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14 MAY 2021 — friday

  • Point Reyes Books presents poet, essayist, and artist Rikki Ducornet, discussing her new novel, Trafik, a story of an astronaut living in a post-Earth future and her adventures in search of the planet Trafik, in conversation with novelist Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation), free, online, 6:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:

15 MAY 2021 — saturday

  • The Poetry Center presents a collective reading featuring poet and translator Lyn Hejinian and the work of the late poet and essayist Leslie Scalapino, Hejinian reads from and discusses Hearing, the second book in a series of collaborations between Hejinian and Scalapino, including readings from sections of the book by writers E. Tracy Grinnell, Michael Cross, Lindsay Choi, Simone White, Eric Falci, Eileen Myles, Renee Gladman, Myung Mi Kim, Judith Goldman, and Tom White, followed by a conversation between the readers and with audience questions, free, online, Noon PDT (Register to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents "Stories of the New Unionism," featuring a panel of activist writers and educators, Arlene Inouye, Rafael Jaime, Carolina A. Miranda, Christine O'Connell, Lindsay Zafir, and Todd Wolfson discussing the history and stories of the pursuit of labor justice, moderated by Mia McIver, followed by a ten-minute interlude of readings, featuring the East Pasadena Poets Mary Fitzpatrick, "What to Do from Confinement," Linda Dove, "The Haptics," Beverly LaFontaine, "This Skin Is Not Enough to Keep Me Warm," and Lois P. Jones, "Apple," free, online, Noon-1:00 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents "Our SoCal DNA," featuring Southern California writers Ryka Aoki, Aimee Bender, Natashia Deón, Deborah A. Lott, Luis J. Rodriguez, and Michael Torres, discussing how location influences how and what they write, moderated by Monica Fernandez, followed by a ten-minute interlude poetry reading, featuring poets Raundi Moore-Kondo, "My California Roots," Arminé Iknadossian, "California Love," Ron Koertge, "An Uneasy Trance Will Never Break," Kim Dower, "Thanking My Breasts," and Alene Terzian-Zeitounian, "Insurrection Snapshot #1," free, online, 1:00-2:00 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents "Our Culinary Table," featuring Elisa Callow, founding director of the Armory Center for the Arts and author of The Urban Forager: Culinary Exploring & Cooking on L.A.'s Eastside, and Bill Esparza, award-winning food writer and author of L.A. Mexicano: Recipes, People & Places, in conversation with journalist Val Zavala, followed by a ten-minute interlude poetry reading, featuring Gerda Govine Ituarte, "Visit to Godfather's," Raundi Moore-Kondo, "You Don't Need a Ticket," Ayb Marapao, "Dear Covid," Rainesford Stauffer, An Ordinary Age, and Jervey Tervalon, "Walking," free, online, 2:00-3:00 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents "Writing While Black," featuring journalist Donnell Alexander, An Oregon County, a short film, novelist Rachel Harper, This Side of Providence, novelist Keenan Norris, The Confession of Copeland Cane, writer and editor Kia Penso, novelist and artist Lisa Teasley, Heat Signature, and poet and novelist Jervey Tervalon, Dead Above Ground, followed by a ten-minute interlude poetry reading, featuring Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson, "Once, We Were Rivers," and Tim Stiles, winner of the 2021 Jonathan Gold Award, free, online, 3:00-4:00 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents "Graphic Description," a panel discussing the making of graphic novels, featuring artist Mariah Rose-Marie; Amanda Meadows, Senior Editor at Oni Press; Pamela Ribon, screenwriter for Moana; Josh Trujillo, writer and editor for Marvel and children's books such as Lost Beast, Found Friend; Carly Usdin, director and creator of Heavy Vinyl; Shannon Waters, senior editor at BOOM! Studios; moderated by Gary Phillips, writer of the Be-Bop Barbarians; followed by a ten-minute interlude poetry reading, featuring readings from the Omega Sci Fi Awards, and poet Johnny Bender, "Elemental," free, online, 4:00-5:00 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents a panel of writers and editors discussing their new anthology, Speculative Los Angeles, a collection of sci-fi and fantasy stories set in Los Angeles, featuring editor Denise Hamilton, journalist Lynell George, novelist Kathleen Kaufman, and novelist Duane Swierczynski, followed by a ten-minute interlude poetry reading, featuring poets Johnny Bender, "Letter to Self," Cathie Sandstrom, "Standing Up in a Slim Boat" and "She Ages," and the short film "Negative Space," free, online, 5:00-6:00 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:

16 MAY 2021 — sunday

  • Bookshop Santa Cruz presents best-selling novelist and poet Julia Alvarez, In the Time of the Butterflies, The Woman I Kept to Myself, discussing her new novel, Afterlife, in conversation with Sylvanna M. Falcón, founder of the Human Rights Investigation Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of Power Interrupted: Antiracist and Feminist Activities inside the United Nations, free, online, 11:00 am PDT (Register to attend:
  • The Safe House Education (S.H.E.) Fund presents a live reading and musical performance From Tribe and Fire, a benefit for the students of the S.H.E. Fund, Maasai young women who fled their tribe as girls, escaping early childhood marriage and female genital mutilation to pursue education and autonomy over their lives, featuring poets Ellen Bass, Indigo, Naomi Shihab Nye, Jane Hirshfield, LEDGER, Marie Howe, Magdelene, and Danusha Laméris, Bonfire Opera, with musical performances by Jami Sieber, Agu, and Muthoni Drummer Queen, and poems performed by the S.H.E. students, hosted by Kim Rosen, founder of the S.H.E. fund, free, donations welcome to benefit the S.H.E. fund, online, 1:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Kathy Evans, Trespassers Welcome, and Terri Glass, Being Animal, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)
  • Book Passage presents Dr. Jane Goodall, renowned primatologist and founder of the humanitarian youth program Roots & Shoots, and best-selling author Peter Wohlleben, in celebration of Wohlleben's new book, The Heartbeat of Trees, a profound look at humans' connection with nature, moderated by Donna Seaman, editor for Adult Books for Booklists, $5 general admission, $35 includes a signed copy of the book, online, 10:00 am PDT (Register to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents a panel featuring bestselling true crime authors Rabia Chaundry, Adnan's Story, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, The Fact of a Body, Rachel Monroe, Savage Appetites, and Chip Jacobs, The Darkest Glare, moderated by Julia Callahan, free, online, Noon-12:50 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents "Authors and Airwaves," a panel about podcasts and how prominent podcasters have created quality content, featuring podcasters Tony DuShane, Drinks With Tony, Meghan Daum, The Unspeakable Podcast, and Zibby Owens, Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books, free, online, 1:00-1:50 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:
  • The Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club presents the panel "Race as Context: BIPOC California Writers on How Race Informs Writing", featuring short story writer and novelist Alex Sato, novelist Gabriel Campbell, Love, Legends, and Legacies, Book One of the Keita Daze, novelist and short story author Jhon Valdes Klinger, and former San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck, Whose Water?, moderated by Ellen McBarnette, member of the CWC, $5 for CWC members, $10 general admission, online, 1:00-3:00 pm PDT (Purchase tickets here:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents a panel discussing young adult fiction and writing through the lens of children, featuring YA authors Tracy Holczer, The Secret Hum of a Daisy, Rajani LaRocca, Midsummer's Mayhem, and Mae Respicio, Any Day with You, moderated by Dana Middleton, Open If You Dare, free, online, 2:00-2:50 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents filmmaker Myles Matsuno, discussing his documentary First To Go, about Ichiro Kataoka, the first San Francisco Japanese person to be taken by the FBI after the attack on Pearl Harbor, in conversation with movie critic John Powers and community leader Jinghuan Liu Tervalon, discussing America's history of anti-Asian racism and how we can stand up and stop anti-Asian hate crimes, free, online, 3:00-3:50 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents a panel of four best-selling novelists, J. Ryan Stradal, The Lager Queen of Minnesota, Steph Cha, Your House Will Pay, Sergio Troncoso, Nepantla Familias, and Amy Meyerson, The Imperfects, discussing family relationships and their inspiration for storytelling, moderated by Colleen Dunn Bates, founder of Prospect Park Books, free, online, 4:00-4:50 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:
  • LitFest Pasadena presents "Publishers' Roundtable," a panel of publishers discussing their different processes for publishing work, how to get work published, and what publishers look for, featuring Julia Callahan, former Director of Sales and Marketing at Rare Bird, and Tim DeRoche, self-published author, as well as reps from Red Hen Press, Unnamed Press, Lil' Libros, and TSEHAI Publishers, free, online, 5:00-5:50 pm PDT (RVSP to attend:

17 MAY 2021 — monday

  • Rivertown Poets presents an open mic poetry reading, three-minutes per reader, hosted by poet and artist Sande Anfang, Xylem Highway, held the first and third Mondays of the month, free, online via Zoom, 6:15 pm PDT (Register to attend/sign up for open mic:
  • Book Passage presents best-selling novelist Maggie Shipstead (Seating Arangements) discussing her new novel, Great Circle, a story of a daring female aviator in the early twentieth century and the woman playing her in a film a century later, free, online, 5:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:

18 MAY 2021 — tuesday

19 MAY 2021 — wednesday

  • City Lights Books presents novelist Aminatta Forna (Ancestor Stones, The Memory of Love) discussing her new book, The Window Seat: Notes From a Life in Motion, a collection of new and previously published essays about displacement, community, and how humanity co-exists (or not) with the non-human world, in conversation with nonfiction writer Eula Biss (Having and Being Had), free, online via Zoom, 6:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • Red Hen Press presents a reading and conversation featuring poets Judy Grahn, Touching Creatures Touching Spirit, Kim Stafford, Singer Come From Afar, and Gary Lemons, Original Grace, discussing their new collections from Red Hen Press as well as their long careers as poets and writers in their respective communities, free, online, 4:00 pm PDT (RSVP to attend:
  • Bookshop Santa Cruz presents Yusef Salaam, inspirational speaker and prison reform activist, one of the wrongfully imprisoned Central Park Five, discussing his new book, Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice, a memoir that calls a nation to action, to rectify serious miscarriages of justice and to be held accountable for its history of racism and abuse, cosponsored by the NAACP Santa Cruz County Branch, $29, online, 6:00 pm PDT (Purchase tickets here:
  • Point Reyes Books presents Noah Warren, winner of the Yale Younger Poets prize, reading from and discussing his collection of poems, The Complete Stories, joined by poets Armen Davoudian (Swan Song), Randall Mann (Propriety), and Katie Peterson (A Piece of Good News), free, online, 7:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:

20 MAY 2021 — thursday

  • The PEN American World Voices Festival presents three novelists discussing their recent works, Naima Coster, What's Mine and Yours, Dantiel W. Moniz, Milk Blood Heat, and Kirstin Valdez Quade, The Five Wounds, all poignant stories about young people of color growing up in the United States that challenge the mores of the coming-of-age story, moderated by novelist Brian Young, Healer of the Water Monster, $20, online, 10:00 am PDT (Purchase tickets here:
  • Poetry Center San Jose presents Bill Cozzini, poet and editor-in-chief of Caesura, Poetry Center San Jose's literary magazine, hosted by poet Lesa Medley, open mic to follow, free, online, 7:00-9:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • Join the You're Going to Die team for this open mic, "Poetry, Prose, and Everything Goes," performance time five-minutes maximum, bring poetry, prose, music, dance, artwork to perform in this online community space, sign up during the Zoom meeting, with Ned Buskirk, free, with suggested donation, online via Zoom, 6:30 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • Friends of the Redwood City Public Library presents novelist Thomas Farber, reading from and discussing his new memoir, Acting My Age, that pushes the boundaries of the autobiography and explores not only the author's life and mortality but also that of coral, ecosystems, and the possible extinction of the natural world, in conversation with writer Lillian Howan, The Charm Buyers, poet and novelist Pat Matsueda, Stray, and novelist Shawna Yang Ryan, Green Island, free, online via Zoom, 5:30-6:45 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • Point Arena Third Thursday Poetry Series presents a reading featuring former Poet Laureate of Vallejo Diana Lang, This Festival of Dreams, open mic to follow, with host Blake More, free, online via Zoom, 7:00 pm PDT (Email: for Zoom information, and if you would like to participate in the open mic)
  • The PEN American World Voices Festival presents novelists George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo, winner of the Man Booker Prize, and Matthew Salesses, The Hundred-Year Flood, leading the hybrid workshop discussion "The Master's Tools: On the Art of Writing," about how writing is taught and the spaces workshops create for writers to hone their craft, moderated by novelist Rivka Galchen, Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch, $20, online, 4:00 pm PDT (Purchase tickets here:

21 MAY 2021 — friday

  • The PEN America World Voices Festival presents memoirists Randa Jarrar, Love Is an Ex-Country, and Mortada Gzar, I'm In Seattle, Where Are You?, discussing their recent memoirs and how the genre depicts the self against a background of politics, history, and social mores, in conversation with historian and poet Dr. Maytha Alhassen, presented in collaboration with Radius of Arab American Writers and Skylight Books, $20, online, 5:30 pm PDT (Purchase tickets here:
  • The PEN World Voices Festival presents "On Revolutionary Love and Poetic Resistance", featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth; poet Threa Almontaser, The Wild Fox of Yemen, winner of the Walt Whitman Award; and novelist Edwidge Danticat, The Art of Death, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle; moderated by writer and critic John Freeman, co-editor of the anthology There's a Revolution Outside, My Love, $20, online, 4:00 pm PDT (Purchase tickets here:

22 MAY 2021 — saturday

23 MAY 2021 — sunday

  • Lummis Days presents a poetry reading and conversation featuring poets Erica Ayón, Orange Lady, and Ramón García, The Chronicles, Other Countries, Arroyo Seco Library, free, online via Zoom, 3:00 pm PDT (RSVP to attend:
  • Poetry Flash presents a Sixteen Rivers Press poetry reading by Stella Beratlis, Dust Bowl Venus, and Dane Cervine, The World is God's Language, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)
  • Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center presents a poetry reading by The Venice Collective, featuring poets Dina Hardy, Holaday Mason, Jan Wesley, Jeanette Clough, Jim Natal, Mariano Zaro, Marjorie Becker, Paul Lieber, and Sarah Maclay, free, online, 4:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:

24 MAY 2021 — monday

25 MAY 2021 — tuesday

  • The Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center presents the Poetry on Sunday series, featuring a reading by poet Josiah Luis Alderete (Baby Axolotls y Old Pochos), Sacramento Poet Laureate Andru Defeye, and spoken word poet Angela Drew, open mic to follow, free, online via Zoom, 2:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • Join Poetic License Sonoma every fourth Tuesday for an evening of poetry readings, this reading with special guest poet Abayomi Animashaun, Sailing for Ithaca, The Giving of Pears, and featuring the nine poets that make up Poetic License Sonoma: Susanne Arrhenius, Jeffrey Bartfeld, Joseph Cutler, Paul DeMarco, Kusum Irene Jain, Leo McCloskey, Steve Trenam, Judith Vaughn, and Jaime Zukowski, this reading's theme is "Elements of Nature", free, with donations welcome, 7:00-8:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • Book Passage presents novelist Eric Nguyen, discussing his debut novel Things We Lost to the Water, a poignant story of an immigrant Vietnamese family settling in New Orleans, free, online, 5:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • Copperfield's Books presents Dr. Jen Gunter, gynecologist and best-selling author of The Vagina Bible, discussing her new book, The Menopause Manifesto, a much-needed guide to menopause in a world filled with misinformation and shame around women's bodies; this book offers practical advice while affirming that menopause is a body change, not a disease, and can even be something to celebrate, free, online, 7:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • City Lights Book presents writer and activist Cynthia Kaufman, Getting Past Capitalism: History, Vision, Hope, discussing her new book, The Sea Is Rising and So Are We: A Climate Justice Handbook, in conversation with Francesca Caparas, Fulbright Scholar to the Philippines for 2020-21, free, online, 6:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • Cobalt Poets presents a poetry reading featuring Prince A. McNally, open mic to follow, free, online via Zoom, 7:30 pm PDT (Zoom link here:
  • Book Passage presents Jan-Philipp Sendker, novelist and former correspondent for Stern, discussing his new novel, The Heart Remembers, the final book in the bestselling The Art of Hearing Heartbeats trilogy, free, online, Noon PDT (Register to attend:

26 MAY 2021 — wednesday

  • The San Francisco Public Library presents the reading "Poetry and Resistance," featuring five poets from Mississippi: C. Liegh McInnis, Matters of Reality: Mind, Body, and Soul, Carlton Turner, co-founder of the performing arts group M.U.G.A.B.E.E., Charlie Braxton, Embers Among the Ashes: Poems in a Haiku Manner, Halima J. Olufemi, member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and JXN People's Assembly, and Monica "Surreal the Messenger" Atkins, culture worker, labor organizer, and Director of Organizing for the Climate Justice Alliance membership, hosted by San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin, free, online, 6:00-7:30 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • City Lights Books presents poet Nathaniel Mackey (Blue Fasa, Splay Anthem) discussing his new poetry collection, Double Trio, a three-book lyric exploration of poetry and jazz, free, online via Zoom, 6:00 pm PDT (Register to attend:
  • The Library Foundation of Los Angeles presents novelist Vendela Vida, discussing her new book, We Run the Tides, a poignant story of a mysterious disappearance set in pre-tech boom San Francisco, in conversation with photographer and film director Autumn de Wilde, free, online, 5:00 pm PDT (RSVP to attend:

27 MAY 2021 — thursday

  • Salon 21 presents an evening of poetry and musical performance featuring poet and translator Don Bogen, reading from his new poetry book, Immediate Song, with music by mezzo-soprano Kate Tombaugh and pianist Jill Jantzen performing settings of Bogen's poetry, free, online, 4:00-5:00 pm PDT (RSVP to attend:
  • The Sacramento Poetry Alliance presents poet Lucille Lang Day, Bird of San Pancho and Other Poems of Place, discussing traditional Native American poetry and songs, with a presentation including a reading of poems from the anthology that she co-edited, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, part of the Literary Lectures series, free, online, 7:30 pm PDT (RSVP to attend:
  • The Ukiah Library presents Loba Poetry Series, an open mic poetry reading, held on the last Thursday of each month, open to both teens and adults, free, online via Zoom, 7:00 pm PDT (Email: for Zoom link)

28 MAY 2021 — friday

29 MAY 2021 — saturday

30 MAY 2021 — sunday

  • Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Lucille Lang Day, Birds of San Pancho and Other Poems of Place, and Iris Jamahl Dunkle, West : Fire : Archive, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)

31 MAY 2021 — monday

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