Loading Events

← Back to Events

City Lights

+ Google Map
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
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Maxim Osipov

October 2, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Ian Brennan in conversation with David Harrington

October 3, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

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
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

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
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

LOGIC MAGAZINE: print/ops – Litquake 2019

October 16, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

The Velvet Underground Experience – Litquake 2019

October 17, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Gillian Conoley and Donna de la Perrière

October 22, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Benedicte Maurseth

October 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Jarett Kobek

October 29, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

November 2019

Ramesh Srinivasan

November 3, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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.…

Find out more »

Savannah Shange

November 19, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Jerome Rothenberg

November 21, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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.

Find out more »

December 2019

Scarlett Sabet

December 1, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Second Stutter Annual Release Party

December 3, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

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
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

John James with Henri Cole

December 5, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Silvina Ocampo

December 8, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

With Suzanne Jill Levine, Katie Lateef-Jan & Jessica Powell. For more info call 415 362 1901 or contact Stacey at stacey@citylights.com

Find out more »

An evening with Kal Spelletich

December 10, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Roy Scranton

December 11, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Terry Tempest Williams

December 12, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Lisa Robertson

December 13, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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.…

Find out more »

January 2020

Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power

January 7 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

D.S. Marriott

January 13 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Zyzzyva celebrates their BAY AREA Issue !

January 14 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Mapping the Bay: with Kim Shuck and friends

January 15 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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?…

Find out more »

Gibby Haynes

January 21 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

David Talbot

January 22 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Andre Perry

January 28 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Samuel C. Woolley

January 29 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Carmen Maria Machado with Esmé Weijun Wang

January 30 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

February 2020

Cutting Up The Century: A Burroughs Birthday Miscellany

February 5 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Elaine Elaine Kahn

February 6 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

February 10 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Howard Eiland

February 13 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »

Dennis Baron

February 18 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
+ Google Map

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…

Find out more »
+ Export Events