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October 2021

Gabrielle Selz celebrating the launch of LIGHT ON FIRE: The Art and Life of Sam Francis

October 19 @ 6:00 pm
Free

As part of Litquake Festival 2021 Litquake in conjunction with City Lights and University of California Press present Gabrielle Selz in conversation with Patricia Albers celebrating the launch for Light on Fire: The Art and Life of Sam Francis  published by University of California Press This is a live event taking place at the Emblem Hotel, 562 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102 ( between Mason and Powell Streets) Due to San Francisco Health Department guidelines we request that attendees…

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Dodie Bellamy in conversation with Chris Kraus

October 20 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Dodie Bellamy is joined by Chris Kraus to celebrates her two new books from Semiotext(e)/Native Agents Bee Reaved A new collection of essays on disenfranchisement, vulgarity, American working class life, aesthetic values, and profound embarrassment. & The Letters of Mina Harker A long awaited reprint of Dodie Bellamy’s debut novel reviving a minor character from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and imagines her as an independent woman living in San Francisco during the 1980s. about Bee Reaved So. Much. Information. When does…

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John Lissauer Five Things I’ve Learned About Leonard Cohen: The Songwriter and the Secret Cord

October 21 @ 5:00 pm
$40

In conversation with Sylvie Simmons Presented in partnership with The Contemporary Jewish Museum Join acclaimed songwriter, producer, and arranger John Lissauer in this live 90-minute class and discover the five things he’s learned about the inspiration, writing, and recording of some of Leonard Cohen’s most unforgettable songs. Online Event Details Single ticket - $40.00

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Asali Solomon in conversation with Angela Flournoy

October 21 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Asali Solomon in conversation with Angela Flournoy celebrating the release of Asali Solomon’s new novel The Days of Afrekete published by Farrar Straus Giroux Liselle Belmont is having a dinner party. It seems a strange occasion—her husband, Winn, has lost his bid for the state legislature and they’re having the key supporters over to thank them for their work. Liselle was never sure about Winn becoming a politician, never sure about the limelight, about the life of fundraising and stump…

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Bob Thurman Five Things I’ve Learned About Wisdom, Bliss, and Openness

October 26 @ 5:00 pm
$60

Join scholar, writer, translator, and teacher Bob Thurman in this live two-hour class and discover the five things he’s learned about achieving reliable and lasting happiness during his lifetime learning and teaching the Buddha’s curriculum. Online Event Details Single ticket for session - $60.00

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TWW Workshop

October 26 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every 2 weeks that begins at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, repeating until January 8, 2022

The TWW workshops are free and open to the public. Writers of all genres and anyone who appreciates the written word are welcome. Work is submitted a week prior to workshop (Tuesday), and a workshop notice is emailed (Thursday/Friday). The pieces to be critiqued can then be dowloaded and read. We critique a maximum of fifty total pages per workshop. At the beginning of each workshop, the group spends some time discussing "Trials and Tribs." This provides the opportunity for…

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Cynthia L. Haven in conversation with James Marcus

October 26 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Cynthia L. Haven in conversation with James Marcus discussing Cynthia Haven’s new book Czesław Miłosz: A California Life published by Heyday Book Czesław Miłosz, one of the greatest poets and thinkers of the past hundred years, is not generally considered a Californian. But the Nobel laureate spent four decades in Berkeley—more time than any other single place he lived—and he wrote many of his most enduring works there. This is the first book to look at his life through a…

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Diane di Prima Memorial Tribute

October 27 @ 6:00 pm
Free

A tribute to Diane di Prima, marking one year since her passing in October 2020, with Hanif Abdurraqib, Garrett Caples, Cedar Sigo, Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, Wendy Trevino, and more guests to be announced. And celebrating the publication of two new books from City Lights! Revolutionary Letters: 50th Anniversary Edition and Spring and Autumn Annals.  Sponsored by the City Lights Foundation and Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. More guests to be announced.

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Timothy Hampton Five Things I’ve Learned Listening to Bob Dylan

October 28 @ 5:00 pm
$40

Join writer, scholar, and teacher Timothy Hampton and discover the five things he’s learned from a lifetime of listening to the greatest songwriter of our time: How some of Bob Dylan’s most famous songs work, and why he remains as urgent and important as ever. Online Event Details Single ticket for session - $40.00

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Daniel de Visé in conversation with Harry Duncan

October 28 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Daniel de Visé and Harry Duncan discuss King of the Blues: The Rise and Reign of B.B. King by Daniel de Visé published by Grove Atlantic Press Riley “Blues Boy” King (1925-2015) was born into deep poverty in Jim Crow Mississippi. Wrenched away from his sharecropper father, B.B. lost his mother at age ten, leaving him more or less alone. Music became his emancipation from exhausting toil in the fields. Inspired by a local minister’s guitar and by the records…

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Spring and Autumn Annals Release Party

October 30 @ 1:00 pm
Free

A panel discussion celebrating the City Lights publication of Spring and Autumn Annals by Diane di Prima with Ammiel Alcalay, Amber Tamblyn, and Ana Božičević. Moderated by Sara Larsen. Sponsored by the City Lights Foundation and Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. In the autumn of 1964, Diane di Prima was a young poet living in New York when her dearest friend, dancer, choreographer, and Warhol Factory member, Freddie Herko, leapt from the window of a Greenwich Village apartment…

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November 2021

Paul Auster on the Life and Work of Stephen Crane

November 2 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Paul Auster in conversation with Todd Gitlin discusses the Life and Work of Stephen Crane celebrating the the new book Burning Boy: The Life and Work Of Stephen Crane by Paul Auster published by Henry Holt Booker Prize-shortlisted and New York Times bestselling author Paul Auster’s comprehensive, landmark biography of the great American writer Stephen Crane. With Burning Boy, celebrated novelist Paul Auster tells the extraordinary story of Stephen Crane, best known as the author of The Red Badge of…

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Auntie Sewing Squad visits City Lights!

November 3 @ 6:00 pm
Free

The Auntie Sewing Squad visits City Lights! With Mai-Linh K. Hong, Chrissy Yee Lau, and Preeti Sharma Join City Lights in celebrating the launch of The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice    Edited by Mai-Linh K. Hong, Chrissy Yee Lau, and Preeti Sharma with contributions by Kristina Wong, Rebecca Solnit, and Grace J. Yoo published by University of California Press In March 2020, when the US government failed to provide personal protective gear…

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Uwem Akpan in conversation with Helon Habila

November 4 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Uwem Akpan reading from his new novel New York, My Village published by W.W. Norton From a suspiciously cheap Hell’s Kitchen walk-up, Nigerian editor and winner of a Toni Morrison Publishing Fellowship Ekong Udousoro is about to begin the opportunity of a lifetime: to learn the ins and outs of the publishing industry from its incandescent epicenter. While his sophisticated colleagues meet him with kindness and hospitality, he is soon exposed to a colder, ruthlessly commercial underbelly—callous agents, greedy landlords,…

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Elif Shafak in conversation with Ipek S. Burnett

November 6 @ 11:00 am

Elif Shafak reads from her new novel The Island of Missing Trees published by Bloomsbury Books A rich, magical new novel on belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World. Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. In the taverna, hidden beneath garlands of garlic, chili peppers and creeping honeysuckle, Kostas and Defne…

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Russell Shorto Five Things I’ve Learned About How Manhattan Became “The Island at the Center of the World”

November 6 @ 1:00 pm
$40

Join New York Times bestselling writer Russell Shorto in this live, 90-minute class and discover the five things he’s learned about how the Dutch founding of New York City shaped the world’s most dynamic metropolis – and continues to impact America. Online Event Details Single ticket for session - $40.00

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Judy Collins Five Things I’ve Learned About Leonard Cohen: The Man and His Music

November 7 @ 5:00 pm
$40

In conversation with Sylvie Simmons Presented in partnership with The Contemporary Jewish Museum Join legendary singer-songwriter Judy Collins in this live 90-minute class and discover the five things she’s learned about Leonard Cohen – from her unique position at start of his music career to her current-day view of his enduring artistic legacy. Online Event Details Single ticket - $40.00

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Judith Curr Five Things I’ve Learned About How Publishing Works

November 8 @ 5:00 pm
$60

Presented in partnership with Book Passage Join Judith Curr, celebrated President and Publisher of the HarperOne Group, for this live, two-hour class and discover the five things she’s learned about the power of storytelling and the joys of publishing – plus the behind-the-scenes lessons she’s collected throughout her career that will help you get your own story out into the world. Online Event Details Single ticket for session - $60.00

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TWW Workshop

November 9 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every 2 weeks that begins at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, repeating until January 8, 2022

The TWW workshops are free and open to the public. Writers of all genres and anyone who appreciates the written word are welcome. Work is submitted a week prior to workshop (Tuesday), and a workshop notice is emailed (Thursday/Friday). The pieces to be critiqued can then be dowloaded and read. We critique a maximum of fifty total pages per workshop. At the beginning of each workshop, the group spends some time discussing "Trials and Tribs." This provides the opportunity for…

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Kyle T. Mays in conversation with Paul Ortiz

November 9 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Kyle T. Mays and Paul Ortiz discuss An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States by Kyle T. Mays published by Bloombury Books The first intersectional history of the Black and Native American struggle for freedom in our country that also reframes our understanding of who was Indigenous in early America. Beginning with pre-Revolutionary America and moving into the movement for Black lives and contemporary Indigenous activism, Afro-Indigenous historian Kyle T. Mays argues that the foundations of the US are rooted…

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Stan Cox and Zenobia Jeffries Warfield in conversation with Sonali Kolhatkar

November 10 @ 6:00 pm
Free

City Lights and YES! Magazine present the book launch for The Path to a Livable Future, by Stan Cox, published by City Lights Books.   Stan Cox is joined by YES! Magazine’s Executive Editor Zenobia Jeffries Warfield in a conversation moderated by YES! Magazine’s Racial Justice Editor Sonali Kolhatkar. 2020 was a year defined by crisis. For decades, scientists have been sounding the alarm about the urgency of addressing climate change, but it took COVID-19 to demonstrate clearly that the future…

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Anne Midgette Five Things I’ve Learned About The Women Who Shaped Classical Music

November 11 @ 5:00 pm
$40

Join acclaimed music critic Anne Midgette and discover the five things she’s learned about the women whose important work provides new ways to understand and enjoy the pleasures of classical music. Online Event Details Single ticket - $40.00

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Steven Reigns in conversation with Jonny McGovern

November 11 @ 6:00 pm
Free

A Quilt For David Published by City Lights Books The hidden history of a vulnerable gay man whose life and death were turned into tabloid fodder. In the early 1990s, eight people living in a small conservative Florida town alleged that Dr. David Acer, their dentist, infected them with HIV. David’s gayness, along with his sickly appearance from his own AIDS-related illness, made him the perfect scapegoat and victim of mob mentality. In these early years of the AIDS epidemic,…

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Julie Lythcott-Haims Five Things I’ve Learned About Making Love Work

November 14 @ 5:00 pm
$60

Presented in partnership with Book Passage Join bestselling author Julie Lythcott-Haims in this live two-hour class and discover the five things she’s learned about deepening her ability to love others, and the practical steps that help her build, maintain, and celebrate her most important relationships. Online Event Details Single ticket for session - $60.00

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Lucy Corin in conversation with Susan Steinberg and Deb Olin Unferth

November 15 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Celebrating the release of Lucy Corin’s new novel The Swank Hotel published by Graywolf Press At the outset of the 2008 financial crisis, Em has a dependable, dull marketing job generating reports of vague utility while she anxiously waits to hear news of her sister, Ad, who has gone missing—again. Em’s days pass drifting back and forth between her respectably cute starter house (bought with a “responsible, salary-backed, fixed-rate mortgage”) and her dreary office. Then something unthinkable, something impossible happens…

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Charlie Jane Anders in conversation with Kelly Link

November 17 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Charlie Jane Anders celebrates her new book NEVER SAY YOU CAN’T SURVIVE: How To Get Through Hard Times By Making Up Stories published by TORDOTCOM From Charlie Jane Anders, the award-winning author of novels such as All the Birds in the Sky and The City in the Middle of the Night, comes one of the most practical guides to storytelling that you will ever read. Things are scary right now. We’re all being swept along by a tidal wave of…

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Kalani Pickhart in conversation with Maria Kuznetsova

November 22 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Kalani Pickhart discusses her new novel I Will Die in a Foreign Land published by Two Dollar Radio In 1913, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring premiered at the new Théâtre de Champs-Elysées in Paris. The work so perplexed audiences that a riot broke out. “Only a Russian could do that,” says Aleksandr Ivanovich. “Only a Russian could make the whole world go mad.” A century later, in November 2013, thousands of Ukrainian citizens gathered at Independence Square in Kyiv…

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TWW Workshop

November 23 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every 2 weeks that begins at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, repeating until January 8, 2022

The TWW workshops are free and open to the public. Writers of all genres and anyone who appreciates the written word are welcome. Work is submitted a week prior to workshop (Tuesday), and a workshop notice is emailed (Thursday/Friday). The pieces to be critiqued can then be dowloaded and read. We critique a maximum of fifty total pages per workshop. At the beginning of each workshop, the group spends some time discussing "Trials and Tribs." This provides the opportunity for…

Find out more »

Victoria Nelson

November 30 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Victoria Nelson celebrates the launch of her debut novel Neighbor George published by Strange Attractor Press   Do you know the language of the birds? Summer, 1979: A lonely young woman housesitting for her aunt and uncle in an isolated bohemian enclave finds troubling reminders of a past family tragedy surfacing in odd and unsettling ways. When a mysterious man moves in next door, Dovey hopes for a romance like the ones in the novels she secretly devours. But a…

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December 2021

Troung Tran – Book Launch for BOOK OF THE OTHER: Small In Comparison

December 1 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Troung Tran in conversation with Muriel Leung of Kaya Press celebrating the Book Launch of The Book of the Other:Small in Comparison by Troung Tran published by Kaya Press A piercing, furious examination of the devastation wrought on a life by institutional platitudes put in the service of unexamined privilege, Truong Tran’s provocative collection of poetry, prose, and essays, book of the other, is a stunning rebuttal to the idea of anti-Asian racism as a victimless crime. Written with a…

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Seagull Books at 40

December 4 @ 11:00 am
Free

City Lights celebrates Seagull Books on it 40th anniversary with Seagull Founder Naveen Kishore joined by Nancy Naomi Carlson, Alain Mabanckou, and Khal Torabully Hosted by Peter Maravelis and Paul Yamazaki of City Lights Seagull Books publishes world literature in English translation, serious non-fiction, culture studies, performance studies, art and cinema, with attention to exquisite design and world-class production. Seagull Books was founded by Naveen Kishore in 1982 as an independent Indian publishing house specializing in serious books on art,…

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Sam Wasson Five Things I’ve Learned About The Last Time I Saw Hollywood

December 5 @ 5:00 pm
$40

Presented in partnership with John Kochman Join celebrated author Sam Wasson in this live 90-minute class and discover the five things he’s learned about Hollywood’s second golden age, and the ways that those few gorgeous years in the late sixties and early seventies illuminate the challenges shaping the film industry today.. Online Event Details Single ticket for session - $40.00

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TWW Workshop

December 7 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every 2 weeks that begins at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, repeating until January 8, 2022

The TWW workshops are free and open to the public. Writers of all genres and anyone who appreciates the written word are welcome. Work is submitted a week prior to workshop (Tuesday), and a workshop notice is emailed (Thursday/Friday). The pieces to be critiqued can then be dowloaded and read. We critique a maximum of fifty total pages per workshop. At the beginning of each workshop, the group spends some time discussing "Trials and Tribs." This provides the opportunity for…

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Poor Books/ Prensa POBRE Celebration

December 7 @ 6:00 pm
Free

City Lights celebrates POOR PRESS! Hosted by Lisa Gray Gracia and Tongo Eisen Martin with Audrey CandyCorn, Ingrid DeLeon, Lisa Ganser, Angel Heart, Muteado Silencio. and Val Vera POOR PRESS/Prensa Pobre is a poor people-led/indigenous people-led, grassroots non-profit arts organization dedicated to providing revolutionary media access, art, education and advocacy to silenced youth, adults and elders in poverty across the globe. All of POOR’s programs are focused on providing non-colonizing, community-based and community-led media, art and education with the goals of creating…

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Nicholas Buccola Five Things I’ve Learned About Love, from James Baldwin

December 8 @ 5:00 pm
$40

Presented in partnership with Book Passage Join award-winning author and professor Nicholas Buccola in this two-hour class and discover the five things he’s learned about the meaning of love from the life and thought of James Baldwin. Online Event Details Single ticket - $40.00

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Nancy Perloff in conversation with Antonio Sergio Bessa

December 8 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Nancy Perloff celebrates the launch of her new anthology Concrete Poetry: A 21st-Century Anthology published by Reaktion Books Concrete Poetry: A 21st-Century Anthology is the first overview of concrete poetry in many years. Selective yet wide-ranging, this anthology re-evaluates the movement, singling out its most distinctive and influential works. Nancy Perloff, curator of an important Concrete Poetry exhibition at the Getty Research Institute, includes examples from the little-known Japanese concretists and the Wiener Gruppe—groups that, together with the Brazilian poet…

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Christopher W Shaw discussing FIRST CLASS: The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Corporate Threat

December 9 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Christopher W Shaw discusses his new book First Class: The U.S. Postal Service, Democracy, and the Corporate Threat published by City Lights Books The fight over the future of the U.S. Postal Service is on. Political ideologues and corporate interests have long sought to remake the USPS from a public institution into a private business, and in 2020, during an election dependent on mail-in votes, the attacks escalated. This year, with mid-term elections fast approaching and the next presidential contest…

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Eduardo Berti with Daniel Levin Becker

December 13 @ 2:00 pm
Free

City Lights in conjunction with Fern Books present Eduardo Berti reading from his new novel An Ideal Presence Translated by Daniel Levin Becker published by Fern Books In 2015, the Argentinian novelist Eduardo Berti spent several weeks in a “medico-literary” residency at the University Hospital Centre in Rouen, France, observing and conversing with the staff and volunteers of its palliative care department. From that experience he created this series of lightly fictionalized testimonials from nurses, nursing aides, doctors, administrators, porters,…

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Amitav Ghosh in conversation with Raj Patel

December 14 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Amitav Ghosh in conversation with Raj Patel discussing his new book The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis published by University of Chicago Press In this ambitious successor to The Great Derangement, acclaimed writer Amitav Ghosh finds the origins of our contemporary climate crisis in Western colonialism’s violent exploitation of human life and the natural environment. A powerful work of history, essay, testimony, and polemic, Amitav Ghosh’s new book traces our contemporary planetary crisis back to the discovery of…

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Gloria Gervitz with Mark Shafer

December 15 @ 6:00 pm
Free

City Lights in conjunction with New York Review Books celebrate Gloria Gervitz’s new collection of poetry MIGRATIONS Translated by Mark Shafer Forty-four years in the making, Migrations is considered by critics to be a masterpiece of modern Mexican literature. Gloria Gervitz’s book is an epic journey in free verse through the individual and collective memories of Jewish women emigrants from Eastern Europe, a conversation that ranges across two thousand years of poetry, a bridge that spans the oracles of ancient…

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TWW Workshop

December 21 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every 2 weeks that begins at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, repeating until January 8, 2022

The TWW workshops are free and open to the public. Writers of all genres and anyone who appreciates the written word are welcome. Work is submitted a week prior to workshop (Tuesday), and a workshop notice is emailed (Thursday/Friday). The pieces to be critiqued can then be dowloaded and read. We critique a maximum of fifty total pages per workshop. At the beginning of each workshop, the group spends some time discussing "Trials and Tribs." This provides the opportunity for…

Find out more »

January 2022

TWW Workshop

January 4, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every 2 weeks that begins at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, repeating until January 8, 2022

The TWW workshops are free and open to the public. Writers of all genres and anyone who appreciates the written word are welcome. Work is submitted a week prior to workshop (Tuesday), and a workshop notice is emailed (Thursday/Friday). The pieces to be critiqued can then be dowloaded and read. We critique a maximum of fifty total pages per workshop. At the beginning of each workshop, the group spends some time discussing "Trials and Tribs." This provides the opportunity for…

Find out more »

February 2022

Freeman’s Love & Change Solstice Party!

February 21, 2022 @ 6:00 pm
Free

Hosted by John Freeman with Lina Meruane and Sayaka Murata Merging the LOVE and CHANGES issues of FREEMAN’S, John Freeman returns to City Lights for the solstice using these two remarkable collections as a kind of end-of-the-year looking glass. FREEMAN’S hosts two cosmically brilliant writers possessing extraordinary and otherworldly imaginations. Join us for the celebration! About the LOVE issue In a time of contentiousness and flagrant abuse, it often feels as if our world is run on hate. Invective. Cruelty…

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