WEEK IN PREVIEW: 3/18 – 24

Our top picks for the week starting Monday, March 18 13. Suggest an event.

Tuesday, 3/19

Tonight is bursting at the seams with all kinds of creative and fun events! Take your pick! Literature as bloodsport over at Write Club (you’ll find Lizzy Acker there), have a Feast of Words with Quiet Lightning (Siamak Vossoughi), check out Erica Hunt @ Mills College, head to Pints & Prose @ Peri’s if you’re in the North Bay (see Michael David Lukas), combine poetry and jazz at The Word Party @ Viracocha, or catch Vincent Katz + Cedar Sigo @ Moe’s Books (check this out).

Wednesday, 3/20

The Power of Language with Lera Boroditsky @ City Arts & Lectures: The connection between words and thoughts — Boroditsky has spent her life devoted to this relationship, which is at the heart of all literature poetry and philosophy. Professor of psychology, neuroscience, and symbolic systems at Stanford University, she has often been called neo-Whorfian for her embrace of Benjamin Whorf’s theories that language is crucial to the formation of thoughts and the evolution of culture. There ought to be plenty of takeaways from this discussion.

Wednesday, 3/20

Taiye Selasi @ The Booksmith: The Booksmith presents the reading of Taiye Selasi’s celebrated debut novel Ghana Must Go. This beautifully written novel tells the story of the death of Kweku Sai, the head of the Sai family and the journey that the rest of the family goes on throughout the novel. Ghana Must Go is the tragic tale of unconditional love and finding a way through death. “Selasi does more than merely renew our sense of the African novel: she renews our sense of the novel, period.” – Teju Cole. Selasi’s fiction debut, “The Sex Lives of African Girls”, appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012.

Watch Selasi briefly discuss Ghana Must Go:

Wednesday, 3/20

Lyrics & Dirges @ Pegasus Books: This month features erotic fiction writer and teacher Blake C. Aarens, poets Susan Cohen and Mary J. Dacorro, novelist/teacher Scott Hoshida, and the poet Melissa Stein.

Here’s Stein reading the final poem in her collection Rough Honey:

Thursday, 3/21

Studio One + Canarium Books: Joshua Edwards + Farnoosh Fathi (Oakland): Studio One Reading Series and Canarium Books present a night of poetry with Joshua Edwards, director and co-editor of Canarium Books and author of Imperial Nostalgias and Campeche.

Watch Edwards read from his first novel, Campeche:

He’ll be joined by Farnoosh Fathi, an Oakland-based essayist, poet, and translator whose work has appeared in many publications and journals (Tin House, Boston Review, Fence, Jacket2). Here she is:

Thursday, 3/21


Emily Rapp @ The Booksmith: “The Still Point of the Turning World is about the smallest things and the biggest things, the ugliest things and the most beautiful things, the darkest things and the brightest things, but most of all it’s about one very important thing: the way a woman loves a boy who will soon die. Emily Rapp didn’t want to tell us this story. She had to. That necessity is evident in every word of this intelligent, ferocious, grace-filled, gritty, astonishing starlight of a book.” – Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

The Booksmith hosts Emily Rapp for her debut novel, which tells of Rapp’s experience raising her son, Ronan, who was born with the terminal Tay-Sachs disease.

Friday, 3/22

Gridley, Hume, Taransky, Teare, and Xu @ Moe’s Books: Join Moe’s Books for an Omnidawn reading with five talented poets: Brian Teare (read a Litseen interview here), Michelle Taransky (watch an interview in The Volta here), Sarah Gridley, Angela Hume, and Lynn Xu.

Watch Michelle Taransky read at Moe’s Books for the release of her novel Barn Burned in 2009:

Friday, 3/22

TheInflu_webUnder the Influence @ The Emerald Tablet: The first in a new performance series, co-hosted and created by Litseen’s own Evan Karp. Four artists read or perform the work of one of their favorite influences, then share original work created for the series that channels or in some way reflects that influence. Nate Waggoner via Philip Roth; Toni Mirosevich via James Agee; William Taylor Jr. via William Saroyan, and Stella Peach via JS Bach.

Watch Nate Waggoner exhibit some of his ninja skills:

Sunday, 3/24

Simone White + Alli Warren @ Small Press Traffic: Join Small Press Traffic for a reading by two talented women authors! Simone White is the author of House Envy of All of the World and chapbooks Dolly and Unrest. Her work has appeared in places such as The Recluse and The Claudis App. This reading is extra special because White lives in Brooklyn, New York. Watch Simone discuss and be interviewed about the future of writing at CALARTS.

Alli Warren is a native of Santa Cruz with a chapbook entitled Grindin and can be heard reading some of her poems on KQED. In the Fall of 2013, City Lights will be publishing her first book, Here Come the Warm Jets. You can read Alli Warren’s top selections of albums at Poetry Society of America; music can be a cool way to learn about an artist.

Sunday, 3/24


Portuguese Artists Colony: Road Trip: Head on out to this reading series that only happens every other mont. The featured guests are: Patricia Ann McNair, a professor of Fiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago and author of the short story collection The Temple of Air, and Siamak Vossoughi, whose work has appeared in Fourteen Hills, The Prick of the Spindle, and is forthcoming in Glimmer Train.

Live writing is also a fun activity that is done at this reading series. It gives the audience a chance to become involved when they vote on a prompt upon entering the show. The writers then write on the winning prompt as a musical guest (this month, Brooke D.) entertains. Then, they read what they came up with and the audience votes on the winner, who returns for the following show to present a more developed version. Other guests include winner of last month’s competition, Shanthi Sekaran, along with playwright and author Tim Bauer, fiction maven Sona Avakian, and master of poetry on demand Silvi AlcivarRead Avakian’s “Shopping Carts” from the Bang Out reading series.

Erica ArvanitisErica 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.