Never heard of Litquake? Ask your local bibliophile and they’ll surely talk to – hopefully not at – you all about it, cause actually, it’s a pretty big deal. The event was originally conceived in 1999 at the beloved Tenderloin bar, Edinburgh Castle, and was dubbed Litstock. Litstock premiered as a free one-day reading series in a fog-bound Golden Gate Park, but local writers Jane Ganahl and Jack Boulware knew they wanted more.
In 2002, the festival was rechristened Litquake, and began expanding its programming to include all elements of the Bay Area literary scene. Taking a cue from a USA Today report that San Franciscans spend twice the nation’s average on books and booze, in 2004, the festival inaugurated an immediately successful closing night Lit Crawl bacchanal throughout the city’s Mission District.
The event now goes off in Austin, Seattle, New York City, Iowa City, Los Angeles, Portland, London, Helsinki, and – that’s right – San Rafael. Whether it’s poets reciting in a cathedral, authors discussing science versus religion in a library, or novelists reading in a beekeeping supply store, the goal remains the same: whet a broad range of literary appetites, present the literary fare in a variety of traditional and unlikely venues, and make it vivid, real, and entertaining. Now grown to the largest independent literary festival on the West Coast, Litquake continues its mission as a nine-day literary spectacle for book lovers, complete with cutting-edge panel discussions, unique cross-media events, and hundreds of readings. San Rafael’s Litquake event will be taking place at various cafés, restaurants, and shops on the 4th street corridor. Expect to see Bay Area writers doing readings and open-mics in this day-long series, just look for the Litquake signs in front of each venue.
If You Go:
When: Sunday, October 11th from 10am to 7:15pm
Where: San Rafael’s Downtown Corridor