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Litquake's Lit Cast

Literature

Litquake is San Francisco's nine-day literary festival for booklovers, complete with cutting-edge panel discussions, unique cross-media events, and hundreds of readings. Litquake's Lit Cast is our selection of live recordings from the "Epicenter", a monthly series which embraces a theater of ideas between writers and readers.

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Description:

Litquake is San Francisco's nine-day literary festival for booklovers, complete with cutting-edge panel discussions, unique cross-media events, and hundreds of readings. Litquake's Lit Cast is our selection of live recordings from the "Epicenter", a monthly series which embraces a theater of ideas between writers and readers.

Twitter:

@litquake

Language:

English


Episodes

Straight, No Chaser: Writers at the Bar: Lit Cast Live Episode 139

2/22/2022
Famed bohemian saloon Vesuvio Café welcomes Litquake for an edgy and hilarious North Beach reading celebrating 2020 authors (who didn’t get to have any damn fun). Featuring Vanessa Hua, A.H. Kim, Roberto Lovato, Caitlin Myer, and Maggie Tokuda-Hall. Hosted by Alia Volz. A rare opportunity to glimpse authors performing new work in their natural habitat. Held outdoors in Kerouac Alley.

Duration:01:28:25

Word Jazz: Lit Cast Live Episode 138

2/8/2022
Sponsored by Yerba Buena Community Benefit District Co-presented by Healdsburg Jazz Festival and Poets & Writers In the great tradition of San Francisco jazz and spoken-word basement readings first forged by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kenneth Rexroth, and Bob Kaufman, Litquake is proud to bring back this festival favorite, showcasing world-class poets accompanied by improvised music created on the spot. With Genny Lim, devorah major, Paul S. Flores, and Brontez Purnell. Music by the Marcus Shelby Trio.

Duration:01:52:37

Raceless: Georgina Lawton in conversation with Jess Cole: Lit Cast Live Episode 137

5/21/2021
Co-presented with MOAD. From The Guardian’s Georgina Lawton, a moving examination of how racial identity is constructed—through the author’s own journey grappling with secrets and stereotypes, having been raised by white parents with no explanation as to why she looked black. Raised in sleepy English suburbia, Georgina Lawton was no stranger to homogeneity. Her parents were white; her friends were white; there was no reason for her to think she was any different. But over time her brown skin and dark, kinky hair frequently made her a target of prejudice. In Georgina’s insistently color-blind household, with no acknowledgement of her difference or access to black culture, she lacked the coordinates to make sense of who she was.

Duration:01:01:47

Funeral Diva: Pamela Sneed with Tommy Pico: Lit Cast Live Episode 136

3/23/2021
This event is now available to watch on our YouTube page, along with the rest of our 2020 festival programming. Co-presented by City Lights Booksellers & Publishers “This notable achievement...is a harrowing account of how Sneed transforms violence and pain into an artist's life." —Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen: A Lyric In this collection of personal essays and poetry, acclaimed Brooklyn-based poet/performer Pamela Sneed details her coming of age in New York City during the late 1980s. Funeral Diva (City Lights) captures the impact of AIDS on Black Queer life, and highlights the enduring bonds between the living, the dying, and the dead. Sneed's poems not only converse with lovers past and present, but also with her literary forebears—like James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde—whose aesthetic and thematic investments she renews for a contemporary American landscape. Offering critical focus on matters from police brutality to LGBTQ+ rights, Funeral Diva confronts today's most pressing issues with acerbic wit and audacity. The collection closes with Sneed's reflections on the two pandemics of her time, AIDS and COVID-19, and the disproportionate impact of each on African American communities. Sneed discusses and reads from her work, alongside poet and Literary Hub editor Tommy Pico. FREE, $5-10 suggested donation Buy the authors' books: Pamela Sneed -- http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100510140&fa=description Tommy Pico -- https://bookshop.org/a/11096/9781947793576 Browse Litquake's bookstore here -- https://bookshop.org/shop/litquake

Duration:01:06:36

Good Things in Small Packages: Lit Cast Live Episode 135

3/10/2021
Co-presented by The Ruby and Left Margin Lit The best short stories evoke a whole world in a small space. But how do they get written? Join Litquake as we hear five writers (and readers) of short stories discuss their different approaches to writing the form. They'll discuss their own methods, philosophies, and techniques behind telling stories with economy and heart. With Yalitza Ferreras, Rachel Khong, Mimi Lok, Shruti Swamy, and C Pam Zhang. Remember to subscribe to Lit Cast to be notified the minute we release our episodes -- and subscribe to our Youtube channel to watch all of our archived readings and discussions from our 2020 Litquake festival. Follow us on social media @litquake. Buy the authors' books at Litquake's bookstore here -- https://bookshop.org/shop/litquake

Duration:01:18:05

Hurricane Season: Fernanda Melchor with Yuri Herrera: Lit Cast Live Episode 134

2/9/2021
This event is now available to watch on our YouTube page, along with the rest of our 2020 festival programming. “Melchor’s English-language debut is a furious vortex of voices that swirl around a murder in a provincial Mexican town. Forceful, frenzied, violent, and uncompromising, Melchor’s depiction of a town ogling its own destruction is a powder keg that ignites on the first page and sustains its intense, explosive heat until its final sentence.” —Publishers Weekly One of Mexico’s most promising and prominent writers, Fernanda Melchor has created, in her debut novel Hurricane Season, a Gulf Coast noir drawing comparisons to everyone from Faulkner to Bolaño and Marlon James. NPR has called Hurricane Season "a mix of drugs, sex, mythology, small-town desperation, poverty, and superstition." The Los Angeles Review of Books describes it as "a novel that sinks like lead to the bottom of the soul and remains there, its images full of color, its characters alive and raging against their fate.” Beginning with the discovery of a corpse, by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals, a Mexican village is propelled into an investigation of how and why the murder occurred. Join Fernanda Melchor as she reads from and discusses her work, with novelist and professor Yuri Herrera, author of several works including the recent nonfiction book A Silent Fury: The El Bordo Mine Fire. FREE, $5-10 suggested donation

Duration:01:01:59

Foglifter Journal Volume 5 Issue 2 Launch: Lit Cast Live Episode 133

1/26/2021

Duration:00:58:44

Every Day We Get More Illegal: Juan Felipe Herrera with Jericho Brown: Lit Cast Live Episode 132

12/29/2020
This event is now available to watch on our YouTube page, alongside the rest of our 2020 festival programming. Co-presented by City Lights Booksellers & Publishers "From Basho to Mandela, Every Day We Get More Illegal takes us on an international tour for a lesson in the history of resistance...In ways subtle and sometimes proudly loud, this book makes it clear exactly why Juan Felipe Herrera continues to be recognized and sought after for his work."—Jericho Brown Join Litquake and City Lights in celebrating the publication of Juan Felipe Herrera’s Every Day We Get More Illegal. In this collection of poems, written during and immediately after two years on the road as United States Poet Laureate, Herrera reports back on his travels through contemporary America. Poems written in the heat of witness, and later, in quiet moments of reflection, coalesce into an urgent, trenchant, and yet hope-filled portrait. Every Day We Get More Illegal is a jolt to the conscience—filled with the multiple powers of the many voices and many textures of every day in America. Herrera, the nation’s first Latino Poet Laureate, will share his work, along with Jericho Brown, author of three collected works, of which The Tradition received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. FREE, $5-10 suggested donation Buy books and support the poets: Juan Felipe Herrera -- http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100162250 Jericho Brown -- https://bookshop.org/a/11096/9781556594861 Browse Litquake's bookstore here -- https://bookshop.org/shop/litquake

Duration:01:00:22

An Evening with The Rumpus: Lit Cast Live Episode 131

12/11/2020
The Rumpus proudly presents our San Francisco Lit Crawl 2020 event, An Evening with The Rumpus! With readings from Tongo Eisen-Martin, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, and Monica Sok, and featuring comedy by Nato Green! Hosted by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee.

Duration:00:34:43

The Other America: Finding Common Ground: Lit Cast Live Episode 130

11/24/2020
“This is an unflinching book that illustrates the central, confounding American paradox—in a country that purports to root for the underdog, too often we exalt the rich and we punish the poor. With thorough reporting and extraordinary compassion, Kristof and WuDunn tell the stories of those who fall behind in the world’s wealthiest country, and find not an efficient first-world safety net created by their government, but a patchwork of community initiatives, perpetually underfunded and run by tired saints. And yet amid all the tragedy and neglect, Kristof and WuDunn conjure a picture of how it could all get better, how it could all work. That’s the miracle of Tightrope, and why this is such an indispensable book.” —Dave Eggers The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the acclaimed, best-selling Half the Sky, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, now issue a plea—deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans—to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure. Their latest bestseller, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, draws us deep into an “other America,” from the lives of some of the children with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Oregon, to similar stories of needless working-class tragedy from the Dakotas, Oklahoma, New York, and Virginia. But amid the deaths from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents, there are stories about resurgence, among them: Annette Dove, who has devoted her life to helping the teenagers of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Daniel McDowell, of Baltimore, whose tale of opioid addiction and recovery suggests that there are viable ways to solve our nation’s drug epidemic. With their superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore. The authors discuss their work and share stories with Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of the recent New York Times bestseller Strangers in Their Own Land.

Duration:01:00:02

Freemans Best New Writings on Love: Lit Cast Live Episode 129

11/18/2020
Litquake and City Lights present John Freeman with Robin Coste Lewis, Tommy Orange, and Matt Summell. John Freeman celebrates the latest installment of the journal that is called "a powerful force in the literary world" (Los Angeles Times.) Freeman's turns to one of the greatest elevating forces of life: love. FREEMAN'S: Best New Writings on LOVE edited by John Freeman, and published by Grove Press. Litquake and City Lights present John Freeman with Robin Coste Lewis, Tommy Orange, and Matt Summell. John Freeman celebrates the latest installment of the journal that is called "a powerful force in the literary world" (Los Angeles Times.) Freeman's turns to one of the greatest elevating forces of life: love. FREEMAN'S: Best New Writings on LOVE edited by John Freeman, and published by Grove Press.

Duration:01:29:05

A Family Divided: Lit Cast Live Episode 128

8/25/2020
Millions of families are separated today, by circumstances of the current pandemic, by draconian immigration policies, and by war. Family separation has long been used as an intentional political tool to pressure, frighten, and terrorize. Through the lens of fiction, we can understand the impact of such wounds, and strengthen our shared belief in family and community connection. Authors Donna Hemans, Aimee Liu, Ellen Meeropol, and Kristen Millares Young discuss their Spring 2020 novels, and explore the paths of families torn apart. F

Duration:00:59:02

Alexandra Petri and Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why: Lit Cast Live Episode 127

8/18/2020
“One of the difficulties of being alive today, is that everything is absurd but fewer and fewer things are funny.” In her new essay collection Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why, acclaimed Washington Post satirist Alexandra Petri offers perfectly logical, reassuring reasons for everything that has happened in recent American politics that will in no way unsettle your worldview. Petri reports that the Trump administration is as competent as it is uncorrupted, white supremacy has never been less rampant, and men have been silenced for too long. The “woman card” is a powerful card to play! Q-Anon makes perfect sense! This Panglossian venture into our swampy present offers a virtuosic first draft of history—a parody as surreal and deranged as the Trump administration itself. Petri’s essays have become iconic expressions of rage and anger, read and liked and shared by hundreds of thousands of people. In conversation with Vox political reporter Jane Coaston.

Duration:01:08:16

Afrofuturism — Risen From a Poet’s Sun: Lit Cast Live Episode 126

8/11/2020
Afrofuturism: Risen From a Poet’s Sun explores the intersection of technology, science, and the arts, as well as culture, of the African Diaspora. Featuring Bay Area poets James Cagney, Tongo-Eisen Martin, Thea Matthews, and Tureeda Mikell.

Duration:01:21:42

You, Me, and Everyone In Quarantine: Lit Cast Live Episode 125

7/21/2020
Cutting-edge poetry and visuals from both coasts, on the theme of "You, Me, and Everyone In Quarantine." From the depths of their shelter-in-place, these writers will perform their literary hearts out for you! With SevanKele Boult, Wo Chan, Katie Fricas, Irene McCalphin aka Magnoliah Black, and Preeti Vangani. Curated and hosted by Baruch Porras-Hernandez. Books are available from your favorite indie bookstores, or order from bookshop.org!

Duration:01:34:12

Literary Page Turners: Lit Cast Live Episode 124

7/14/2020
Page turners are usually associated with genre or popular fiction rather than literary fiction. In this discussion, Melanie Abrams, Laura Mazer, and Kate Milliken will talk about what readers, agents, and editors are looking for when it comes to plot. Our guest authors speak about marketability, but also how to write a beautifully crafted narrative while still making readers turn pages. Books are available from your favorite indie bookstores, or order from bookshop.org!

Duration:01:14:40

Alka Joshi and The Henna Artist: Lit Cast Live Episode 123

7/13/2020
Please join us for this vivid and compelling evening with Alka Joshi, author of The Henna Artist, the May selection for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club. Tune in and learn why Publishers Weekly calls this novel “eloquent and moving,” while Christian Science Monitor highlights its “vibrant characters, evocative imagery, and sumptuous prose.” A portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist takes readers on a journey through 1950s Indian culture, a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel. Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own. Alka Joshi reads from and discusses her book, with CCA professor and bestselling author Tom Barbash. Books are available from your favorite indie bookstores, or order from bookshop.org!

Duration:01:15:50

Ishmael Beah and Little Family: Lit Cast Live Episode 122

6/23/2020
From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of the Sierra Leone child-soldier memoir, A LONG WAY GONE, comes this powerful new novel about young people living at the margins of society. LITTLE FAMILY portrays the lives of five youth who have improvised a household in an abandoned airplane, struggling to replace the homes they have lost with the one they have created together. Join us to celebrate release of this remarkable debut work of fiction from Ishmael Beah, whom Vanity Fair has called “arguably the most-read African writer in contemporary literature.”

Duration:01:05:04

Fiction Writing in a Time of Crisis: Lit Cast Live Episode 121

5/27/2020
Fiction writers Nayomi Munaweera, R.O. Kwon, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, and host Lauren Markham discuss both the challenges and urgency of fiction writing at this moment in time. How do we write during bleak times, and into the bleakness? How does the loss and grief of our current moment impact what we are writing about, how we write, and who we are writing for? What works or writers are we turning to right now, and how are we finding sustenance there? And perhaps most importantly, where might we be finding joy and how are we cultivating it—and what role could this joy play in our writing? All authors' books available from your favorite indie bookstores, order from bookshop.org!

Duration:00:58:50

Bring the World into Your Home with World Editions: Lit Cast Live Episode 120

5/19/2020
Let's connect our global literary community in a time of closed borders. Hear World Editions authors Adam Dalva, Esther Gerritsen, Adeline Dieudonné, Pierre Jarawan, Sisonke Msimang, and Amin Maalouf read from their works, discuss the current situation in their countries, and talk about what books mean to them during Covid-19. Adam Dalva’s writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, Tin House, and The Guardian. He teaches Creative Writing at Rutgers University and is a book critic for Guernica Magazine. Adam has received fellowships from the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. He is a graduate of NYU’s MFA Program, where he was a Veterans Writing Workshop Fellow. Adam’s bestselling comic book, Olivia Twist, was published by Dark Horse in Fall 2018. Esther Gerritsen is a Dutch novelist, columnist, and playwright. She made her literary debut in 2000. She is one of the most established, widely read, and highly praised authors in the Netherlands, and makes regular appearances on radio programs and at literary festivals. Esther Gerritsen had the honor of writing the Dutch Book Week gift in 2016, which had a print run of 700,000 copies. In 2014 she was awarded the Frans Kellendonk Prize for her oeuvre. Her book Craving was made into a film in 2018, and film rights have been sold for her novel Roxy, which was just published in English. Adeline Dieudonné is a Belgian author and lives in Brussels. Real Life, her debut novel, was published in France in Autumn 2018 and has since been awarded most of the major French literary prizes: the prestigious Prix du Roman FNAC, the Prix Rossel, the Prix Renaudot des Lycéens, the Prix Goncourt―Le Choix de la Belgique, the Prix des Étoiles du Parisien, the Prix Première Plume, and the Prix Filigrane, a French prize for a work of high literary quality with wide appeal. Dieudonné also performs as a stand-up comedian. Pierre Jarawan was born in 1985 to a Lebanese father and a German mother and moved to Germany with his family at the age of three. Inspired by his father’s imaginative bedtime stories, he started writing at the age of thirteen. He has won international prizes as a slam poet, and in 2016 was named Literature Star of the Year by the daily newspaper Abendzeitung. Jarawan received a literary scholarship from the City of Munich (the Bayerischer Kunstförderpreis) for The Storyteller, which went on to become a bestseller and booksellers’ favorite in Germany and the Netherlands. Sisonke Msimang is the author of Always Another Country: A memoir of exile and home. She is a South African writer whose work is focussed on race, gender and democracy. She has written for a range of international publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian, Newsweek and Al Jazeera. Born in Beirut in 1949, Amin Maalouf has lived in France since 1976. After studying sociology and economics, Maalouf joined the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, for which he travelled the world covering numerous events, from the fall of the Ethiopian monarchy to the last battle of Saigon. Forced to emigrate by the war in Lebanon, he settled in Paris, where he resumed journalism, and from where he started to travel again, from Mozambique to Iran and from Argentina to the Balkans. He became editor of the international edition of An-Nahar, then editor-in-chief of the weekly Jeune Afrique, before giving up all his posts to dedicate himself to literature. All authors' books available from your favorite indie bookstores, order from bookshop.org!

Duration:01:17:35