Dean Rader

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100790590/Images/87286100790590L.jpgCity Lights welcomes Dean Rader in celebrating the release of his new collection of poetry, Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry from Copper Canyon Press.

Wikipedia articles are never finalized. In Dean Rader’s energized and inventive new book, the poet considers identity of self and society as a Wikipedia page—sculpted and transformed by the ever-present push and pull of politics, culture, and unseen forces. And, in the case of Rader, how identity can be affected by the likes of Paul Klee’s paintings and the characters from the children’s stories about Frog and Toad. Rader’s cagey voice is full of humor and inquiry, warmly inviting readers to fully participate in thhttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Dean.jpge creation.

Dean Rader‘s debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize and Landscape Portrait Figure Form (2014) was named by The Barnes & Noble Review as a Best Poetry Book of the year. He was won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2016 Common Good Books Prize, judged by Garrison Keillor, and the 2015 George Bogin Award from the Poetry Society of America, judged by Stephen Burt. He has written or co-edited three scholarly books and was the editor of the 2014 anthology 99 Poems for the 99 Percent: An Anthology of Poetry, which hit #1 on the Small Press Distribution Bestseller list. He writes and reviews regularly for The San Francisco Chronicle, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and The Huffington Post. Two new collections of poetry appear in 2017: A book of collaborative sonnets written with Simone Muench, entitled Suture (Black Lawrence Press) and Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon).

Syria – Because We Come From Everything

The Poetry Society of America and City Lights Bookstore present SYRIA — Because We Come From Everything: The Poetics of Migration, a poetry reading and discussion as part of the Poetry Coalition’s 2017 programming with Jonathan Curiel, Jack Hirschman, and Jack Marshall . Twenty-two nonprofit poetry organizations from across the United States have formed a historic coalition dedicated to working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and communities, and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. As its first public offering, throughout the month of March 2017, Poetry Coalition members will present multiple programs on the theme: Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration, which borrows a line from U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s poem,  “Borderbus.” The Poetry Society in conjunction with City Lights present an evening that focusses on the Syrian refugee crisis. Poets Jack Hirschman and Jack Marshall, will read poems of theirs and others. Journalist Jonathan Curiel will join them in conversation.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Curiel.jpgJonathan Curiel is a San Francisco-based writer and journalist who has written widely about the Middle East, and has reported from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. His 2008 book, Al’ America: Travels Through America’s Arab and Islamic Roots won an American Book Award. He has been a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program fellow, a Thomson Reuters Foundation fellow at Oxford University, and a Fulbright Scholar at Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. A former staff writer with the San Francisco Chronicle, he has written about the arts for SF Weekly since 2010.

Jack Hirschman is the former Poet Laureate of the City of San Francisco, a poet’s phttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/JackHi.jpegoet, translator, and editor. His powerfully eloquent voice set the tone for political poetry in this country many years ago. Since leaving a teaching career in the ’60s, Hirschman has taken the free exchange of poetry and politics into the streets where he is, in the words of poet Luke Breit, “America’s most important living poet.” He is the author of numerous books of poetry, plus some 45 translations from a half a dozen languages, as well as the editor of anthologies and journals. Among his many volumes of poetry are Endless Threshold, The Xibalba Arcanehttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/JackMarshall.jpeg, and Lyripol (City Lights, 1976).

Born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents who emigrated from Iraq and Syria, Jack Marshall now lives in California. He is the author of the memoir From Baghdad to Brooklyn and several poetry collections that have received the PEN Center USA Award, two Northern California Book Awards, and a nomination from the National Book Critics Circle.

Elif Batuman

City Lights presents Elif Batuman who discusses her new novel, The Idiot, published by Penguin Press. http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100643900/Images/87286100643900L.jpg

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.

The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.

At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan’s friends. On the way, she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin’s summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students, or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin, this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love, and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.

With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood. Her prose is a rare and inimitable combination of tenderness and wisdom; its logic as natural and inscrutable as that of memory itself. The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman’s fiction is unguarded against both life’s affronts and its beauty–and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling which they entail.http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/elif.jpg

Elif Batuman has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010. She is the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and a Paris Review Terry Southern Prize for Humor, she also holds a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford University.

Deepak Unnikrishnan

City Lighttp://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100583950/Images/87286100583950L.jpghts welcomes Deepak Unnikrishnan in conversation with Shanthi Sekaran in celebrating his new award winning novel, Temporary People from Restless Books.

In the United Arab Emirates, foreign nationals constitute over 80% of the population. Brought in to construct the towering monuments to wealth that bristle the skylines of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, this labor force works without the rights of citizenship, endures miserable living conditions, and is eventually required to leave the country. Until now, the humanitarian crisis of the so-called “guest workers” of the Gulf has barely been addressed in fiction. With his stunning, mind-altering book Temporary People, debut author Deepak Unnikrishnan delves into their histories, myths, struggles, and triumphs, and illuminates the ways in which temporary status affects psyches, families, memories, stories, and languages.

Combining the irrepressible linguistic invention of Salman Rushdie and the darkly funny satirical vision of George Saunders, Deepak Unnikrishnan presents twenty-eight linked stories that careen from construction workers who shapeshift into luggage and escape a labor camp, to a woman who stitches back together the bodies of those who’ve fallen from buildings in progress, to a man who grows ideal workers designhttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/deepak.jpeged to live twelve years and then perish—until they don’t, and found a rebel community in the desert. In this polyphony of voices, Unnikrishnan brilliantly maps a new, unruly global English, and in giving substance and identity to the anonymous workers of the Gulf, he highlights the disturbing ways in which “progress” on a global scale is bound up with dehumanization.

Deepak Unnikrishnan is a writer and taleteller from Abu Dhabi (and now, Chicago). He has lived on the East Coast and in the Midwest, reciting and mining his myths in Teaneck, New Jersey, Brooklyn, New York, and Chicago’s North and South sides. He has studied and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and presently teaches at New York University Abu Dhabi. Temporary People, his first book, was the inaugural winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.

Shanthi Sekaran teaches creative writing at California College of the Arts, and is a member of the Portuguese Artists Colony and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Her work has appeared in Best New American Voices and Canteen, and online at Zyzzyva and Mutha Magazine. Her first novel, The Prayer Room, was published by MacAdam Cage. She recently released a new novel: Lucky Boy from G.P. Putnam & Sons.

Logic Magazine First Issue Release Party

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/logic.jpgCity Lights welcomes Logic‘s founding editors, Ben Tarnoff, Moira Weigel, Jim Fingal, Christa Hartsock and Logic contributors Tim Hwang, Miriam Posner, and Conrad Amenta, in telling the story of technology. City Lights celebrates their very first issue!

Logic is a new magazine devoted to technology and society. Please join us for a celebration of their debut issue, “Intelligence,” which explores how technology works—and whom it works for. Hear thier editors read from our founding manifesto, and listen to contributors tackle topics as varied as: coding’s gender crisis, the failure of collective intelligence in the Age of Trump, and the industrialization of medicine through software.

Learn more about the magazine, and read their manifesto, at logicmag.io.

Ben Tarnoff writes about technology and politics for The Guardian and Jacobin. His most recent book is The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature.

Moira Weigel writes about gender and technology for The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Republic. She is the author of Labor Love: The Invention of Dating.

Jim Fingal is a software developer and the Head of Product Engineering at Amino. He is the co-author, with John D’Agata, of The Lifespan of a Fact.

Christa Hartsock is a software developer and a 2017 Code for America Fellow.

Tim Hwang is a Fellow at Data & Society and has worked with the Berkman Center, Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Institute for the Future.

Miriam Posner teaches in the Digital Humanities program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Conrad Amenta writes about video games and culture for Kill Screen and works as a healthcare researcher in San Francisco.

Yiyun Li

City Lights welcomes Yiyun Li in celebrating the release of her new book, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life published by Random House.

In her first nonfiction book, award-winning novelist Yiyun Li explores a question we ask ourselves: How does one make life livable?

Startlingly original and shining with quiet wisdom, this is a luminous account of a life lived with books. Written over two years while the author battled suicidal depression, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life is a painful and yet richly affirming examination of what makes life worth living.

Yiyun Li grew up in China and has spent her adult life as an immigrant in a country not her own. She has been a scientist, an author, a mother, a daughter—and through it all she has been sustained by a profound connection with the writers and books she loves. From William Trevor and Katherine Mansfield to Søren Kierkegaard and Philip Larkin, Dear Friend is a journey through the deepest themes that bind these writers together.

Interweaving personal experiences with a wide-ranging homage to her most cherished literary influences, Yiyun Li confronts the two most essential questions of her identity: Why write? And why live? Dear Friend is a beautiful, interior exploration of selfhood and a journey of recovery through literature: a long letter from a writer to like-minded readers.

Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing and came to the United States in 1996. She has received fellowships and awards from Lannan Foundation and Whiting Foundation. Her debut collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Guardian First Book Award, and California Book Award for first fiction. Her novel, The Vagrants, won the gold medal of California Book Award for fiction, and was shortlisted for Dublin IMPAC Award. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, her second collection, was a finalist of Story Prize and shortlisted for Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. She was selected by Granta as one of the 21 Best Young American Novelists under 35, and was named by The New Yorker as one of the top 20 writers under 40. MacArthur Foundation named her a 2010 fellow. She is a contributing editor to the Brooklyn-based literary magazine, A Public Space.

She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and their two sons, and teaches at University of California, Davis.

L.A. Kauffman

City Lights welcomes L.A. Kauffman to discuss her new book Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism from Verso Press.

Direct Action is a vibrant, groundbreaking history of American radicalism since the Sixties.

What happened http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/DirectActionCover.jpegto the American left after the Sixties? This engrossing account traces the evolution of disruptive protest over the last 40 years to tell a larger story about the reshaping of American radicalism, showing how the direct-action blockades, occupations, and campaigns of recent activist movements have functioned as laboratories for political experimentation and renewal.

Propelled by more than 100 candid interviews conducted over a span of decades, this elegant and lively history showcases the voices of key players in an array of movements – environmentalist, anti-nuclear, anti-apartheid, feminist, LGBTQ, anti-globalization, racial-justice, anti-war, and more – across an era when American politics shifted to the right, and issue- and identity-based organizing eclipsed the traditional ideologies of the left. 

As Kauffman, a longtime movement insider, examines how groups from ACT UP to Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter have used direct action to catalyze change against long odds, she details the profound influence of feminism and queerness on radical political practice and how enduring divisions of race have shaped the landscape of activism. Written with nuance and humor, and revealing deep connections between movements usually viewed in isolation, Direct Action is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how protest movements erupt — and how they can succeed.

L.A. Kauffman has spent more than 30 years immersed in radical movements, as an organizer, strategist, journalist, and observer. Her writings on grassroots activism and social movement history have been published in The Nation, Mother Jones, n+1, The Baffler, and many other outlets. Kauffman was the mobilizing coordinator for the massive anti-war marches of 2003-2004; she has been called a “virtuoso organizer” by journalist Scott Sherman for her role in saving community gardens and public libraries in New York City from developers. Visit L.A. Kauffman’s twitter-feed.

Rachel Aspden

City Lights welcomes Rachel Aspden! She discusses her new book, Generation Revolution:  On the Front Line
Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East,
from Other Press.

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100257410/Images/87286100257410L.jpgIn 2011 during the Arab Spring, the government of Egypt transformed from a dictatorship to a democratic presidency. The chaos that resulted during this time erupted from a decade of social and political unrest among the Egyptian people. GENERATION REVOLUTION is the story of the millennial generation in Egypt during the Arab Spring, from the perspective of several different young men and women whose different views explore the way Egypt has been shaped before, during, and after the 2011 end of Hosni Mubarak’s presidency.

Aspden spent years in Egypt during the beginning of unrest in 2003 and moved back again during the years following post-revolution in 2011. Aspden offers a window into the world of the Middle East during the Arab Spring, before, during, and after Egypt’s chaotic overthrow of their President Mubarak and his successor, the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi. Through Aspden’s curious and unbiased gaze, readers hear the Egyptian voices of Amr, an atheist university-educated software engineer, Amal, a fiercely independent young woman who lives on her own in Cairo which is practically unheard of, Ayman, a devout Muslim teenager who chooses to follow ultraconservative Salafi Islam to the surprise of his middle-class parents, and Mazen, a fan of TV preacher Amr Khaled who finds himself on the front lines during the revolution. With these perspectives along with others’, readers learn that from atheists to ultra-religious, from conservative young men to liberal young women, the growing generation of Egypt is vastly different, struggling to find a place for various voices during chaotic government upheaval. Aspden writes from the front lines of this new generation, sharing their stories and harbouring their own doubts, resentments, and hope for what is to come.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/RachelAspden.jpegRachel Aspden became literary editor of the New Statesman in 2006, at the age of 26. She now works at the Guardian, and also writes on a freelance basis for the New Statesman, Observer, Prospect and Think magazine (Qatar). She lived in Cairo in 2003-4 and worked as an editor and reporter on the English-language Cairo Times. Since then, from her UK base, she has travelled to and reported from across the region and the wider Muslim world: Yemen, the UAE, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Pakistan and north India. In 2010, she was awarded a year-long travelling fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to research activists working to fight extremism within Islam. Following the Arab spring uprisings in 2011, she moved back to Egypt to research this book. She is currently based in London and reports for the Guardian.

Joyce Carol Oates 3

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100609580/Images/87286100609580L.jpgCity Lights welcomes back Joyce Carol Oates, who reads from her new novel A Book of American Martyrs from Ecco Press.

A BOOK OF AMERICAN MARTYRS intimately links the stories of two very different families. Luther Dunphy is an ardent Evangelical who envisions himself as acting out God’s will when he assassinates an abortion provider in his small Ohio town. Augustus Voorhees, the idealistic doctor who is killed, leaves behind a wife and children scarred and embittered by grief. As the story moves forward, the daughters of these men—one a boxer, the other a journalist—continue to be inextricably tied by the dramatic connection they share. As she alone can, Oates renders whole these two very different families—with very different values and views. Epic and intimate, the narrative explores their warring convictions with dazzling equanimity. A story as immediate as today’s headlines, it also offers a larger perspective on the ways that issues tear us apart as individuals and as a nation.

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Critics Circlhttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/JCO.jpege Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde (a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize), and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls (winner of the 2005 Prix Femina Etranger) and The Gravedigger’s Daughter. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she received the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature, and in 2006 she received the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award.

Shakespeare and Company Celebration

Editor Krista Halverson and guest speakers celebrate the release of Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart, published by Shakespeare and Company Paris and edited with introduction by Krista Halverson. Foreword by Jeanette Winterson. Epilogue by Sylvia Whitman.

A copiously illustrated account of City Lights’ sister store, the famed Paris bookstore on its 65th anniversary.

This first-ever history of the legendary bohemian bookstore in Paris interweaves essays and poetry from dozens of writers associated with the shop–Allen Ginsberg, Anaïs Nin, Ethan Hawke, Robert Stone and Jeanette Winterson, among others–with hundreds of never-before-seen archival pieces, including photographs of James Baldwin, William Burroughs and Langston Hughes, plus a foreword by the celebrated British novelist Jeanette Winterson and an epilogue by Sylvia Whitman, the daughter of the store’s founder, George Whitman. The book has been edited by Krista Halverson, director of the newly founded Shakespeare and Company publishing house.

George Whitman opened his bookstore in a tumbledown 16th-century building just across the Seine from Notre-Dame in 1951, a decade after the original Shakespeare and Company had closed. Run by Sylvia Beach, it had been the meeting place for the Lost Generation and the first publisher of James Joyce’s Ulysses. (This book includes an illustrated adaptation of Beach’s memoir.) Since Whitman picked up the mantle, Shakespeare and Company has served as a home-away-from-home for many celebrated writers, from Jorge Luis Borges to Ray Bradbury, A.M. Homes t

o Dave Eggers, as well as for young authors and poets. Visitors are invited not only to read the books in the library and to share a pot of tea, but sometimes also to live in the bookstore itself–all for free.

More than 30,000 people have stayed at Shakespeare and Company, fulfilling Whitman’s vision of a “socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore.” Through the prism of the shop’s history, the book traces the lives of literary expats in Paris from 1951 to the present, touching on the Beat Generation, civil rights, May ’68 and the feminist movement–all while pondering that perennial literary question, “What is it about writers and Paris?”

Krista Halverson is the director of Shakespeare and Company bookstore’s publishing venture. Previously, she was the managing editor of Zoetrope: All-Story, the art and literary quarterly published by Francis Ford Coppola, which has won several National Magazine Awards for Fiction and numerous design prizes. She was responsible for the magazine’s art direction, working with guest designers including Lou Reed, Kara Walker, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Zaha Hadid, Wim Wenders and Tom Waits, among others.

Jeanette Winterson‘s first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published in 1985. In 1992 she was one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. She has won numerous awards and is published around the world. Her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, was an international bestseller. Her latest novel, The Gap of Time, is a “cover version” of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

Sylvia Whitman is the owner of Shakespeare and Company bookstore, which her father opened in 1951. She took on management of the shop in 2004, when she was 23, and now co-manages the bookstore with her partner, David Delannet. Together they have opened an adjoining cafe, as well as launched a literary festival, a contest for unpublished novellas and a publishing arm.

Sarah Jaffe

Sarah Jaffe in conversation with Suzie Cagle at City Lights Bookstore celebrating the release of Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt from Nation Books.

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100046260/Images/87286100046260L.jpgNecessary Trouble is the definitive book on the movements that are poised to permanently remake American politics. We are witnessing a moment of unprecedented political turmoil and social activism. Over the last few years we’ve seen the growth of the Tea Party, a twenty-first-century black freedom struggle with BlackLivesMatter, Occupy Wall Street, and the grassroots networks supporting presidential candidates in defiance of the traditional party elites.

In Necessary Trouble, journalist Sarah Jaffe leads readers into the heart of these movements, explaining what has made ordinary Americans become activists. As Jaffe argues, the financial crisis in 2008 was the spark, the moment that crystallized that something was wrong. For years, Jaffe crisscrossed the country, asking people what they were angry about, and what they were doing to take power back. She attended a people’s assembly in a church gymnasium in Ferguson, Missouri; walked a picket line at an Atlanta Burger King; rode a bus from New York to Ohio with student organizers; and went door-to-door in Queens days after Hurricane Sandy.

From the successful fight for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle and New York to the halting of Shell’s Arctic Drilling Program, Americans are discovering the effectiveness of making good, necessary trouble. Regardless of political alignment, they are boldly challenging who wields power in this country.http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/jaffe,%20sarah%20(cr%20julieta%20salgado)(1).jpg

Sarah Jaffe is a Nation Institute fellow and an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Salon, the Week, the American Prospect, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and many other publications. She is the co-host, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast, as well as an editorial board member at Dissent and a columnist at New Labor Forum. Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt is her first book. Jaffe was formerly a staff writer at In These Times and the labor editor at AlterNet. She was a contributing editor on The 99%: How the Occupy Wall Street Movement is Changing America, from AlterNet books, as well as a contributor to the anthologies At the Tea Party and Tales of Two Cities, both from OR Books. She was also the web director at GRITtv with Laura Flanders. She was one of the first reporters to cover Occupy Wall Street and the Fight for $15, has appeared on numerous radio and television programs to discuss topics ranging from electoral politics to Superstorm Sandy, from punk rock to public-sector unions.

Suzie Cagle is  an independent journalist and illustrator, and a frequent contributor to ProPublica, the New York Times, the Guardian, and many others. She was previously a 2016 John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford, and a technology columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. She is currently working on an illustrated book about boom and bust economics in California.

Susie’s work has been featured on NPR, in Wiredthe Los Angeles TimesChicago Tribune, and the Washington Post, and has been honored with awards from the Online Journalism Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susie has a masters in journalism from Columbia, which still doesn’t offer a cartooning class.

Jim Nisbet 2

City Lights welcomes Jim Nisbet to celebrate the paperback release of The Syracuse Codex, published by the Overlook Press.

Over the course of http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100478520/Images/87286100478520L.jpgthe last decade, The Overlook Press has brought into print, in quality paperback editions, the majority of the literary oeuvre of San Francisco literary great Jim Nisbet. The Syracuse Codex is the latest in the series of books that are essential reading for all lovers of fiction, especially of the “noir” variety.

In The Syracuse Codex, Nisbet returns in a wild tale of skullduggery, mayhem, and history peopled with a rogue’s gallery of the eccentric and unscrupulous.

San Francisco frame maker Danny Kestrel regularly rubs elbows with the rich and immohttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/NISBET.jpgral at art openings and commissions. But he’s never dreamt of entering their lurid world until Renée Knowles―interior decorator, billionaire’s wife, nymphomaniac―asks for a ride.

When Knowles is murdered soon after their one-night stand, Danny finds himself a prime suspect. Renée’s death has stirred up a hornet’s nest of fabulously crooked and wealthy collectors of black market historical artifacts, all seeking the crown jewel: the eponymous Syracuse Codex, a secret account of Empress Theodora’s illegitimate son. Worse, everyone seems to think Danny has it.

Jim Nisbet is the author of twelve novels and five books of poetry. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, shortlisted for the Hammett Prize, and published in ten languages. Visit his website at: http://noirconeville.com

John Freeman 2

City Lights welcomes John Freeman in celebrating the release of Freeman’s: Family: The Best New Writing on Family, published by Grove Press. Joining him is essayist and journalist Garnette Cadogan.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/John-Freeman.jpgThe second issue of a new anthology from renowned literary critic John Freeman, featuring never-before-published stories, essays, and poetry by Claire Messud, Aminatta Forna, Marlon James, Alexander Chee, Aleksandar Hemon, Tracy K. Smith, and more.http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100333600/Images/87286100333600L.jpg

Freeman’s: Family is what the series reviewers are calling “bold” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) and “refreshing” (Chicago Literati). Following a debut issue on the theme of “Arrival,” Freeman circles a new topic whose definition is constantly challenged by the best of our writers: family.

In an essay called “Crossroads,” Aminatta Forna muses on the legacy of slavery as she settles her family in Washington, DC, where she is constantly accused of cutting in line whenever she stands next to her white husband. Families are hardly stable entities, so many writers discover. Award-winning novelist Claire Vaye Watkins delivers a stunning portrait of a woman in the throes of postpartum depression. Booker Prize winner Marlon James takes the focus off absent fathers to write about his mother, who calls to sing him happy birthday every year. Even in the darkest moments, humor abounds. In Claire Messud’s home there are two four-legged tyrants; Sandra Cisneros writes about her extended family of past lovers; and Aleksandar Hemon tells the story of his uncle’s desperate attempt to remain a communist despite decades in the Soviet gulag.

With outstanding, never-before-published pieces of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from literary heavyweights and up-and-coming writers alike, Freeman’s: Family collects the most amusing, heartbreaking, and probing stories about family life emerging today.

devorah major

City Lights welcomes devorah major, who celebrates the release of her new book of poetry and then we became published by City Lights Books. http://www.citylights.com/resources/persons/4886.jpghttp://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100716460/Images/87286100716460L.jpg

devorah major is California born, San Francisco raised, granddaughter of immigrants, documented and undocumented, devorah major served as San Francisco’s Third Poet Laureate (2002-2006). She has published two novels, four poetry books and four poetry chapbooks, along with two young adult titles, and a host of short stories, essays, and individual poems published in anthologies and periodicals. Among her awards is a First Novelist award from the Black Caucus of the ALA and a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award. Along with composer Guillermo Galindo, major was given a commission by the Oakland East Bay Symphony to create Trade Routes, a symphony with spoken word and chorus that premiered in 2005. In June 2015 she premiered her poetry play Classic Black: Voices of 19th-Century African-Americans in San Francisco at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. She is currently the poet-in-residence at the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums and a Senior Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts. More info and writing can be found at www.devorahmajor.com.

David Sax

City Lights welcomes David Sax, who discusses his new book with David Pescovitz, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter, published by Public Affairs Books.

By now, we all know the mythology of the digital revolution: it improved efficiency, eliminated waste, and fostered a boom in innovation. But as business reporter David Sax shows in this clear-sighted, entertaining book, not all innovations are written in source code. In fact, businesses that once looked outdated are now springing with new life. Behold the Revenge of Analog.

Sax has found story after story of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and even big corporations who’ve found a market selling not apps but real, tangible things. As e-books are supposedly remaking reading, independent bookstores have sprouted up across the country. As music supposedly migrates to the cloud, vinyl record sales have grown more than ten times over the past decade, generating more than half a billion dollars in 2015 alone. Even the offices of Silicon Valley icons like Google and Facebook increasingly rely on analog technologies like pen and paper for their business.

Sax’s work reveals not just an underreported trend in business, but a more fundamental truth about how humans shop, interact, and even think. Blending psychology and observant wit with old-fashioned reportage, Sax shows that humans need to work, sell, and live in the real world—not on a screen.

David Sax is a journalist specializing in business and culture. His writing appears regularly in Bloomberg Businessweek and The New Yorker’s Currency blog. He is the author of two books, including The Tastemakers:A Celebrity Rice Farmer, a Food Truck Lobbyist, and Other Innovators Putting Food Trends on Your Plate, and Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen, which won a James Beard Award for Writing and Literature. He lives in Toronto.

Molotov Editions Kick-Off Party

City Lights celebrates the launch of Molotov Editions’ first two titles: The White Devil by Domenic Stansberry and The Death of Teddy Ballgame by Robert Mailer Anderson.

This event includes reading, music, theater, movie stars, regular slobs, writers, ducks, barking dogs, circus freaks, beautiful people, materialistic fools, politicians, homeless passerbys, maybe nobody at all, ghosts, old lovers, new lovers, dead parents, parents you wish were dead, friends and lost ones who haunt your imagination and refuse to abandon these empty streets.

About The White Devil:

After a six year hiatus, Edgar award winning novelist Domenic Stansberry has returned to the mystery scene with a chilling new noir: The White Devil, that tells the story of  an aspiring American actress who—together with her brother— is implicated in a series of crimes dating back to their childhood. The novel begins in Rome, among the American ex-patriot community, and from there follows the siblings’ deadly obsession with an aging Italian movie star and her charismatic husband. Stansberry’s protagonist, Vicki Wilson, narrates the story in a voice alternately intimate and distant, a cipher of unwholesome impulse and erotic intrigue.  The result is an elegant tour de force, a psychological noir exploring the murky depths where the differences between the criminal and victim are not entirely clear.

About The Death of Teddy Ballgame:

From Robert Mailer Anderson, the bestseller author of Boonville. The last patrons of Caffe Dante gather for their morning coffee during what may be the final days of civilization. Apocalyptic events disrupt the routine of their lives and they are forced to take responsibility for a darkly comic reckoning which questions their faith in God, love, culture, family, humanity and each other. It’s Beckett meets Mamet meets O’Neil over a double jolt of expresso!

About Molotov Editions:

Molotov Editions are a San Francisco press from the underworld, the howl of individual expression apart from the mainstream, no matter its genre, using whatever means necessary, affordable, convenient or possible. Books are considered to be incendiary devices, messages in flaming bottles that ignite the soul, communicated in private, and their mercantile value has little to do with the echo in the canyon.

For more info visit: http://www.molotoveditions.com

Keramet Reiter

City Lights and Uncommon Law welcome Keramet Reiter in conversation with Keith Wattley of UnCommon Law to discuss 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement from Yale University Press.
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Originally meant to be brief and exceptional, solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has become long-term and common. Prisoners spend twenty-three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact for years on end, and they are held entirely at administrators’ discretion. Keramet Reiter tells the history of one “supermax,” California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, whose extreme conditions recently sparked a statewide hunger strike by 30,000 prisoners. This book describes how Pelican Bay was created without legislative oversight, in fearful response to 1970s radicals; how easily prisoners slip into solitary; and the mental havoc and social costs of years and decades in isolation. The product of fifteen years of research in and about prisons, this book provides essential background to a subject now drawing national attention.

Keramet Reiter, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society and at the School of Law at the University of California, Irvine, has been an advocate at Human Rights Watch and testified about the impacts of solitary confinement before state and federal legislators. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Keith Wattley is the founder and executive director of UnCommon Law. He has been advocating for the rights of prisoners and parolees for nearly twenty years. Prior to launching UnCommon Law in 2006, Keith was a staff attorney at the Prison Law Office, a nonprofit law firm in Berkeley. He has represented thousands of prisoners in impact litigation and individual matters involving mental health care, gang validation, religious freedom, prison infirmaries, medical care, excessive force, visitation, parole consideration and parole revocation. He has also trained hundreds of lawyers, law students and others in prisoner and parole advocacy. Keith is also co-chair of the Institutional Review Board (human subjects committee) for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. He was also a member of the Founding Board of Directors for the Prison University Project (San Quentin’s College Program) and a member of the Board of Directors for Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

UnCommon Law is a California non-profit law office whose mission is to help long-term prisoners understand and resolve the factors that contributed to their crimes so that they can safely be released. We work with prisoners for months or years in advance of their parole board hearings, and we represent them in those hearings and in court petitions challenging the parole board and the Governor.

Okey Ndibe

City Lights presents Okey Ndibe, celebrating the release of Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American from Soho Press.

Okey Ndibe’s funny, charming, and penetrating memoir tells of his move from Nigeria to America, where he came to edit the influential—but forever teetering on the verge of insolvency—African Commentary magazine. It recounts stories of Ndibe’s relationships with Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, and other literary figures; examines the differences between Nigerian and American etiquette and politics; recalls an incident of racial profiling just 13 days after he arrived in the US, in which he was mistaken for a bank robber; considers American stereotypes about Africa (and vice-versa); and juxtaposes African folk tales with Wall Street trickery. All these stories and more come together in a generous, encompassing book about the making of a writer and a new American.

Okey Ndibe first arrived in the US to take up appointment as the founding editor of African Commentary, a magazine published by the Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe. He has been a visiting professor at Brown University, Connecticut College, Simon’s Rock College, Trinity College, and the University of Lagos (as a Fulbright scholar). The author of Foreign Gods, Inc., Ndibe served on the editorial board of Hartford Courant where his essays won national and state awards. He earned MFA and PhD degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He lives in West Hartford, CT, with his wife, Sheri, and their three children.

Rabih Alameddine

The Angel of HistoryCity Lights welcomes Rabih Alameddine in celebrating the release of The Angel of History from Atlantic Monthly Press.

The incendiary new novel by National Book Award finalist Rabih Alameddine, about an Arab American poet, whose adult life in San Francisco spans the AIDS decades, and his hilarious and heartbreaking struggle to remember and forget the events of an astonishing life. Following the criti

cal and commercial success of An Unnecessary Woman, Alameddine delivers a spectacular portrait of a man and an era of political and social upheaval.

Set over the course of one night in the waiting room of a psych clinic, The Angel of http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/RabihA.jpgHistory follows Yemeni-born poet Jacob as he revisits the events of his life, from his maternal upbringing in an Egyptian whorehouse to his adolescence under the aegis of his wealthy father and his life as a gay Arab man in San Francisco at the height of AIDS. Hovered over by the presence of alluring, sassy Satan, who taunts Jacob to remember his painful past, and dour, frigid Death, who urges him to forget anxd give up on life, Jacob is also attended to by fourteen saints. With Jacob recalling his life in Cairo, Beirut, Sana’a, Stockholm, and San Francisco, Alameddine gives us a charged philosophical portrayal of a brilliant mind in crisis. This is a profound and winning story of the war between memory and oblivion with which we wrestle every day of our life.

Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels An Unnecessary Woman; I, the Divine; Koolaids; The Hakawati; and the story collection, The Perv.

Douglas Kearney

City Lights celebrates the release of Douglas Kearney’s collection of works, Buck Studies, from Fence Books. Douglas reads from the book in the Poetry Room.

Poet, performer, librettist, and educator, Douglas Kearney returns to City Lights presenting a performance of his poetry. Kearney’s works speak to those who are listening to what our living, material language has to say about race and history. At the hub of Buck Studies is a long mash-up of the stories of Herakles, the Greek bad-man, and that of Stagger Lee, the black bad-man. “Stagger Put Work In” examines the Twelve Labors Herakles performed to atone for murdering his family through Stagger Lee’s murder of black man Billy Lyons. What is enacted by this appropriation is an exhaustion of forms—gangsta rap and its antecedent, the murder ballad.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/DougKearney.jpgDouglas Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” His third poetry collection, Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014) examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood and was a finalist for the California Book Award in Poetry. Cultural critic Greg Tate remarked that Kearney’s second book, National Poetry Series selection, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), “flows from a consideration of urban speech, negro spontaneity and book learning.” Someone Took They Tongues. (Subito Press 2016) collects several of his libretti, including one written in a counterfeit Afro-diasporic language. He was the guest editor for 2015’s Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan). He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry, nocturnes, Pleiades, Iowa Review, Boston Review, and Indiana Review; and anthologies, including Best American Poetry, Best American Experimental Writing, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, The Breakbeat Poets, and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Poets in America. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts. Visit: http://douglaskearney.com/

Hot Books Inaugural Party

City Lights celebrates an exciting new publishing venture!

Hosted by David Talbot with Rebecca Gordon, Nicholas Schou, and Alexander Zaitchik.http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/HotBooks.jpg

Our body politic has grown sluggish and dull-witted, stuffed with a steady diet of junk media and corporate propaganda. It’s time to light a fire under this slumbering giant, American democracy. It’s time to think dangerous thoughts. Enter Hot Books. The Hot Books series will seek to live up to its name – offering tightly-written books (no longer than 40,000 words) that passionately address the most burning issues of our day. Some Hot Books will take the form of argument and storytelling. Others will be works of investigative journalism, trying to fill the void left by too many newspapers and magazines in the digital age, when in-depth reporting and editorial budgets have been severely cut back. Whether they are searing collections of essays or works of crusading journalism, Hot Books will draw inspiration from that great prophetic tradition of speaking truth to power and enlightening the public. Hot Books authors will dare to speak the unspeakable.

Three new books are celebrated:

American Nuremberg: The US Officials Who Should Be Prosecuted for Post 9/11 War Crimes – by Rebecca Gordon

Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood – by Nicholas Schou

The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride Through Donald Trump’s America – by Alexander Zaitchik

David Talbot dreamed up Hot Books in partnership with Tony Lyons, publisher of the independent book company Skyhorse. Talbot is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, the national bestseller, Season of the Witch, and, most recently, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government. Talbot was a senior editor at Mother Jones magazine, and his writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Time, The Guardian and other publications. He lives in San Francisco.

Rikki Ducornet

City Lights welcomes Rikki Ducornet, reading from her new novel Brightfellow published by Coffee House Press.

A feral boy comes of age on a campus decadent with starched sheets, sweating cocktails, ahttp://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100362450/Images/87286100362450L.jpgnd homemade jams. Stub is the cause of that missing sweater, the pie that disappeared off the cooling rack. Then Stub meets Billy, who takes him in, and Asthma, who enchants him, and all is found, then lost. A fragrant, voluptuous novel of imposture, misplaced affection, and emotional deformity.http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/rikki.jpeg

An artist and writer, Rikki Ducornet has illustrated books by Robert Coover, Jorge Luis Borges, Forrest Gander, and Joanna Howard. Her paintings have been exhibited widely, including, most recently, at the Pierre Menard Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Salvador Allende Museum in Santiago, Chile.

Donna J. Haraway

City Lights Bookstore welcomes Donna J. Haraway in discussing the subject of her new book, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene from Duke University Press.

In the midst ofhttp://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100312000/Images/87286100312000L.jpg spiraling ecological devastation, multispecies feminist theorist Donna J. Haraway offers provocative new ways to reconfigure our relations to the earth and all its inhabitants. She eschews referring to our current epoch as the Anthropocene, preferring to conceptualize it as what she calls the Chthulucene, as it more aptly and fully describes our epoch as one in which the human and nonhuman are inextricably linked in tentacular practices. The Chthulucene, Haraway explains, requires sym-poiesis, or making-with, rather than auto-poiesis, or self-making. Learning to stay with the trouble of living and dying together on a damaged earth will prove more conducive to the kind of thinking that would provide the means to building more livable futures. Theoretically and methodologically driven by the signifier SF—string figures, science fact, science fiction, speculative feminism, speculative fabulation, so far—Staying with the Trouble further cements Haraway’s reputation as one of the most daring and original thinkers of our time.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Donna-and-Cayenne-crop.jpgDonna J. Haraway is Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the author of several books, most recently, Manifestly Haraway. Professor Haraway is a prominent scholar in the field of science and technology studies. She has recieved numerous awards including from the Society for Social Studies of Science and a J.D. Bernal Award. Dr. Haraway’s works have contributed to the study of human-machine and human-animal relations. Her work has sparked debates in primatology, philosophy, and developmental biology.

Carey Perloff and Joshua Mohr

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100775260/Images/87286100775260L.jpgCo-presented by Litquake, and with a introduction from City Light’s publisher and executive director Elaine Katzenberger, City Lights welcomes Carey Perloff, the Artistic Director of A.C.T. to discuss Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater (published by the City Lights Foundation). Beautiful Chaos was chosen by the San Francisco Public Library as their One City One Book selection for Fall 2016! Carey is interviewed by novelist Joshua Mohr, whose most recent book is All This Life.
Perloff pens a lively and revealing memoir of her twenty-plus years at the helm, and delivers a provocative and impassioned manifesto for the role of live theater in today’shttp://www.citylights.com/resources/persons/17050.gif technology-infused world.

Perloff’s personal and professional journey—her life as a woman in a male-dominated profession, as a wife and mother, a playwright, director, producer, arts advocate, and citizen in a city erupting with enormous change—is a compelling, entertaining story for anyone interested in how theater gets made. She offers a behind-the-scenes perspective, including her intimate working experiences with well-known actors, directors, and writers including Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Robert Wilson, David Strathairn, and Olympia Dukakis.

Whether reminiscing about her turbulent first years as a young woman taking over an insolvent theater in crisis and transforming it into a thriving, world-class performance space, or ruminating on the potential for its future, Perloff takes on critical questions about arts education, cultural literacy, gender disparity, leadership and power.

Tripwire: A Journal of Poetics

City Lights welcomes a live reading with writers from Tripwire, a journal of poetics with special guest CAConrad, joined by Kevin Killian, Juliana Spahr, Marianne Morris, & Lara Durback, along with painter Yuh-Shioh Wong, hosted by David Buuck.

Tripwire, a journal of poetics, is devoted to a counter-institutional exploration of radical and experimental modes of contemporary poetics, art, and cultural politics. The journal was founded in 1998 by Yedda Morrison and current editor Dahttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/CAConrad.jpegvid Buuck. Six issues were published between 1998-2002, with a special supplement published in September 2004 for the RNC protests in New York.

CAConrad is the author of seven books including ECODEVIANCE: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness (Wave, 2014), A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon (Wave, 2012), The Book of Frank (Chax Press, 2009/Wave, 2010). A 2014 Lannan Fellow, a 2013 MacDowell Fellow,  a 2011 Pew Fellow, and a Headlands Art Fellow, he also conducts workshops on (Soma)tic poetry and Ecopoetics. Visit him online at: http://caconradbooks.blogspot.com/.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Buuk.jpegDavid Buuck lives in Oakland, CA. He is the founder of BARGE, the Bay Area Research Group in Enviro-aesthetics, and co-founder and editor of Tripwire, a journal of poetics. He has collaborated and performed with dancer/choreographer Abby Crain since 2010. An Army of Lovers, co-written with Juliana Spahr, was published in 2013 City Lights, and SITE CITE CITY was published by Futurepoem in fall 2014. Visit his PennSound page for audio, and go to the Buuck/BARGE blog for recent work and upcoming events.