Our top picks for the week starting Monday, March 11 13. Suggest an event.
Sam Lipsyte & Joshua Mohr @ Tosca Cafe: Litquake’s Epicenter Reading Series, in conjunction with City Lights, presents Sam Lipsyte in conversation with Joshua Mohr to celebrate the release of The Fun Parts: Stories, Lipsyte’s newest collection. Full of hilarious and heartfelt tales (some new, some previously published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Playboy), The Fun Parts showcases Lipsyte’s talent to create characters in a world so enveloping you won’t want to stop reading. Grab a beer at Tosca and listen in on what is sure to be a fascinating tête-à-tête between Lipsyte, who The New York Times called “the novelist of his generation”, and celebrated writer Joshua Mohr.
Watch Lipsyte read from his novel, The Ask:
And check out the book trailer for Mohr’s new novel, Fight Song:
Ann Lauterbach @ Sonoma State University: Fabulous poet and essayist Ann Lauterbach will discuss her writing at Sonoma State, which is sure to be as interesting as it is informative. For those of you who are not familiar with Ann’s work, she has been compared to John Ashbery and Barbara Guest. Using complex language and images to create a sense of complexity and obscurity, she delves into a world containing “certain things we cannot penetrate and do not know, we can’t know, we may never know.” She has published an essay collection and eight full length poetry collections, including her most recent work Or To Begin Again, which was a 2009 National Book Award finalist, and she has been published in various journals since the ’70s. If you find yourself in Sonoma, make sure to watch Ann speak at this free event.
Check her out at the Holloway Series:
851 + City Lights Presents Tupelo Hassman @ The Squat: This exciting reading features up-and-coming novelist Tupelo Hassman reading from her critically acclaimed book Girlchild at “The Squat“, an abandoned apartment on Haight Street. Hassman takes the reader into the mind of an incredibly intelligent girl living in a trailer park with her downtrodden mother. The protagonist uses language as an escape from her mother’s lovers and the banalities of everyday life. Tupelo has been published in many noted journals, including ZYZZYVA, and Susannah Meadows from The New York Times raved, “A voice as fresh as hers is so rare that at times I caught myself cheering… I’d go anywhere with this writer.” Read her Litseen interview here, and watch her at Quiet Lightning:
The Last Vispo Anthology @ The Poetry Center: Another great event held at the Poetry Center at SFSU, this time featuring visual poetry. Visual poetry is a concept that we may be familiar with but have never thought to put a name to. The Last Vispo website describes it as “a mongrel of visual language and lexical image on steroids,” and “an alphabet after it’s exploded and word/letter cohesion is broken.” This concept is practiced more rarely than it ought to be, and the event promises to be an eye-opening experience for most who attend. These incredibly stunning images are created by people from around the world, and can be emulated through different forms of media such as photography and drawing. They span from the analog to the digital. Free!
Why There Are Words: Serendipity @ Studio 333: Why There Are Words presents seven diverse writers reading from their works on the theme “Serendipity”, including Laurie Ann Doyle, Beth Bosworth, Daniel Levin Becker, and more. This lineup is filled with a mix of award-winning readers, including authors of memoirs, short stories and children’s stories, which should create an interesting palette for the evening. Tickets are $10, but bring more money for books and booze! Read more about Why There Are Words here.
Here’s Laurie Ann Doyle at East Bay on the Brain:
The Grinder @ Telegraph Beer Garden (Oakland): Head to Oakland and check out this new reading series ingeniously located in a beer garden. The Grinder lends the stage to three featured readers: Jason File, a fiction writer and zine maven; Sarah Broderick, also a fiction writer and an MFA candidate at SFSU; and George Korolog, an award-winning poet currently compiling his first book. Get there early to grab one of the 12 open mic spots!
Here’s Jason File reading at University Press Books:
The Last Vispo Anthology @ Meridian Gallery: Another night celebrating the 21st-century international visual poetry anthology, this time at the beautiful Meridian Gallery. If you missed the first one at the Poetry Center, here’s your last chance to see a rare collection of groundbreaking visual poetry!
Perfect Day in SF: Zapruder/Acker/Heald & Swells: An awesome trio of incredibly talented writers will be featured at Press: Works on Paper: poet and editor Matthew Zapruder; author of Monster Party Lizzy Acker; and Michael Heald, author of the essay collection Goodbye to the Nervous Apprehension and founder of Perfect Day Publishing. They will be sharing the stage with local band Swells.
Matthew Zapruder at Litquake:
Featherboard Presents Greenstreet, Arrieu-King, & Witte: Featherboard reading series presents three quality poets: Kate Greenstreet, author of Young Tambling and other collections; Cynthia Arrieu-King, critic and author of 3 books; and Valerie Witte, photographer and author of the chapbook The History of Mining. Watch a past Featherboard reading here.
Roxane Beth Johnson, Robin Ekiss & Xochi Candelaria @ Bird & Beckett: Fabulous poets at Bird & Beckett! I have seen Robin Ekiss and Xochi Candelaria at readings, and I have read Roxane Beth Johnson’s Black Crow Dress, so I can personally say all of these poets are extremely talented and deserve to be seen by all! Since I love ’em all so much, here’s a little background:
Robin Ekiss is a favorite in San Francisco, and you may know her as a contributing editor to ZYZZYVA and the author of The Mansion of Happiness. She is also on the executive committee for Litquake.
Xochi Candelaria is the author of the poetry collection Empire and has won countless awards for her writing. She once visited my class and read from Empire, explaining how she saw her poetry as an incantation. I have been in love with her writing ever since.
Roxane Beth Johnson is the author of two award-winning books of poetry: Jubilee and Black Crow Dress (a really great collection), and her writing has appeared in various esteemed literary journals.
Watch Robin Ekiss read:
Michelle Greenberg is a Litseen intern and Creative Writing student at SFSU. She likes to play drums and write poetry in her free time, and is obsessed with Charles Bukowski, Mexican food, and cats. She wants to publish at least one book of her original poetry and/ or own a guinea pig farm when she grows up.