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Arts & Culture

Written on the Dock of the Bay: June 21, 2013


Written on the Dock of the Bay is your weekly guide to literary and bookish happenings in the pleasantly literary and bookish Bay Area.


Marcus Books on brink of closure // Marcus Books, based in Oakland and originally founded in San Francisco's Fillmore District in 1959, prides itself on being the first bookstore in the country to sell books by and for African-Americans. And now, after falling victim to a Ponzi scheme and grappling with the African American migration out of San Francisco as well as Amazon's migration into the book selling business, it's on the brink of closure. Westside Community Service has teamed up with Marcus Books to save the business, but the store's official eviction date was set for Tuesday, June 28th. It remains to be seen what will become of this hub for African American literary culture.


Friday, June 21

Conversations with Ed Hardy // Unless you're in the know when it comes to the tattoo world, you probably can't name more than one tattoo artist. And that tattoo artist is most likely Ed Hardy. He might just seem like a brand, but he's also a person. He sets out to prove this in his new memoir, Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos. In this sincere memoir, he admits, "I just wanted to get paid and be left alone." Well, that didn't work out so well. Ed Hardy will be hanging out with Green Apple Books at Sweeties Art Bar to discuss his beginnings in 1960's California to changing what it means to be a tattoo artist forever. // DETAILS: Friday, June 21, 7pm. Sweeties Art Bar. 475 Francisco Street, San Francisco

Saturday, June 22

Featherboard Writing Series // This Saturday, the Featherboard Writing Series will come to Enough Already, an exhibition with a premise that is pretty great, because it consciously makes itself sound unbearable. It's an exhibition of work that is too cute, too normal, too violent, too sexual, and too boring. You know, work that would make you scream, "Enough already!" Guess you can't showcase the soul crushing banality of life without crushing a few souls in the process. // DETAILS: Saturday, June 22, 5 - 7pm. Aggregate Space. 801 West Grand Avenue, Oakland

Sunday, June 23

City Lights Books 60th Anniversary // For a 60-year-old bookstore, North Beach's City Lights has aged well. Judging from its unwrinkled pages, long lines, and bustling Poetry Room, you'd think Allen Ginsberg, or an Allen Ginsberg impersonator, was still reciting Howl at the top of the stairs for the camera-snapping tourists. Let's toast to the bookstore's health this Sunday - and for the rest of summer, in fact - with an open house event this Sunday that'll feature live music, archival footage, and some Beatnik flashbacks. Get started with this audio postcard. // DETAILS: Sunday, June 23, 2 - 5pm. City Light. 261 Columbus, San Francisco

Amy Lynn Reed reading // In Oakland-based author Amy Lynn Reed's Over You, Max follows Sadie everywhere. Everywhere includes Nebraska. In Nebraska, there are occasionally dark and dreamy people. Occasionally these dark and dreamy people make us question everything, at least in this book, and at least for Max, who might just have to get a life without Sadie. Perhaps bring that possibility to Reed when she comes to Diesel. // DETAILS: Sunday, June 23, 3pm. Diesel Bookstore. 5433 College Ave  Oakland

Tuesday, June 25

Epicenter series // If you're like me, then you enjoy the experiment of putting two different friends together and seeing what happens - whether or not combining two unique personalities will cause an explosion or maybe a new baby. That's kind of what Litquake's monthly Epicenter series is about -- the series throws two authors together and we watch. This week, Litquake is throwing together Karen Joy Fowler, author of the emotionally powerful The Jane Austen Book Club, and Dorothy Allison, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, a book about a girl birthed with a twin chimpanzee. Come watch to see if emotions and science fiction get along. // DETAILS: Tuesday, June 25, 7pm. Hotel Rex. 562 Sutter, San Francisco