Are you tired or inspired? Yes, it can be both. Litquake might have overtaken your entire life for the previous 9 days, but there’s a slew of righteous events coming up this week that deserve your attention. You might not be able to make any of these; there are definitely events on our calendar you won’t see here, which is not to say they won’t be great events. As it happens, even the unchanging has been known to inspire.
Below, however, are events we think you should try to make it to… or at least know more about. Let’s try this for a few weeks and see how it works. Please, feel free to suggest a future event to be featured… make your case!
Monday, Oct 17: Michael Ondaatje in conversation with Michael Chabon
Best known for his transcendent novels, including The English Patient, Ondaatje’s work encompasses poetry, memoir, and film, and reveals a passion for defying conventional form. Chabon won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Conversation will certainly focus on Ondaatje’s forthcoming novel The Cat’s Table, “a boy’s passage from Ceylon to England during the golden age of transoceanic voyaging,” which you can read more about here, here, and here.
- Listen to an early interview
- Watch Ondaatje in conversation with Robert Haas
- Watch Ondaatje read “The Cinnamon Peeler”
Tickets for this event range from $17-$27 and can be purchased here.
Tuesday, Oct 18: Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day in Santa Cruz
Officially Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day, this celebration will feature a showing of Chris Felver‘s feature-length documentary film, “Ferlinghetti,” with both the filmmaker and the poet in attendance. The event has been organized by Daniel Yaryan, producer of the state-wide poetry series Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts and active participant in the Santa Cruz poetry scene since he was a teenager. This year, Yaryan and Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts—in conjunction with Nickleodeon Theatres—is reviving the annual Poetry Festival Santa Cruz, of which Mr. Ferlinghetti was a featured performer at the debut thirty years ago. “Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day” is an appropriate trumpet call to announce the festival’s immanent return (from a long hiatus) this February.
- Watch Ferlinghetti’s recent Litquake reading
- Watch Ferlinghetti read as part of Lunch Poems
- Watch the trailer to “Ferlinghetti”
Advance tickets can be purchased for only $10.50 here
Wednesday, Oct 19: The Fine Art of Poisoning: an evening w/Jill Tracy
If you don’t know, Jill Tracy is a cabaret performance artist named one of the top 100 creative people in the Bay Area. In case you couldn’t tell, this region isn’t hurting in that department. Her second album, Diabolical Streak, was her first with The Malcontent Orchestra and features a song called “The Fine Art of Poisoning,” which was made into a short film that won international awards, including Best Experimental Film in the 2003 New Orleans Film Festival.
Have you seen the Wicked Plants exhibit in the Conservatory of Flowers? Stunning, right? Here are a few pictures of the Quiet Lightning event there, taken by Julie Michelle, that will give you an idea what the space is like. Now: imagine Jill Tracy and The Malcontent Orchestra, live, surrounded by Wicked Plants. Add a cocktail lab. The result is a web of cautionary tales, lusty, murderous obsessions, and shadowy stories of secretly-served revenge.
- Watch “The Fine Art of Poisoning”
- Watch a live performance with TMO
- Watch the end of Nosferatu with Jill Tracy’s score
- Listen to “Evil Night Together”
Thurs, Oct 20 – Sat, Oct 22: red, black and GREEN: a blues
Youth Speaks’ Artistic Director Marc Bamuthi Joseph, in partnership with The Living Word Project, will be debuting the world premiere of this collaborative, multimedia performance work that examines environmental racism, social ecology and collective responsibility in an era of dramatic climate change. Watch the first of a series of videos detailing the creation of rbGb:
Combining dance, text and visuals in a new mode of kinetic performance, rbGb utilizes a research-to-performance methodology that yields community input as artistic resource material; specifically, the voices of people often left out of discussions about “living green.”
Tickets for this event are $25 and can be purchased in advance here.
Friday, Oct 21: StretchyHead book launch
Creative writing meets restaurant reviews. Not food writing. Not Yelpers. We’re talking fiction. What does it feel like to eat there? A little over two years ago, Ian Tuttle started writing stories based on his experiences dining out. The result is a series of “reviews” he calls StretchyHead. A little more than a year ago, a group of writers created a monthly event to perform their work, called Portuguese Artists Colony. With the publication of StretchyHead, their first release, PAC Books is now in business! Celebrate both of these events with live music and drinks.
Saturday, Oct 22: RADAR presents: The 20th Anniversary of The Gilda Stories
Vampires! Lesbian vampire novels! You probably can’t name very many. Jewelle Gomez wrote one 20 years ago, and RADAR is throwing a party. For me, this kind of thing is exciting: to see the group throwing events for people outside of their group. Pay attention. But beyond that, Gomez won two Lambda awards for this book, The Gilda Stories, which follows an escaped slave who comes of age… over 200 years.
- Watch Gomez explain her brand of Vampire novel
- Watch Gomez read James Baldwin as part of Banned by the Bay‘s banned books exposé
- Watch a sample of Annie Danger’s recent work