Arts: Word blast

Litquake to hit San Rafael

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Boasting readings that range from Pints and Prose to Taste of Travel, the annual Litquake San Rafael event has something for every word-lover.

By David Templeton

Booklovers of Marin, joining an array of purveyors of prose and print from around the Bay Area, will be gathering en masse this weekend for the third annual Litquake San Rafael event. Prepare to take notes, and get ready to walk.

An all-day celebration of words, words, words—presented in a series of curated author events, readings, talks, panels, theatrical and musical performances—Litquake is an elaborate literary bacchanal taking place at various downtown locations on Saturday, October 8. A spinoff of the 14-year-old, nine-day-long San Francisco version, the San Rafael event is a single day only, but packs a lot of publishing-world punch into a very limited time.

Beginning at 10am, Litquake will shake things to a start with Characters I Have Met on the Road, a panel featuring travel-themed writers discussing the hum-side of hitting the trails. The one-hour event takes place at Rebound Bookstore (1611 Fourth St.), is curated by Inga Aksamit and features free pastries and appearances by Lisa Alpine (Wild Life: Travel Adventures of a Worldly Woman) and Don George, the former travel editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, plus others. Simultaneous children’s events take place beginning at 11:15am, and include the launch of Dragon Mist, the first in a fantasy trilogy written by young authors (Locks and Lollipops, 1563 Fourth St.).

At 12:30pm, those not choosing to hear teenage writers share stories while picnicking on the lawn at the San Rafael Library, or sharing poetry at the open mic event at Lotus Chaat & Spices (1559 Fourth St.), can join curator Amanda Conran (The Lost Celt) at the Mayflower Pub (1533 Fourth St.), where a spirited ensemble of authors will gather for the popular Pints and Prose event. Featuring Tanya Egan Gibson (How to Buy a Love of Reading) and several others, the event brings together a number of authors at various stages in their careers.

After lunch, seven events at seven different locations will all vie for your attention, covering everything from sports writing (T&B Sports, 1345 Fourth St.) and Latino poetry (The Folk Art Gallery, 1321 Fourth St.) to comic book writing (Youth in Arts, 917 C St.) and the letters of Kate Boyle and Ernest Hemingway (Art Works Downtown, 1337 Fourth St.).

Following a 2pm open-air poetry slam at Courthouse Square (1000 Fourth St.), the festival kicks into high gear with a dozen other events, including Who is the Wickedest of Them All? (3pm, Yet Wah Restaurant, 1238 Fourth St.), a kid-friendly face-off between authors Janet Havemeyer (The Black Queen) and Natasha Yim (The Dragon Empress), debating, in costume, the relative nastiness of the two villainous rulers of their books.

It all culminates at 6pm with Mystery Writers to Die For (Copperfield’s Books, 850 Fourth St.), featuring local crime-fiction creator Cara Black (the Aimée Leduc mystery series) in conversation with Rhys Bowen (the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness novels), and Taste of Travel (Pizza Orgasmica, 812 Fourth St.), one final travel writers forum, with a culinary twist.

And with all the traveling you’ll have done by then, you’ll certainly need a bite to eat to go with all those new ideas and interesting words quaking about in your head.

For the full schedule of events, visit litquakesanrafael/2016.sched.org.

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