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Lit Crawl 2010

10/11/2010

Saturday night wrapped up this year’s Litquake festival with the public-reading marathon that is Lit Crawl. It was a gorgeous night to be out hopping from one presentation to the next. Although I’d attended other Litquake events in previous years, this was my first time doing “the crawl,” which takes place over three hours in venues all throughout the Mission/Valencia corridor.

The biggest downside of this massive event is also its most appealing aspect: abundance. There are so many diverse, interesting writers across an array of venues that there’s no way you can sample everyone who might be of interest to you. But it’s also very, very crowded. Bars, in particular, brimmed to the doors with both festival goers and regular patrons. In retrospect, I might have gone for smaller galleries and non-bar locations for a better view and more laid-back vibe. But all-in-all, the night was fun. It’s wonderful to see so many people come out to support our writing community.

In the first hour, “Phase I,” we visited Casablanca for readings by Karen Benke, Joe Clifford, Kelly Luce (shown below), Eddie Muller, and the legendary Herb Gold, who skipped his trademark humor to read a moving piece about Haiti.
Casanova
Casanova

Our second stop was sardine-packed Bruno’s, with readers presented by Threepenny Review. It was too dark in there to take decent photos, and too crowded to see any readers, but the sound system was strong enough to ensure that even those of us jammed in a corner could hear. Next year, though, I’d opt for smaller venues; Bruno’s got too hot and uncomfortable for us to stay the full hour. And this is all we could see:
Bruno's

Phase III led us to fabric8 for readings presented by Sidebrow Books, a local indie press that publishes some very interesting poetry and art projects. Saturday’s lineup offered five readers: John Cleary, Matt Hart, Heather Hazuka, Jsaon Morris, and Eireene Nealand. As you can tell from the photo below, it was pleasantly packed but congenial and easy to see and hear the poets. Fabric8 usually puts on a nice event, and Sidebrow is always worth checking out.
Fabric8

After all of our tramping from place to place, we’d worked up a hearty appetite. Thank goodness for the gumbo vendor outside. A delicious ending to the night.

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