Written on the Dock of the Bay: Welcome to the Department of Make Believe | KALW

Written on the Dock of the Bay: Welcome to the Department of Make Believe

Nov 30, 2015

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

Bay Area Book World Breaking News


San Francisco writer Adam Johnson just won the National Book Award for his short story collection, Fortune Smiles. But forget awards, we’re big fans anyway. Fortune Smiles includes stories of a computer programmer who deals with stress by interacting with a hologram, a computer repairman addicted to child pornography,  a man whose girlfriend abandoned their infant son in his UPS truck and then ran off, and more.
















Tova Ricardo, Oakland's most recent Youth Poet Laureate, recently performed "Shout the Truth" at DeFremery Park in West Oakland, and SF Gate took notice. Check out her performance here, and if you dig it, maybe listen to her interview with KALW's Hana Baba. And, bonus material: a feature on what it means to be an Oakland Youth Poet Laureate.


MONDAY, 11/30   -  SUNDAY 12/6

Monday,  11/30

Elaine picks out the goods

Say you know someone who likes to read. What do you get them for Christmas? A phone book? A dictionary? A stolen menu from Boston Market for them to skim through? No, no, no. Head to the Book Passage for a Litquake Holiday Event and Elaine Petrocelli, Book Passage owner, will provide some wisdom. She'll tell you all the best books this year, plus anecdotes about the authors. Oh, if only we were all so wise! f

DETAILS:  The Book Passage  //  Ferry Building #42, SF. //  6:30pm

Tuesday,  12/1

Calling all underground indie writers to the library

Underground heroes of the indie writer world will emerge at the San Francisco Main Library this Tuesday as a part of Michelle Tea's always amazing RADAR Reading Series. There will be a Q&A session afterwards. Ask a question and get a free cookie. If only asking to use the bathroom during math class worked like that.

DETAILS:  San Francisco Main Public Library  //  100 Larkin St., SF //  6 pm  

Wednesday, 12/2

Poetry and Spice Monkey cuisine

Pandemonium Press is coming to Oakland's Spice Monkey restaurant this Wednesday, so visitors can enjoy poetry from the small press while eating homemade cuisine. The reading is called “A Day Without Art”, so come just to find out what an art-less day sounds like in open mic form.

DETAILS: Spice Monkey // 1628 Webster Ave., Oakland  // 6:45pm

Thursday 12/3



Charles Dickens is a little over the top

According to Yahoo Answers, the plot of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations goes like this: “Pip longs for a wealthy and uncommon life after visiting Ms. Havisham's home. He soon finds out that wealth is no substitute for happiness.” It also includes the quote:

“Love her, love her, love her! If she favours you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces--and as it gets older and stronger, it will tear deeper--love her, love her, love her!"

Sounds like that plot could use some eroticism! Shipwreck, the Booksmith’s Erotic Reading Series, is ready to bring you an erotic twist to this old classic.

DETAILS: The Booksmith  // 1644 Haight Street, SF. // 7pm  


Friday, 12/4

The Department of Make Believe Comes Alive

A special invitation from the Department of Make Believe: “The date is set. The band is booked. The shelves have arrived, and the five hundred Number Q pencils are on their way.” The Department of Make Believe, in the spirit of 826 Valencia, is going to try to inspire young people in Oakland to believe in fictional bureaucracies, books, and magic.

DETAILS: The Department of Make Believe  // 2301 Telegraph Ave., Oakland  // 5pm

Saturday, 12/5

Poetry in the yoga studio

Downward Facing Dog. Extended Side Angle. Half Lord of the Fishes. Happy Baby. Wild Thing.  There’s just something poetic about yoga poses. And this Saturday, head over to the Bernal Yoga Studio to check out their yoga poetry series. It’ll make you want to do the Extended Puppy (that’s a real yoga pose, by the way).

DETAILS: Bernal Yoga Studio  // 908 Cortland Ave., SF // 7:30pm  

Sunday, 12/6

I want to tell you this

Sometimes, you can tell if a writer is cool because their autobiographies are funny. Here’s Caroline Knapp’s:

“Caroline Knapp is not a recently deceased writer of beautiful nonfiction about addiction and dogs, no matter what Google says. She is a poet, alive so far.” Haha!

Katch Campbell’s biography goes like this:

“Katch Campbell is a poet who lives in suburbia. Her heart is the size of Maine. She has two teenagers and readily admits to loving whoopie pies more than parenting. // Dominatrix. // That is all. // Rhymes with Wheatabix and nipple. // #mimosa.”  

Both of these poets are reading at Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative this Sunday. Come see them! Ask them about being alive and words that rhyme with Wheatabix and nipple.

Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative // 3130 24th St., SF. // 7pm

Got a literary event or some news you think we should share with the world? Email us at thelitographyproject@gmail.com!