A beast of a literary festival is about to be unleashed in Oakland this Saturday. The concept behind the Beast Crawl is simple: there are three legs, each an hour long, during which you can choose from between eight to ten different events to attend in small venues downtown. (There is a fourth leg, but that’s just for partying.)
In its third year, Beast Crawl is Oakland's answer to Litquake's Litcrawl, with over 100 writers participating. It’s impossible to be familiar with all of those reading at the Beast, but thankfully the participants have taken it upon themselves to provide introductory statements on Beast Crawl’s website.
That being said, below are my suggestions for Beast Crawl readings, based on how the curators/authors sell themselves and their events. But before I get into that, I have some notes on what I found on the Beast Crawl website:
- Word I was surprised to see twice in writers' bios: peripatetic
- Favorite line in the event listings: "In addition to being a freestyle MC, Frak has put out an album, Real Talk, and is working on his debut mixtape, Bagels."
Leg 1 (5-6pm)
Potential for Excitement: Writing Without Walls at the Rock Paper Scissors Collective. This monthly reading series (which is making its Beast Crawl debut) centers on a theme chosen for each event -- this month's is "The Beast Within" -- and after an open call for submissions, the series' curators chose six applicants to read. According to the Writing Without Walls website, the Beast Crawl lineup consists of "multifarious word manglers, deconstructors and put-her-back-together-ers, hedonists, lovers, inventors and geniuses -in print." They promise to "combine booze and music and get a reckless abandon of limbs, smiles, and louder-than-necessary schmoozing."