literature | KALW


Philosophy Talk: Comforting Conversations, Part 2

Jan 8, 2021

How can insights from the arts and humanities help us cope with anxious times?

Philosophy Talk: Comforting Conversations, Part 1

Jan 2, 2021

How can insights from the arts and humanities help us cope with anxious times?

‘Real Life’ From a Queer Black Perspective

Dec 20, 2020
Bill Adams

Brandon Taylor’s highly praised debut novel, Real Life, gets deep into desire, intimacy, sex, abuse, homophobia, racism, misogyny, love, hate and the blurred lines between friends and lovers. Oh, and let’s not forget cut-throat scientific academia.

Patricia Silva

Pamela Sneed’s prose and poetry can reach out and grab you. They did me. She reads four poems from her new memoir, Funeral Diva, on this week’s Out in the Bay and shares some of her life story.

Philosophy Talk: The Arts for All?

Nov 27, 2020

Can art be broadly accessible without sacrificing quality? Can it be cognitively challenging without being elitist?

Sacramento author Shelley Blanton-Stroud reads from her new novel, "Copy Boy." It takes place in San Francisco in the 1930s.

Oakland author Emily Pilloton reads from her new book, "Girls Garage." Its an invitation to girls and women everywhere to join a movement of fearless builders.

Oakland author Melanie Abrams reads from her new book, "Meadowlark." It's about two teenagers who escape a strict spiritual commune.

Oakland author Adrien Aster reads from their new dystopian sci-fi thriller, "Loving R-thur." It's about a woman named X who falls in love with an artificial intelligence.

San Anselmo author Kate Milliken reads from her new novel, "Kept Animals." It's set in a southern California neighborhood of horse ranches and movie stars, and it revolves around the relationships of teenage girls.

Sandip Roy and Jaipur Lit. Fest./modified from original

Writer and actor Rupert Everett spoke recently with Sandip Roy for the Jaipur Lit. Fest. about comparing pandemics and sainthood.

San Francisco author Marilyn Chase reads from her new book "Everything She Touched: The Life of Ruth Asawa." The artist Ruth Asawa was imprisoned as a Japanese American during World War II and later revolutionized scultpure and art education. 

Lafayette author Claudia Hagadus Long reads from her new murder mystery, "Nine Tenths of the Law."

South Bay author Beth Lisick reads from her new novel, "Edie on the Green Screen."

Thea Matthew's Poetry Talks Grief And Celebrates Life

Sep 24, 2020

San Francisco author Thea Matthews reads from her debut book of poetry "Unearth [The Flowers]."

Berkeley writer Johanna Silver is the former garden editor of Sunset Magazine. She reads from her new book, "Growing Weed in the Garden."

Newark-based author Juliette Wade reads from her new science fiction novel, "Mazes of Power."

Rebeka Rodriguez / Feminist Press

San Francisco author Juli Delgado Lopera's coming-of-age novel "Fiebre Tropical" drops you into the life of a Columbian family that moves to Miami, in the Spanglish voice of the teenage narrator.

Photo by Andria Lo

Oakland author Monica Sok reads from her book of poetry, "A Nail the Evening Hangs On," which explores the Cambodian diaspora. It’s about what it means to inherit a history of genocide and process inter-generational trauma.

Courtesy of Thea Matthews


San Francisco poet Thea Matthews ignites the microphone in literary scenes around the Bay Area. Her debut book Unearth [The Flowers] is a personal collection of poems about survival, challenging oppression, and healing.

Picture People

Oakland author Mary Monroe has been captivating her readers with juicy storylines and unforgettable characters for decades. Her latest novel “Across the Way” is about two neighboring couples who are both friends and enemies living in 1930s Alabama.

Photo courtesy Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet/modified from original

How can we possibly dream of a better future in the middle of a pandemic? 

Philosophy Talk: Walter Benjamin and the Re-Enchanted World

Jul 14, 2020

Can we find enchantment without sacrificing reason?

April is National Poetry Month, and for some poetry helps make sense of the world. M.K. Chavez writes poetry that reflects on what’s going on in society and inside of herself.

Chavez is the author of "Mothermorphosis" and "Dear Animal," Her work has been honored by PEN Oakland and the Berkeley Public Library Foundation among others. In this interview she talks about themes in her writing such as nature and her mother’s battle with schizophrenia. 

Click the play button above to listen.

Philosophy Talk: Poetry as a Way of Knowing

Apr 19, 2020

April is National Poetry Month, so a philosopher might ask: Can we come to know things poetically that we couldn't get at through other forms of thinking, writing, and talking?

Photo courtesy of Sandip Roy

This week Sandip remembers his early childhood attraction to that group of 'mustachioed morons.'

iStock/Inna Skaldutska

Every day brings an avalanche of anxiety-inducing news: The spread of novel coronavirus, the reaction of the markets, the stress on the healthcare system, and the pending November elections.  Singularly, each event is worrying. Collectively, it is hard to take it all in. Where can we find a moment of respite from all the news? Host Grace Won talks with a group of authors, artists and experts to hear how they are using art, music and literature to cope in these challenging times. What are you listening to, reading or watching to calm your nerves?


Sandip Roy

Sandip takes us to one of his favorite places, the Kolkata Book Fair, now in it’s 44th year!  

Courtesy of Lisa D. Gray

Lisa D. Gray could barely read when she became fascinated with books. Now she’s penning award-winning stories about race and class. Lisa is the founder of Our Voices Our Stories SF, a literary event where women writers of color and the community engage.

Photo by Sandip Roy/modified from original

India has scores of literature festivals these days. But the Rainbow Lit Fest in Delhi this December was still special….