Our top picks for the week starting Monday, Feb 18 2013. Suggest an event.
Holloway Series: Major Jackson @ Maude Fife: 6:30pm: “Major Jackson makes poems that rumble and rock.” – Dorianne Laux
Major Jackson, author of three collections of poetry: Holding Company (W.W. Norton, 2010), Hoops (2006), and Leaving Saturn (University of Georgia, 2002), and professor of English at the University of Vermont, will be reading for the Holloway Series. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Jackson keeps true to his roots through his poetry. Jackson has received many honors for his writing, such as the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and being a finalist for a National Book Critics Award Circle. His poems have been published in The New Yorker and The American Poetry Review.
In Jackson’s latest collection of poetry, Holding Company, he explores literature, art and music as a kingdom and attempts to understand beauty and love through lyric narrative poetry. In the Hudson Review, Mark Jarman writes: “Major Jackson has slipped the surly bonds of narrative and given freedom to his lyric voice.”
Several of his poems have been animated, with Jackson’s voice as the narration. His poem “Leave It All Up To Me” was animated by Bryan Hartzell using stop motion whiteboard. As if the poem isn’t amazing enough, this animation gives it new color and is really fun to watch:
Litquake: Rosie Schaap & Robin Ekiss @ The Epicenter: 7:00pm: Join Litquake and Green Apple Books at the Epicenter for the release of Rosie Schaap’s new memoir Drinking with Men. This is sure to be an exciting read, with tellings of Schaap’s youth and journey to find the perfect local haunt. This quest takes her everywhere from Los Angeles, Ireland, New England and Manhattan’s TriBeCa, constantly stopping at each bar and soaking in the communities within. Drinking with Men has been described as a love letter to the bar culture and the strong community that forms through the bonds with patrons.
Rosie Schaap is quite the interesting specimen, with previous jobs such as bartender, fortune-teller, librarian at a paranormal society, preacher, and English teacher. Born in New York City, Schaap still resides in the Big Apple and is a contributor to NPR and “This American Life.” She also writes the “Drink” column for The New York Times Magazine, which is extremely witty and filled with wisdom of bar culture. You can read the articles she has written for The New York Times Magazine, her audio clips from NPR, and several other selections of her work by clicking here. Schaap also contributes to the NYT Magazine blog entitled “The 6th Floor”, where editors, writers and other staff members of the magazine share their ideas, curiosities and links. Schaap has written several articles for this blog, which you can check out here.
Reading along with Rosie Schaap is Robin Ekiss, a poet who has also had an array of eclectic jobs: water slide attendant, national burger cook-off finalist, and TV commercial writer. She’s the winner of the 2010 Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers for her book of poems The Mansion of Happiness, which takes readers on a magical journey of dark, yet beautiful poetry of childhood. You can check out the incredible reviews of the collection of poems right here.
Becker + Esposito @ City Lights: 7:00pm: Join City Lights Bookstore in the celebration of the release of Daniel Levin Becker’s translation of La Boutique Obscure: 124 Dreams, originally by Georges Perec (1936-1982). Becker and Scott Esposito come together to discuss the life and work of Perec, French novelist, filmmaker, and essayist. His most famous works were Life: A User’s Manual and A Void. In his death, Perec remains a member of Oulipo, a workshop for potential literature. La Boutique Obscure revolutionized literary form, creating the very first “nocturnal autobiography”. Perec pushed the boundaries when he recorded his dreams and challenged himself to translate them into prose.
Daniel Levin Becker is a writer, translator, music critic and the reviews editor of The Believer. He is the youngest member of the Oulipo and the second American to ever be honored with the position. Becker grew up in Chicago, studied at Yale University, and has lived in Paris before settling in San Francisco. Becker has written several fiction and non-fiction pieces, all of them available on his website.
Scott Esposito is an editor and critic whose criticism has appeared in the likes of The Los Angeles Times, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, The National, and Tin House. He has written introductions to novels for the Dalkey Archive Press and Melville House Publishing. Esposito is the editor of online publications for the San Francisco’s Center for the Art of Translation, along with being a consultant on translated literature for presses such as McSweeney’s, Graywolf, and Open Letter. He is the editor in chief for The Quarterly Conversation and has recently co-authored a book with Lauren Elkin entitled The End of Oulipo: An attempt to exhaust a movement.
Daniel Levine Becker
Bio: Personal Site
Blog: Conversational Reading
Daniel Alarcón @ USF: 7:45pm: University of San Francisco’s Lone Mountain Readings presents Daniel Alarcón, a visiting writer at Mills College and California College of the Arts who has written a story collection entitled War by Candlelight, which was a finalist for the 2005 PEN- Hemingway Award, and Lost City Radio, respectably named a Best Novel of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post. A native of Peru, Alarcón was raised from the age of 3 in Birmingham, Alabama. He studied at Columbia University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and went on to obtain a master’s from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. The New Yorker named him one of the Best 20 Writers Under 40, and you can read his interview here. Alarcón currently serves as a Fellow at UC Berkeley in the Investigative Reporting Program and runs a Spanish storytelling podcast called Radio Ambulante. He has written several story collections, including A Life Among the Pirates, describing book piracy in Peru. He read parts of this collection at UC Berkeley with their Story Hour:
Lyrics and Dirges: 50 Shades of Rainbow: 7:30pm: Lyrics and Dirges is proud to present this month’s reading of 50 Shades of Rainbows! It has been jokingly named this because of the sex positive and diverse group of readers that will be presenting their work this month. Lyrics and Dirges is held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at Pegasus Books in Berkeley, and spotlights emerging writers in the Bay Area. Writers for Fifty Shades of Rainbow are: Carol Queen, Jiz Lee, MariNaomi, John Panzer, Denise Jolly, and Dani Burlison.
You can get full bios and RSVP at the event page, but for now enjoy this reading by Panzer; this piece recently won UC Berkeley’s Samuel C. Irving Prize:
Litquake: Way Behind the Music III: 7:00pm: Litquake and Noise Pop proudly present the return of Way Behind the Music, a night of hilariously strange music memoirs brought to life onstage. Join the fun as the lineup of esteemed writers and musicians read a selection of music autobiographies featuring the actual published literary efforts of David Cassidy, One Direction, LeAnn Rimes, Flavor Flav, Cherry Vanilla, Snoop Dogg, Jimi Hendrix, Steven Tyler, Jane Carter (mother of Backstreet boy Nick Carter), Ann and Nancy Wilson, Duran Duran’s John Taylor and many more.
This event is (believe it or not) even more hilarious than it sounds. Litquake co-founder Jack Boulware puts a lot of time into selecting passages and matching them with the evening’s readers. Hosted by Anthony Bedard, which might be reason enough to go in itself, the special guest readers are: John Doe (X), Parker Gibbs (DJ Foodcourt), Jill Olson (Red Meat), Ian S. Port (SF Weekly), Eric Shea (Sweet Chariot, Hot Lunch), Sylvie Simmons (“I’m Your Man”), and Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough (T.I.T.S.).
Watch the entire first set from last year’s show:
The Fight Song Show (with Josh Mohr & Friends): 7:00pm: This performance in four acts, celebrating the release of Fight Song: A Novel by Josh Mohr, will be hard to beat. Peter Maravelis, City Lights’ events programmer, was so inspired by the book that he wrote the script, and helped Mohr recruit a quartet of heroes for support: Tony Dushane, Daphne Gottlieb, Jon Longhi, and Bucky Sinister.
Just watch the book’s trailer:
CAConrad + Kazim Ali @ The Poetry Center: 4:30pm: The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University hosts CA Conrad and Kazim Ali for a reading and conversation. Conrad’s in town from Philadelphia, and Ali lives in Ohio. You can read their bios on Wiki (Conrad | Ali), and get a load of Conrad below:
Queer Open Mic feat. Dazie Rustin Grego & Derek Schmidt: 7:30pm: This month’s open mic features poet Dazie Rustin Grego and musical guest Derek Schmidt. Queer Open Mic night is an institution here and is open to all, with a suggested donation and a five-minute limit to the non-featured readers.
Watch a previous show:
Saturday Night Special: 7pm: Saturday Night Special presents February’s open mic night with the challenge word being: SAFEWORD. It is open to anyone, so get there early if you want to read because the set list fills up quick! This month the featured guests will be Joe Clifford and Nic Alea.
Joe Clifford is the editor of Flash Fiction Offensive and producer of Lip Service West, a reading series in Oakland. His collection of short stories, Choice Cuts, is out now and his novels, Wake the Undertaker and Junkie Love, will be released later this year. He has published several stories and his writing can be found here.
Nic Alea is a queer/trans Bay Area based poet. They co-host an open mic called New Poetry Mission: The New Shit Show on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at Viracocha. Alea also helps facilitate a creative writing workshop at Solano Juvenile Detention Center and is a 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow. They have been published in The Evergreen Review and Kill Author. Here’s a recent clip of Alea reading, for an interview with SF Weekly:
Erica Arvanitis is a Litseen intern and a senior at SFSU for Creative Writing. She is originally from San Diego and enjoys writing short stories, eating burritos, and watching TV in her free time. She hopes to write professionally for a magazine when she grows up — any magazine will do.