The inimitable, essential, uncompromising independent bookstore-publisher City Lights has been celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, with a series of live events and a steady stream of historical photos, stories, and reminiscences shared online. Tonight (tonight!) they’re hosting what may be the year’s most exciting event for anyone with a stake in bookselling: a roundtable discussion titled “How We Got Here, Where We’re Going.” City Lights Executive Director and Publisher Elaine Katzenberger, Senior Book Buyer (and industry idol) Paul Yamazaki, and Events Director Peter Maravelis will explore the history of City Lights and its ongoing mission as both a bookstore and a publishing house.
Then next month comes another treat, an “Oulipo Laboratory” presented in conjunction with the Mechanics’ Institute Library and the SF Art Institute. The multi-day event will “bring together members of the Oulipo and West Coast creators to trace potential literature from its origins to the present day and into the future, with discussions, readings, and participatory workshops.” Daniel Levin Becker, youngest Oulipian and author of our Many Subtle Channels, will be on hand with other Oulipo members and friends coming together in praise of potential literature.
If you can’t make it to these or any of the other remaining events in person, City Lights invites you to join in online at the City Lights Blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, digital outposts where their readiness for another sixty years is always on display.
And if you’ve never been to City Lights, but literary culture, the arts, diversity, democracy, community, or integrity in enterprise are important to you, then make it a goal to visit at least once in your life. They’ll be there.