Are you interested in literary events? If so, please sign up below to receive invitations to Moe’s Books special happenings. 

Although reading is a solitary activity it can often lead to essential public discussion. For this reason, Moe’s began curating literary events in the late nineties. Since then the “basement series” has become an important part of Bay Area literary culture. Poets and novelists, activists and scholars have been invited to talk about their work. Please join us for a lively and thoughtful conversation in our enormous scholarly bookstore.

If you'd like to listen to past events you can go to the left navigation column and click on the + sign next to Events.

If you are an author who'd like to be considered for a reading, please email

All events, unless noted, start at 7:00pm

February 22: Brynn Saito and Kathleen Winter

February 23: Shiloh Jines, Brent Cunningham, and Melissa Mack

February 24: Pelekinesis Press readings

March 14: Mallory Ortberg

March 15: Joseph Lease


February 22nd: Poetry Flash presents Brynn Saito and Kathleen Winter, 7:30pm


Brynn Saito’s new book of poems is Power Made Us Swoon. David Rivard says, “Brynn Saito is committed to seeing what is most human about us, without resort to the tactics of noise and exaggeration. It is not easy to be austerely uncertain and open-hearted at the same time, but she pulls it off beautifully.” Her previous collection is The Palace of Contemplating Departure. She is a winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award, was a finalist for a Northern California Book Award, and is a recipient of a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellowship and a Poets 11 award from the San Francisco Public Library.

Kathleen Winter’s new book of poems I will not kick my friends won the 2017 Elixir Poetry Prize; this reading and celebration is the book launch. Bob Hicok says, “Kathleen Winter is unusually attuned to the intersection of the imagined and the common place. She weaves her loves—personal, artistic, intellectual—into her daily life, making this a book of passionate intimacies.” Her first book of poems, Nostalgia for the Criminal Past, won the Texas Institute of Letters first book Award.

February 23rd: Shiloh Jines, Brent Cunningham, and Melissa Mack


Shiloh Jines is a queer poet & visual artist from East Tennessee, currently living in Oakland. Shiloh holds a BA in creative writing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville & an MFA in creative writing & book art from Mills College. Most recently, Shiloh collaborated with visual artist Leila Weefur to make handmade letterpress poetry books which explore themes of race, typography & queer intimacy. Shiloh’s first solo book, Poetics of the Ampersand, is forthcoming from Wolfman Editions.

Brent Cunningham lives in Oakland with the poet Melissa Benham and their two children. He is the author of Bird & Forest (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2005), Journey to the Sun (Atelos, 2012), and a new chapbook of fake Arthur Rimbaud translations, The Sad Songs of Hell (Ugly Duckling, 2017). In 2005 he and Neil Alger founded Hooke Press, a chapbook press dedicated to publishing short runs of poetry, criticism, theory, writing and ephemera. He has been working on a novel for a disconcertingly long time.

Melissa Mack is a poet. Her book The Next Crystal Text is forthcoming imminently from Timeless, Infinite Light. She is interested in structures, and feeling, and structures of feeling. She lives and works in Oakland.

February 24th: Pelekinesis Reading


Pelekinesis is an independent book publishing company focusing on the development of literary-minded authors and artists by embracing the evolving publishing paradigm and creatively supporting the skills of these talented individuals.

Readers include:

Katrinka Moore
Don Skiles
David Scott Ewers
Marc Zegans

March 14th: Mallory Ortberg, author of The Merry Spinster


 Pre-order The Merry Spinster from Moe's at

From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from their beloved "Children's Stories Made Horrific" series, The Merry Spinster, takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and their best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature became among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg’s eye for deconstruction and destabilization.

Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, THE MERRY SPINSTER updates traditional children's stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief. Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck
ourselves in for the night.

Mallory Ortberg is Slate's "Dear Prudence". Ortberg has written for Gawker, New York Magazine, The Hairpin, and The Atlantic and is the co-creator of The Toast, a general-interest website geared toward women. Ortberg lives in the Bay Area with their laptop and their cat.

March 15th: Joseph Lease


Moe's welcomes poet Joseph Lease who will be reading from The Body Ghost, due out soon from Coffee House Press.

Joseph Lease’s critically acclaimed books of poetry include Testify (Coffee House Press 2011) and Broken World (Coffee House Press 2007). His poems have appeared in many anthologies, including Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology and The Best American Poetry. He is a professor of writing and literature at California College of the Arts and lives in Oakland with the poet Donna de la Perrière.