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


September 23: Kateland Harte, JJ Mull, and Bonnie Chau

September 28: Cyrus Cassells and Charif Shanahan

October 1: Shane Bauer

October 4: Iris Jamahl Dunkle and Ann Fisher-Wirth

October 8: Ann Shulgin, Jon Hanna, and David Presti

October 22: The Legacy of 1968: Global to Local with Activist-scholars

October 24: Shelley Jackson, author of Riddance

October 26: Omnidawn Book Launch

October 30: Wendy Trevino and Melissa Merin

November 5: Clark Coolidge

November 7: Claire Grossman, Terry Taplin, and Jacq Greyja

November 20: Christina Gerhardt: 1969 and Global Cinema


September 23: Kateland Harte, JJ Mull, and Bonnie Chau


Kateland Harte is a writer of the group and so many people in that group that they have to do the work that you should have it and I will be there for sure if she wants me or I can meet her there and I can do that and I can get it done for her. This bio was written by predictive text.

j.j. Mull is a little poet, writer and bookseller based in Oakland, CA. He has lived in the East Bay for almost a decade, and currently manages Alley Cat Books in San Francisco.

Bonnie Chau is from Southern California, where she ran writing programs at the nonprofit 826LA. She received her MFA in fiction and translation from Columbia University, and has received fellowships and scholarships from Kundiman, the Fine Arts Work Center, ALTA, and Vermont Studio Center. She currently works at an independent bookstore in Brooklyn and is assistant web editor at Poets & Writers. All Roads Lead to Blood is her debut short story collection.

September 28th: Cyrus Cassells, author of Gospel According to Wild Indigo and Charif Shanahan, author of Into Each Room We Enter Without Knowing


Cyrus Cassells is the author of The Gospel According to Wild Indigo (Southern Illinois University Press); The Crossed-Out Swastika (Copper Canyon Press, 2012); More Than Peace and Cypresses (Copper Canyon Press, 2004); Beautiful Signor (Copper Canyon Press, 1997), which won the Lambda Literary Award; Soul Make a Path Through Shouting (Copper Canyon Press, 1994), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and received the William Carlos Williams Award; and The Mud Actor (Henry, Holt & Co., 1982), which was a National Poetry Series selection.

Charif Shanahan is the author of Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry/SIU Press, 2017), which was named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Publishing Triangle's Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. He holds degrees in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and Dartmouth College and an MFA from New York University. 

October 1: Shane Bauer, author of American Prison


Shane Bauer is a senior reporter at Mother Jones magazine. In 2015, Shane took a job as a prison guard in Louisiana to investigate corporate-run prisons, the subject of the award-wining piece, “My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard.” In 2016, he went undercover again to investigate America’s resurgent right-wing paramilitary movement.  Earlier in his career, Shane focused on the Middle East, reporting from locations such as Iraq, Sudan, Chad, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Israel/Palestine. His articles have appeared in The Nation, Salon, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, and many other publications. His journalism has garnered a number of national awards, including a National Magazine Award for Best Reporting, a Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, a Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism, an Izzy Stone Award, two John Jay Awards for Criminal Justice Reporting, and many others. From 2009-2011 Shane was held hostage in Iran with Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal. Together they co-authored a memoir,  A Sliver of Light, published by Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt. 

October 4: Poetry Flash presents the Watershed Enviromental Festival Kickoff, with Iris Jamahl Dunkle and Ann Fisher-Wirth @ 7:30

Iris Jamahl Dunkle’s book of poems is Interrupted Geographies. She is a featured reader on the Strawberry Creek Walk and the Watershed Environmental Poetry stage on October 13 in Berkeley. Camille T. Dungy says, “While Iris Jamahl Dunkle writes specifically about particular places and people—some famous and some little known—there’s no way to read these poems without understanding the ways she is always writing about you and also about me.” She is the former Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, and her second collection, There’s a Ghost in this Machine of Air, is about the untold history of Sonoma County. Her debut collection, Gold Passage, was selected by Ross Gay for the Trio Prize from Trio Press (2013).

A previous featured reader at Watershed, Ann Fisher-Wirth’s new book of poems is Mississippi, a “verbal/pictorial” collaboration with Maude Schuyler Clay, an acclaimed, much exhibited Mississippi-born photographer. Billy Collins says, “Fisher-Wirth’s poems are not direct responses to Clay’s photographs. Rather, her poems are voices–sometimes down-home, other times, uptown–that offer a complementary way of calling forth the spirit of a particular landscape. The attention of the eye and the ear are both quickened by this winning collaboration.” Ann Fisher-Wirth is a poet known for her environmental focus; she is the co-editor of The Ecopoetry Anthology (2013). Her own collections include Blue Window, Five Terraces, Carta Marina, and Dream Cabinet. Among her honors are the Rita Dove Poetry Award, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Award, and two Mississippi Arts Commission Poetry Fellowships.

October 8: Ann Shulgin, Jon Hanna and David Presti: Psychedelic Stories, Art and Cookbooks


Ann Shulgin, co-author of PiHKAL and TiHKAL, and contributing authors Jon Hanna and David Presti.

Ann Shulgin co-authored PiHKAL and TiHKAL with her late husband, the chemist and psychopharmacologist Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin. She also worked as a therapist using psychedelic drugs such as MDMA and 2C-B while they were still legal. The books—part memoirs and part psychedelic chemistry cookbooks—became instant cult classics upon their publication in 1991 and 1997 respectively. Now reissued as a special four-volume commemorative edition, this beautiful boxed set, available in both hardcover and paperback, features bonus material including nearly 200 pictures, poetry and tributes to the Shulgins contributed by a who’s who of psychedelic luminaries.

Jon Hanna is a psychedelic consumer advocate and contributing author of the commemorative edition of PiHKAL/TiHKAL. In the late 1990s, he co-founded the Mind States conference series. He has worked as a writer, editor, and archivist for Erowid Center, MAPS, and the Alexander Shulgin Research Institute, among others. Following the release of his book Psychedelic Resource List, he was a regular contributor to The Entheogen Review. He has spoken internationally on the topics of visionary art, applied psychonautics, and harm reduction. He was Art & Photography Editor for The Manual of Psychedelic Support, and his photos have been published by National Geographic, Scientific American, The New York Times, Reason, Vice and other news/media outlets.

David Presti, also a contributing author of the commemorative edition, has taught neurobiology, psychology, and cognitive science at UC Berkeley since 1991. His classes on “Brain, Mind, and Behavior: An Introduction to Neuroscience,” “Drugs and the Brain,” “Neurochemistry,” “Matter, Mind, Consciousness,” and “Consciousness: Buddhist and Scientific Perspectives” reach more than 1,400 UC Berkeley students every year. For more than a decade he worked in the treatment of addiction and of post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco. And for the past 15 years, he has been teaching neuroscience and conversing about science with Tibetan Buddhist monastics in India, Bhutan, and Nepal. Presti is author of Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience: A Brain-Mind Odyssey (2016, W. W. Norton) and Mind Beyond Brain: Buddhism, Science, and the Paranormal (October 2018, Columbia University Press).

October 22: The Legacy of 1968: Global to Local with Activist-scholars


Mat Callahan is a musician and author originally from San Francisco, where he founded Komotion International. He is the author of three books, Sex, Death & the Angry Young Man, Testimony, and The Trouble with Music, editor of Songs of Freedom: The James Connolly Songbook, and The Explosion of Deferred Dreams: Musical Renaissance and Social Revolution in San Francisco, 1965–1975. He currently resides in Bern, Switzerland.

George Katsiaficas lives in Gwangju, South Korea, and in Ocean Beach, California. A student of Herbert Marcuse, he is the author of The Subversion of Politics (AK Press) and the two-volume Asia’s Unknown Uprisings (PM Press). Together with Kathleen Cleaver, he coedited Liberation, Imagination, and the Black Panther Party (Routledge). His newest work is the updated edition of The Global Imagination of 1968: Revolution and Counterrevolution (PM Press, 2018).

Max Elbaum is also appearing (bio forthcoming)

October 24: Shelley Jackson, author of Riddance


Shelley Jackson is the author of the short story collection The Melancholy of Anatomy, the novels Half Life and Patchwork Girl, several children’s books, and “Skin,” a story published in tattoos on more than 2,000 volunteers. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches in the graduate writing program at The New School.

October 26 Omnidawn book launch


An especially auspicious line-up of poets will read at the fall/winter launch. Come early, meet the publishers and poets and have a glass of wine. There's nothing like an Omnidawn party!

Readers and Titles:

Tyrone Williams, author id As iZ teaches literature and theory at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of several chapbooks and five books of poetry: c.c., On Spec, The Hero Project of the Century, Adventures of Pi, and Howell.

Julie Carr, author of Real Life: An Installation, is the author of six books of poetry, including 100 Notes on Violence, RAG, and Think Tank. Carr is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder. With Tim Roberts she is the co-founder of Counterpath Press, Counterpath Gallery, and Counterpath Community Garden in Denver.

Luis Moctezuma, author of Place-Discipline, is a Mexican-American poet, instructor, and academic researcher currently completing a PhD in English at the University of Chicago. His work has been published in Jacket2, Big Bridge, FlashPoint, and elsewhere. He was born in San Gabriel, CA.

Sara Mumolo is the author of Day Counter. Her previous book is Mortar. Her poems have appeared in 1913: a journal of forms, Action Yes, Entropy, Lana Turner, PEN Poetry Series, Typo, and Volt, among others. She serves as the associate director for the MFA in Creative Writing program at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Steve Dickison, author of Inside Song, teaches at San Francisco State University, where he directs The Poetry Center, and at California College of the Arts. His work has appeared in SFMOMA’s Open Space, BAX 2015: Best American Experimental Poetry, and Bomb, which awarded him the 2014 Poetry Prize. He was born and raised in Northern Minnesota.

October 30 Wendy Trevino and Melissa Merin

Wendy Trevino was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. She lives in San Francisco, where she shares an apartment with her boyfriend, friend & two senior cats. She has published chapbooks with Perfect Lovers Press, Commune Editions and Krupskaya Books. Brazilian no es una raza - a bilingual edition of the chapbook she published with Commune Editions - was published by the feminist Mexican press Enjambre Literario in July 2018. Her first book-length collection of poems will be published by Commune Editions in September 2018. Wendy is not an experimental writer.

Melissa has been writing since she could hold a crayon. She is established as a parent, a lover & partner, a queer, an anti-authoritarian and a consistently retiring punker. She is too Black to ever be considered a snowflake. Melissa believes in utilizing a diversity of tactics to build the world we need; one of her favorite tactics is writing. Melissa is a long-time educator and agitator and has never been able to get it together to “publish”, though many zines and many blogs tell the story of trying. Melissa in no way identifies as butch and she recently bought a new impact drill and sawzall.

November 5 Clark Coolidge

Clark Coolidge reads from Poet (Pressed Wafer) and other works.

Author of more than twenty books of poetry, Clark Coolidge has occupied a singular place in American letters since the mid-1960s. An unparalleled influence on the wider avant- garde—the Language Poets, the second and third generation New York School, and whole movements of visual artists, musicians, and linguists, Coolidge is from Providence, Rhode Island. Since 1997 he has lived in Petaluma, California.

"When I was a Poet / I had no doubt / knew the Ins & Outs of / All & Everything"--so wrote David Meltzer in the title poem of his 2011 collection, When I Was a Poet. Clark Coolidge heard this poem many times, in different versions, over the years, often as a result of giving readings with Meltzer. He began to ask himself, What is a poet? Pressed Wafer is proud to present the fruits of Coolidge's ruminations: a 310-page serial poem, the bulk of which was written between 2014 and 2016, titled POET and dedicated to Meltzer. "I give instructions in my poems / you must follow them to the ends of / tura lura independence platform / forget any leaden attempts along the way / this is fortissimo serious / there'll be no popcorn." Luckily for us, "fortissimo serious" means altogether too exuberant to pay bashful court to the muse. These delightful--and frequently hilarious--meditations on the ontologically precarious condition of poethood could only have been written by someone who has spent a lifetime productively writing and reading poems--someone, moreover, who is as uninterested in self-regard as they are in penning a lifeless line. Coolidge follows the direction of the music, keeping his poems just beyond him but within reach. "The poet steps to the beat of his own length." And his pearls of advice are beyond price: "won't get far with a title like / Heaven's Penis." You have been warned!

November 7 Claire Grossman, Terry Taplin, Jacq Greyja

Claire Grossman studies English literature at Stanford and is co-curator of Cantíl, an Oakland-based reading series.

Terry Taplin is an MFA in Creative Writing Candidate at Saint Mary’s College of California where he serves as an assistant poetry editor at MARY: A Journal for New Writing and is the inaugural Lambda Literary Fellow. He holds a Bachelor’s in Classical Languages: Greek and Latin. He is a former slam champion and is the recipient of the Ina Coolbrith Prize for Undergraduate Poetry (academic year 14-15). Terry lives in Berkeley, is an instructional assistant in the English Dept. at Berkeley City College, and is interning as a marketing assistant at Omnidawn Publishing. He is the author of fragmenta (Marigold 2016).

Jacq Greyja is a nonbinary writer from California. They are a graduate student in the Creative Writing MFA program at San Francisco State University, where they are a William Dickey Poetry Fellow. Jacq's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hold: A Journal, BAMPFA, Bushel Collective, Bettering American Poetry Vol. II, Columbia Poetry Review, Apogee, Peach Mag, Berkeley Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Their first chapbook, GREATER GRAVE, debuted in summer 2018 from The Operating System.

November 20 Christina Gerhardt:1968 and Global Cinema

Christina Gerhardt is Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley and Associate Professor of Film and German Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

She is author of Screening the Red Army Faction: Historical and Cultural Memory (Bloomsbury, 2018), about which Kristin Ross wrote: “This informative and well-documented study of the changing representations of the Red Army Faction is a welcome model for how to go about de-provincializing our understanding of the post-war German experience.”

She is also co-editor of 1968 and Global Cinema (Wayne State UP, 2018), about which Rosalind Galt (King’s College London) wrote: "Insisting on the centrality of anticolonial struggles and international solidarities to the category of world cinema, this volume makes a welcome intervention into scholarship on political cinema. The editors have gathered an impressive range of essays which open out the histories and aesthetics of 1968 in genuinely exciting ways" and Rey Chow (Duke University) wrote: "This is timely, informative and stimulating set of essays is designed to deepen our understanding of 1968 as a watershed in cinematic aesthetics and global activist politics. An impressive collective accomplishment."

Also related to 1968, she is co-editor of Celluloid Revolt: German Screen Cultures and the Long Sixties (Camden House, 2019) and guest editor of 1968 and West German Cinema, a special issue of The Sixties 10 (2017).
She has also held fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has held visiting appointments at Harvard University, the Free University in Berlin and at Columbia
University and at the University of California at Berkeley, where she taught previously.

Her writing has been published in the journals Cineaste, Film Criticism, Film Quarterly, German Studies Review, Humanities, Mosaic, New German Critique, Quarterly Review of Film
and Video and The Sixties.