Spoken Summer

Hot literary events that warm without weather

the arts | visual arts |

By Bart Schneider

I enjoy gazing at the various lit calendars and getting a sense of the literary treasurers and experiments that are coming up. Here are some of the highlights through the first half of the summer:

David Sedaris The comic master appears with his sixth book of essays, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, at Book Passage. Admission is free, although preferred seating, and perhaps the only seating, is available with purchase of book. Monday, June 15, at 7pm. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 415.927.0960.

Poetry Flash fundraiser featuring a reading by New York poet Cynthia Kraman, The Touch, with Poetry Flash editors Joyce Jenkins and Richard Silberg, Deconstruction of the Blues. The event marks the inaugural return of “Sunset Poetry by the Bay” at its new location, Studio 333. Leave it to poets to have a fundraiser that only asks for a $5 donation. Wednesday, June 17, at 7pm. 333-A Caledonia St., Sausalito. 415.331.8272.

Gary Snyder and Tom Killion appear at Toby’s Feed Barn in Point Reyes Station, hosted by Point Reyes Books. The event is a benefit for Columbia School House Cultural Center in Nevada City and the Mt. Tamalpais Conservation Project. With food and beverages served, it’s a steal at $20. Saturday, June 20, at 7pm. 11315 State Route 1, Point Reyes Station. 415.663.1542.

Robert Bly (above) appears under the auspices of the International Association of Sufism, as part of a two-day Sufi conference at Dominican. Bly remains a force of nature in his early 80s, reading his poetry to Sufi music and a mass of whirling dervishes. Tickets, through www.ias.org, are $20 before June 16, $30 after. Friday, June 26, at 7pm. Angelico Hall, 50 Acacia Ave., San Rafael.

The Marin Poetry Center has the right idea. Its Summer Traveling Show is sending poets out in packs of five each week to different venues around the county. Tuesdays in June, a rotating host introduces the poets and reins them in. It’s a good way to sample talent and check out some different scenes. All events are at 7:30pm. For lineups of poets and extended schedule, visit www.marinpoetrycenter.com.

Napa Valley Writers Conference One of the best conferences of its kind in the country, now in its 29th year, boasts a lineup of luminaries. Fiction writers include ZZ Packer, Antonya Nelson, Robert Boswell, and Peter Ho Davies. Poets include Elizabeth Alexander, who had the honor of reading at President Obama’s inaugural. The great thing about this conference is that individuals can attend readings or lectures for a nominal fee, without paying tuition for the entire conference. It runs Sunday–Thursday, July 26–30. For dates and venues, check www.napawritersconf.org.

View All

Museums and gallery notes.

Reviews of new book releases.

Reviews and previews of new plays, operas and symphony performances.

Reviews and previews of new dance performances and events.