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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Jack Hirschman

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Jack Hirschman's Birthday Celebration

Wednesday, December 11, 7:30 pm, at City Lights Books (261 Columbus Ave.)

Hirschman, the poet, social activist, and former San Francisco poet laureate, turns 80 this week, and a big group of poets, including Neeli Cherkovski, Amber Tamblyn, and current SF poet laureate Alejandro Murguia, will be reading aloud from his work. The author of more than 50 books, Hirschman was forced to leave his professorial job at UCLA for encouraging his students to resist the Vietnam War draft; he's also translated more than two dozen books in seven different languages. A reception will follow the reading. 

Zyzzyva Winter Reading

Wednesday, December 11, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

The SF-based quarterly is celebrating its latest issue with a holiday party at the Booksmith, featuring contributors Monique Wentzel (fiction), Lisa Teasley (fiction), John W. Evans (poetry), and Pat Joseph (nonfiction). Editors Laura Cogan and Oscar Villalon will be on hand for the festivities, which will include drinks, snacks, and the chance to win a few prizes. 

David Kinch (Manresa: An Edible Reflection)

Tuesday, December 17, 12:30 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Kinch, the James Beard Award-winning chef of Los Gatos' Manresa (which boasts two Michelin stars), has recently published his first cookbook, an elegant tome with gorgeous photos that took home Amazon.com's prize for cookbook of the year. The book pays tribute to the sense of place he attempts to establish in his cuisine, and his partnership with nearby Love Apple Farms, which provides nearly all of the restaurant's produce. Bon Appetit editor Christine Muhlke collaborated with Kinch on the book. 

Katrina Fried (American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom)

Sunday, December 15, 4 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Fried, who profiled 50 inspiring nonprofit leaders in her book Everyday Heroes, has returned with another hefty tome featuring 50 amazing teachers hailing from all over the U.S. Teaching at schools both public and private, spanning kindergarten to high school, the teachers share their first-person experiences of what brought them to teaching, the challenges they face (including long hours and low pay), and other personal stories, from an agriculture teacher whose garden helps special-needs students in the Bronx to an Iowa English teacher who reinvented the way high-school English is taught.