I’ve read at Litquake two years in a row now, in 2007 at 11AM at the SF Public Library, sandwiched in between an Iraq war vet and the Yale Younger poet, and last year at a pricey clothing boutique in the Mission with my homie Sam and a novelist who’s also a psychologist and Kent Zimmerman (who read from the unpublished biography of Seymour Butts). Litquake is kind of insane; unless you’re Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers, that guy who writes Lemony Snickett or Armstead Maupin, you get 6 minutes to read no matter where or when you read in the dozens of events that take place that week. And EVERY writer in the Bay Area reads. Every one of them.
When Laura Moriarty wrote me a week ago and asked if I’d read at the Litcrawl event for Small Press Distribution, of course I said yes. SPD not only sells my hard-to-find first book, but they do so many things for the local independent press community that I owe them big time (Laura, by the way, was one of the folks I interviewed for those chapters on small press publishing, and for years I lived literally next door to SPD until my evil ex landlords sold my house out from under me). So I was a little surprised to get another email just a few days later from the Litquake orgainzers also asking me to read, this time at the library event, and I pondered what to do. The library event is, I guess, a little more prestigious since that is where you find the Eggers/Chabon/Maupin types and they have snacks and books for sale and whatnot, whereas the crawl is more of the scrappy kind of events where drunk people wander in and everyone sits on the floor. So I was torn between not telling them I’d already agreed to read for SPD and greedily reading twice, or fessing up to it and doing the right thing. Because I have a big old bleeding heart, I did the latter, and told them to ask my friend to read at the library instead. And that’s why my book is ranked at 300 something thousand on Amazon!
Causes Kaya Oakes Supports
Southern Poverty Law Center
Call to Action
Human Rights Campaign
Berkeley Food and Housing Project