Litquake shakes up S.F. literary scene

Litquake is back and bigger than ever. The eighth annual celebration, which gets under way Saturday, boasts panels and book readings galore, with more than 350 writers on board for eight days of pure, unadulterated literary mayhem. So, what’s worthy of your book lovin’ time? Here’s a run down of four, mostly free, events not to be missed.

Anecdotes with Armistead

Armistead Maupin, best known for the “Tales of the City” series, will be honored for his body of work by the who’s-who of the local literary world. On hand to read their favorite passages and present Maupin with the inaugural Barbary Coast Award for a lifetime of literary achievement will be the likes of Andrew Sean Greer, Amy Tan, Michelle Tea and Laura Linney, who in fact played the character of Mary Ann Singleton in the PBS series. In an attempt to out-due past Litquake openings, this will be the first bash to feature a performance by “Beach Blanket Babylon” and live music courtesy of Joshua Raoul Brody.

“Tales: An Evening With Armistead Maupin and Friends” starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave. General admission: $25; VIP: $100.

Budding bookworms

Not everyone is born a bookworm. Of course, that doesn’t mean that ittle ones can’t learn to appreciate the written word. In an effort to plant the seeds of literary curiosity, the folks at Litquake created the immensely successful program Kidquake. The event features two assemblies at the public library in which local authors and illustrators speak to kindergarten through fifth-grade students about their work aided by fun slideshows and activities.

“Kidquake” starts at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St. Admission is free.

Punx the word

Noah Levine, the punk rock hellraiser turned Buddhist teacher, discusses Buddhism and punk ideology with newspaper columnist Mark Morford. The conversation is sure touch upon Levine’s acclaimed memoir “Dharma Punx” as well as his latest book “Against the Stream.” In addition to talking shop about Buddhism, Levine will screen clips from his new documentary “Meditate and Destroy.”

“Tattooed Buddha?: An Evening with Dharma Punk Noah Levine” starts at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St. Admission is free.

Booze and book readings

Lit Crawl has become a festival staple and this year is no exception. The celebrated event rounds out the fest with a three-hour literary pub crawl through the Mission District during wich folks can choose to sit-in on a smorgasbord of readings that cater to just about everyone. Topics range from spiritual and erotic storytelling sessions to dog-friendly and sci-fi inspired gatherings. Oh, and this the last hurrah before next year’s Litquake, so let the depravity begin.

“Lit Crawl” starts at 6 p.m. Oct. 13. Participating stores, cafes and bars are listed at www.litquake.org.

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