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Spring Lit

New anthology from the Write On Mamas, with an excerpt. Plus: Local lit roundup, complete literary listings


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by Charlie Swanson

Mark Twain once wrote, "To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement." We couldn't agree more. And over the next few months, a host of authors from near and far are scheduled to share their rare achievements at readings throughout the North Bay. Here's your chance to get right with their words.

Primate ambassador Jane Goodall appears at an already sold-out event at Angelico Hall in San Rafael on April 4. Goodall's latest, Seeds of Hope, carries with it an enthusiasm and passion that's perfect for launching an ambitious season of readings such as this.

On April 10, Napa Valley College writing professor Iris Jamahl Dunkle shares the poetry of Gold Passage, her new award-winning collection, at Copperfield's Books in Santa Rosa. The next day, Bay Area poet Gail King reads from her new book, Hello Life, at the Occidental Center for the Arts. The week also includes two appearances from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants author Ann Brashares, who reads from her latest, The Here and Now, at Book Passage on April 10, and at the Tudor Rose English Tea Room on April 12.

No time to take a breath yet, because Sonoma County poet laureate Katherine Hastings reads on April 17 from her works Nighthawks and Cloud Fire at Copperfield's in Santa Rosa. The 17th also sees Pixar production vice president Jim Morris in conversation with author Ed Catmull, who presents his upcoming book, Creativity, Inc., at Book Passage. The next night, April 18, former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins reads from his new poetry collection Aimless Love, with singer-songwriter Aimee Mann accompanying on acoustic guitar, at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.

Book Passage throws down with three popular events running back-to-back-to-back. On April 21, photographer Andrew Knapp shares his adventures with his border collie in Find Momo. On April 22, actress and new mom Alicia Silverstone (Clueless, Batman & Robin) talks about her parenting guide The Kind Mama. Then, on April 23, Under the Tuscan Sun author Frances Mayes reads from her memoir Under Magnolia. She hosts a dining event at Spinster Sisters restaurant in Santa Rosa on April 24.

And there's more in store in the coming months, as heavyweights from various fields come to the North Bay to promote their literary offerings. New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff reads from How About Never—Is Never Good for You? on May 1 (Book Passage). Sen. Elizabeth Warren reads from her new book, A Fighting Chance, on May 10 (Angelico Hall). Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl reads from her novel Delicious! on May 20 (Book Passage) and May 21 (Spinster Sisters). Cult film director John Waters (Pink Flamingoes, Crybaby) reads from his hitch-hiking memoir Carsick on June 7 (Book Passage). Finally, outlaw author Tom Robbins reads from his upcoming memoir Tibetan Peach Pie on June 7 (Book Passage) and June 8 (Copperfield's Books in Sebastopol).

And that's just the tip of the literary iceberg. For full listings, check our weekly Readings calendar. Get lit!


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