Literature lovers, unite!
Starting this week, the Bay Area will be home to various literary events as the 2016 Litquake Festival launches. Originally created as a one-day reading series at Golden Gate Park, it has evolved to be a multi-day affair filled with workshops, youth programs, speaker events and more with local authors and writers from around the world.
With 50+ events, my book-loving, queer heart had to look through the list and narrow it down to events that would speak to the fellow QPOC minds and hearts. Here’s what I came up:
Outstanding writers from the LGBTQ community present their work outdoors in the heart of the world’s gay mecca: Rabih Alameddine, Meliza Bañales, Julie Blair, Roberto F. Santiago, James Siegel, and Willy Wilkinson. Wine reception and book sales follows at Dog Eared Books, 489 Castro St. FREE
RADAR Productions gives voice to innovative queer and outsider writers and artists whose work authentically reflects the LGBTQA community’s diverse experiences. This Litquake edition spotlights four incredible artists, hosted by RADAR artistic director Juliana Delgado Lopera, and followed by audience discussion and cookies. FREE
Yaa Gyasi discusses and reads from her new book Homegoing, a story of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana, and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. FREE
Litquake welcomes Claudia Rankine, an award-winning, genre-defying, groundbreaking American writer and author of the New York Times bestselling Citizen: An American Lyric (“…the best note in the wrong song that is America. Its various realities—’mistaken’ identity, social racism, the whole fabric of urban and suburban life—are almost too much to bear, but you bear them, because it’s the truth” —Hilton Als). In conversation with author/professor Sarah Ladipo Manyika. $15 advance or at the door
Amidst an increased climate for international fiction, whether translated or originally in English, Litquake convenes this stellar selection of authors from Australia, Ecuador, France, and Romania, to discuss and read from their latest works. Moderated by Transit Books publisher Adam Z. Levy. Seating is limited. Doors open at 6 pm for pre-show reception. FREE
Award-winning poet and teacher Arisa White, author of the new collection You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, discusses poetry, race, and the body politic with National Book Award recipient Robin Coste Lewis (Voyage of the Sable Venus). FREE
Indigenous, First Nations, Native Americans, or American Indian—whichever words you use, a new wave of literature is bringing their issues to the forefront. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Dina Gilio-Whitaker, Alison Owings, Kim Shuck, Lindsie Bear, and Greg Sarris discuss the unique challenges faced by writers who communicate indigenous realities for a wider audience. $10
A words-and-music celebration hosted by the independent bookstore coalition working to preserve and serve the longstanding community and creative interests of the historic Latino Cultural District. Adobe Books, Alley Cat Books, Dog Eared Books, and Modern Times Bookstore Collective join to honor the authors, poets, musicians, and activists who make their culturally diverse spaces hum. Hosted by Denise Sullivan and Kate Rosenberger. Music by Preston Swirnoff and special guest. Scheduled to appear: Ian Brennan, MK Chavez, Freddy Gutierrez, Victor Krummenacher, Alejandro Murguía, Natasha Muse, Po Poets, Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl, David Talbot, and Katie Tomzynski. $5-10 sliding scale
See you in the streets / bookstores / cafes / readings!
Pia Cortez is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She runs a book blog called Libromance where she reviews books and publishes literary features with a queer Filipino immigrant lens. She is a contributor at Hella Pinay, an online magazine for Filipino-American women and at New Life Quarterly, a literary magazine based in Oakland, California. She is currently working on her first novel.