Literature & Lectures

Stay Amazed: A Celebration of Poetry and Music 

Date: Saturday, July 23

Time:  7:30 pm

Location:  Berkeley Branch: 1414 Walnut Street

Phone: 510-848-0237

Tickets: $10



Join us for the third annual gathering hosted by Berkeley Arts Ambassador Susan Duhan Felix. Nearly 20 artists from Berkeley to New York will come together for this special evening of readings, songs, and dancing. Mike Perlmutter will lead Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band in a dance party to celebrate the night! 

Performers Include:

Barry Barkan · Lester Chambers · Sharon Coleman · David Cooper · Linda Hirschhorn · Laura Inserra of Samavesha · Eliana Kissner · Nadine Lockheart · Zigi Lowenberg · Kirk Lumpkin · Sharon Skolnick-Bagnoli · Lisa Smartt · Laynie Tzena and more surprises! 

Copies of "Stay Amazed" will be on sale, benefiting Poetry Flash: Literary Review & Calendar for the West.


Short Stories and Essays

Day: Thursdays

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Berkeley Branch

Fee: $35 per semester

In partnership with Berkeley Adult School

This class will focus on the craft of the short story, which we will explore through reading contemporary short stories and essays. Participants will read stories and analyze them with a focus on narrative technique to understand ways in which different writers have addressed issues of plot, character, place and theme. Instructor George Porter is a credentialed teacher who has taught numerous classes at the JCC. For more information, visit or call 510-644-6130.


Past Programs


Flavors of Oakland: A Cookbook in 20 Stories by Anya Ku and Elazar Sontag
Guest Curator and Program Moderator: Alix Wall 

Date: Thursday, June 30  | Time:  7:30 pm | Location:  Berkeley Branch: 1414 Walnut Street | Tickets: $5

Join us to celebrate the debut cookbook of Elazar Sontag and Anya Ku, who interviewed and photographed 20 residents of Oakland about their favorite dishes they make at home. As the authors say: "Through the process of interviewing and cooking with Oakland residents, we have heard many stories of upheaval and strife, but the one thing that consistently connects people to their culture is food! We want to celebrate the cultural pride that exists in this one-of-a-kind city." All of this is more remarkable given that Sontag was 17 and Ku was 19 when they created and completed the book.