Growing by the Bay

Category: literature

10 Speed Press sold

Story at Right Reading.


Independent book publishing in the San Francisco Bay Area

jost ammon, 4 of booksThe Bay Area has a long history of independent book publishing. Over at Right Reading I’ve listed ten Bay Area presses that would make good destinations for holiday shopping. The presses I included are:

  1. Counterpoint Press
  2. Gingko Press
  3. Heyday Books
  4. Manic D Press
  5. McSweeney’s Books
  6. Mercury House
  7. Parallax Press
  8. Re/Search
  9. Stone Bridge Press
  10. Whereabouts Press

What other publishers deserve mention?


Thirteenth annual Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair

anarchist book fair

Frisco Vista received the following e-mail from Ken Knabb of the Bureau of Public Secrets.

The 13th annual Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair is happening this coming weekend at the San Francisco County Fair Building (Golden Gate Park near Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way).

Due to popular demand and continually increasing turnout (last year there were over 5000 people), the bookfair now runs for two days:

–Saturday (March 22), 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
–Sunday (March 23), 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Admission is free.

Ken Knabb (Bureau of Public Secrets) will have a table there, as will approximately 60 other booksellers, distributors, independent presses and radical groups from around the country. There will also be speakers, panel discussions, films, exhibits, kids/family space, and cafe lunches. For more information see

It’s always lots of fun — hope to see you there!

Day of Dead reading (with altars, food, and drink) at Chronicle Books

A book launch party for our book of translations of Latin American literature will be held this Thursday at 6:30 pm at Chronicle Books, 680 Second Street (between Brannan and Townsend). Below is a screen shot of an email announcement from the Center for the Art of Translation.

day of dead reading in san francisco

The cool image is based on loteria cards, of course. In case you can’t read it, the text says “Celebrate Día de los Muertos with Gabriel García Marquez, Julio Cortázar, Senel Paz, and other great Latin American writers from the past and present. Join the Center at a book launch party for our latest collection, New World/New Words: Recent Writing from the Americas, edited by Thomas Christensen.

An after-work fiesta with traditional Día de los Muertos altars, food and drink from your favorite Mission District haunts, and a bilingual reading by local writers and translators as well as students from the Center’s Poetry Inside Out (PIO) program. The Center will also receive an award from the American Translators Association honoring PIO.

Thursday, NOVEMBER 1, 6:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm, reading begins at 6:30 pm Chronicle Books, 680 Second Street (between Brannan and Townsend), SF
$5-10 suggested donation Copies of the book will be available for purchase at a special discounted price This event is wheelchair accessible
Parking: Free street parking after 6:00pm. Paid parking at US Parking, 136 Townsend Street.
From BART: Exit Montgomery Street station, walk 6 blocks down Second Street to Chronicle Books.
For more information, visit “

Latin American literature at LitQuake

Beginning at 8:00 on Saturday, October 13, I’ll be reading with Elizabeth Bell, Michael Koch, Anita Segástegui, and John Oliver Simon. The event will be at Encantada Gallery, 908 Valencia Street.


Litquake is under way. This ideo emphasizes its unorthodox venues. This Saturday I’m reading at one in the Mission, but I forget where — will post in a couple days.


Litquake is starting to roll out details of this year’s festival.

“Authors appearing this year include Dave Eggers, Ishmael Reed, Vikram Chandra, Gail Tsukiyama, Noah Levine, Ann Patchett, George Smoot,” according to the Litquake website, “and about 300 others.”

I’m one of the 300 others. I’ll be reading at Encantada Galley and shop on Valencia at 20t, Oct. 13 at, I think, 7:00, along with contributors to the new Latin American literature anthology from the Center for the Art of Translation.

Amy Tan’s San Francisco

amy tanThe Washington Post, as part of a “People We Like and the Places They Love” series, recently ran an interview with Amy Tan on the subject of San Francisco.

The image at left (cropped, somewhat desaturated, and adjusted for highlights and shadows) is from Tan’s official site.

Some rights reserved 2022 Tom’s Garden. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons (attribution, noncommercial, no derivs: 3.0) License (US), although some of the work this blog incorporates may be separately licensed. Text and images by Thomas Christensen unless otherwise noted. For print permissions or other inquiries please request via