Lit Picks: Solmaz Sharif, Lost Profiles, Maggie Nelson, and more

Solmaz Sharif. (Photo: Arash Saedinia)

Every other week, Leilani Clark shares her picks for upcoming author events.

Tuesday, Nov. 1: Aichlee Bushnell and Solmaz Sharif at Mills Hall Living Room, Oakland

indexThe first Tuesday of November brings an opportunity to watch two award-winning, powerhouse poets at work. Aichlee Bushnell, who lives in Oakland with her family, won the 2014 Noemi Press Book Award for Poetry for her debut collection Objects of Attention, which uses the writing of Thomas Jefferson to tell the oft-neglected story of Sally Hemings. Solmaz Sharif's 2016 poetry collection Look was recently announced as a finalist for the National Book Award for poetry. (Winners will be announced on Nov. 16.) Sharif's work uses language from the Department of Defense to investigate the violence and loss of war, and how these things are embedded in daily language. Details here.

Friday, Nov. 4: Frances Dinkenspiel and Frances Stroh at 'The Basement Series—The Morning After,' San Francisco 

francesstrohauthorphotoLit Camp's Basement Series bills itself as the only reading series in the Bay Area with FREE BEER (their caps, not mine), but the real draw to its latest edition are two excellent, drinky writers. Frances Stroh's debut Beer Money: A Memoir of Privilege and Loss explores what it was like to come-of-age as a member of Detroit's Stroh Beer family, which fell into economic shambles three decades ago. Stroh now lives in the Bay Area, and is a member of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto. Frances Dinkenspiel's Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California was a New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and was named a best wine book of 2015 tangled-cvr-lrgby the Wall Street Journal, Food and Wine magazine, and the San Jose Mercury News. This is a great opportunity to get buzzed and hoot it up with a couple of local writing luminaries. Admission is $5-$10 sliding scale at the door, with proceeds split between Dave Eggers ScholarMatch and Lit Camp scholarships. Details here.

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Wednesday, Nov. 9: Lost Profiles—A Parisian Dada Salon at Mechanics' Institute Library, San Francisco

87286100571740lIn 1962, Phillipe Soupault, a cofounder of the Surrealist movement, published Lost Profiles: Memoirs of Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism. Somewhat of a memoir, the classic first-person account, now available in English for the first time through City Lights, is filled with Soupault's reminiscences about the period of time when the Dada movement transformed into surrealism. You'll find appearances by Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Pierre Reverdy, and Henri Rousseau. (An excerpt, the awesomely titled "My Strange Friend Marcel Proust, is available to read over at the Paris Review.) The new edition of the book by City Lights is part of a centennial celebration of Dada, culminating in the 2016 Dada World Fair. Translator and Bay Area resident Alan Bernheimer will be on hand to present Lost Profiles. Details here.

Thursday, Nov. 10: Maggie Nelson at the University of San Francisco, SF

nelson_maggie_10_10_2013_mediumI wrote about Maggie Nelson as my literary godmother last year on the release of The Argonauts, her 2015 mashup of queer theory, family memoir, and arts criticism. I seriously cannot get enough of Nelson's brilliant mind. And I'm not the only one: just last month, the Los Angeles-based writer and professor of criticism at CalArts received the honor of a 2016 MacArthur Genius Grant, which will hopefully guarantee many more books from one of the 21st century's keenest intellectuals. Details here.

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