To kick off last summer’s long journey into winter and to raise funds for its annual programming, Small Press Traffic invited the larger community of Bay Area poets to sign up to read as part of a daylong marathon called Endless Summer that included barbecue, beer and a strong sense of community. Anyone could sign up, so long as they paid the admission price.
Was this a crazy idea? Asking people to pay to read? Apparently not: More than 70 authors of every imaginable form of poetics came together to support SPT, and the event was so successful they’ve decided to not only do it again this year but also to extend the event past its 12-hour mark into a separate second-day set.
But why stop there? SPT also invited what they’re calling “captains” across the country – including, but not limited to, Portland, Ore., Los Angeles, Seattle, Detroit, Philadelphia and New York – to nominate 10 local authors to record short readings that will be screened during Endless Summer.
“We are so lucky to live in an area rich with innovative and exciting writers,” says SPT Executive Director Samantha Giles. “Endless Summer is not only a celebration of the year’s worth of programming offered by SPT, but an opportunity for the vibrant Bay Area experimental writing scene to come together in a fun, casual community event and to get a sampling of what each other is up to in their projects.”
With a roster that includes Dana Teen Lomax, David Buuck, Denise Newman and Farnoosh Fathi, attendees can come for any segment of the event and get a rich palette of ways to engage with language. The first day’s readings, at the Public School in Oakland, begin at noon and run until midnight, while Sunday’s readings will be held in the garden of a private home in North Berkeley. (E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)
Tickets are $10 for a single day or $15 for both days (without food or booze), while $25 gets you all the barbecue and beer you can handle, and $45 is all inclusive for both days. (Full disclosure: I am one of the readers for Saturday’s event.)
Rebecca Solnit celebrates the publication of “The Faraway Nearby,” which the UK Guardian calls an “inspired reverie … an imaginary map of her inner homecoming … a finely wrought, intense and eloquent manifesto for hearing stories – and making them up,” with readings Thursday in Santa Cruz (7:30 p.m. Free. Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. (831) 423-0900. http://bit.ly/11QlzkX), Sunday in Bolinas (2 p.m. Free. The New School at Commonweal, 451 Mesa Road, Bolinas. http://conta.cc/1c0KqaE) and Tuesday in Petaluma (7 p.m. Free. Copperfield’s, 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma. (707) 782-0228. http://bit.ly/12e3AUF).
IF YOU GO
Endless Summer: $10-$45. Noon-midnight Saturday. Public School, 2141 Broadway, Oakland. 3-7 p.m. Sunday. Private residence, Berkeley. (510) 551-9278.
Photo by Sallie Dean Shatz