Our top picks for the week starting Monday, March 4, 2013. Suggest an event.
Dave Eggers & Gary Shteyngart @ San Francisco Day School, 9:00 am: Yeehaw! Make sure to wake up early this morning and wrangle your way into the SF Day School to see some of the best contemporary writers of this generation. You probably don’t need an introduction, but here’s a refresher course:
Dave Eggers is the author of many bestselling books that include A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What Is the What, Zeitoun, and A Hologram For the King. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house, and Scholar Match, a program that matches donors to students needing funding for college. He’s also the co-founder of 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for kids.
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad and came to the United States at 7. Selected as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists, his first two novels The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Absurdistan received utmost praise and have been translated into more than 20 languages. Watch the book trailer (featuring the ever lovable James Franco) for his newest novel Super Sad True Love Story:
Join City Lights bookstore as they celebrate the release of Chavisa Woods’ newest novel The Albino Album. This book is sure to impress, being told through songs. It sings the tale of a girl riding a speeding albino horse while straddling the line of lunacy and human desire. Woods is a Brooklyn-based writer and recipient of the 2009 Jerome Foundation Award for emerging writers. Her debut collection of short stories, Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist for Debut Fiction. Chavisa Woods has performed her poetry at many different events in New York, including The Inspired Word Queer Apple: NYC GLBT Life in Poetry & Prose in 2012. You can check out her amazing performance here. You can also watch her perform a poem entitled, “What Are You Some Kind of Angry Dyke or Something?” in response to people asking her said question during her teenage years. It’s filled with sarcasm and humor, but also genuine talent:
The RADAR Reading Series welcomes the winner of the 3rd Annual Eli Coppola Memorial Chapbook Prize, Amber Dawn! This free event celebrates Amber Dawn’s winning manuscript, How I Got My Tattoos, and will be available at the reading. The reading series has a star-studded cast of writers performing their reading including, Bruce Isaacson, Stacey Waite and Chavisa Woods, who has her very own event going on at City Lights Bookstore on March 5th.
The star of the hour, Amber Dawn, is a writer from Vancouver, Canada who is the author of the Lambda award-winning novel Sub Rosa and editor of the anthologies Fist of the Spider Women: Fear and Queer Desire and With A Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn. Dawn has also written a poignant memoir, How Poetry Saved My Life, about her struggle with queer identity and hustling the streets of Vancouver. She currently teaches Speculative Fiction at Douglas College.
Bruce Isaacson is a special guest of RADAR reading series. He is visiting the Bay Area to celebrate the Eli Coppola Chapbook Prize winner Amber Dawn. Isaacson, among his many accomplishments, is the publisher of Zeitgeist Press, an infamous underground publishing company that has published over 98 independents books to date. Isaacson is also associated with the Cafe Babar readings of the 1980s, which caused Zeitgeist Press’ rise to fame. Watch Marvin Scott Marvin from Poetry? F*ck Yeah! read one of Bruce Isaacson’s poems from his collection, Bad Dog Blues:
Stacey Waite is an assistant professor of English at University of Nebraska and has published three collections of poetry: Choke, Love Poems to Androgyny, and the lake has no saint. Waite’s most recent collection, Butch Geography, was just released in January with Tupelo Press. You can listen to Stacey Waite speak with different fiction authors on the radio show called Air Schooner that is part of the site Prairie Schooner. Stacey Waite reads from her collection, Choke:
Chavisa Woods, who is being featured at City Lights for the release of her novel The Albino Album on March 5th, will be reading for RADAR. Woods is an intense writer who fills her poetry with sarcasm and the realities of being a lesbian in modern society. She does an amazing interview with Poetry Thin Air, along with some readings which can be seen here.
This RADAR Reading Series looks like it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity, with special visiting authors and the winner of the chapbook prize! There will be a Q & A after all of the readings are done, with the added bonus of getting a cookie when you ask a question. Don’t miss out on this amazing event!
Lunch Poems reading series welcomes poet Lyn Hejinian, the author of several books, the most recent being The Book of a Thousand Eyes and The Wide Road. Hejinian is an experimental poet who pushes the boundaries of poetry and society, where she teaches at UC Berkeley. The release party for The Book of a Thousand Eyes at City Lights can be seen here. Here is a reading Lyn Hejinian did for Lunch Poems in 2008:
WritersCorps teams up with the Contemporary Jewish Museum for a reading featuring Tamim Ansary, Minna Dubin, and WritersCorps students. This free night of intergenerational readings should be filled with heartwarming writing from students and teachers alike.
Tamim Ansary is a writer, lecturer, and teacher based in San Francisco. Born in Afghanistan, he is the author of several works, both fiction and non-fiction, including West of Kabul, East of New York, Destiny Disrupted, a History of the World Through Islamic Eyes, and Games Without Rules.
Minna Dubin is a teacher at WritersCorps who is originally from Philadelphia. She teaches at both Hilltop School and the San Francisco Main Public Library. Watch Minna read at Lit Crawl 2012 with WritersCorps, while pregnant. That’s impressive.
The students reading are from several different schools including Aptos Middle School, Oasis for Girls, Downtown High School, Sanchez Elementary and more. Watch WritersCorps student Nicole Zatarain Rivera read her poem “Rippin’ Out Pages” from the book City of Stairways: A Poet’s Field Guide to San Francisco. You can also watch some WritersCorps students explain their writing process before they perform some of their own pieces at the 15th Annual WritersCorps Literary Festival.
Berkeley Poetry Review and ZYZZYVA Magazine team up to present a strong group of writers on Friday night in Berkeley: Robert Hass, Lyn Hejinian, D.A. Powell, and W.S. DiPiero.
Robert Hass is a professor of English at University of California, Berkeley and former Poet Laureate of the United States. Watch Hass do a reading for Writers with Drinks at the Make-Out Room.
Lyn Hejinian is an experimental poet of several popular books such as The Book of A Thousand Eyes. Watch her read from the book The Book of A Thousand Eyes at the release party at City Lights.
W.S. DiPiero is a translator and essayist who has written collections of poetry and novels. Watch DiPiero read one of his poems entitled “The Goldberg Variations” for the Dean Young Benefit, hosted by ZYZZYVA Magzine and The Squaw Valley Community of Writers.
Come on down to the Make-Out Room for another Saturday night Writers With Drinks! Admission is $5-$10, but no one is turned away if they don’t have enough. The donations go towards The Transgender Law Center and CSC.
Alexis Madrigal is the senior editor for The Atlantic and the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. Madrigal has written for Wired magazine and helped build Wired Science into the largest science blog in the world. WatchMadrigal discuss the future of blogging.
Jai Arun Ravine is a text-based artist that works with video, movement and performance. They are the author of แล้ว and then entwine and the chapbook Is This January. They are a staff member for the Lantern Review and created TOM/TRANS/THAI, a short film on Thai and Thai American trans-masculinities which has screened in Bangkok, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Watch Ravine’s collaborative dance performance “my heart eats with its hands” here. Watch the trailer for TOM/TRANS/THAI:
Phil Lapsley is an author, electrical engineer, and hacker. He wrote the book Exploding the Phone, which describes the history of “phone phreaking,” sometimes referred to as telephone toll fraud. You can watch Lapsley discuss the history of phone phreaking by clicking on the link.
Clarisse Thorn is a feminist S&M writer and activist whose writing has appeared in places such as The Rumpus, Ms. Media, and Time Out. Thorn’s first book is Confessions of a Pick-Up Artist Chaser: Long Interviews With Hideous Men, which documents her own unorthodox experiences with sex and relationships. She also has a collection of her best essays called The S&M Feminist.
Press: Works On Paper hosts an evening with yesterzine/ heirlooms. This little zine is run by The Gorilla Press, an online and print zine machine that was founded in 2010 by a group of friends while in the graduate creative writing department at San Francisco State University . Handmade yesterzines will be available for sale at the free event, along with the talented group of writers featured: Amy Berkowitz, Vernon Keeve III, Jason Schenheit and Jill Tomasetti. You can also check The Gorilla Press’ YouTube channel right here.
Amy Berkowitz is from New York City and currently lives in Michigan. Her work has appeared in Coconut, RealPoetik, Shampoo Poetry, and Spooky Boyfriend. She is a founding member of Washtenaw County Women’s Poetry Collective and Casserole Society, whose first collection of collaborative poems is called The Feeling Is Mutual.
Vernon Keeve III is from Virginia and currently obtaining his MFA in Writing from the California College of the Arts. He received the Zora Neale Hurston Award and has participated in events such as Saturday Night Special open mic and Bitchez Brew. You can check out his YouTube channel here.
Jason Schenheit is the Outreach Coordinator for Fourteen Hills, the San Francisco State University literary magazine run by graduate students in creative writing. In addition, he was an event coordinator for VelRo, a reading series at SFSU. He is currently a Graduate Assistant at San Francisco State University. Here is a video of him reading at a Poetry Festival in Santa Cruz with Quiet Lightning:
Jill Tomasetti is a poet in San Francisco who has her own poetry and craft blog. She has read for VelRo, enjoys Little Women and posting poems and photo projects on her blog.
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.