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There is no question that San Francisco is currently enjoying a kind of literary renaissance. You need look no further than the flowering of nightly readings all over the Bay Area featuring every kind and quality of writing. At the epicenter of this remarkable literary resurgence is the one-of-a-kind Litquake festival. For eight sparkling days every October, the city is ignited by literary voices from the whole the Bay Area and all over the country. In its 11th year, Litquake 2012 boasts 840 authors and 77 official events during the festival. On Saturday, Oct. 13, the festival closes with an atomic force of literary power that is the infamous Lit Crawl. Over the course of eight days, the festival promises an awe-inspiring breadth of literary programming, the least of which is the three-hour-long literary pub crawl that dispels, once and for all, the myth that literary events need follow the garden-variety academic snoozefest of years past. Litquake emboldens and exposes to its local participants, and to the rest of the country, that the living, breathing epicenter of literary activity that is the San Francisco Bay Area is more than just a relic from previous eras. The festival also extends beyond just poets and fiction writers to include a wide range of literature. From science writing to memoirs to graphic novels, this year’s Litquake, more than ever, is overflowing with words that appeal to people of all bends and angles. It’s impossible to be everywhere at once, but here are some of the highlights of this year’s festival:

Oct. 6th- Kick off an incredible week of literature by seeing some of the best up and coming Bay Area authors at the Barely Published Authors showcase. Witness some of the most promising new faces of the literary community. Hosted by Ransom Stephens at the Make Out Room.

Oct. 7th- As part of Litquake in the Bookstore, comedian, actor, and director Michael Ian Black will be reading from his two recently published books: You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations and America,You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom, co-written with Meghan McCain. The Booksmith.

Oct. 8th- Litquake will be hosting a very special evening with one of the most important literary and cultural experiments in the Bay Area. Quiet Lightning is a submission-based monthly reading series hosted at numerous venues in the city. Every year they host three successive events at the breathtaking Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. This promises to be one of the most memorable events of the festival.

Oct. 9th- Cultural dynamos Daniel Clowes and Dave Eggers in conversation on a wide variety of issues from creativity to their hometown. Two Guys From Chicago: An Evening with Daniel Clowes and Dave Eggers will be hosted by Z Space in the Mission. Oct. 10th- SF Writers Grotto will be hosting an interdisciplinary discussion on the science of aging led by author David Ewing Duncan. When I’m 164: The New Science of Anti-Aging and What Happens if it Succeeds is a day-time event that explores the moral implications of the fascinating (and sometimes disconcerting) developments of this field.

Oct. 11th- Nothing compares to Literary Death Match. In 43 cities across the globe, writers are pitted against one another in a playful and delightfully awkward competition moderated by celebrity judges. A can’t miss event at Beatbox in SOMA.

Oct. 12th- As a palette cleanser before diving into the last night of Litquake festivities, Booksmith will be hosting a night of humor and foolishness: Literary Clown Foolery offers an open bar (yes!) and promises to “push the boundaries of taste”. Count us in.

Oct. 13th - Asterisk SF Magazine is honored and thrilled to be both a media sponsor for and host of a special literary event during the third phase of the last night’s “Crawl” at our headquarters in the Mission. The reading will feature literary heavyweights Evan Karp, Charlie Getter, Nicole de Ayora, and many more! We’ll see you there. 8:30 p.m.

OCTOBER 13, 2012 - 8PM


Evan Karp writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, organizes the nonprofit reading series/press Quiet Lightning, and edits

Charlie Getter lives on a mountaintop fortress built by giants and walks around disguised as an old man, with all the laws of heaven and earth inscribed on his cane…

Anthony Robinson is a founder and a co-editor of the journal Transformation. His book of poetry, The Boundary Layer, was published by Ekstasis in the spring of 2011.

Matt Hemmerich is a San Francisco poet. He owes music, particularly bands like Radiohead and The National, for his interest in the symbiotic relationship between language and melody.

Rachel Frankel is a multidisciplinary artist. Her work has appeared in Loch Raven Review, Eunoia Review, and Gloom Cupboard. You can find her visual art at


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