New lunchtime “Comfort Lit” series will feature author appearances on behalf of books that focus on subjects ranging from love, spirituality and how to make taking a year off to travel the world a reality, to animals, food and the pleasures of idleness! Also on deck, 4 master class mixers (with cocktails) + monthly presentations of poetry at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Comfort Lit kicks off Tuesday April 17 at The Mechanics' Institute and is FREE; Master Class Mixers are scheduled for April 7, April 14, May 12 and June 2 with each 3-hour class limited to only 15 students; cost: $105.00; Yerba Buena Gardens Festival’s Poetic Tuesdays begin May 8 at the Esplanade at Yerba Buena Gardens and are FREE
April 5, 2018, San Francisco— Litquake announces a new, free lunchtime series at the Mechanics’ Institute Library on select Tuesdays throughout the spring and summer that will feature author appearances on behalf of books that focus on subjects ranging from love, spirituality and how to make taking a year off to travel the world a reality, to animals, food and the pleasures of idleness!
“Comfort Lit,” says Litquake co-founder Jane Ganahl “is built around the idea of books that make you feel better and that will provide a much-needed break from the ongoing fighting the powers that be in order to … recharge.”
Comfort Lit kicks off Tuesday April 17 with designer, author and illustrator Jez Burrows and his new book, Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings; the series will also include the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jonathan Kauffman expounding on Hippie Food, a love story/espionage thriller from September Williams entitled Chasing Mercury, Roman Muradov’s paean to idleness, On Doing Nothing, Rachel Levin’s Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds and Alexandra and David Brown, authors of A Year Off: A Story About Traveling the World—and How to Make It Happen for You.
Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings by Jez Burrows
This collection of very short stories is composed entirely of example sentences from various dictionaries and accompanied by whimsical, minimalist drawings by the author. April 7, Noon at Mechanics’ Institute Salon, 57 Post Street
Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat by Jonathan Kauffman
This enlightening narrative history—an entertaining fusion of Tom Wolfe and Michael Pollan— traces the colorful origins of once unconventional foods and the diverse fringe movements, charismatic gurus, and counterculture elements that brought them to the mainstream and created a distinctly American cuisine. May 15, Noon at Mechanics’ Institute Salon, 57 Post Street
Chasing Mercury: A Novel by September Williams
An epileptic Black ballerina and a Powwow dancer meet in the Montreal Airport. They are both scheduled to perform in 1973 Cold War Berlin. During the transatlantic crossing their love evolves. On a long layover in Zurich, he stuns her by depositing many hundreds of thousands of dollars into his Swiss bank account, to which he adds her name with no true explanation. Is she an accomplice to something, or is this just love in the time of mercury poisoning? June 5, Noon at Mechanics’ Institute Salon, 57 Post Street
On Doing Nothing by Roman Muradov
In an age of obsessive productivity and stress, this illustrated ode to idleness invites readers to explore the pleasures and possibilities of slowing down. Beloved author and illustrator Roman Muradov weaves together the words and stories of artists, writers, philosophers, and eccentrics who have pursued inspiration by doing less. He reveals that doing nothing is both easily achievable and absolutely essential to leading an enjoyable and creative life. Cultivating idleness can be as simple as taking a long walk without a destination or embracing chance in the creative process. Peppered with playful illustrations, this handsome volume is a refreshing and thought-provoking read. June 5, Noon at Mechanics’ Institute Salon, 57 Post Street
Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds by Rachel Levin
This lighthearted but legitimately helpful illustrated field guide tells you what course of action to take in the face of 50 of our most feared—or frustrating—animals. From mountain lions to moose, bears to bees, rats, raccoons, mice… even lice! As humans encroach on wild places, encounters with animals have become increasingly commonplace. But what are the rules for facing a moose up close? Do you run from a coyote or stand your ground? How deadly, really, are black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, and sharks? August 21, Noon at Mechanics’ Institute Salon, 57 Post Street
A Year Off: A Story About Traveling the World—and How to Make It Happen for You, by Alexandra and David Brown
On their first date, David started describing to Alexandra his plan to quit his job and travel around the world for a year. Without hesitation (and surprising them both) Alexandra blurted out “Wait for me.” He did. Three months after that first date they quit their jobs and embarked on a round-the world adventure together that would take them to Costa Rica, New Zealand, Thailand, India, Romania, France, Ireland, and more. They traveled together for a full year—and one year after they returned to San Francisco, they got married. September 11, Noon at Mechanics’ Institute Salon, 57 Post Street
Master Class Mixers: 3-hour intensive writing seminars with cocktails!
Laurie King—Place as Character: The Importance of Setting in Fiction
Apr 7 - 1:00pm
Lynn Freed—Considering the Essay, Apr 14 - 1:00pm
Laleh Khadivi—New in Town: Fiction of the Recently Arrived, May 12 - 1:00pm
Gail Tsukiyama—The First Page: Grab A Reader Quickly! Jun 2 - 1:00pm
More information and descriptions on Master Class Mixers can be found HERE; note, all mixers are limited to only 15 students and are $105.00.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Kicks Off Poetic Tuesdays, produced and presented by Litquake.
Bring some lunch, sit back and feast on some words on Tuesday May 8, from 12:30pm to 1:30pm at the Esplanade in Yerba Buena Gardens. Mission St. between 3rd & 4th Streets.
This year sees a new host and curator, Jason Bayani, artistic director for Kearny Street Workshop (the oldest multi-disciplinary Asian Pacific American multi-disciplinary arts organization in the country) as well as an author, Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene.
The season’s debut on Tuesday May 8 features Barbara Jane Reyes, Kay Nillson, Shawn William, and musical guest Ruby Mountain.
Litquake, San Francisco's annual literary festival, was founded by Bay Area writers in order to put on a week-long literary spectacle for book lovers, complete with cutting-edge panels, unique cross-media events, and hundreds of readings. Since its founding in 1999, the festival has presented close to 8650 author appearances for an audience of over 183,000 in its lively and inclusive celebration of San Francisco's thriving contemporary literary scene. Litquake seeks to foster interest in literature, perpetuate a sense of literary community, and provide a vibrant forum for Bay Area writing as a complement to the city's music, film, and cultural festivals. 2018 Dates: 10/11-20. www.litquake.org
Litquake is grateful for the support of the following funders who help make our programming possible. Institutional Giving: California Arts Council, California College of the Arts, California Institute of Integral Studies, Chronicle Books, Grants for the Arts, Margaret and William R. Hearst III Foundation, Miner Anderson Family Foundation, Mystery Writers of America, Northern California Chapter, HarperOne, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Stanford Continuing Studies, Thistlewood Foundation, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, Zellerbach Foundation. Individual Giving: Frances Dinkelspiel and Gary Wayne, Scott James and Gerald Cain, Nion McEvoy, Craig Newmark, Camilla Smith, and Ellen Ullman. Media Sponsors: 7 X 7, Bay Area Reporter/BARtab, Johnny Funcheap, KALW 91.7, 48 Hills, KQED, San Francisco Chronicle.