(Above: Step back into the 1950s with a special performance by Beat generation goddess ruth weiss.)
Stuck on what to read this summer? We have a few suggestions.
The start of summer means one thing: festival season. And no, we're not talking about Outside Lands. This month, downtown Berkeley will open its streets and businesses for the Second Annual Bay Area Book Festival, one of the largest literary events in the Bay Area. This two-day, free book festival is an all-ages and all-genres type of event, with programs catering to children, teens, and parents. Featuring keynote speakers, panels, interviews, performances, and more, special guests include Sherman Alexie, Carroll Ballard, John Diaz, and Jewelle Gomez. The fest is free to the public, but tickets can be purchased here to ensure you save a seat for one of the featured lectures. Make sure to check out the full festival schedule here. Bookworms, gear your engines. // Saturday, June 4th - Sunday, June 5th: Downtown Berkeley (Berkeley), baybookfest.org
Mexican author and longtime San Francisco resident Cathy Arellano debuts her newest work Salvation on Mission Street, a collection of prose and poetry chronicling her experience watching the gentrification of the Mission District through the eyes of the residents fighting for their homes. In honor of the book's release, Mission District non-profit gallery Galería de la Raza will be holding a book release party, co-hosted by Korima Press. The special event will feature readings from Mission District residents including Estela de la Cruz, Ingrid Aleja García, Leticia Hernández-Linares, Andrea Rodriguez, and Lito Sandoval. Come celebrate local literature and get your hands on a work that's sure to go to the top of San Francisco's "must read" list. This event is free and open to the public. // Saturday, June 4th, 4pm: Galería de la Raza, 2857 24th S (Mission), galeriadelaraza.org
June marks the beginning of "The Beat Museum Presents…" an exciting new series featuring readings, performances, and speakers. To kick it all off, legendary Berlin-born jazz poet ruth weiss will be at the Beat Museum for a special night of music and poetry. Famous for her involvement with North Beach's Beat scene, weiss will return to her old stomping grounds along with acoustic bassist Doug O'Connor, saxophonist Rent Romus, and percussionist Hal Davis. Not only are amazing performances on the menu, but pizza will be served courtesy of Pizza Napoletan. A cash bar will also be available to visiting patrons. Tickets can be purchased here. // $28, Wednesday, June 15th, 7pm: Monroe, 473 Broadway (North Beach), eventbrite.com
Legendary mystery novelist Walter Mosley will be making an appearance at Menlo Park's Kepler Books to promote his latest Easy Rawlins novel Charcoal Joe. The latest novel continues where the story Rose Gold left off, following the twisting tales of Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins. Recently named a "Grand Master" by the Mystery Writers of America, Walter Mosley will be joining fellow author T. Geronimo Johnson (Hold It 'Til It Hurts) for a night of great conversation and even greater literature. Tickets can be purchased here. // $10-$40, Thursday, June 16th, 7:30pm: Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real (Menlo Park), keplers.com
Co-sponsored by the San Francisco Art Institute and University of Texas Press, The Accidental Archives of the Royal Chicano Air Force chronicles the story of a very important art collective which helped shape the Chicano movement. A blend of both real and fictitious events, this book follows the story of La Steff, a world famous archaeologist on a mission to track down the real story of RCAF through the secretive Con Sapos Archaeological Collective. Through her investigation, readers will be able learn about this significant movement in tandem with the protagonist. Author of the work and visiting lecturer Stephanie Sauer will be joined by Cornell professor Ella Mariz Diaz to co-present this special book release party. This event is free and open to the public, so you have no excuse not to purchase your own copy ($40). // Thursday, June 23rd, 7pm: City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue (North Beach), citylights.com