Lit Crawl has always felt a little bit like a scavenger hunt to me, except instead of silly caps or matching t-shirts, everyone is smartly heeled, a little harried, and prone to bouts of hilarity. The reason? There are eighty-three readings -- featuring 517 writers -- happening simultaneously -- in galleries, bookstores, cafés, restaurants, and even a police station -- all of them within a span of three hours.
There are three phases in which readings take place -- from 6pm to 7pm, 7:15 to 8:15, and 8:30 to 9:30 -- and while this makes the event more doable, I've seen some Lit Crawlers who take the scavenger hunt part out of Lit Crawl and just attend one event at the end of the night (recognize them by the self-satisfied revelry with which they take up a whole table at a late-night event, sipping a cocktail, giving smug looks to everyone who is vying for standing room).
Okay, fine. I've done this, too.
But this year, I am down for the scavenging. Here are four different tours through Lit Crawl (with printable maps!) so you can choose your own adventure this coming Saturday, October 19, 2013.
Bring all significant others along to the Steam Up Your Reading Glasses crawl. I promise erotic poems, a sexologist who will reveal once and for all which sex organ is the biggest, and writers raving about their first times. Print map (PDF).
If you're in the mood for a rallying night follow the Big Night! Rant Out! crawl, featuring stories that lack maturity or good judgment, a show/poetry slam that has been banned in two cities, and tales of the terrible and laughable. Print map (PDF).
Take The Lauded and Decorated crawl to see the biggest and most promising names in town. Begin by celebrating ZYZZYVA's fall issue (Zubair Ahmed and Gary Kamiya), then head to the Flannery O'Connor 30th anniversary (Molly Giles and Lori Ostlund), and top off your night with Narrative Magazine and their star-studded line-up (Carol Edgarian, Ann Packer, Kirstin Valdez Quade). Print map (PDF).
For something a little different, follow the Not Your Mother's Literary Tour, where you will encounter forward-thinking black artists, gay writers reading atop a pool table (including the amazing Ali Liebegott), and San Francisco's Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguía getting you started on Day of the Dead celebrations. Print map (PDF).
Some words of advice:
While some Lit Crawlers say it cannot be done -- attending all three phases, I mean -- I say, if you bring a bike, everything is possible.
If you're on foot, opt to attend two readings, perhaps choose one from phase one and another from phase three.
And remember to have dinner (with drinks) before you start out.
See you there!
Lit Crawl is Saturday, October 19 at various San Francisco Mission District locations. For more information visit litcrawl.org.
Maps and Illustrations by Andy Warner.