Ryan Gattis 2

Ryan Gattis returns to City Lights, this time reading from his new novel Safe published by MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

About Safe: Ricky ‘Ghost’ Mendoza, Jr. is trying to be good. In recovery and working as a freelance safecracker for the DEA, the FBI, and any other government agency willing to pay him, Ghost is determined to live clean for the rest of his days. And maybe he could, if the most important person in his life hadn’t gotten into serious financial trouble. To fix it, all Ghost has to do is crack a safe and steal drug money from under the noses of the gangs and the Feds without getting caught. Or killed.

Rudy ‘Glasses’ Reyes runs drugs and cleans up messes for the baddest of bad men. When Ghost hits one of his safes, Glasses must hunt him down or be held accountable. But Glasses is worried about more than just money. The heist puts everything in his life at risk—his livelihood, his freedom, even his family.

Ryan Gattis is the author of Kung Fu High School and All Involved, a novel about the 1992 L.A. riots. He lives in Los Angeles.

John Nichols

John Nichols discusses Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America from Nation Books, an essential examination of the the dirty dealers and defenders of the indefensible who are “making America great again.”

John Nichols is the national affairs writer for The Nation magazine and a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times. He is also the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, and a cofounder of the media-reform group Free Press. A frequent commentator on American politics and media, he has appeared often on MSNBC, NPR, BBC and regularly lectures at major universities on presidential administrations and executive power. The author of ten books and has earned numerous awards for his investigative reports, including groundbreaking examinations (in collaboration with the Center for Media and Democracy) of the Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Walter Hopps & Bruce Conner Tribute Event

Dream Colonies, Painterlands, and the Intersection of Curating with Creation: Bruce Conner meets Walter Hopps.

Anastasia Aukeman, author of Welcome to Painterland: Bruce Conner and the Rat Bastard Protective Association meets Deborah Treisman, co-author with Walter Hopps and Anne Doran of The Dream Colony: A Life in Art. They will explore two enigmatic and influential figures in the world of art and how their work intersected via art creation and curation. City Lights’ very own Paul Yamazaki moderates an evening of discussion that traverses the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and national art scenes. Mid-century San Francisco artist Bruce Conner and legendary arts curator Walter Hopps walked in familiar worlds. The Rat Bastard Protective Association intersected with Wallace Berman’s Semina Scene of which Hopps was a supporter (and integral part of) via the Ferus Gallery. Through following the threads that connected artists with each other and the gallery scenes that supported them, we hope to show the rich history that California mid-century artists and curators shared.

Camille T. Dungy

City Lights welcomes Camille T. Dungy discussing her new book Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History, published by W.W. Norton.

An award-winning poet debuts in prose with a stunningly graceful and honest exploration of race, motherhood, and history. As a working mother whose livelihood as a poet-lecturer depended on travel, Camille Dungy crisscrossed America with her infant, then toddler, intensely aware of how they are seen, not just as mother and child, but as black women. With a poet’s eye, she celebrates her daughter’s acquisition of language and discoveries of the natural and human world around her. At the same time history shadows her steps everywhere she goes: from the San Francisco of settlers’ and investors’ dreams to the slave-trading ports of Ghana; from snow-white Maine to a festive, yet threatening, bonfire in the Virginia pinewoods.

With exceptional candor and grace, Dungy explores our inner and outer worlds—the intimate and vulnerable experiences of raising a child, living with illness, conversing with strangers, and counting on others’ goodwill. Across the nation, she finds fear and trauma, and also mercy, kindness, and community. Penetrating and generous, Guidebook to Relative Strangers is an essential guide for a troubled land.

Melvin A. Goodman

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City Lights welcomes Melvin A. Goodman discussing Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider’s Account of the Politics of Intelligence published by City Lights Books.
Melvin Goodman’s long career as a respected intelligence analyst at the CIA, specializing in US/Soviet relations, ended abruptly. In 1990, after twenty-four years of service, Goodman resigned when he could no longer tolerate the corruption he witnessed at the highest levels of the Agency. In 1991 he went public, blowing the whistle on top-level officials and leading the opposition against the appointment of Robert Gates as CIA director. In the widely covered Senate hearings, Goodman charged that Gates and others had subverted “the process and the ethics of intelligence” by deliberately misinforming the White House about major world events and covert operations.

In this breathtaking expose, Goodman tells the whole story. Retracing his career with the Central Intelligence Agency, he presents a rare insider’s account of the inner workings of America’s intelligence community, and the corruption, intimidation, and misinformation that lead to disastrous foreign interventions. An invaluable and historic look into one of the most secretive and influential agencies of US government–and a wake-up call for the need to reform its practices.

Melvin A. Goodman served as a senior analyst and Division Chief at the CIA from 1966 to 1990. An expert on U.S. relations with Russia, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Harper’s, and many others. He is author of six books on US intelligence and international security.

 

Achy Obejas

City Lights welcomes Achy Obejas reading from her new short story collection The Tower of the Antilles from Akashic Books.

The Cubans in Achy Obejas’s story collection The Tower of the Antilles are haunted by an island: the island they fled, the island they’ve created, the island they were taken to or forced from, the island they long for, the island they return to, and the island that can never be home again.

In “Supermán,” several possible story lines emerge about a 1950s Havana sex-show superstar who disappeared as soon as the Revolution triumphed. “North/South” portrays a migrant family trying to cope with separation, lives on different hemispheres, and the eventual disintegration of blood ties. “The Cola of Oblivion” follows the path of a young woman who returns to Cuba, and who inadvertently uncorks a history of accommodation and betrayal among the family members who stayed behind during the revolution. In the title story, “The Tower of the Antilles,” an interrogation reveals a series of fantasies about escape and a history of futility.

With language that is both generous and sensual, Obejas writes about lives beset by events beyond individual control, and poignantly captures how history and fate intrude on even the most ordinary of lives.

ACHY OBEJAS is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ruins, Days of Awe, and three other books of fiction. She edited and translated (into English) the anthology Havana Noir, and has since translated Junot Díaz, Rita Indiana, Wendy Guerra, and many others. In 2014, she was awarded a USA Ford Fellowship for her writing and translation. She currently serves as the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Kit Schluter in Conversation with Garrett Caples

 

 

City Lights welcomes Kit Schluter in conversation with Garrett Caples exploring the work of Marcel Schwob on the occasion of the release of The King in the Golden Mask by Marcel Schwob, (translated by Kit Schluter) published by Wakefield Press.

First published in French in 1892 and never before translated fully into English, The King in the Golden Mask gathers together twenty-one of Marcel Schwob’s cruelest and most erudite tales. Melding the fantastic with historical fiction, these stories swarm around moments of unexplained violence both historical and imaginary, often blending the two through Schwob’s collaging of primary source documents into fiction. Brimming with murder, suicide, royal leprosy, and medieval witchcraft, Schwob describes for us historically-attested clergymen furtively attending medieval sabbaths, Protestant galley slaves laboring under the persecution of Louis XIV, a ten-year-old French viscountess seeking vengeance for her unwilled espousal to a money-grubbing French lord, and dice-tumbling sons of Florentine noblemen wandering Europe at the height of the 1374 plague. These writings are of such hallucinatory detail and linguistic specificity that the reader is left wondering whether they aren’t newly unearthed historical documents. To read Schwob is to encounter human history in its most scintillating and ebullient form as it comes into contact with this unparalleled imagination.

Kit Schluter is a writer and translator living in Mexico City. With Andrew Dieck and Francesca Capone, he edits O’clock Press. His writings have appeared in BOMB, Boston Review, Elective Affinities, Inpatient Press, and The Disinhibitor. He has translated the works of Enzio de Kiipt, Clamenç Llansana, Jaime Saenz, and Marcel Schwob. He translated The Book Of Monelle, by Marcel Schwob, for Wakefield Press.

Garrett Caples is the author of The Garrett Caples Reader (1999), Complications (2007), Quintessence of the Minor: Symbolist Poetry in English (2010), and Retrievals (2014). He’s an editor at City Lights Books, where he curates the Spotlight poetry series and has worked on such books as Tau by Philip Lamantia/Journey to the End by John Hoffman (Pocket Poets #59) and When I Was a Poet by David Meltzer (Pocket Poets #60).  He is also a contributing writer to the San Francisco Bay Guardian and coeditor of the Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (2013).

Alex Dimitrov and Randall Mann

City Lights presents Alex Dimitrov reading from his new book of poetry, Together and by Ourselves from Copper Canyon Press and Randall Mann reading from his new book, Proprietary: Poems from Persea Press.

About Together and by Ourselves and Proprietary: Poems:

Together and by Ourselves, Alex Dimitrov’s second book of poems, takes on broad existential questions and the reality of our current moment: being seemingly connected to one another, yet emotionally alone. Through a collage aesthetic and a multiplicity of voices, these poems take us from coast to coast, New York to LA, and toward uneasy questions about intimacy, love, death, and the human spirit. Dimitrov critiques America’s long-lasting obsessions with money, celebrity, and escapism?whether in our personal, professional, or family lives. What defines a life? Is love ever enough? Who are we when together and who are we by ourselves? These questions echo throughout the poems, which resist easy answers. The voice is both heartfelt and skeptical, bruised yet playful, and always deeply introspective.

In Proprietary, Randall Mann critiques corporate culture, depicting (and slyly rebuking) the American materialism that erupted in the 1980s and has metastasized ever since. For years, Randall Mann has been hailed as one of contemporary American poetry’s most daring formalists, expertly using craft as a way of exploring racy subjects with trenchant wit and aplomb. His new collection, Proprietary, depicts with the insights of a longtime insider the culture of corporate America, in which he’s worked for years, intertwined with some of his tried-and-true subjects, including gay life in the wildly disparate worlds of San Francisco and northern Florida.

Exist Otherwise: The Life and Works of Claude Cahun

City Lights welcomes Jennifer L. Shaw in conversation with Kit Schluter discussing the subject of the new book published by Reaktion Books Exist Otherwise: The Life and Works of Claude Cahun by Jennifer L. Shaw.

In the turmoil of the 1920s and ’30s, Claude Cahun challenged gender stereotypes with her powerful photographs, montages, and writings, works that appear to our twenty-first-century eyes as utterly contemporary, or even from the future. She wrote poetry and prose for major French literary magazines, worked in avant-garde theater, and was both comrade of and critical outsider to the Surrealists. Exist Otherwise is the first work in English to the tell the full story of Claude Cahun’s art and life, one that celebrates and makes accessible Cahun’s remarkable vision.

Jennifer L. Shaw embeds Cahun within the exciting social and artistic milieu of Paris between the wars. She examines her relationship with Marcel Moore—Cahun’s stepsister, lover, and life partner—who was a central collaborator helping make some of the most compelling photographs and photomontages of Cahun’s oeuvre, dreamscapes of disassembled portraiture and scenes that simultaneously fascinate and terrify. Shaw follows Cahun into the horrors of World War II and the Nazi occupation of the island of Jersey off the coast of Normandy, and she explores the powerful and dangerous ways Cahun resisted it. Reading through her letters and diaries, Shaw brings Cahun’s ideas and feelings to the foreground, offering an intimate look at how she thought about photography, surrealism, the histories of women artists, and queer culture.

Offering some of Cahun’s writings never before translated into English alongside a wide array of her artworks and those of her contemporaries, this book is a must-have for any fan of this iconic artist or anyone interested in this crucial period in artistic and cultural history.

Jennifer L. Shaw is professor of art history at Sonoma State University in California. She is the author of Reading Claude Cahun’s Disavowals and Dream States: Puvis de Chavannes, Modernism, and the Fantasy of France.

Kit Schluter is a writer and translator living in Mexico City. With Andrew Dieck and Francesca Capone, he edits O’clock Press. His writings have appeared in BOMB, Boston Review, Elective Affinities, Inpatient Press, and The Disinhibitor. He has translated the works of Enzio de Kiipt, Clamenç Llansana, Jaime Saenz, and Marcel Schwob. His latest translation is the forthcoming release from Wakefield Press of the novel by Marcel Schwob titled: The King In The Golden Mask.

Mark Hull

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Masquerade.jpgCity Lights welcomes Mark Hull. He discusses his new book, Masquerade: Treason, the Holocaust, and an Irish Impostor, co-authored with Vera Moynes, from the University of Oklahoma Press.

Phyllis Ursula James. Nora O’Mara. Róisín Ní Mhéara. Like her name, the life of Rosaleen James changed many times as she followed a convoluted path from abandoned child, to foster daughter of an aristocratic British family, to traitor during World War II, to her emergence as a full Irish woman afterward. In Masquerade, authors Mark M. Hull and Vera Moynes tell James’s story as it unfolds against the backdrop of the most important events of the twentieth century. James’s life—both real and imagined—makes for an incredible but true story.

 

Mark M. Hull, Associate Professor of Military History at the U.S Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an attorney, and the author of Irish Secrets: German Espionage in Wartime Ireland, 1939–1945.

David Brazil

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100348950/Images/87286100348950L.jpgCity Lights welcomes David Brazil as he celebrates the release of Holy Ghost (City Lights Spotlight No. 15), published by City Lights Books. David is joined by Julien Poirier. Garrett Caples, the Series editor, introduces the evening.

The third full-length collection from poet-scholar-activist David Brazil, Holy Ghost is a hymnal with secular burdens, poured from the mold of our actual life in common, sung against its limits. It seeks a way to find and build a soul together, and records the seekers’ findings along the way, proposing love as our common human denominator. A record of the author’s struggle to forge a relationship between two distinct vocations—one historical, as an activist (with Occupy Oakland, among other projects), and one spiritual, as he explores the path of radical Christian discipleship (in his life as a pastor)—Holy Ghost attempts to articulate an understanding of where class struggle meets the will of God.

David Brazil is a poet, translator, and novelist. His books include The Ordinary and Antisocial Patience. With Kevin Killian, he edited the Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945-1985. From 2008 to 2011 he published over sixty issues of the seminal TRY! magazine with Sara Larsen. David co-pastors a house church in Oakland and works for social justice with the Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy. He’s a Scorpio.

Julien Poirier is a co-founder of Ugly Duckling Presse. He has taught poetry in New York City and San Francisco public schools and at San Quentin State Prison. Previous books include Way Too West (2015) and El Golpe Chileño (2010). City Lights Books recently published his poetry collection titled OUT OF PRINT, as volume 14 in the Spotlight Poetry Series.

China Miéville

October

China Miéville discusses the subject of his new book, October: The Story of the Russian Revolution, from Verso Books.

China Miéville has long been inspired by the ideals of the Russian Revolution and here, on the centenary of the revolution, he provides his own distinctive take on its history.

In February 1917, in the midst of bloody war, Russia was still an autocratic monarchy: nine months later, it became the first socialist state in world history. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? How was a ravaged and backward country, swept up in a desperately unpopular war, rocked by not one but two revolutions?

This is the story of the extraordinary months between those upheavals, in February and October, of the forces and individuals who made 1917 so epochal a year, of their intrigues, negotiations, conflicts and catastrophes. From familiar names like Lenin and Trotsky to their opponents Kornilov and Kerensky; from the byzantine squabbles of urban activists to the remotest villages of a sprawling empire; from the revolutionary railroad Sublime to the ciphers and static of coup by telegram; from grand sweep to forgotten detail.

Historians have debated the revolution for a hundred years, its portents and possibilities: the mass of literature can be daunting. But here is a book for those new to the events, told not only in their historical import but in all their passion and drama and strangeness. Because as well as a political event of profound and ongoing consequence, Miéville reveals the Russian Revolution as a breathtaking story.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/China_Mieville.jpegChina Miéville is the multi-award-winning author of many works of fiction and non-fiction. His fiction includes The City and the City, Embassytown and This Census-Taker, and has won the Hugo, World Fantasy and Arthur C. Clarke awards; his non-fiction includes the photo-illustrated essay London’s Overthrow and Between Equal Rights: A Marxist Theory of International Law. He has written for various publications, including the New York Times, Guardian, Conjunctions and Granta and he is a founding editor of the quarterly Salvage.

Gordon Ball

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100159320/Images/87286100159320L.jpgCity Lights welcomes Gordon Ball, reading from his new short story collection, On Tokyo’s Edge, from Red Mountain Press.

Gordon Ball is a poet, photographer, filmmaker, professor of English, and master storyteller. For 28 years he took informal photographs of poet Allen Ginsberg and others of the Beat Generation, the literary and cultural phenomenon which has had a world-wide impact since its inception in the mid-1950s.  As well as being exhibited at numerous conferences and other sites, Ball’s photos have appeared in many books, including Dennis McNally’s Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America and Carole Tonkinson’s Big Sky Mind: Buddhism and  the Beat Generation.  Starting at Ginsberg’s upstate New York farm in 1968, he worked with the poet on various literary and artistic projects, editing three books, including two volumes of journals and the Pulitzer Prize nominee Allen Verbatim.  He’s the author of ’66 Frames: A Memoir (Coffee House Press, 1999);  Dark Music (Cityful Press 2006, Elik Press, 2012); and East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg (Counterpoint 2011).  He is as well an award-winning maker of personal film (and will be giving a Canyon Cinema Salon of his work the night after his reading at City Lights).  His City Lights reading will be devoted to his just-released On Tokyo’s Edge: Gaijin Tales from Postwar Japan, a volume of interrelated short stories which Bill Morgan has characterized as “Beautifully written” and “a book I couldn’t put down.”  Gordon lives in Lexington, Virginia, where he teaches at Washington and Lee University.

Writers Who Love Too Much

City Lights welcomes Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian, joined by special guests Margaret Jenkins, David O. Steinberg, Judy Grahn, Camille Roy, Roberto Bedoya, Gabrielle Daniels, Scott Watson, and Matias Viegener in celebrating the release of Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative 1977-1997, edited by Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian and published by Nightboat Books.

In the twenty years that followed America’s bicentennial, narrative writing was re-formed, reflecting new political and sexual realities. With the publication of this anthology, the New Narrative era bounds back to life, ripe with dramatic propulsion and infused with the twin strains of poetry and Continental theory. Arranged chronologically, the reader will discover classic texts of New Narrative from Bob Glück to Kathy Acker, and rare materials including period interviews, reviews, essays, and talks combined to form a new map of late twentieth-century creative rebellion.

Dodie Bellamy is the author of numerous works of prose. Her latest book is When the Sick Rule the World. She teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University and California College of the Arts.

Kevin Killian is a San Francisco-based poet, novelist, playwright, and art writer. He is the author of fifteen books and co-wrote Poet Be Like God, a biography of the American poet Jack Spicer (1925-1965). City Lights published his novel Impossible Princess, winner of the 2010 Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Erotica .

James Nolan

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100697790/Images/87286100697790L.jpgCity Lights welcomes James Nolan to celebrate the release of his new book, Flight Risk: Memoirs of a New Orleans Bad Boy, from University Press of Mississippi.

Flight Risk takes off as a page-turning narrative with deep roots and a wide wingspan. James Nolan, a fifth-generation New Orleans native, offers up an intimate portrait both of his insular hometown and his generation’s counterculture. Flight runs as a theme throughout the book, which begins with Nolan’s escape from the gothic mental hospital to which his parents committed the teenaged poet during the tumult of 1968. This breakout is followed by the self-styled revolutionary’s hair-raising flight from a Guatemalan jail, and years later, by the author’s bolt from China, where he ditched his teaching position and collectivist ideals. These Houdini-like feats foreshadow a more recent one, how he dodged biblical floods in a stolen school bus three days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

Nolan traces these flight patterns to those of his French ancestors who fled to New Orleans in the mid-nineteenth century, established a tobacco business in the French Quarter, and kept the old country alive in their Creole demimonde. The writer describes the eccentric Seventh Ward menagerie of the extended family in which he grew up, his early flirtation with extremist politics, and a strong bond with his freewheeling grandfather, a gentleman from the Gilded Age. Nolan’s quest for his own freedom takes him to the flower-powered, gender-bending San Francisco of the sixties and seventies, as well as to an expatriate life in Spain during the heady years of that nation’s transition to democracy. Like the prodigal son, he eventually returns home to live in the French Quarter, around the corner from where his grandmother grew up, only to struggle through the aftermath of Katrina and the city’s resurrection.

Many of these stories are entwined with the commentaries of a wry flâneur, addressing such subjects as the nuances of race in New Orleans, the Disneyfication of the French Quarter, the numbing anomie of digital technology and globalization, the challenges of caring for aging parents, Creole funeral traditions, how to make a soul-searing gumbo, and what it really means to belong.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/james_nolan_author_photo-cropped.jpgJames Nolan is a fiction writer, poet, essayist, and translator. His eleven books include the recent You Don’t Kno Me: New and Selected Stories (winner of the 2015 Independent Publishers Gold Medal in Southern Fiction) and the novel Higher Ground (awarded a William Faulkner/Wisdom Gold Medal in the Novel). He has taught at universities in San Francisco, Florida, Barcelona, Madrid, and Beijing, as well as in his native New Orleans.

Damon Krukowski

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/new_analog_rev.jpgCity Lights welcomes Damon Krukowski to discuss his new book, The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World, from The New Press. Joining him is City Lights Publisher/Executive Director, Elaine Katzenberger.

What John Berger did to ways of seeing, well-known indy musician Damon Krukowski does to ways of listening in this lively guide to the transition from analog to digital culture.

Having made his name in the late 1980s as a member of the indie band Galaxie 500, Damon Krukowski has watched cultural life lurch from analog to digital. And as an artist who has weathered the transition, he has challenging, urgent questions for both creators and consumers about what we have thrown away in the process: Are our devices leaving us lost in our own headspace even as they pinpoint our location? Does the long reach of digital communication come at the sacrifice of our ability to gauge social distance? Do streaming media discourage us from listening closely? Are we hearing each other fully in this new environment?

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/krukowski_damon_naomi_yang.jpgRather than simply rejecting the digital disruption of cultural life, Krukowski uses the sound engineer’s distinction of signal and noise to reexamine what we have lost as a technological culture, looking carefully at what was valuable in the analog realm so we can hold on to it. Taking a set of experiences from the production and consumption of music that have changed since the analog era—the disorientation of headphones, flattening of the voice, silence of media, loudness of mastering, and manipulation of time—as a basis for a broader exploration of contemporary culture, Krukowski gives us a brilliant meditation and guide to keeping our heads amid the digital flux. Think of it as plugging in without tuning out.

Damon Krukowski was in the indie rock band Galaxie 500 and is currently one half of the folk-rock duo Damon & Naomi. He writes for music and art journals including Pitchfork, Artforum, frieze, and The Wire. He is the recipient of an Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation, and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He has also taught writing and sound (and writing about sound) at Harvard University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Oakland Noir

http://akashicbooks.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/uploads/OaklandNoir-509x800.jpgCity Lights celebrates a new crime anthology from Akashic Books, Oakland Noirwith Nick Petrulakis, Jamie DeWolf, Eddie Muller & Jerry Thompson.

California’s noir quotient continues to rise with Oakland Noir, which reveals all the dark complexities of this prominent city. Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

The anthology features brand-new stories by: Nick Petrulakis, Kim Addonizio, Keenan Norris, Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder, Katie Gilmartin, Dorothy Lazard, Harry Louis Williams II, Carolyn Alexander, Phil Canalin, Judy Juanita, Jamie DeWolf, Nayomi Munaweera, Mahmud Rahman, Tom McElravey, Joe Loya, and Eddie Muller.

Jerry Thompson is an accomplished violinist, playwright, and poet. He is the coauthor of Black Artists in Oakland, and owned Black Spring Books, an independent bookstore.

Eddie Muller, a.k.a. the “Czar of Noir,” has been nominated for several Edgar and Anthony awards, and his novel The Distance won a Shamus Award. He produces the San Francisco Noir City Film Festival, the largest annual film noir retrospective in the world, and is a frequent host on Turner Classic Movies.

erica lewis and Rita Bullwinkel

City Lights welcomes erica lewis, reading from her new poetry collection, mary wants to be a superwoman, published by Third Man Books and Rita Bullwinkel, reading from her forthcoming work, Belly Up, (forthcoming from A Strange Object in May of 2018). http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100697260/Images/87286100697260L.jpg

About mary wants to be a superwoman, by erica lewis

Being of black, Native American, and white descent, poet erica lewis’ mary wants to be a superwoman recounts her family’s history, their voices within that history— especially the women on her mother’s side — and her friends’ complex history with race, gender, and class in America, what it means to live with your own history, dealing with a history that has been passed down, and how to move on from that history and its implications.
It is lewis’ take on revising the confessional while taking inspiration from her family’s own oral history. Each poem is also framed by phrases from the lyrics of Stevie Wonder’s Motown records, but the poems are not “about” the actual songs, but what is triggered when listening to or thinking about the music. What happens when you take something like a pop song and turn it in on itself, give it a different frame of reference, juxtapose the work against itself, against other pop music, and bring it into the present? mary wants to be a superwoman is the second book of the box-set trilogy; daryl hall is my boyfriend (Barrelhouse, 2015) is the first.

erica lewis lives in San Francisco where she is a fine arts publicist. In addition to mary wants to be a superwoman, books include the precipice of jupiter, camera obscura (both collaborations with artist Mark Stephen Finein), murmur in the inventory, and daryl hall is my boyfriend. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rita Bullwinkel is the author of the story collection Belly Up (forthcoming from A Strange Object in May of 2018). Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, VICE, NOON and Guernica. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The Drue Heinz Foundation and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Her story “Passing” was a finalist for The Conium Review’s Innovative Short Fiction Prize judged by Amelia Gray. Her story “In the South the Sand Winds are Our Greatest Enemy” was selected by Joyland Magazine as one of their top five favorite stories published in 2015. Both her fiction and her translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She lives in San Francisco. Visit:  http://ritabullwinkel.com

Third Man Books and Records: Where your turntable’s not dead, and your page still turns. Visit http://thirdmanbooks.com/.

Omar El Akkad

Cihttp://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100381190/Images/87286100381190L.jpgty Lights welcomes Omar El Akkad in conversation with Micheline Aharonian Marcom to discuss & read from his acclaimed new novel, American War, published by Knopf.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Omar%20El%20Akkad_credit%20Michael%20Lionstar.jpegAn audacious and powerful debut novel. a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.

Omar El Akkad, formerly of the Globe and Mail, is an award-winning journalist and author who has travelled around the world to cover many of the most important news stories of the last decade. His reporting includes dispatches from the NATO-led war in Egypt and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. He is a recipient of the National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting for his coverage on the “Toronto 18” terrorism arrests. He has also received the Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Journalists, as well as three National Magazine Award honourable mentions. He is a graduate of Queen’s University.

Micheline Aharonian Marcom  is the author of five books including the critically acclaimed trilogy of novels: Three Apples Fell from Heaven (2001), The Daydreaming Boy (2004) which earned her the 2004 Lannan Literary Fellowship as well as the 2005 PEN/USA Award for Fiction, and Draining the Sea (2008). She currently teaches Creative Writing at Mills College and is also on the faculty of the Goddard College MFA in Creative Writing Program.

Clark Coolidge

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100970840/Images/87286100970840L.jpgCity Lights presents Clark Coolidge reading from his poetry and celebrating the release of Selected Poems: 1962-1985 from Station Hill Press, edited by Larry Fagin.

Clark Coolidge is a revered figure in the world of American and world experimental poetry. SELECTED POEMS: 1962-1985 will be how Coolidge’s revolutionary early works will be read for generations to come. Lyn Hejinian writes, “Reading through the still incredible work collected in this exemplary SELECTED POEMS, I marvel all over again at the force of even the ‘smallest’ of Clark Coolidge’s poems. Coolidge’s sonic expertise has often been noted, and music—especially bebop and what has followed it—clearly has suggested to him ways to generate rhythmic clusters, to ride accelerations, to invent scales. No other poet ever has so exquisitely, and sometimes also turbulently, written sheer sonic wonder into poetry.” This volume includes an introduction by Bill Berkson, entitled “The Spools of Clark Coolidge,” recounting Coolidge’s coming up and influences as well as eloquently expressing the visionary nature of his poetic enterprise.http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Coolidge.jpeg

Clark Coolidge is the author of more than forty books, including SELECTED POEMS: 1962-1985, Space, Solution Passage, The Crystal Text, At Egypt, NOW IT’S JAZZ: WRITINGS ON KEROUAC & THE SOUNDS, THE ACT OF PROVIDENCE, and most recently 88 SONNETS and A BOOK BEGINNING WHAT AND ENDING AWAY. In 2011 he edited a collection of Philip Guston’s writings and talks for University of California Press. Initially a drummer, he was a member of David Meltzer’s Serpent Power in 1967 and Mix group in 1993-94. Currently he has returned to active drumming with Thurston Moore and the free jazz band Ouroboros.

Dean Rader

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100790590/Images/87286100790590L.jpgCity Lights welcomes Dean Rader in celebrating the release of his new collection of poetry, Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry from Copper Canyon Press.

Wikipedia articles are never finalized. In Dean Rader’s energized and inventive new book, the poet considers identity of self and society as a Wikipedia page—sculpted and transformed by the ever-present push and pull of politics, culture, and unseen forces. And, in the case of Rader, how identity can be affected by the likes of Paul Klee’s paintings and the characters from the children’s stories about Frog and Toad. Rader’s cagey voice is full of humor and inquiry, warmly inviting readers to fully participate in thhttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Dean.jpge creation.

Dean Rader‘s debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize and Landscape Portrait Figure Form (2014) was named by The Barnes & Noble Review as a Best Poetry Book of the year. He was won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2016 Common Good Books Prize, judged by Garrison Keillor, and the 2015 George Bogin Award from the Poetry Society of America, judged by Stephen Burt. He has written or co-edited three scholarly books and was the editor of the 2014 anthology 99 Poems for the 99 Percent: An Anthology of Poetry, which hit #1 on the Small Press Distribution Bestseller list. He writes and reviews regularly for The San Francisco Chronicle, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and The Huffington Post. Two new collections of poetry appear in 2017: A book of collaborative sonnets written with Simone Muench, entitled Suture (Black Lawrence Press) and Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon).

Syria – Because We Come From Everything

The Poetry Society of America and City Lights Bookstore present SYRIA — Because We Come From Everything: The Poetics of Migration, a poetry reading and discussion as part of the Poetry Coalition’s 2017 programming with Jonathan Curiel, Jack Hirschman, and Jack Marshall . Twenty-two nonprofit poetry organizations from across the United States have formed a historic coalition dedicated to working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and communities, and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. As its first public offering, throughout the month of March 2017, Poetry Coalition members will present multiple programs on the theme: Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration, which borrows a line from U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s poem,  “Borderbus.” The Poetry Society in conjunction with City Lights present an evening that focusses on the Syrian refugee crisis. Poets Jack Hirschman and Jack Marshall, will read poems of theirs and others. Journalist Jonathan Curiel will join them in conversation.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Curiel.jpgJonathan Curiel is a San Francisco-based writer and journalist who has written widely about the Middle East, and has reported from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. His 2008 book, Al’ America: Travels Through America’s Arab and Islamic Roots won an American Book Award. He has been a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program fellow, a Thomson Reuters Foundation fellow at Oxford University, and a Fulbright Scholar at Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. A former staff writer with the San Francisco Chronicle, he has written about the arts for SF Weekly since 2010.

Jack Hirschman is the former Poet Laureate of the City of San Francisco, a poet’s phttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/JackHi.jpegoet, translator, and editor. His powerfully eloquent voice set the tone for political poetry in this country many years ago. Since leaving a teaching career in the ’60s, Hirschman has taken the free exchange of poetry and politics into the streets where he is, in the words of poet Luke Breit, “America’s most important living poet.” He is the author of numerous books of poetry, plus some 45 translations from a half a dozen languages, as well as the editor of anthologies and journals. Among his many volumes of poetry are Endless Threshold, The Xibalba Arcanehttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/JackMarshall.jpeg, and Lyripol (City Lights, 1976).

Born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents who emigrated from Iraq and Syria, Jack Marshall now lives in California. He is the author of the memoir From Baghdad to Brooklyn and several poetry collections that have received the PEN Center USA Award, two Northern California Book Awards, and a nomination from the National Book Critics Circle.

Elif Batuman

City Lights presents Elif Batuman who discusses her new novel, The Idiot, published by Penguin Press. http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100643900/Images/87286100643900L.jpg

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.

The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.

At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan’s friends. On the way, she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin’s summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students, or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin, this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love, and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.

With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood. Her prose is a rare and inimitable combination of tenderness and wisdom; its logic as natural and inscrutable as that of memory itself. The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman’s fiction is unguarded against both life’s affronts and its beauty–and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling which they entail.http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/elif.jpg

Elif Batuman has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010. She is the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and a Paris Review Terry Southern Prize for Humor, she also holds a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford University.

Deepak Unnikrishnan

City Lighttp://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100583950/Images/87286100583950L.jpghts welcomes Deepak Unnikrishnan in conversation with Shanthi Sekaran in celebrating his new award winning novel, Temporary People from Restless Books.

In the United Arab Emirates, foreign nationals constitute over 80% of the population. Brought in to construct the towering monuments to wealth that bristle the skylines of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, this labor force works without the rights of citizenship, endures miserable living conditions, and is eventually required to leave the country. Until now, the humanitarian crisis of the so-called “guest workers” of the Gulf has barely been addressed in fiction. With his stunning, mind-altering book Temporary People, debut author Deepak Unnikrishnan delves into their histories, myths, struggles, and triumphs, and illuminates the ways in which temporary status affects psyches, families, memories, stories, and languages.

Combining the irrepressible linguistic invention of Salman Rushdie and the darkly funny satirical vision of George Saunders, Deepak Unnikrishnan presents twenty-eight linked stories that careen from construction workers who shapeshift into luggage and escape a labor camp, to a woman who stitches back together the bodies of those who’ve fallen from buildings in progress, to a man who grows ideal workers designhttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/deepak.jpeged to live twelve years and then perish—until they don’t, and found a rebel community in the desert. In this polyphony of voices, Unnikrishnan brilliantly maps a new, unruly global English, and in giving substance and identity to the anonymous workers of the Gulf, he highlights the disturbing ways in which “progress” on a global scale is bound up with dehumanization.

Deepak Unnikrishnan is a writer and taleteller from Abu Dhabi (and now, Chicago). He has lived on the East Coast and in the Midwest, reciting and mining his myths in Teaneck, New Jersey, Brooklyn, New York, and Chicago’s North and South sides. He has studied and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and presently teaches at New York University Abu Dhabi. Temporary People, his first book, was the inaugural winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.

Shanthi Sekaran teaches creative writing at California College of the Arts, and is a member of the Portuguese Artists Colony and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Her work has appeared in Best New American Voices and Canteen, and online at Zyzzyva and Mutha Magazine. Her first novel, The Prayer Room, was published by MacAdam Cage. She recently released a new novel: Lucky Boy from G.P. Putnam & Sons.

Logic Magazine First Issue Release Party

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/logic.jpgCity Lights welcomes Logic‘s founding editors, Ben Tarnoff, Moira Weigel, Jim Fingal, Christa Hartsock and Logic contributors Tim Hwang, Miriam Posner, and Conrad Amenta, in telling the story of technology. City Lights celebrates their very first issue!

Logic is a new magazine devoted to technology and society. Please join us for a celebration of their debut issue, “Intelligence,” which explores how technology works—and whom it works for. Hear thier editors read from our founding manifesto, and listen to contributors tackle topics as varied as: coding’s gender crisis, the failure of collective intelligence in the Age of Trump, and the industrialization of medicine through software.

Learn more about the magazine, and read their manifesto, at logicmag.io.

Ben Tarnoff writes about technology and politics for The Guardian and Jacobin. His most recent book is The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature.

Moira Weigel writes about gender and technology for The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Republic. She is the author of Labor Love: The Invention of Dating.

Jim Fingal is a software developer and the Head of Product Engineering at Amino. He is the co-author, with John D’Agata, of The Lifespan of a Fact.

Christa Hartsock is a software developer and a 2017 Code for America Fellow.

Tim Hwang is a Fellow at Data & Society and has worked with the Berkman Center, Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Institute for the Future.

Miriam Posner teaches in the Digital Humanities program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Conrad Amenta writes about video games and culture for Kill Screen and works as a healthcare researcher in San Francisco.