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City Lights

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261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
(415)-362-8193 http://www.citylights.com/

October 2019

John Freeman and Friends

October 1, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Featuring work from Tommy Orange, Rabih Alameddine, Rachel Kushner, Mai Der Vang, Reyna Grande, and more, the sixth Freeman's brilliantly showcases some of the world's best writers grappling with the myths and reality of California today. From immigration rights to climate change, California has been ground zero for the most crucial questions of our time. In a bravura essay, Rabih Alamdeddine remembers bartending during the worst years of the AIDS crisis. William T. Vollmann visits the Carr fire and discovers…

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Maxim Osipov

October 2, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Reading excerpts from the new translation of his short fiction collection Rock, Paper, Scissors and other stories by Maxim Osipov Preface by Svetlana Alexievitch, edited by Boris Dralyuk, translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk, Alex Fleming, and Anne Marie Jackson published by NYRB Classic Originals April 2019 selection of the NYRB Classics Book Club. Maxim Osipov, who lives and practices medicine in a town ninety miles outside Moscow, is one of Russia's best contemporary writers. In the tradition of…

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Ian Brennan in conversation with David Harrington

October 3, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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discussing the subject of Ian Brennan's new book Silenced by Sound: The Music Meritocracy Myth published by PM Press Popular culture has woven itself into the social fabric of our lives, penetrating people's homes and haunting their psyches through images and earworm hooks. Justice, at most levels, is something the average citizen may have little influence upon, leaving us feeling helpless and complacent. But pop music is a neglected arena where concrete change can occur—by exercising active and thoughtful choices…

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Ian Haney López in conversation with Eva Paterson

October 9, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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discussing the subject of his new book Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America published by The New Press From the acclaimed author of Dog Whistle Politics, an essential road map to neutralizing the role of racism as a divide-and-conquer political weapon and to building a broad multiracial progressive future "Ian Haney López has broken the code on the racial politics of the last fifty years." —Bill Moyers Today more than ever, warnings to fear immigrants…

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Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society – Litquake 2019

October 13, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society produced by Kevin Evans, John Law, and Carrie Galbraith published by Last Gasp Books A template for pranksters, artists, adventurers and anyone interested in rampant creativity, for years to come. Tales Of The San Francisco Cacophony Society tells the history of the most influential underground cabal that you have never heard of. Rising from the ashes of the mysterious and legendary Suicide Club, The Cacophony Society, at its zenith, hosted chapters in over…

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LOGIC MAGAZINE: print/ops – Litquake 2019

October 16, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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print/ops : a roundtable about technology with Jim Fingal and friends When developing software systems, engineers typically seek to automate repetitive tasks to reduce toil — defined as tasks that are manual, repetitive, tactical, devoid of enduring value, and that scale linearly as a system grows. That works great in the electronic world software systems — but how does this idea apply to the world of small magazines and publishers where we have physical objects to produce and somehow get to…

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The Velvet Underground Experience – Litquake 2019

October 17, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Hat & Beard Press, the San Francisco Rock & Roll Book Club, and Litquake present an evening about The Velvet Underground with  JC Gabel, ML Heath, and Richie Unterberger  with rare screenings of Velvet Underground footage. celebrating the release of two new books from Hat & Beard Press The Velvet Underground Experience Edited by JC Gabel and Margot Ross and My Week Beats Your Year: Encounters with Lou Reed Edited and with texts by Pat Thomas, Compiled by Michael Heath…

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Gillian Conoley and Donna de la Perrière

October 22, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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reading from new poetry A Little More Red Sun On The Human: New and Selected Poems by Gillian Conoley published by Nightboat Books and Works of Love & Terror by Donna de la Perrière published by Talisman House About A Little More Red Sun On The Human: New and Selected Poems: Gillian Conoley's selected poems assemble a shockingly varied body of work, comprising narrative, lyric, and fragmented forms. Her coruscating vibrant poems are informed by visual art and film, political…

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Benedicte Maurseth

October 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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discussiing the subject of To Be Nothing: Conversations with Knut Hamre, Hardanger Fiddle Master by Benedicte Maurseth published by Terra Nova Press/The MIT Press Dialogues between student and master about music, learning, teaching, the healing power of art, and the art of life itself. Knut Hamre has devoted his life to playing the Hardanger fiddle—a unique folk violin with resonating strings beneath, like a sitar's—and to teaching new generations the secrets of this ancient music, rooted in a stark and…

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Jarett Kobek

October 29, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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celebrating the release of his new novel Only Americans Burn in Hell published by We've Heard You Like Books 'Brilliantly funny ... the best satire of our contemporary nightmare that you will ever see, and very possibly the last' Alan Moore It's 2019 and America is ruled over by a billionaire reality TV star. Its media is owned by a transnational class of the shameless and the depraved. And its people have been silently robbed of their wealth, their dignity…

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November 2019

Ramesh Srinivasan

November 3, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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discussing his new book Beyond the Valley: How Innovators around the World are Overcoming Inequality and Creating the Technologies of Tomorrow Published by The MIT Press How to repair the disconnect between designers and users, producers and consumers, and tech elites and the rest of us: toward a more democratic internet. In this provocative book, Ramesh Srinivasan describes the internet as both an enabler of frictionless efficiency and a dirty tangle of politics, economics, and other inefficient, inharmonious human activities.…

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Savannah Shange

November 19, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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discussing the subject of her new book Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, and Schooling in San Francisco from Duke University Press San Francisco is the endgame of gentrification, where racialized displacement means that the Black population of the city hovers just over 3 percent. The "Robeson Justice Academy" opened to serve the few remaining low-income neighborhoods of the city, with the mission of offering liberatory, social justice--themed education to youth of color. While it features a progressive curriculum where students read…

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Jerome Rothenberg

November 21, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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celebrating two new books The President of Desolation & Other Poems from Black Widow Press The Mystery of False Attachments from Word Palace Jerome Rothenberg is an internationally acclaimed poet and anthologist. His more than ninety books include the multivolume Poems for the Millennium, coedited with Pierre Joris, Jeffrey Robinson, and John Bloomberg-Rissman. He is Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts and Literature at the University of California, San Diego.

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December 2019

Scarlett Sabet

December 1, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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reading from her new collection of poetry Camille Scarlett Sabet is a London based poet and performer. Her poetry has been featured in GQ, Tatler, Constellation Magazine, The Violet Book and Dazed and Confused. Her poetry readings have been broadcast on the BBC, London Live, and London's Soho Radio. She wrote, directed and starred in her poetic short film "Burning" which was produced by BAFTA winning producer Charlie Hanson in 2012. Her first collection "Rocking Underground" was launched with a…

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Second Stutter Annual Release Party

December 3, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Hosted by Solomon Rino with readings by George Albon, Laura Moriarty, Joseph Lease, and Norma Cole Second Stutter is a San Francisco based literary journal that publishes annually. It's focus is on contemporary English language poetry and translation. The editions are produced with letterpress printed covers and handmade endpapers. The covers for volume one and two were printed at Jack W. Stauffacher's Greenwood Press at 300 Broadway, and volume three at the San Francisco Center for the Book. The editions…

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Charlton D. McIlwain in conversation with E. David Ellington

December 4, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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discussing Charlton D. McIlwain's new book Black Software: The Internet, Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter published by Oxford University Press Activists, pundits, politicians, and the press frequently proclaim today's digitally mediated racial justice activism the new civil rights movement. As Charlton D. McIlwain shows in this book, the story of racial justice movement organizing online is much longer and varied than most people know. In fact, it spans nearly five decades and involves a varied group…

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John James with Henri Cole

December 5, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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celebrating the release of John James' new collection of poetry The Milk Hours published by Milkweed Editions Winner of the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, The Milk Hours is an elegant debut that searches widely to ask what it means to exist in a state of loss. "We lived overlooking the walls overlooking the cemetery." So begins the title poem of this collection, whose recursive temporality is filled with living, grieving things, punctuated by an unseen world of roots, bodies, and…

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Silvina Ocampo

December 8, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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With Suzanne Jill Levine, Katie Lateef-Jan & Jessica Powell. For more info call 415 362 1901 or contact Stacey at stacey@citylights.com

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An evening with Kal Spelletich

December 10, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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in conversation with Catharine Clark discussing his new project Significance Machines and Purposeful Robots 'Significance Machines and Purposeful Robots' is an exhibit of work by Kal Spelletich at St. Mary's College Museum of Art through December 2019 that includes life size praying robots, photos, sound machines, drawings, videos and interactive sculptures which explore the question: can technology do spiritual work? Via audience operated robots that are meditative and violent, Spelletich's work enacts a liberated awareness and pushes his audience to…

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Roy Scranton

December 11, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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reading from his new novel I  Oklahoma ! published by Soho Books Suzie's seen it all, but now she's looking for something she lost: a sense of the future. So when the chance comes to work with a maverick video artist on his road movie about Donald Trump's America, she's pretty sure it’s a bad idea but she signs up anyway, hoping for an outside shot at starting over. A provocative, genderqueer, shapeshifting musical romp through the brain-eating nightmare of…

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Terry Tempest Williams

December 12, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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reading from her new book Erosion: Essays of Undoing published by Sarah Critchton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux Fierce, timely, and unsettling essays from an important and beloved writer and conservationist Terry Tempest Williams is one of our most impassioned defenders of public lands. A naturalist, fervent activist, and stirring writer, she has spoken to us and for us in books like The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks and Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and…

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Lisa Robertson

December 13, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Lisa Robertson reading from The Baudelaire Fractal published by Coach House Books A debut novel by acclaimed poet Lisa Robertson, in which a poet realizes she has written the works of Baudelaire. One morning, the poet Hazel Brown wakes up in a strange hotel room to find that she's written the complete works of Charles Baudelaire. Surprising as this may be, it's no more surprising to Brown than the impossible journey she's taken to become the writer that she is.…

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January 2020

Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power

January 7, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Aaron Cohen discusses the subject of his new book Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power published by the University of Chicago Press Curtis Mayfield. The Chi-Lites. Chaka Khan. Chicago's place in the history of soul music is rock solid. But for Chicagoans, soul music in its heyday from the 1960s to the 1980s was more than just a series of hits: it was a marker and a source of black empowerment. In Move On Up, Aaron…

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D.S. Marriott

January 13, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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D.S. Marriott reading from selected poetry DS Marriot is a poet and critic, and Professor in the Department of History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and in the Department of Philosophy at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park. His areas of interest and expertise include literature and literary theory; psychoanalysis; Black cultural theory and philosophies of race; African American/Black Studies; African Diaspora; Critical Race and Ethnic Studies; and Critical Theory. Marriott is the author of On…

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Zyzzyva celebrates their BAY AREA Issue !

January 14, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Moderated by Oscar Villalon with Meg Hurtado Bloom, Rita Bullwinkel, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Chia-Chia Lin, Kevin Simmonds, and Paul Wilner ZYZZYVA's latest volume—the Bay Area Issue—features new writing and poetry from the East Bay to San Francisco, from the North Bay to the Peninsula. Join them for a lively reading featuring six of the contributors to Issue No. 117: Meg Hurtado Bloom, Rita Bullwinkel, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Chia-Chia Lin, Kevin Simmonds, and Paul Wilner. Emceed by ZYZZYVA Managing Editor Oscar…

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Mapping the Bay: with Kim Shuck and friends

January 15, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Mapping the Bay: with Kim Shuck and friends poetry and discussion exploring the pathways, language takes through land, water, and air. Poetry is all around us. Hidden in the trauma and joys of a life lived in full witness of the events of the last few centuries on a peninsula haunted by languages lost but reclaimed, hidden, yet in plain sight. Local poets read from new and old works. What does it mean to stand as witness to lost histories?…

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Gibby Haynes

January 21, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Gibby Haynes reading from his new novel Me and Mr. Cigar published by Soho Press From the wild and wonderful mind of Gibby Haynes—world famous Butthole Surfers front man/lyricist and self-proclaimed eternal Texan adolescent—comes the surreal tale of seventeen-year-old Oscar Lester and his trusted dog, Mr. Cigar. Oscar and his dog have made a pretty good life for themselves, despite the fact that Oscar's family has all but vanished—his father is dead; his mother has a new boyfriend. His older…

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David Talbot

January 22, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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David Talbot discussing his new book Between Heaven and Hell: The Story of My Stroke from Chronicle Prizm Acclaimed writer, bestselling author, and founder of Salon magazine, David Talbot has brought us masterful and explosive headline-breaking stories for over 25 years with books like the New York Times bestsellers Brothers, The Devil's Chessboard, and nationally recognized Season of the Witch. Now for the first time, journalist and historian David Talbot turns inward in this intimate journey through the life-changing year…

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Andre Perry

January 28, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Andre Perry reading from his new book Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now: a collection of essays published by 2 Dollar Radio With luminous insight and fervent prose, Andre Perry's debut collection of personal essays, Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now, travels from Washington DC to Iowa City to Hong Kong in search of both individual and national identity. While displaying tenderness and a disarming honesty, Perry catalogs racial degradations committed on the campuses of elite universities and…

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Samuel C. Woolley

January 29, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth published by Public Affairs Fake news posts and Twitter trolls were just the beginning. What will happen when misinformation moves from our social media feeds into our everyday lives? Despite Samuel Woolley's warnings as early as 2013, the problem of online disinformation stormed our political process in 2016 and has only worsened since. Yet as Woolley shows in this urgent book, it may pale in comparison to…

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Carmen Maria Machado with Esmé Weijun Wang

January 30, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Carmen Maria Machado with Esmé Weijun Wang in conversation and celebrating the release of Carmen Maria Machado's In The Dream House published by Graywolf Press In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her…

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February 2020

Cutting Up The Century: A Burroughs Birthday Miscellany

February 5, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Cutting Up The Century: A Burroughs Birthday Miscellany with Joan Hawkins, Alex Wermer-Colan, Peter Hale, and Jon Longhi celebrating the release of William S. Burroughs Cutting Up the Century Edited by Joan Hawkins and Alex Wermer-Colan published by University of Indiana Press William S. Burroughs Cutting Up the Century is the definitive book on Burroughs' overarching cut-up project and its relevance to the American twentieth century. Burroughs’s Nova Trilogy (The Soft Machine, Nova Express, and The Ticket That Exploded) remains…

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Elaine Elaine Kahn

February 6, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Elaine Kahn reading from Romance or The End: poems published by Soft Skull Press Romance or The End takes up the tools of romantic narrative in order to perform the rupture between self and story that occurs at the onset of trauma. Using known and pathologized literary arcs, Elaine Kahn unspools the fundamental instability of truth, love, and language to create an experiential portrait of narrative's power to both disfigure and restore. ROMANCE or THE END This is a book…

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Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

February 10, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Marcelo Hernandez Castillo reading from his new book Children of the Land published by Harper Collins This unforgettable memoir from a prize-winning poet about growing up undocumented in the United States recounts the sorrows and joys of a family torn apart by draconian policies and chronicles one young man's attempt to build a future in a nation that denies his existence. "You were not a ghost even though an entire country was scared of you. No one in this story…

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Howard Eiland

February 13, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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City Lights in conjunction with the Program in Critical Theory at the University of California at Berkeley present an evening with Howard Eiland celebrating two new books Origin of the German Trauerspiel - by Walter Benjamin - (Tr. Howard Eiland) - published by Harvard University Press and Notes on Literature, Film, and Jazz - by Howard Eiland - published by Sputen Duyvil about Origin of the German Trauerspiel Origin of the German Trauerspiel was Walter Benjamin's first full, historically oriented…

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Dennis Baron

February 18, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Dennis Baron discussing the subject of his new book What's Your Pronoun? Beyond He and She Published by Liveright Addressing one of the most pressing cultural questions of our generation, Dennis Baron reveals the untold story of how we got from he and she to zie and hir and singular-they. Like trigger warnings and gender-neutral bathrooms, pronouns are sparking a national debate, prompting new policies in schools, workplaces, even prisons, about what pronouns to use. Colleges ask students to declare…

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William T. Vollmann

February 20, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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William T. Vollmann reading from his new novel The Lucky Star published by Viking/Penguin The National Book Award winning author returns to his original fictional territory–the lives of the dispossessed in San Francisco–with a parable about the limitations of desire and life at the margins of society In such earlier works of fiction as The Rainbow Stories and The Royal Family, William T. Vollmann wrote of pimps, prostitutes, addicts and homeless dreamers in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. In this new…

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John Sayles

February 24, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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John Sayles reading from his new novel Yellow Earth from Haymarket Books Rich layers of shale oil are discovered under Yellow Earth, North Dakota and the neighboring Three Nations Indian reservation. All hell breaks loose. In Yellow Earth, the site of Three Nations reservations on the banks of the Missouri River in North Dakota, Sayles introduces us to Harleigh Killdeer, chairman of the Tribal Business Council. "An activist in his way, a product of the Casino Era," Kildeer, who is…

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Megan Fernandes with Sam Sax

February 25, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Megan Fernandes reads from her new collection of poetry Good Boys published by Tin House Books In an era of rising nationalism and geopolitical instability, Megan Fernandes's Good Boys offers a complex portrait of messy feminist rage, negotiations with race and travel, and existential dread in the Anthropocene. The collection follows a restless, nervy, cosmically abandoned speaker failing at the aspirational markers of adulthood as she flips from city to city, from enchantment to disgust, always reemerging—just barely—on the trains…

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Dodie Bellamy and Anthony Huberman in conversation

February 27, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Dodie Bellamy and Anthony Huberman in conversation celebrating the release of Dodie Bellamy Is On Our Mind Edited by Jeane Gerrity and Anthony Huberman published by Semiotex(e) Books, distributed by The MIT Press Examining the genre-bending writing of Dodie Bellamy, whose work has focused on sexuality, politics, feminism, narrative experimentation, and all things queer. Dodie Bellamy Is on Our Mind is the first major publication to address Bellamy's prolific career as a genre-bending writer. Megan Milks made several trips to San Francisco in order…

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March 2020

Fellini Turns 100/ La Natura Morta De La Dolce Vita

March 1, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Presentation by Mauro Zanetti sponsored by Leonardo da Vinci Society, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, and Consul General of Italy in San Francisco On the 100th birthday of Federico Fellini, with celebrations happening all over the world in 2020, the Leonardo da Vinci Society of San Francisco in conjunction with Consulate General of Italy, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, and City Lights Booksellers present an evening with Mauro Aprile Zanetti exploring Fellini's, La Dolce Vita – A seminal film showcasing a microcosm of…

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Javad Djavahery

March 4, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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The Cultural Services of the Consul General of France in conjunction with Restless Books and City Lights Booksellers present Javad Djavahery reading from his new novel My Part of Her translated by Emma Ramadan, published by Restless Books For our unnamed confessor, the summer months spent on the Caspian Sea during the 1970s are a magically transformative experience. There, he is not the "poor relative from the North," but a welcome guest at his wealthy cousin Nilou's home and the…

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Lloyd Kahn

March 5, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Slideshow/Talk celebrating the release of The Half Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building and Gardening by Lloyd Kahn and Leslue Creed from Shelter Publications This is the story of Lloyd and Lesley building a home and establishing a garden on a small piece of land on the Northern California Coast over a 46-year period. In 1974, Lloyd and Lesley started building a home and establishing a garden on a half-acre piece of land in a small town on the northern…

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Nomadic Press @ City Lights

March 10, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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City Lights celebrates Nomadic Press with Tureeda Mikell, Josiah Luis Alderete, Ayodele Nzinga, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Genny Lim, James Cagney, Dr. James P. (Jimmy) Garrett, music by Azuah Nomadic Press is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that supports the works of emerging and established writers and artists. Through publications (including translations) and performances, Nomadic Press aims to build community among artists across disciplines. To learn more visit: www.nomadicpress.org Educator, consultant, poet, griot/elocutionist/story medicine woman, Tureeda Mikell began working the healing arts in 1977…

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Shana Redmond

March 11, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Shana Redmond discussing the subject of her new book Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson from Duke University Press From his cavernous voice and unparalleled artistry to his fearless struggle for human rights, Paul Robeson was one of the twentieth century's greatest icons and polymaths. In Everything Man Shana L. Redmond traces Robeson's continuing cultural resonances in popular culture and politics. She follows his appearance throughout the twentieth century in the forms of sonic and visual vibration…

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Lisa Robertson – The Baudelaire Fractal

March 18, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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reading from The Baudelaire Fractal published by Coach House Books A debut novel by acclaimed poet Lisa Robertson, in which a poet realizes she has written the works of Baudelaire. One morning, the poet Hazel Brown wakes up in a strange hotel room to find that she's written the complete works of Charles Baudelaire. Surprising as this may be, it's no more surprising to Brown than the impossible journey she's taken to become the writer that she is. Animated by…

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Chris Carlsson – Hidden San Francisco…

March 19, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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celebrating the release of Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes and Radical Histories from Pluto Press San Francisco is an iconic and symbolic city. But only when you look beyond the picture-postcards of the Golden Gate Bridge and the quaint cable cars do you realise that the city's most interesting stories are not the Summer of Love, the Beats or even the latest gold rush in Silicon Valley. Hidden San Francisco is a guidebook like no…

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Hilary Moore & James Tracy

March 24, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Hilary Moore & James Tracy celebrating the release of No Fascist USA! The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and Lessons for Today's Movements by Hilary Moore and James Tracy (forward by Robin D.G. Kelley) published by City Lights Books The story of how a national grassroots network fought a resurgence of the KKK and other fascist groups during the Reagan years, laying the groundwork for today's anti-fascist/anti-racist movements. In June 1977, a group of white anti-racist activists received an alarming letter…

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Alexandra Mattraw with Tiff Dressen and Mah Shein Win

March 25, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Alexandra Mattraw with Tiff Dressen and Mah Shein Win celebrating the release of Alexandra Mattraw's new poetry collection We fell into Weather Published by Cultural Society What has been said about We fell into Weather: "What you can't see is what brings you," Alexandra Mattraw writes: "We throttle out of rent, ash CFC storming lung shifts." An uncanny, raw awareness embodies the space of perception and opening. Mattraw's primary language becomes action, becomes our phenomenology, our neurodivergence, our fullness: "When…

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Robert Glück in conversation with Brandon Brown

March 26, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Robert Glück celebrating the new edition of Margery Kempe by Robert Glück, introduction by Colm Toibin published by New York Review Books First published in 1994, Robert Glück's Margery Kempe is one of the most provocative, poignant, and inventive American novels of the last quarter century. The book tells two stories of romantic obsession. One, based on the first autobiography in English, the medieval Book of Margery Kempe, is about a fifteenth-century woman from East Anglia, a visionary, a troublemaker, a pilgrim to…

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Archive 48 Release Party: The Earthly Days of Jose Revueltas

March 31, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Binational publisher Archive 48, dedicated to Mexican and U.S. literature, launches its U.S. wing with the first-ever English translation of an important work by  Jose Revueltas. Join us to celebrate its release. Translator Matthew Gleeson and publisher Pedro Jiménez celebrate the publication of Earthly Days by José Revueltas. Mexican author Revueltas was a lifelong militant whose political activities stretched from the 1930s Communist Party to the 1968 student movement—and sent him to prison several times. His important writing career included…

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April 2020

Beth Lisick

April 1, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Beth Lisick reads from Edie On The Green Screen: A Novel published by 7.13 Books City Lights welcomes back Beth Lisick to celebrate her debut novel from 7.13 Books. Edie Wunderlich was the It girl, on the covers of the city's alt-weeklies, repping the freak party scene on the eve of the first dot-com boom. Fast-forward twenty years, and Edie hasn't changed, but San Francisco has. Still a bartender in the Mission, Edie now serves a seemingly never-ending stream of…

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Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai in conversation with Isabelle Thuy Pelaud

April 2, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai reading from The Mountains Sing from Workman Publishing Company "An epic account of Việt Nam's painful 20th century history, both vast in scope and intimate in its telling . . . Moving and riveting." —VIET THANH NGUYEN, author of The Sympathizer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells…

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CANCELED – Fayette Hauser and Friends

April 7, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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celebrating the release of THE COCKETTES published by Process Books/Feral House The influence of the Cockettes on American underground culture is present in every glittery sequin and candy-colored coiffure gracing our daily lives. Birthed in an LSD bathed commune in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district in the summer of 1969, The Cockettes were a fever dream of sexual freedom and expression. They granted themselves names and identities that reflected their inner wild selves then put it all on the stage with…

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CANCELED – Robert Williams

April 8, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Robert Williams celebrates his new book Robert Williams: The Father of Exponential Imagination published by Fantagraphics Robert Williams: The Father of Exponential Imagination is a comprehensive, career-spanning collection of the iconic painter's fine art, including over 300 oil paintings as well as drawings, sculptures, and more. Simply put, this is the definitive volume that Williams has been working towards his entire career. In the late 20th and early 21st century, diverse forms of commonplace and popular art appeared to be…

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CANCELED – Melville House @ City Lights

April 9, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Melville House Publishers is celebrated by City Lights! Three authors with recently released books join us for an evening of spirited discussion Malcolm Harris in conversation with Curtis White, moderated by Jenny Odell Malcolm Harris celebrates the release of SHIT IS FUCKED UP AND BULLSHIT: History Since the End of History  Curtis White celebrates the release of Living in a World that Can't Be Fixed: Reimagining Counterculture Today Jenny Odell is the author of How to Do Nothing ----------------- about…

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CANCELED – Wendy Liu – Abolish Silicon Valley

April 15, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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discussing the subject of her new book Abolish Silicon Valley: How to Liberate Technology from Capitalism from Repeater Books Former insider turned critic Wendy Liu busts the myths of the tech industry, and offers a galvanising argument for why and how we must reclaim technology's potential for the public good.Innovation. Meritocracy. The possibility of overnight success. What's not to love about Silicon Valley? These days, it’s hard to be unambiguously optimistic about the growth-at-all-costs ethos of the tech industry. Public…

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CANCELED – Ilya Kaminski and Tess Taylor

April 16, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Ilya Kaminski and Tess Taylor celebrating the release of Tess Taylor's Rift Zone:poems published by Red Hen Press and Last West published by Museum of Modern Art Book RIFT ZONE, Taylor's much-anticipated third book traces literal and metaphoric fault lines—rifts between past and present, childhood and adulthood, what is and what was. Circling Taylor's hometown—an ordinary California suburb lying along the Hayward fault—these poems unearth strata that include a Spanish land grant, a bloody land grab, gun violence, valley girls,…

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CANCELED – Peniel E. Joseph in conversation with Dr. Waldo E. Martin Jr.

April 20, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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discussing Peniel E. Joseph's new book The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. published by Basic Books This dual biography of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King upends longstanding preconceptions to transform our understanding of the twentieth century's most iconic African American leaders. To most Americans, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. represent contrasting ideals: self-defense vs. nonviolence, black power vs. civil rights, the sword vs. the shield. The struggle…

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CANCELED – Frank Wilderson III

April 21, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Frank Wilderson III discussing the subject of his new book Afropessimism published by Liveright Books / W.W. Norton In the tradition of Edward Said's Orientalism and Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, Afropessimism is an unparalleled account of the non-analogous experience of being Black. A seminal work that strikingly combines groundbreaking philosophy with searing flights of memoir, Afropessimism presents the tenets of an increasingly influential intellectual movement that theorizes blackness through the lens of perpetual slavery. Rather than interpreting slavery…

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CANCELED – Maurice Carlos Ruffin in conversation with Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

April 26, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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CANCELED - Maurice Carlos Ruffin reading from We Cast A Shadow published by One World About We Cast a Shadow: "An incisive and necessary" (Roxane Gay) debut for fans of Get Out and Paul Beatty's The Sellout, about a father's obsessive quest to protect his son—even if it means turning him white Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize • "Stunning and audacious . . . at once a pitch-black comedy, a chilling horror story and an endlessly perceptive novel…

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CANCELED – Daniel Denvir – All-American Nativism

April 27, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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discussing the subject of his new book All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It published by Verso Books (part of the Jacobin Series) American history told from the vantage of immigration politics It is often said that with the election of Donald Trump nativism was raised from the dead. After all, here was a president who organized his campaign around a rhetoric of unvarnished racism and xenophobia. Among his first acts on taking…

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CANCELED – Alli Warren – Little Hill

April 28, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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celebrating the release of Little Hill published by City Lights Books Opening reading by Cedar Sigo Award-winning poet explores new formal terrain in seven long poems against the violence of the present political moment. The third full-length collection from Bay Area poet Alli Warren, Little Hill comprises seven long poems written with propulsive prosody in a daybook fashion, examining our present, politically charged moment. These poems are at once energetic and contemplative, intimate and direct, as Warren focuses her attention…

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CANCELED – Robert Mailer Anderson – Windows on the World

April 30, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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celebrating his new graphic novel Windows on the World Co-authored with Zack Anderson Illustrations by Jon Sack published by Fantagraphics Books Set in a New York City in mourning, this poignant graphic novel explores the push-and-pull between love and obligation. On the morning of September 11, 2001, an undocumented worker named Balthazar busses tables at New York City's famous Windows on the World restaurant. Back in Mexico, his family watches their TV screen in horror as the Twin Towers collapse.…

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May 2020

Ainissa Ramirez – The Alchemy of Us

May 3, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Ainissa Ramirez discussing the subject of her new book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another from The MIT Press   In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon: a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us. In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific…

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A LIVE Interview with Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky & Stan Cox!

May 19, 2020 @ 12:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Presented by City Lights & Democracy Now! CLICK HERE to register. Amy Goodman in discussion with Noam Chomsky and Stan Cox about the prospects for the Green New Deal, how the pandemic does–and does not—affect the struggle for climatic and economic justice, among other relevant topics. Amy Goodman is a broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter, and the host Democracy Now! She joins us from New York City. Stan Cox is the author of the new book The Green New Deal…

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June 2020

Jennifer Worley

June 9, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Book Release Party for Neon Girls: A Stripper's Education in Protest and Power by Jennifer Worley from Harper Collins A riveting true story of a young woman's days stripping in grunge-era San Francisco where a radical group of dancers banded together to unionize and run the club on their own terms. When graduate student Jenny Worley needed a fast way to earn more money, she found herself at the door of the Lusty Lady Theater in San Francisco, auditioning on…

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Uche Nduka – Facing You

June 25, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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celebrating the release of Facing You (City Lights Spotlight Series No. 19 published by City Lights Books From acclaimed Nigeria-born, Brooklyn-based poet Uche Nduka, a book of love poems written with compact elegance and vivid eroticism. "The real in Nduka's work carries the resonance not only of his Nigerian identity and experience of political violence but also the dislocation of the émigré and the frightening power relations of intimacy as mapped onto the lyric."—Joyelle McSweeney, Boston Review Facing You is…

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November 2020

Writers Against Trump

November 5, 2020 @ 12:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Join us as writers and booksellers across the nation come together in a day of solidarity. City Lights hosts a regional event featuring Steve Wasserman of Heyday Books as host. He will be joined by activist and writer Roberto Lovato, activist and poet Margaret Randall, and San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck. Event is free, but requires registration (CLICK HERE) to register Writers Against Trump are American writers who have come together to oppose the racist, destructive, incompetent, corrupt and fascist regime of…

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Mauro Javier Cárdenas in conversation with Carlos Fonseca

November 5, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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celebrating Mauro Javier Cárdenas new novel Aphasia published by Farrar Straus Giroux Mauro Javier Cárdenas, the critically-acclaimed author of The Revolutionaries Try Again—"an original, insubordinate novel" (New York Times)—pens a profound story of literature about a man coming to terms with his dysfunctional Colombian family, as well as his own behavior, as an immigrant in America. This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights on the Zoom platform. You will need access to a computer or…

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Storage Unit for the Spirit House – Maw Shein Win

November 10, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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City Lights in conjunction with Omnidawn Books present Maw Shein Win and Nathalie Khankan celebrating new Omnidawn Books with Su Hwang and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo reading from new poetry City Lights celebrates the book launch of Storage Unit for the Spirit House - by Maw Shein Win (Click Here) to purchase and Quiet Orient Riot - by Nathalie Khankan (Click Here) to purchase Event is free, but registration is required. (Click Here) to register.

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Zyzzyva 2020 Fall Issue Launch Party

November 12, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Free

Join Zyzzyva managing editor Oscar Villalon with Jonathan Escoffery, Wendy C. Ortiz, Siel Ju, Andrés Reconco, Kathleen Mackay, and Nina Revoyr ZYZZYVA closes out the year-long celebration of its 35th anniversary with the publication of Issue No. 119—the L.A. Issue. A complement to the journal's Bay Area Issue published last winter, the L.A. Issue features some of the exciting work being done by writers, poets, and artists who make Los Angeles County their home or place of work. At more…

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Ishmael Reed with Tennessee Reed

November 17, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Each reading from their new books of poetry published by Dalkey Archive Why The Black Hole Sings The Blues by Ishmael Reed Califia Burning: Poems 2012-2019 by Tennessee Reed --------- This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights on the Zoom platform. You will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing the internet. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom. Event is…

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ReTargeting Iran

November 19, 2020 @ 11:00 am
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Discussing the intersections of their new books ReTargeting Iran published by City Lights Books & Out of Mesopotamia published by Akashic Books --------- This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights on the Zoom platform. You will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing the internet. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom. Event is free, but registration is required. (CLICK HERE) to register…

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Under the Dome: Paul Celan at 100 Celebration

November 23, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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a reading and discussion of the great Romanian-born poet Paul Celan on the occasion of his 100th birthday with Judith Butler, Fady Joudah, and more guests TBD hosted by Robert Kaufman Event is free, but registration is required. (CLICK HERE) to register (Link to be posted soon)

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December 2020

Derek McCormack and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

December 3, 2020 @ 6:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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A Semiotexte Books Double Bill with two razor-sharp writers of fiction       celebrating the the release of two new novels Castle Faggot - by Derek McCormack - Afterword by Dennis Cooper and Zac Farley A dark satire about an amusement park more deranged than anything Disney could imagine: a playland for gay men called Faggotland. and The Freezer Door - by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore A meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world…

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