Literature

Shaking the city

Chris Carlsson's new book takes on the legacy of 1960s SF

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arts@sfbg.com

LIT Activist, writer, and fast-talking leftist public intellectual Chris Carlsson, cofounder of the monthly bike happening Critical Mass, spearheads the online local history repository Shaping San Francisco. I recently spoke with Carlsson about Shaping SF and his associated projects, including three collections of cultural and political essays published by City Lights Books, the most recent of which, Ten Years that Shook the City: San Francisco 1968-1978, will be released June 15.Read more »

'AMERICA' the beautiful

An open letter to Glenn Ligon

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arts@sfbg.com

LIT/VISUAL ART Dear Mr. Ligon,

I'd like to begin this letter with an apology.Read more »

A better tomorrow

Will Alexander seeks a unified-all-inclusive art theory in Compression & Purity

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Bleak frames and guilt

David Lester depicts the shadowy relationship between words and actions in The Listener

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arts@sfbg.com

LIT From the first page, an anonymous manifesto denouncing the pharmaceutical industry, to a bronze sculpture of a suppressed anti-Nazi headline from the Lippische Tages-Zeitung weighted down by a giant hammer and nails on the last, David Lester's graphic novel The Listener (Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 304 pages, $19.95) explores how words often fail their intended purpose, precipitating actions with unforeseen consequences.Read more »

This place

More than one take on the words and visions of Rebecca Solnit's award-winning Infinite City

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arts@sfbg.com

LIT Begun in part as a series of maps accompanying public lectures, Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (University of California Press, 167 pages, $24.95) is a remarkable act of gathering, one that presents myriad versions and visions of San Francisco and its surrounding areas that can inform a reader's experience.Read more »

Ghosts in the machine

Matthew Zapruder's poems are built to last

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LIT According to the Bureau of Invented Statistics, 99.9 percent of all poetry disappears into the void. This rate remains steady throughout history, though at certain times and places the figure undergoes radical fluctuations, plummeting to as low as 99 percent. Such periods are eventually given names like the San Francisco Renaissance, or the Elizabethan Renaissance. I mention this because I think Bay Area poetry has quietly entered one of those periods. Read more »

Tome time

The 30th Northern California Book Awards honors the best in Bay Area publishing

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Cult fiction

Introducing Taylor Stevens, your favorite new thriller author — whose own story has some twists

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arts@sfbg.com

LIT I read a lot of thrillers. Mysteries, murder, international intrigue, weird pulp crime ... I've been addicted since I was in high school and discovered John D. McDonald, Alistair McLean, and Trevanian. These days, I live by James Patterson, Michael Connolly, Robert B. Parker, Janet Evanovich, Lee Child, and John Lescroart.Read more »

Burn this culture

"I didn't want to write a love letter": Steven T. Jones talks about his new book on Burning Man

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Back to the streets

The Mission and the revolution, as lived and told by Roberto Vargas

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Coronel knew an old man in Granada who said

(who often said):

"I wish I were a foreigner, so that I

Could go home

— Zero Hour, Ernesto Cardenal

I first came into contact with the work of poet Roberto Vargas a couple of years ago, when I saw his face, projected several stories tall, on a wall just off Valencia Street.Read more »