Tomorrow night, July 7th, is the first annual Beast Crawl (get it? "East Bay" is "Beast" in Pig Latin). Beast Crawl is Uptown Oakland’s first literary “pub” crawl, a free festival featuring more than 125 poets, writers and performance artists in a single night, spread out over three hours and 25 local galleries, bars, restaurants, cafés, and storefronts.
One glance at the schedule and you'll see that Beast Crawl is full of fabulous events. Leg 1 begins at 5 pm, and your choices include Cave Canem fellows at Lyrics & Dirges, jamming with the Three Times Bad Band in the Giant Burger parking lot, and more. Leg 2 is at 6:30, with chances to witness the cultural exchange and inter-generational dialogue of Generations Literary Journal, a special collaboration between Saturday Night Special and Grinder, and more. And the final readings of the night will start at 8 pm for Leg 3. I'll be reading at Leg 3's Hella Soulful, which is shaping up to be a dynamic, spirited, provocative event. I just can't wait. And the night still won't be over - the finale will be the after-party at Paradiso, kicking off at 9 pm.
Visit the Beast Crawl website for more information, including venue map, full event schedule, and author bios.
I already know Hella Soulful's gonna be a great event, because I've done events with two of the other readers before. Safiya Martinez is co-host of one of my favorite local readings, the Living Room Reading Series, where I read last year. Around the same time last year, I was a feature at Saturday Night Special. My co-feature was Nathan Jones, another Hella Soulful reader, and trust me, you don't want to miss a chance to hear him read. The rest of the Soulful line-up includes poet Jessica Dailey, artist Mica Valdez, and musician i.Ameni, with host Roger Porter.
Check out this video of a soul-shaking performance by i.Ameni for just a taste of what the night will bring.