Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events


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.

A Tribute to Lenore Kandel

Thursday, May 10, 7-9 pm, at the Beat Museum (540 Broadway)

Lenore Kandel (left) was immortalized by Jack Kerouac in Big Sur as "a big Rumanian monster beauty...intelligent, well read, writes poetry, is a Zen student, knows everything." Kandel's intensely erotic verse landed her in a lengthy court battle in 1966, when her The Love Book was seized from City Lights on obscenity charges. Though Kandel passed away in 2009, her work has just been reissued in a new edition by Berkeley indie publisher North Atlantic Books, with several never-before-published poems. To celebrate the book's release, Peter Coyote, Brenda Knight, ruth weiss, Dan Langton, Lindy Hough, Gerald Nicosia, and Evan Karp will read aloud from the book.

Gabi Moskowitz (The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook)

Thursday, May 10, 7 pm, at Green Apple Books (506 Clement St.)

Local writer Gabi Moskowitz has attained national acclaim with her blog BrokeAss Gourmet, which helps cooks on a budget concoct delicious meals for under $20 (and suggests reasonably priced beverages to pair with them). The site's first cookbook compiles over 200 of Moskowitz's best-loved recipes. For her launch party at Green Apple, she'll be cooking up a few of her favorite dishes to pair with budget wines, all for free. 

Daniel Levin Becker (Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature)

Thursday, May 10, 7:30 pm, at Z Space (450 Florida St.)

In 1960, a Parisian collective of writers and scientists founded the Oulipo, a literary salon dedicated to exploring such literary experiments as the first-ever choose-your-own-adventure book and a novel written entirely without using the letter E. Becker, the reviews editor for The Believer, went to France to meet the Oulipo, and left as a member; to celebrate his new memoir about the experience, he's gathering Robin Sloan, Matthew Zapruder, Scott Esposito, and John McMurtrie to read Oulipo-inspired work and discuss the group's impact. Tickets to the event (hosted by the Booksmith) are $12.

Rachel Dratch (Girl Walks Into a Bar)

Tuesday, May 15, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

After seven seasons on Saturday Night Live, where she became famous for characters like Debbie Downer, Dratch thought she'd picked a perfect next step: playing the character of Jenna on Tina Fey's then-pilot, 30 Rock. But when NBC insisted on recasting Dratch with Jane Krakowski, the 40-something actress found herself with plenty of time on her hands, and very few parts. After attempting yoga, dog-sitting, and learning Spanish, Dratch embarked on a long-distance affair with a handsome stranger, only to become unexpectedly pregnant six months into the relationship-- at the age of 44. Her memoir explores the trials and tribulations of becoming a late-in-life mom. 

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