Quick Lit: March 31-April 6

Homero Aridjis reads at City Lights Tues/6

Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week

Wednesday, March 31

Vito Acconci
Hear writer/visual artist turned designer and architect, Vito Acconci, talk about “Words/Action/Architecture,” where he will discuss recent and upcoming projects of Acconci Studio like an artificial island in Graz, an elevated subway station in Coney Island, and a street that runs through a building in Indianapolis.
7:30 p.m., free
Mills College
Lisser Theater
5000 MacArthur, Oak.
(510) 430-2164

Performing South Africa's Truth Commission: Stages of Transition
Join author Catherine M. Cole as she discusses South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, which helped to end apartheid by providing a public forum to exposed human rights abuses, and how the truth commission as public ritual and national theater provided a medium for performing evidence and truth to legitimize a new South Africa.
5:30 p.m., free
University Press Books
2430 Bancroft, Berk.
(510) 548-0585

Thursday, April 1

James Hannaham and Andrew Sean Greer
McSweeney's and Modern Times Bookstore present an April Fool’s Day evening of literary debauchery with James Hannaham reading from his award-winning novel, God Says No, and Andrew Sean Greer reading his acclaimed NASCAR piece from the McSweeney’s publication, San Francisco Panorama.
7 p.m., free
853 Valencia, SF
(415) 970-0012

April Martin Chartrand
Attend this audio visual presentation of April Martin Chartrand’s book, Angel’s Destiny: A novel story of poems and illustrations, and experience the emotional life of a multi-cultural woman in the United States trying to overcome violent adversities and embrace self-love.
6 p.m., free
San Francisco Main Library
100 Larkin, SF

K.M. Soehnlein
Hear Soehnlein read from his new book, Robin and Ruby, a sequel to The World of Normal Boys where he introduces the character Robin MacKenzie. In this new story of love and loss we meet Robin's sister Ruby.
7:30 p.m., free
Books Inc.
2275 Market, SF
(415) 864-6777

Surviving the Dragon
Hear author Arjia Rinpoche share his inspiring survival story of the years he spent in Tibet during the Cultural Revolution at this reading for his book, Surviving the Dragon: A Tibetan Lama’s life under Chinese rule. Rinopoche witnessed the torture and arrest of his monastery family, spent 16 years in a forced labor camp, and endured many other hardships before he escaped to the United Stated in 1998.
7:30 p.m., free
The Booksmith
1644 Haight, SF
(415) 863-8688

World Poetry Night in the Oral Tradition
Enjoy recited poetry from diverse cultures and time periods in the “oral tradition,” where one poem inspires another from classics such as Rumi, Sappho, Hafiz, Whitman, Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Dickinson, Neruda, and more.
7 p.m., $12
Mechanics’ Institute
57 Post, SF
(415) 393-0100

Friday, April 2

Enjoy intense, punk-edged lit readings and music at this punk rock alternative to the popular Litquake annual reading series. Featuring Penelope Houston, lead singer of the Avengers, reading poetry, prose, and singing, John Shirley, author and former lead singer of SadoNation, Eddie Jetson, of Ice 9, “Jennifer Blowdryer,” Johnny Genocide, and more.
7:30 p.m., $5
Makeout Room
3225 22nd St., SF
(415) 647-2888

Reality Hunger: A manifesto

Author David Shields argues that our culture is obsessed with reality because we experience hardly any. At this reading, Shields will share his stance that aims to reframe how we think about “truthiness.”
7:30 p.m., free
The Booksmith
1644 Haight, SF
(415) 863-8688

Saturday, April 3

Indivisible: An anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry
Kick off national poetry month at this book launch, reading, and signing of this collection of poetry from contemporary American poets from different cultures and faiths who trace their origins back to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The anthology aims to capture the simultaneous tensions of belonging and not belonging in America.
Featured contributors: Ravi Chandra, Tanuja Mehrotra, and Swati Rana
7:30 p.m., free
1644 Haight, SF
(415) 863-8688

Monday, April 5

The Hills in Berkeley
Attend this UC Berkeley geology talk where professor Dr. Doris Sloan will discuss the formation of the Hills in Berkeley.
7:30 p.m., $5
The Hillside Club
2286 Cedar, Berk.
(510) 848-3277

Tuesday, April 6

Homero Aridjis with Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Hear Mexican poet, novelist, and environmentalist, Homero Aridjis read from his new collection of poetry, Solar Poems, addressing both his ecological concerns and a mystical relationship to the sun. Lawrence Ferlinghetti will also read several poems from the new bilingual edition of his book, What is Poetry?/¿Qué es la Poesía?, which Aridjis translated.
7 p.m., free
City Lights Bookstore
261 Columbus, SF

Biking Book Club
Join members of the SF Bike Coalition and other biking enthusiasts for this book club and discussion group about bike and transportation related books. The current book up for discussion is Traffic: Why we drive the way we do by Tom Vanderbilt. Bring ideas for future reads.
6:30 p.m., free
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
995 Market, SF

Hear author Hugh Raffles discuss his new book that pays tribute to bugs of all kinds in this collection of 26 offbeat and bizarre essays and philosophical musings.
7 p.m., free
BookShop West Portal
80 West Portal, SF
(415) 564-8080