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Moe's Books

2476 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley CA 94704

Open 10 to 10 daily
Phone: (510) 849-2087

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Phone: (510) 849-2133


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Store Events

Moe's literary events began as a weekly poetry reading called Monday@Moe's. Over the years Moe's Books has become one of the premier Bay Area venues to hear novelists, poets, activists, and scholars read from their works. We archive our events in audio and video files that can be accessed from our webpage. Sign up for the Moe's Books events calendar alerts here.

If you are an author who'd like to be considered for a reading, please contact Nick Baranowsky.

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


Poetry Flash presents an Apogee Press reading, with Pattie McCarthy, Denise Newman, and Laura Walker, Thursday, September 22nd

Pattie McCarthy’s new book of poems is Quiet Book. Julie Carr says, “Quiet Book keeps its steady gaze on the mother/child unit from the inside out and back in again. In gorgeous poems of formal range and daring, McCarthy gives us birth and motherhood like no other writer she is unafraid, she is wry and at times she is deeply tender.” Among her previous collections areMarybones, Table Alphabetical of Hard Words,Verso, and bk of (h)rs. She was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2011, and was an artist resident at the Elizabeth Bishop House in Great Village, Nova Scotia in 2013.


Denise Newman is a poet and a translator. Her books of poetry include The New Make Believe, Wild Goods, and Human Forest. She’s translated Azorno  and The Painted Room, both by the late Danish poet Inger Christensen, and Baboon by Naja Marie Aidt, which won the PEN Translation Award. In 2014 she received a Creative Work Fund grant and an NEA fellowship in translation.

Laura Walker’s new book of poems is story. Maxine Chernoff says, “Walker’s rich and delicate story of natural forces, human forces, master narratives, and secret moments whispered on deathbeds is as whole and fragile as any fine sequence of poems. It is the story of herself and the story of the story. It is a dance of life and death and a music to live by.” Her previous collections are Follow-Haswed, bird book, rimertown/an atlas, and swarm lure


Barrett Watten: Questions of Poetics: Language Writing and Consequences, Friday, September 23rd.

Questions of Poetics is Barrett Watten’s major reassessment of the political history, social formation, and literary genealogy of Language writing. A key participant in the emergent bicoastal poetic avant-garde as poet, editor,and publisher, Watten has developed, over three decades of writing in poetics, a
sustained account of its theory and practice. The presen volume represents the core of Watten’s critical writing and public lecturing since the millennium, taking
up the historical origins and continuity of Language writing from its beginnings to the present.

Each chapter is a theoretical inquiry into an aspect of poetics in an expanded sense—from the relation of experimental poetry to cultural logics of liberation and political economy, to questions of community and the politics of the avant-garde, to the cultural contexts where it is produced and intervenes.
Each serves as a kind of thought experiment that theorizes and assesses the consequences of Language writing in expanded fields of meaning that include history, political theory, art history, and narrative theory. While all are grounded in
a series of baseline questions of poetics, they also polemically address the currently
turbulent debates on the politics of the avant-garde, especially Language writing,among emerging communities of poets.

In manifold ways, Watten masterfully demonstrates the aesthetic and political aims of Language writing, its influence on emerging literary schools, and its
present aesthetic, critical, and political horizons. Questions of Poetics will be a major point of reference in continuing debates on poetry and literary history, a critical reexamination for already familiar readers and a clearly presented introduction for new ones.


A Memorial Reading for Ted Greenwald, Wednesday, October 5th

Ted Greenwald (1942-2016) was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, and lived in New York City his entire life. He wrote daily for over 50 years and published more than 30 books. A central figure in the second-generation of the New York school and a major influence on language writing, as a poet he is sui generis, they broke the mold. His work combines rigorous formal invention, a keen ear for plain talk, and a finger on the pulse of the life of the times. Three books of work from the 1970s are newly published, The Age of Reasons (Wesleyan), Common Sense (Wesleyan), and Own Church (Spuyten Duyvil). Other recent books include Comma Fork / Moving Parts and In Your Dreams (BlazeVOX), as well as the memoir of his childhood and youth, Clearview/LIE (United Artists).

“No one is writing poems that blend both the vernacular and the abstract with such virtuosity, no one is writing poems with structure and syntax that serves to recover authenticity under the conditions of late capitalism, and no one is writing poems that sound better.”
Stacy Szymaszek

Readers Include:

Alan Bernheimer
Norman Fischer
Corinne Fitzpatrick
Lyn Hejinian
Laura Moriarty
Julien Poirier
Renny Pritikin
Tom Raworth (from England)
Kit Robinson


Poetry Flash presents Therese Halsheid and Lenore Weiss, Thursday, October 13th

Therése Halscheid's new book of poems is Frozen Latitudes. Paul Lisicky says, "The wrenching attempt to comprehend a father's dementia fires Therése Halscheid's Frozen Latitudes. Past starvation, past an encounter with a demanding landscape, the poet emerges tougher, wiser, her compassion intact." Her previous collections include Powertalk, Without Home, and Uncommon Geography, which was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize. A photographer as well as a poet, she's traveled widely through cultural exchange programs, teaching in England and Russia, and through the Alaskan Arts Council with an Inupiaq Eskimo tribe on White Mountain; her photography has chronicled her journeys and been in juried shows. She's received fellowships from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey Council for the Arts.
  Lenore Weiss's new book of poems is Mortal. Sharon Doubiago says, "Lenore Weiss's psychic linguistic engagement borders on the surreal, on the transcendent, the mystical, the magical, and on the mundane and familiar." She's published two earlier books of poems, Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island and Two Places. She's blogged for the Jewish Book Council and Basmati, and she works as copy editor for the Blue Lyra Review.


Omnidawn Fall Reading, Friday, October 14th


Molly Bendall is the author of four previous collections of poetry, After Estrangement, Dark Summer, Ariadne’s Island, and Under the Quick. She also has a co-authored, with the poet Gail Wronsky, Bling & Fringe from What Books. Her poems and translations have appeared in many anthologies, including American Hybrid and Poems for the Millenium. She has won the Eunice Tietjens Prize from Poetry, The Lynda Hull Award from Denver Quarterly, and two Pushcart Prizes. Currently she teaches at the University of Southern California.

Elena Karina Byrne’s previous poetry books include The Flammable Bird (Zoo Press) and MASQUE (Tupelo Press). She is currently completing an essay collection: Voyeur Hour: Meditations on Poetry, Art and Desire. A Pushcart Prize winner, her publications include Best American Poetry, Yale Review, Paris Review, APR, Poetry, Verse, Kenyon Review, Volt, TriQuarterly, Denver Quarterly. Former Regional Director of the Poetry Society of America Elena Karina Byrne is Poetry Consultant for The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Ruskin Art Club’s Literary Programs Director, and one of the final judges for the Kate/Kingsley Tufts Prizes in Poetry.
Jennifer S. Cheng is a poet and essayist with MFA degrees from the University of Iowa and San Francisco State University and a BA from Brown University. A US Fulbright scholar, Kundiman fellow, and Pushcart Prize nominee, she is the author of an image-text chapbook, Invocation: An Essay(New Michigan Press), and her writing appears in Tin House, AGNI, Mid-American Review, DIAGRAM, Tarpaulin Sky, The Volta and elsewhere. Having grown up in Texas, Hong Kong, and Connecticut, she currently lives in San Francisco.
Rebecca Gaydos was born in Santa Barbara, California, where her mother and father worked as professional ballet dancers. At UC Berkeley, she won the Eisner Prize in Poetry and earned her Ph.D. in English. She has taught literature and writing at Diablo Valley College, San Quentin State Prison, and UC Berkeley. Currently, in addition to writing poetry, she is editing an unpublished novella by poet Larry Eigner and completing a scholarly book on the significance of technoscientific thought in post-World War II American poetry.
Martha Ronk is the author of 11 books of poetry and one book of short stories, Glass Grapes. Her most recent poetry books include Transfer of Qualities, Omnidawn 2013, long-listed for the National Book Award and Vertigo, Coffeehouse Press, 2007, winner of the National Poetry Series. She has had several artist residences at Djerassi and MacDowell, won a National Endowment Grant, and the Lynda Hull Poetry Award. Her PhD is in Renaissance literature and she has been a faculty member at Occidental College in Los Angeles and during the fall 2015 at Otis College of Art and Design.
John Wilkinson is a British poet who has had two distinct careers, in mental health services in the UK as a nurse, social worker, and policy maker, and subsequently as a university teacher in the US where he now chairs Creative Writing and Poetics at the University of Chicago. In historical, critical and reference works, John Wilkinson’s writing has come to be treated as a major force in recent British poetry.
Norma Cole

The publication of Décimale blanche in 1967 marked a major shift in French poetry, introducing an entirely new sensibility. Fifty years later, Norma Cole’s superb new translation is no less exciting. Not only is it a masterful rendition of this classic, capturing all its spare force and uncanny grace, but it also stands in its own right as an important contribution to American poetry. White Decimal is a striking literary event, and an extremely beautiful one.

-Cole Swensen 
Robert Andrew Perez

The Field
marks liminal borders threatening to enlarge into “states”. Thus, the logic of hypnopompia haunts, even overdetermines, the series of poems titled “hypnagogia logia,” conjuring the song of the goat (who, like Ophelia, cannot sing). The field locates itself somewhere between the worlds of of Hannah Weiner and John Berryman where the fitful dreams of freedom remain entangled in a nightmarish “forest of mirrors.” Under multiplying erasures—band, noun, novel, metaphor, etc.—and the multiplication of hes—desire collapses back into the world as such: “elegy is an elegy of elegy.” In such a world there is only the possibility of a “hand” pulling oneself across the chasm—the grave—of generalized, encrypted dissociation.

-Tyrone Williams


Trinh T. Minh-ha, Tuesday, October 18th

Born in Vietnam, Trinh T. Minh-ha is a filmmaker, writer, and composer. Her work includes:8feature-length films that have been honored in numerous retrospectives around the world; several collaborative visual and multimedia installations  (including, Old Land New Wa ters, 2007-2008, (Okinawa Prefectural Museum 2007; 2008; 3rdGuangzhou Triennale 2008) L’Autre marche(Musée du Quai Branly, 2006-2009), The Desert is Watching(Kyoto Biennial, 2003); and Nothing But Ways(1999); 14 books including  Lovecidal. Walking with the Disappeared (2016), D-Passage. The Digital Way(2013); Elsewhere Within Here(2011);The Digital Film Event (2005), Cinema Interval (1999) and, in collaboration with Jean-Paul Bourdier, Habiter un monde (2006) and Drawn from African Dwellings (1996); She is Professor of Rhetoric and of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkely.

   "Lovecidal: Walking with the Disappeared is filled with provocation and guided by evocation. It is a work that is wonderfully difficult to categorize because it moves so eloquently through multiple genres, frames, and places. Encompassing various formspoetry, treatise, memoir, historiographyand capaciously conceived, Minh-ha's contemplation of war, state-authorized violence, state-sanctioned 'security,' and international amnesia is skillfully tempered by observations of beauty, humanity, and resistance."-Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, University of Connecticut

"A searing trek through our bellicose and warring times, Lovecidal makes an impressive, laser-like and passionate plea to explore what is possible now for humans as living, feeling, and thinking beings."-Renée Green, author of Other Planes of There


Poetry Flash presents Randall Mann and Adrienne Su, Thursday, October 20th

Randall Mann’s most recent book of poems is Straight Razor. Richard Rayner of the Los Angeles Times calls it “Bawdy yet elegant poems depicting the debaucheries and traumas of growing up amid San Francisco’s gay scene…Craft and bravura mix well…Mann shows himself [Thom Gunn’s] apt pupil.” His two previous collections are Breakfast with Thom Gunn and Complaint in the Garden. His new collection, Proprietary, will be published in summer 2017.
  Adrienne Su’s most recent book of poems is Living Quarters. Cate Marvin says, “Su’s approach is risky in its sheer honesty and fierce by way of simplicity.” Her previous collections are The Middle Kingdom, Sanctuary, and Having None of It. Her work has been anthologized in The New American Poets, The Pushcart Prize XXIV, and Asian-American Poetry: The Next Generation, and her honors, along with her Pushcart Prize, include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and residencies at the Fine Arts Works Center and The Frost Place. She teaches at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.


Alan Wieder talks about Studs Terkel, Saturday, October 22nd

Studs Terkel was an American icon who had no use for America’s cult of celebrity. He was a leftist who valued human beings over political dogma. In scores of books and thousands of radio and television broadcasts, Studs paid attention—and respect—to “ordinary” human beings of all classes and colors, as they talked about their lives as workers, dreamers, survivors. Alan Wieder’s Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, But Mostly Conversation is the first comprehensive book about this man.

Drawing from over one hundred interviews of people who knew and worked with Studs, Alan Wieder creates a multi-dimensional portrait of a run-of-the-mill guy from Chicago who, in public life, became an acclaimed author, raconteur, while managing, in his private life, to remain a mensch. We see Studs, the eminent oral historian, the inveterate and selfless supporter of radical causes, especially civil rights. We see the actor, the writer, the radio host, the jazz lover, whose early work in television earned him a notorious place on the McCarthy blacklist. We also see Studs, the devoted husband to his adored wife, Ida.

Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, But Mostly Conversation allows us to realize the importance of reaching through our own daily realities—increasingly clogged with disembodied, impersonal interaction—to find value in actual face-time with real humans. Wieder’s book also shows us why such contact might be crucial to those of us in movements rising up against injustice. The book is simply the best introduction available to this remarkable man. Reading it will lead people to Terkel’s enormous body of work, with benefits they will cherish throughout their lives.

Alan Wieder ably narrates engrossing stories of fascinating people who populated Studs Terkel’s many books and broadcasts. Studs reveled in listening to people who worked to scrap cruel and vengeful policies and who aimed to build a better world. By chronicling and celebrating those whom Studs liked to call “scrappers,” Wieder compels us to see that the beat does, in fact, go on, and that “hope,” as Studs once titled one of his books, “dies last.”

—Kathy Kelly, Co-Coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence


Alan Wieder is an oral historian who lives in Portland, Oregon. He is distinguished professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina and has taught at the University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University in South Africa. In the last fifteen years, he has published three books and numerous articles on South Africans who fought against the apartheid regime. The latest book, Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid, was published in 2013 by Monthly Review Press.


Jonathan Lethem: A Gambler's Anatomy, Wednesday, October 26th

Jonathan Lethem is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Dissident Gardens, The Fortress of Solitude, and Motherless Brooklyn; three short story collections; and two essay collections, including The Ecstasy of Influence, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. A recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Lethem's work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and The New York Times, among other publications.


The author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude returns with a devilishly entertaining novel about an international backgammon hustler who thinks he's psychic. Too bad about the pesky brain tumor.

Handsome, impeccably tuxedoed Bruno Alexander travels the world winning large sums of money from amateur "whales" who think they can challenge his peerless acumen at backgammon. Fronted by his aging, doughy, manipulative manager, Edgar Falk, Bruno arrives in Berlin after a troubling string of bad luck in Singapore. Perhaps it was the chance encounter with his crass childhood acquaintance Keith Stolarsky and his smoldering girlfriend Tira Harpaz. Or perhaps it was the emergence of a blot that distorts his vision so he has to look at the board sideways.

Things don't go much better in Berlin. Bruno's flirtation with Madchen, the striking blonde he meets on the ferry, is inconclusive; the game at the unsettling Herr Kohler's mansion goes awry as his blot grows worse; he passes out and is sent to the local hospital, where he is given an extremely depressing diagnosis. Having run through Falk's money, Bruno gambles and calls Stolarsky, who somewhat mysteriously agrees to fly him to Berkeley, and pay for the experimental brain surgery that might save his life.

Berkeley, where Bruno discovered his psychic abilities, and to which he vowed never to return. Amidst the pseudo-radical chaos of the Berkeley scene, Tira's come-ons and Keith's machinations, Bruno must confront two existential questions: Is the gambler being played by life? And what if you're telepathic but it doesn't do you any good?


Anne C. Klein: Strand of Jewels, Thursday, October 27th

Anne C. Klein will talk about her book Strand of Jewels, My Teachers' Essential Guidance on Dzogchen. This is a rare translation from Tibetan of a retreat given by her revered teacher, the late Khetsun Sangpo. Since it is unusual for the teachings of Dzogchen retreats to be made accessible to the public, this is a rare opportunity for people interested in learning in depth about this wisdom tradition. Anne's earlier works include Meeting the Great Bliss Queen, Unbounded Wholeness, and Heart Essence, The Vast Expanse among others.

Anne C. Klein, following a long history of learning from the highest Tibetan lamas, founded Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism in 1997 along with her husband, Harvey B. Aronson. As scholars, translators and gifted teachers, they serve Western seekers of all stripes and have fostered a strong community of advanced students that reaches from Houston to Portland, Berkeley, Bloomington, Ithaca, Copenhagen, and beyond.

Anne Klein (Lama Rigzin Drolma) earned a BA in English from Binghamton University, an MA in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD in Religious/Tibetan Studies at UVA. She held a post-doctoral research fellowship in Women’s Studies and Religious History at the Harvard Divinity School. Anne has published eight books, most recently Heart Essence of the Vast Expanse and Strand of Jewels: My Teachers’ Essential Guidance on Dzogchen, and authored countless articles in various Buddhist periodicals. 

In 1974 Anne and Harvey began studying with Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche, who was born in central Tibet in 1920. He was asked in 1960 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to lead the school of the Nyingma tradition in Japan, which he did for 10 years while teaching in Japanese universities, then returned to India to found a school to educate Tibetan monks in the Nyingma tradition. He is the author of a 13-volume history of all of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and taught extensively in Asia and the West until his death in 2009. In 1999 Anne and Harvey began studying with A.dzom Rinpoche and Jetsun Wangmo, who have empowered them to provide support to advanced students immersed in traditional Buddhist practices.


Matt Callahan, Friday, December 2nd

As the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love floods the media with debates and celebrations of music, political movements, “flower power,” “acid rock,” and “hippies”; The Explosion of Deferred Dreams offers a critical re-examination of the interwoven political and musical happenings in San Francisco in the Sixties. Author, musician, and native San Franciscan Mat Callahan explores the dynamic links between the Black Panthers and Sly and the Family Stone, the United Farm Workers and Santana, the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and the New Left and the counterculture.

Callahan’s meticulous, impassioned arguments both expose and reframe the political and social context for the San Francisco Sound and the vibrant subcultural uprisings with which it is associated. Using dozens of original interviews, primary sources, and personal experiences, the author shows how the intense interplay of artistic and political movements put San Francisco, briefly, in the forefront of a worldwide revolutionary upsurge.

A must-read for any musician, historian, or person who “was there” (or longed to have been), The Explosion of Deferred Dreams is substantive and provocative, inviting us to reinvigorate our historical sense-making of an era that assumes a mythic role in the contemporary American zeitgeist.


Rebecca Solnit, author of Nonstop Metropolis, Monday, December 5th

Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, the culminating volume in a trilogy of atlases,conveys
innumerable unbound experiences of New York City through twenty-six imaginative maps and informative essays.

Rebecca Solnit is a prolific journalist and commentator, and the author of many books including Savage Dreams, Storming the Gates of Paradise, and the best-selling atlases Infinite City and Unfathomable City, all from UC Press. She received the Corlis Benefideo Award for Imaginative Cartography from the North American Cartographic Information Society for her work on the previous atlases.