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Sunday, October 14


Bay Area Pun-Off: Litquake Edition
With over 30 sold-out shows since its humble beginnings in an Oakland living room, the Bay Area Pun-Off has grown to become a local comedy staple, welcoming wordplayers from all over the country to rejoice in the irresistible power of the world’s most-loathed form of humor, and to compete for an original, one-of-a-kind trophy! For Litquake, BAPO has put together a one-of-a-kind Pun Off with a literary bent. $12 adv / $15 door

Authors and Participants
avatar for Carmen Olson

Carmen Olson

Producer and Co-Emcee Carmen Olson has been with the Bay Area Pun-Off since day one, and has built an army of punsters and dedicated enthusiasts that come back month after month. Whether it’s a large-scale event or an intimate puppet show in a suitcase, if you swirl around theater... Read More →
avatar for Jonah Spear

Jonah Spear

Founder and Co-Emcee Jonah Spear has appeared on screen in We Are The Hartmans and Across The Universe, on TV in Sex and the City, and under the bigtop in Cirque Du Soleil. He’s a lifelong camp counselor and met Carmen and Hana at Camp Grounded before starting Camp Wonderful, a summer camp for grown ups on the east coast. He’s most grateful to the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championship for inspiration, his parents for never letting a pun slip by without a chuckle, and to the countless amazing punsters that come out to the Bay Area Pun-Off to ply their... Read More →

Sunday October 14, 2018 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Make-Out Room 3225 22nd St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Tuesday, October 16


Bad Poetry & Bad Stories: A Celebration of the Awful in All of Us
Lurking in journals and hard drives of every great writer is the mountain of bad work they never showed the world. But our worst, most embarrassing stuff is usually our most intimate, revealing, and funny. Join writers Matthew Zapruder and Steve Almond for a frank and wide-ranging evening of literary failure, as they discuss their most recent books, how bad stories have degraded our democracy, and the need to confront our delusions rather than hiding from them. Highlight of the evening: a Bad Poetry Contest/Reading, with the worst poems awarded free books and other prizes! (To submit a bad poem, just email Steve: stevealmondjoy@gmail.com.)  Doors open 6 pm. $5 adv / $10 door

Authors and Participants
avatar for Steve Almond

Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His short stories have been anthologized widely, in the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Erotica, and Best American... Read More →
avatar for Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Sun Bear, as well as Why Poetry, a book of prose, from Ecco Press/Harper Collins. An Associate Professor in the MFA at Saint Mary’s... Read More →

Tuesday October 16, 2018 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Make-Out Room 3225 22nd St., San Francisco, CA 94110


Straight, No Chaser: Writers at the Bar
Famed bohemian saloon Vesuvio Café once again opens its doors to Litquake for an edgy and hilarious North Beach reading. Featuring T.J. English, Danny Gardner, Lisa Locascio, Misha Rai, and Rebecca Skloot, and hosted by Alia Volz. A rare opportunity to glimpse authors performing new work in their natural habitat. Get here early, it fills up fast. FREE, $5 suggested donation

Authors and Participants
avatar for T.J. English

T.J. English

T.J. English is the author of eight nonfiction crime books, including Havana Nocturne, The Corporation, The Savage City, and The Westies. Four of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, and four have been nominated for an Edgar Award. His books are known for the thoroughness... Read More →
avatar for Danny Gardner

Danny Gardner

Danny Gardner is  author of the Indie and Shamus Award-nominated debut novel A Negro and an Ofay. His short story "Brother's Keeper" appears in the award-winning anthology The Obama Inheritance. Other works of crime fiction appear in the Anthony Award-nominated anthologies Killing... Read More →
avatar for Lisa Locascio

Lisa Locascio

Lisa Locascio's work has appeared in The Believer, Tin House, n+1, Bookforum, and many other magazines. She is the editor of the anthology Golden State 2017: Best New Writing from California, co-publisher of Joyland and editor of its West section, as well as of the ekphrastic co... Read More →
avatar for Misha Rai

Misha Rai

Misha Rai is the 2018-2020 Kenyon Review Fellow in Prose. Her novel-in-progress, Blood We Did Not Spill, has been awarded a 2018 MacDowell Colony Fellowship, The Dana Award in the novel category, and the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies. She has also been... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot is author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which was made into an Emmy-nominated HBO film. Lacks took more than a decade to research and write, and instantly hit the New York Times bestseller list, where it has remained for... Read More →
avatar for Alia Volz

Alia Volz

Alia Volz is a homegrown San Franciscan. You'll find her work in The Best American Essays 2017, Golden State 2017: Best New Writing from California, The New York Times, Tin House, Threepenny Review, River Teeth and the anthology Dig If You Will The Picture: Writers Reflect on Prince... Read More →

Tuesday October 16, 2018 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Vesuvio Cafe 255 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133
Wednesday, October 17


Poetry World Series
Daniel Handler emcees this rowdy, fast-paced reading in which two teams of award-winning poets take turns batting at topics pitched by the audience. Fastballs, curveballs, knuckleballs: these poets won't know what's coming next! Eminently qualified judges score each performance, and the winning team takes the series title. Hilarity—and top-notch poetry—guaranteed! As poet Marianne Moore wrote, “Writing is exciting / and baseball is like writing. / You can never tell with either / how it will go.” Don't forget to bring a topic to stump the poets! Book sales and signing to follow. Doors open at 6:30. $5 adv / $10 door

Emcee: Daniel Handler
Judges: Vanessa Hua and Dan Bellm
Players: Tongo Eisen-Martin, Lee Herrick, Brittany Perham, Brynn Saito, Melissa Stein, and David Tomas Martinez

Roy Mash is the author of Buyer’s Remorse (Cherry Grove, 2014) his poems are in journals including AGNI, Barrow Street, Nimrod, Poetry East, and River Styx.

Authors and Participants
avatar for Dan Bellm

Dan Bellm

Dan Bellm has published four books, most recently Deep Well; Practice won the CA Book Award and was named a top ten poetry book of 2008 by VQR. Awards include fellowships from  Yaddo, Dorset Colony House, CA Arts Council, and NEA.
avatar for Tongo Eisen-Martin

Tongo Eisen-Martin

Tongo Eisen-Martin is the author of Someone's Dead Already and Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights Pocket Poets Series), which won the 2018 California Book Award.
avatar for Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler is the author of six novels, most recently All the Dirty Parts, and far too many books as Lemony Snicket, most recently The Bad Mood and the Stick. His essay on the Eurythmics album Savage is still considered definitive.
avatar for Lee Herrick

Lee Herrick

Lee Herrick's books are This Many Miles from Desire, Gardening Secrets of the Dead, and Scar and Flower, forthcoming. He teaches at Fresno City College and Sierra Nevada College.
avatar for Vanessa Hua

Vanessa Hua

Vanessa Hua is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of a short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, and a debut novel, A River of Stars. For two decades, she has been writing, in journalism and fiction, about Asia and the diaspora. She has received... Read More →
avatar for David Tomas Martinez

David Tomas Martinez

David Tomas Martinez is author of the poetry collections Hustle (2014) and Post-Traumatic Hood Disorder (2018). A CantoMundo Fellow, he has served as an editor for Gulf Coast.
avatar for Brittany Perham

Brittany Perham

Brittany Perham is the author of Double Portrait, which won the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and The Curiosities. She teaches at Stanford University.
avatar for Brynn Saito

Brynn Saito

Brynn Saito, MA, MFA, is the author of two books of poetry, Power Made Us Swoon (2016) and The Palace of Contemplating Departure (2013), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award from Red Hen Press and a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. She also co-authored, with Traci... Read More →
avatar for Melissa Stein

Melissa Stein

Melissa Stein is author of the poetry collections Terrible Blooms (Copper Canyon Press) and Rough Honey, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. She is a freelance editor in San Francisco.

Wednesday October 17, 2018 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Make-Out Room 3225 22nd St., San Francisco, CA 94110


Beefcake: 50 Years of Tom of Finland
Co-presented by San Francisco Public Library’s James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center, Dog Eared Books Castro, GLBT Historical Society, 48 Hills, Bay Area Reporter, Lambda Literary

Our most outrageous night of the week celebrates 50 years of the revolutionary Tom of Finland illustrations, at the notorious SF Eagle leather bar. With special guest Dian Hanson, writer, publisher, and editor of Taschen Books' luscious Tom of Finland collections ("the most cerebral pornographer in America"), GLBT Historical Society Executive Director Terry Beswick, music from Jon Ginoli (Pansy Division) and DJ Bus Station John, cocktails from Blue Angel Vodka, and a Tom of Finland lookalike contest open to all genders and small dogs. Emceed by drag legend Honey Mahogany, and featuring Race Bannon! Prizes courtesy of Mr. S Leather, Taschen Books, Fitness SF, and more! $20 adv / $25 door

avatar for Honey Mahogany

Honey Mahogany

Honey Mahogany rose to international fame as the first (and as of yet only) San Francisco drag queen to appear on the reality TV series RuPaul's Drag Race, but more recently, Honey Mahogany has honed in on making a difference in her hometown. Honey is a founding member of the Stud... Read More →

Authors and Participants
avatar for Race Bannon

Race Bannon

Race Bannon has been an organizer, writer, educator, speaker and activist in the LGBT, leather/kink, polyamory and HIV/STI prevention realms since 1973. He is the author of Learning the Ropes: A Basic Guide to Safe and Fun Lovemaking; founded Daedalus Publishing Company, the first... Read More →
avatar for Terry Beswick

Terry Beswick

Terry Beswick is Executive Director of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco. He also has worked as a journalist and as an AIDS activist with nonprofit and governmental organizations, including Project Inform, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the White House Office of... Read More →
avatar for Dian Hanson

Dian Hanson

Labeled the most cerebral pornographer in America, Dian Hanson reigns as the Queen of Sex. Hanson began her publishing career as a pornographic magazine editor, historian, and writer by helping to found the 1970s hardcore journal Puritan. She went on to work for men’s magazines... Read More →

avatar for DJ Bus Station John

DJ Bus Station John

DJ Bus Station John's passion for "lost" 70s/80s bathhouse-era dance music rules the floor at his Thursday night institution "The Tubesteak Connection," San Francisco's longest continuously-running GLBTQIAXYZ dance party, now in its 15th year at Aunt Charlie's. BSJ also spins classic... Read More →
avatar for Jon Ginoli

Jon Ginoli

Jon Ginoli is the singer, guitarist, and founder of the legendary gay rock band Pansy Division. Beginning in San Francisco in the early '90s, Pansy Division’s in-your-face queer punk blew closet doors wide open, and their tours opening for Green Day brought their ideas to a wider... Read More →

Wednesday October 17, 2018 7:00pm - 10:00pm
SF Eagle 398 12th St, San Francisco, CA 94103


Literary Death Match
Literary Death Match returns to Litquake (and Elbo Room) to celebrate the release of LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga's debut novel, Collision Theory. Judges: poet Vernon Keeve III, comedian Karinda Dobbins, and children's book author Mac Barnett. Readers: Meg Elison, K.M. Soehnlein, Maisha Z. Johnson, Chris Colin. Special guest: Cleve Jones. Hosted by Adrian Todd Zuniga. Produced by Matthew DeCoster. Doors open at 6:30 pm. $15 adv / $20 door

Authors and Participants
avatar for Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett is a New York Times-bestselling author of stories for children. His books have sold more than one million copies in the United States and have been translated into more than 30 languages. His picture books include two Caldecott-Honor-winning collaborations with Jon Klassen... Read More →
avatar for Chris Colin

Chris Colin

Chris Colin is the author most recently of What to Talk About, and This Is Camino, which was nominated for a James Beard award. He's written about gay bus trips through the south, Obama’s Irish roots, endangered noodles, refugee theater, George Bush’s pool boy, solitary confinement... Read More →
avatar for Karinda Dobbins

Karinda Dobbins

Karinda Dobbins is a stand-up comedian. She’s appeared at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival; featured at Bay Area comedy clubs the Punch Line and Cobb’s; opened for Hari Kondabolu, Trevor Noah, and toured with W. Kamau Bell. Karinda made her primetime national television debut on... Read More →
avatar for Meg Elison

Meg Elison

Meg Elison is a science fiction author and feminist essayist. Her debut novel, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, won the 2014 Philip K. Dick award. Her second novel was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick, and both were longlisted for the James A. Tiptree award. She has been published... Read More →
avatar for Vernon Keeve III

Vernon Keeve III

Vernon Keeve III is a Virginia-born writer whom California molded into an educator. He lives and teaches in Oakland. His purpose is to teach the next generation the importance of relaying their personal narratives, sharing their experiences, and taking control of their destinies... Read More →
avatar for Maisha Z. Johnson

Maisha Z. Johnson

Maisha Z. Johnson is an award-winning writer and digital content strategist who writes and works where the arts meet social change. As a queer Black survivor of Trinidadian descent, she dedicates her work to amplifying marginalized voices with healing, humor, and radical truth-telling... Read More →
avatar for Cleve Jones

Cleve Jones

Cleve Jones’ career as an activist began in San Francisco in 1970s where he befriended pioneer gay rights leader Harvey Milk. After Milk's death, Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and conceived the idea of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which memorializes over 85,000... Read More →
avatar for K.M. Soehnlein

K.M. Soehnlein

K.M. Soehnlein is recipient of the Lambda Literary Award (novel); the Henfield Prize (short fiction); and the SFFILM/Rainin Filmmaking Grant (screenwriting). Author of the novels The World of Normal Boys (2000), You Can Say You Knew Me When (2005), and Robin and Ruby (2010). Published... Read More →

Wednesday October 17, 2018 7:15pm - 9:00pm
Elbo Room 647 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Thursday, October 18


Monkee Memoir: Michael Nesmith with Beth Lisick
Co-presented by Amoeba Music

Michael Nesmith’s eclectic, electric life spans his star-making role on The Monkees, his invention of the music video, and his critical contributions to movies, comedy, and the world of virtual reality. His funny and thoughtful memoir Infinite Tuesday takes readers on a pilgrimage in search of a set of principles to live by, from a childhood in Dallas, where his single mother Bette invented Liquid Paper, to the set of The Monkees, the heart of swinging London, and an unexpected oasis of brilliance in the Santa Fe desert, where friendships with Douglas Adams and Los Alamos scientists pointed him toward the power of the infinite. A true American original. In conversation with writer and actor Beth Lisick. Book sales and signing to follow. $20 adv / $25 door 

avatar for Beth Lisick

Beth Lisick

Beth Lisick is a writer and actor. She is the author of five books and has appeared in films screened at Cannes, Sundance, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. Her books include the memoir collection Yokohama Threeway and Other Small Shames, and the New York Times bestselling... Read More →

Authors and Participants
avatar for Michael Nesmith

Michael Nesmith

Michael Nesmith‘s career in music and television took him from starring in The Monkees to a celebrated run of albums as a solo artist and in the First National Band. He created the TV show Popclips, a forerunner of what would become MTV, and produced the films Repo Man and Tapeheads... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Cafe Du Nord 2174 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA


Word for Word: Octavio Solis
Co-presented by City Lights Bookstore & Booksellers

In the uniquely framed memoir Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border, award-winning playwright Octavio Solis channels his youth in El Paso, Texas. From the first terrible self-awareness of racism to afternoons playing air trumpet with Herb Alpert, Solis reflects on the trauma and transformation that shaped him into a man. Tonight, San Francisco’s Word for Word Performing Arts Company stages an excerpt from Retablos, directed by Sheila Balter. Author in conversation with Balter and Zyzzyva managing editor Oscar Villalon. Book sales and signing to follow. Please register in advance as seating is limited. FREE, $15 suggested donation

Online registration ends at 3 p.m.

avatar for Oscar Villalon

Oscar Villalon

Oscar Villalon is the managing editor of ZYZZYVA. His reviews, essays, and interviews have been published in VQR, Zocalo, The Believer, Lit Hub, The Daily Beast, and many other publications. A former board member of the National Book Critics Circle, and past book editor of the San... Read More →

Authors and Participants
avatar for Sheila Balter

Sheila Balter

Sheila Balter has worked at theaters in the Bay Area and beyond, and has been a member of Word for Word Performing Arts Company for over 20 years. She acts with the company and has branched out into directing several of their productions, including work by Tobias Wolff, Sandra Cisneros... Read More →
avatar for Octavio Solis

Octavio Solis

Author of over 20 plays, Octavio Solis is considered by many to be one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America. With works that both draw on and transcend the Mexican-American experience, he is a writer and director whose style defies formula, examining the darkness, magic... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Elbo Room 647 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110


Rachel Kushner: Voice of Witness
From twice National Book Award–nominated Rachel Kushner comes the New York Times bestselling novel The Mars Room, the story of Romy Hall at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. In conversation with San Francisco Chronicle culture columnist Caille Millner. Complimented by appearances from the Voice of Witness collection Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary editor Mateo Hoke and contributor Mohammed Ali. $5 adv / $10 door

Online Sales End at 3 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.

avatar for Caille Millner

Caille Millner

Caille Millner is the author of The Golden Road: Notes on my Gentrification (Penguin Press). Her short fiction has appeared in Zyzzyva and Joyland, and Best American Short Stories 2016. Her essays have been in Michigan Quarterly Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and listed... Read More →

Authors and Participants
avatar for Mohammed

Mohammed "Mike" Ali

Mohammed "Mike" Ali grew up in the Bay Area after his family immigrated to the United States from Fiji. Growing up romanticizing gang life, he escalated through youth detention, jails, and prisons before landing in solitary confinement in a private immigration detention facility in... Read More →
avatar for Mateo Hoke

Mateo Hoke

Mateo Hoke is a writer, oral historian, and mixed-media journalist. His newest book, Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary explores the mental, physical, and spiritual impacts of America’s widespread embrace of solitary confinement. He previously spent four years interviewing and... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner is the bestselling author of The Flamethrowers, a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times Top Ten Book of 2013. Her first novel, Telex from Cuba, was also a finalist for the National Book Award. Her latest novel is The Mars Room. She lives in Los... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Make-Out Room 3225 22nd St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Friday, October 19


Botnik Live! A Reckless Night of Literary Experiments
The brainchild of Clickhole, The Onion, and Pixar veterans, Botnik Live! is a collaborative performance and writing group that uses AI technology to create readings, sketches, songs, and reckless experiments. For Litquake 2018, Botnik Live! has gone literary with dystopian young adult sci-fi, pulp erotica dating profiles, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, a whole heck of a lot of bookish games, and more. $12 adv / $15 door
Online Ticket Sales close 3 p.m. Day of event. Tickets will be available at the door.

Friday October 19, 2018 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Make-Out Room 3225 22nd St., San Francisco, CA 94110


Co-presented by Amoeba Music and KCSM Jazz 91

In the great tradition of San Francisco jazz and spoken-word basement readings first forged by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kenneth Rexroth, and Bob Kaufman, witness this contemporary blowout. Litquake's Word/Jazz features world-class poets accompanied by improvised music created on the spot. With Paul S. Flores, Valerie Ibarra, outgoing SFJAZZ Poet Laureate Genny Lim, and Rico Pabón. Music by Afro-futurist jazz trio Broun Fellinis. $15 adv / $20 door

Authors and Participants
avatar for Broun Fellinis

Broun Fellinis

The most important thing about music is the way it makes you feel. Musicians are lucky enough to live a life of pure feeling if they can play their personal visionary music with as much integrity and energy as the spirit grants them. For the last 27 years, the trio called BROUN FELLINIS... Read More →
avatar for Paul S. Flores

Paul S. Flores

Paul S. Flores is a poet and playwright from San Francisco. A multi-award winning writer, a Doris Duke Artist, and 2018 Headlands Center Artist in Residence, Paul’s plays have been presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Los Angeles Theater Center, New Jersey Performing Arts... Read More →
avatar for Valerie Ibarra

Valerie Ibarra

Valerie Anne Francesca Ibarra is a poet, radio producer & host, festival emcee, teacher, world traveler, and fifth-generation San Franciscan with roots in the Sunset, the Mission and North Beach. She spreads the word and the love Fridays at MutinyRadio.fm in the Mission District with... Read More →
avatar for Genny Lim

Genny Lim

Former SFJAZZ Poet Laureate Genny Lim has collaborated with such great jazz legends as Max Roach, Herbie Lewis, Eddie Marshall, and Fred Ho, and local musicians John Santos and Jon Jang. She has been featured at jazz festivals throughout the country and has toured World Poetry Festivals... Read More →
avatar for Rico Pabón

Rico Pabón

The Puerto Rican bilingual musician known as Rico Pabón found his voice as an emcee at age 15 and has since released six full-length albums and appeared on numerous compilations and collaborations. Pabón's songs have been placed in nighttime television dramas October Road and CSI... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Cafe Du Nord 2174 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA
Saturday, October 20


Lit Crawl San Francisco
Click here for the full Lit Crawl SF schedule!

Lit Crawl San Francisco, one of the most anticipated literary nights of the year, attracts close to 10,000 people. 

Saturday October 20, 2018 5:00pm - 9:00pm
The Mission