversation with Kate MacKay, Associate Film Curator at BAMPFA. Pegasus Books Downtown in Berkeley at 7:30 p.m.


LOCAL BOOK PICK: This week’s Local Book Pick is Michael Adamson’s Oil and Urbanization on the Pacific Coast (WVU Press, October 2018)! Don’t miss his reading at University Press Books on 12/14 at 6 p.m.


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 →