Events

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 are an author who'd like to be considered for a reading, please email owen@moesbooks.com.

All events, unless noted, start at 7:30pm

August 7: Novelist Justin McFarr  7pm

August 9: SPD Presents Maya Simone, Eddie Hopely and Lauren Levin

August 16: A celebration of the work of Joanne Kyger

August 24: Melba Joyce Boyd, M.L. Liebler, and Brian Jabas Smith 

September 13: Victor Serge translator James Brook

August 7th: Novelist Justin McFarr on his book The Bear Who Broke the World

This event begins at 7pm

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Moe's welcomes first time novelist Justin McFarr as we help him launch The Bear Who Broke the World.

Justin McFarr grew up in the Bay Area during the 70’s and 80’s as a latchkey kid. He is a proud graduate of both UCLA and the MPW program at USC, and has attended the New York State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore College and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. His short stories have been published in numerous magazines and online journals, and will be collected in the forthcoming Controlled Chaos: Stories from Wheeler Street Press. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his family. The Bear Who Broke The World is his first novel.

About The Bear Who Broke the World:

1976. Berkeley, California. 11-year-old Daedalus Stephen O’Neill and his 6-year-old brother Demian spend the Bicentennial summer struggling to find normalcy and refuge from the dangerous indifference of the adults that surround them. With an impetuous mother, an unpredictable boyfriend, and a menacing neighbor to protect themselves against, the brothers are forced to navigate their own way through an unrestrained world of drugs, alcohol, and sexual activity.

August 9th: SPD Presents

SPD Presents is a monthly reading series with the aim of fostering relationships between emerging writers and readers in our national small press community.

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MAYA SIMONE loves witches and zines and really wants to know your hot take on Avril Lavigne's "sk8er boi." She is a rising senior at Penn in Philadelphia and is so excited to leave soon. Shen she is not doing student things, she maintains a grave garden in a cemetery. She hopes in the future to work in the literary community and live in a small town with her family of three dogs.

EDDIE HOPELY is a writer and researcher now living in Oakland.

LAUREN LEVIN is the author of The BraidD (Krupskaya, 2016) and the forthcoming Justice Peace/Transmission (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2018). From 2011-2014, she co–edited the Poetic Labor Project. She grew up in New Orleans and lives in Richmond, CA with her family.

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Founded in 1969, SPD is currently the only distributor in the country dedicated exclusively to independently published literature. For more information, visit http://spdbooks.org/

August 16th: Come celebrate the work of poet Joanne Kyger

Please join Cedar Sigo, editor of There You Are: Interviews, Journals, and Ephemera, and author of Royals (Wave Books) as we celebrate the work of dear friend Joanne Kyger. Cedar has invited poets to read from her work.

Readers include: Kevin Opstedal, Alastair Johnston, Alli Warren, Norma Cole, Pam Martin, Andrew Joron, Lyn Hejinian, Sunnylyn Thibodeaux and Duncan McNaughton.

The inaugural book of Wave's new interview series, There You Are combines forty years of interviews, letters, poems, and journals to present a narrative of the remarkable poet Joanne Kyger, who has intersected with the most influential movements of late twentieth-century poetry, yet has remained rooted in her daily practice with a forthright attention to our present moment.

One of the major poets of the San Francisco Renaissance, Joanne Kyger was born in 1934 in Vallejo, CA. After studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she moved to San Francisco in 1957, where she became a member of the circle of poets centered around Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan. In 1960, she joined Gary Snyder in Japan and soon traveled to India with Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. She returned to California in 1964 and published her first book, The Tapestry and the Web, in 1965. In 1969, she settled in Bolinas, California, where she stayed until passing away on March of this year. She had published over thirty books of poetry and prose, including The Japan and India Journals: 1960-1964, On Time: Poems 2005-2014, As Ever: Selected Poems, and About Now: Collected Poems, which won the 2008 Josephine Miles Award from PEN Oakland.

Cedar Sigo was raised on the Suquamish Reservation in the Pacific Northwest and studied at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. He is the author of eight books and pamphlets of poetry, including Royals, Language Arts, Stranger in Town, Expensive Magic, and two editions of Selected Writings.

August 24th: Poetry Flash presents Melba Joyce Boyd, M.L. Liebler, and Brian Jabas Smith 

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Poet, editor, and professor Melba Joyce Boyd’s book, Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press, is a tribute to Dudley Randall (1914-2000) with whom she worked as an editor at Broadside Press and whose authorized biographer she became. Randall was poet laureate of Detroit, a civil rights activist, and a force in the Black Arts Movement. Two of his poems, one for the four little girls killed in the Alabama church bombing in Birmingham, one for the assassination of President Kennedy, were set to music by folk singer Jerry Moore in 1965. Randall published them as broadsides, so the press, publishing chapbooks that opened out the work of African American writers into the canon of American literature, was born. Boyd’s book, connecting politics and art with the wider struggles of black America in that era, is also a dialogue between poets and includes extensive interviews. She, herself, has published six books of poetry, edited an anthology of Detroit poetry, written scholarly books, and produced and directed a documentary film on Randall and the press.

M.L. Liebler is a celebrated poet, literary arts activist, and professor. Most recent of his many books of poetry is I Want to Be Once; others include The Moon a Box and Written in Rain: New and Selected Poems, 1985-2000. He’s edited many books, ranging across labor politics, music, and poetry, and his brand new one is Heaven Was Detroit: From Jazz to Hip-Hop and Beyond, with a wide range of contributors, including Greil Marcus and Al Young.

Brian Jabas Smith’s debut book of fiction is Spent Saints & Other Stories. Jim Daniels says, “In these fine stories, Brian Smith’s direct, natural, story-telling voice rocks with the authority and grit of someone who’s been there and come back to tell the tale.” Smith is an award-winning journalist, first as a staff writer and columnist for the Phoenix New Times and then as an editor for the Detroit Metro Times. His earlier career was as a songwriter who fronted rock’n’roll bands. He’s written for many performers, including Alice Cooper.

September 13th: Victor Serge translator James Brook

Starting in September, all events will start at 7:00 pm, unless otherwise noted.

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This is the East Bay book launch for A Blaze in a Desert: Selected Poems by Victor Serge, translated and edited by James Brook (PM Press).

Victor Serge (1890-1947) played many parts, as he recounted in his indelible Memoirs of a Revolutionary. The son of anti-czarist exiles in Brussels, Serge was a young anarchist in Paris; a syndicalist rebel in Barcelona; a Bolshevik activist in Petrograd; a Comintern agent in Central Europe; a comrade of Trotsky's; a friend of writers like Andrei Bely, Boris Pilnyak, and André Breton; a prisoner of Stalin; a dissident Marxist in exile in Mexico . . .

Like Serge's extraordinary novels, A Blaze in a Desert: Selected Poems bears witness to revolutionary upheavals in Europe and the advent of totalitarian rule. Many of the poems were written during the "immense shipwreck" of Stalin's ascendancy. In poems datelined Petrograd, Orenburg, Paris, Marseille, the Caribbean, and Mexico, Serge composed elegies for the fallen -- as well as tributes to the living who, like him, endured prison, exile, and bitter disappointment in the revolutions of the first half of the twentieth century.

"Victor Serge was a major novelist, a revolutionary, and a historical witness, so it is perhaps not surprising that his poetry has been overlooked. But his poetry is for real. It is as grounded in specifics as you might expect from a fighter in some of the twentieth century's great struggles, and as visionary as you'd hope from a disciple of Rimbaud and a friend to the Surrealists. Reading it is like coming upon an unsuspected corridor in the house of literature. James Brook's lucid translation does it full justice."
--Luc Sante, author of The Other Paris

James Brook is a poet whose translations include works by Guy Debord, Henri Michaux, Gellu Naum, and Benjamin Péret. He is the principal editor of Resisting the Virtual Life (with Iain Boal) and Reclaiming San Francisco (with Chris Carlsson and Nancy J. Peters). The New York Times named his translation of Jean-Patrick Manchette's The Prone Gunman a Notable Book.


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