Springtime has brought lit readings galore to the Bay Area. Here's just a smattering of excellent readings, book launches, and poetry events happening across the region.
Thursday, April 7: Rob Spillman at Green Apple Books, SF
Soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Rob Spillman and his wife Elisa Schappell (you probably recognize them as editors at Tin House magazine) moved from New York City to Berlin. The young couple, both aspiring writers, wanted to live bohemian lifestyles infused with art, love, and political passion. Spillman, who lived in Berlin as a child, reveals a second motive in his new memoir All Tomorrow's Parties. "I was hoping that Berlin would welcome me back like a long-lost native son." Fueled by absinthe and Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, Spillman searches for art and meaning in Europe, "with amplified emotions you feel only in your twenties, when you are wildly changeable even as your artistic opinions are set in stone." Does Berlin welcome the son back with open arms? Read the book to find out. Details here
Saturday, April 9: Daring to Write: Contemporary Narratives from Dominican Women at Modern Times, SF
Edited by Erika M. Martinez, Daring to Write offers 25 essays, memoirs, novel excerpts and poems by Dominican women and women of Dominican descent living in the United States. We've all read Julia Alvaraz, who wrote the foreword, but what about lesser known Dominican writers like Angie Cruz and Nelly Rosario, not to mention emerging writers just being published for the first time? These are voices whose time has come. The reading at Modern Times features Martinez along with contributor Yalitza Ferreras, a 2014-15 Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University. Details here
Saturday, April 9: Launch party for Work and Days by Tess Taylor at Flowerland, Albany
Farmers, so dependent on soil and water, are probably most aware out of anyone of climate change's impact on the environment. Tess Taylor perfectly captures this awareness in her latest poetry collection Work and Days. "& the radio reports how in 2050/farming Massachusetts will be like farming Georgia—/all's flux, no one can say what will grow in Georgia," Taylor muses in "Apocalypto for a Small Planet." The book's genesis came as Taylor completed a fellowship at a cottage in the Berkshires. To combat loneliness, and grief over a miscarriage, she interned on a farm in the area. The resulting 28 poems capture the experience of hands in earth, eyes to sky, all the while watching kale, broccoli, and other cash crops thrive and fail. Taylor was a finalist for a Believer Poetry Award for her first collection The Forage House, and she is the on air poetry reviewer for NPR's All Things Considered. Details here
Taylor also reads at the Albany Library on Tuesday, April 12.
Wednesday, April 13: Debut Brew with Jessica Knoll at Hopmonk Tavern, Sebastopol
A few years back, Copperfield's Book struck on a brilliant idea. Why not introduce young, debut novelists to the North Bay community by hosting them at local taverns, where people could drink beer and hear a good reading. The latest Debut Brew features Jessica Knoll, the novelist who wrote Luckiest Girl Alive, a thriller about a successful young woman tormented by memories of being gang-raped in high school. In a late March Lenny newsletter, Knoll revealed that the work of fiction was actually based on her own horrifically brutal experience of being gang-raped at the age of 15, by male students at her fancy, Ivy League prep school. A difficult story to tell, for sure, but one that makes the book's success that much more powerful. Details here