158 episodes

The official podcast for City Lights Publishers & Booksellers in San Francisco. Featuring readings and archives. Hosted by City Lights events coordinator Peter Maravelis.

LIVE! From City Lights LIVE! From City Lights

    • Arts
    • 4.2 • 9 Ratings

The official podcast for City Lights Publishers & Booksellers in San Francisco. Featuring readings and archives. Hosted by City Lights events coordinator Peter Maravelis.

    Bill Ong Hing

    Bill Ong Hing

    City Lights LIVE, Beacon Press, and Refugee Immigrant Transitions celebrate the publication of “Humanizing Immigration: How to Transform Our Racist and Unjust System” by Bill Ong Hing, published by Beacon Press.

    “Humanizing Immigration” is the first book to argue that immigrant and refugee rights are part of the fight for racial justice; and offers a humanitarian approach to reform and abolition. Representing non-citizens caught up in what he calls the immigration and enforcement “meat grinder”, Bill Ong Hing witnessed their trauma, arriving at this conclusion: migrants should have the right to free movement across borders—and the right to live free of harassment over immigration status.

    He cites examples of racial injustices endemic in immigration law and enforcement, from historic courtroom cases to the recent treatment of Haitian migrants. Hing includes histories of Mexican immigration, African migration and the Asian exclusion era, all of which reveal ICE abuse and a history of often forgotten racist immigration laws.

    While ultimately arguing for the abolishment of ICE, Hing advocates for change now. With 50 years of law practice and litigation experience, Hing has represented non-citizens—from gang members to asylum seekers fleeing violence, and from individuals in ICE detention to families at the U.S. southern border seeking refuge.

    Bill Ong Hing is Professor of Law and Migration Studies at the University of San Francisco, and Professor of Law and Asian American Studies Emeritus, at UC Davis. Previously on the law faculties at Stanford University and Golden Gate University, he founded the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco and directs their Immigration & Deportation Defense Clinic. Professor Hing teaches Immigration Law & Policy, Migration Studies, Rebellious Lawyering, and Evidence, is the author of 6 books, and was co-counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court asylum precedent-setting case "INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca" (1987).

    Jane Pak is Co-Executive Director at Refugee and Immigrant Transitions and Adjunct Professor in the Masters in Migration Studies program at the University of San Francisco (USF). Her scholarship and praxis are informed by Critical Refugee Studies; liberatory education; and transnational solidarity. Jane is most energized when engaging with diverse communities and knowledge in collective contexts. Her background is in strategy, development, and research in education and refugee contexts. She has worked in community, nonprofit, government, and business sectors. Jane’s work for justice is motivated by a multi-generational family history of forced migration, resistance, and service.

    You can purchase copies of “Humanizing Immigration: How to Transform Our Racist and Unjust System” at https://citylights.com/humanizing-immigration-ht-transfor/.

    This event is made possible with the support of the City Lights Foundation.

    To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/foundation/.

    • 59 min
    Myriam Gurba

    Myriam Gurba

    City Lights LIVE! presents Myriam Gurba in conversation with visual artist MariNaomi to celebrate the release of Gurba’s new book “Creep: Accusations and Confessions,” published by Simon and Schuster.

    A ruthless and razor-sharp essay collection that tackles the pervasive, creeping oppression and toxicity that has wormed its way into society—in our books, schools, and homes, as well as the systems that perpetuate them—from the acclaimed author of “Mean,” and one of our fiercest, foremost explorers of intersectional Latinx identity.

    A creep can be a singular figure, a villain who makes things go bump in the night. Yet “creep" is also what the fog does—it lurks into place to do its dirty work, muffling screams, obscuring the truth, and providing cover for those prowling within it.

    “Creep” is Myriam Gurba’s informal sociology of creeps, a deep dive into the dark recesses of the toxic traditions that plague the United States and create the abusers who haunt our books, schools, and homes. Through cultural criticism disguised as personal essay, Gurba studies the ways in which oppression is collectively enacted, sustaining ecosystems that unfairly distribute suffering and premature death to our most vulnerable. Yet identifying individual creeps, creepy social groups, and creepy cultures is only half of this book’s project—the other half is examining how we as individuals, communities, and institutions can challenge creeps and rid ourselves of the fog that seeks to blind us.

    With her ruthless mind, wry humor, and adventurous style, Gurba implicates everyone from Joan Didion to her former abuser, everything from Mexican stereotypes to the carceral state. Braiding her own history and identity throughout, she argues for a new way of conceptualizing oppression, and she does it with her signature blend of bravado and humility.

    Myriam Gurba is a writer and artist. She is the author of the true crime memoir “Mean,” a New York Times Editors’ Choice. O, The Oprah Magazine, ranked “Mean” as one of the best LGBTQ books of all time. Publishers Weekly describes Gurba as having a voice like no other. Her essays and criticism have appeared in The Paris Review, Time, and 4Columns. She has shown art in galleries, museums, and community centers. She lives in Pasadena, California.

    MariNaomi (they/them) is the award-winning author and illustrator of “Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume,” “Ages 0 to 22,” “Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories,” "Turning Japanese," “I Thought YOU Hated ME,” the “Life on Earth” trilogy, “Dirty Produce,” and “I Thought You Loved Me.” Their work has appeared in nearly 100 print publications, and has been featured on websites such as The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Rumpus, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Midnight Breakfast, SF Examiner, and BuzzFeed. Their comics have been translated into French (Devenir Japonaise, Editions IMHO, 2021), German, and Russian.

    You can purchase copies of “Creep” at https://citylights.com/new-nonfiction-in-hardcover/creep-accusations-confessions/.

    This event is made possible with the support of the City Lights Foundation.

    To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/foundation/.

    • 53 min
    Benjamin Weber & Christopher Paul Harris

    Benjamin Weber & Christopher Paul Harris

    City Lights LIVE, The New Press, and Princeton University Press celebrate the publication of two new books: “America Purgatory: Prison Imperialism and the Rise of Mass Incarceration” by Benjamin Weber, published by The New Press, and "To Build a Black Future: The Radical Politics of Joy, Pain, and Care” by Christopher Paul Harris, published by Princeton University Press.

    “American Purgatory” is a vivid work of hidden history that spans the wars to subjugate Native Americans in the mid-nineteenth century, the conquest of the western territories, and the creation of an American empire in Panama, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. "American Purgatory" reveals how “prison imperialism”—the deliberate use of prisons to control restive, subject populations—is written into our national DNA, extending through to our modern era of mass incarceration. Weber also uncovers a surprisingly rich history of prison resistance, from the Seminole Chief Osceola to Assata Shakur—one that invites us to rethink the scope of America’s long freedom struggle.

    To “Build a Black Future” examines the spirit and significance of this insurgency, offering a revelatory account of a new political culture—responsive to pain, suffused with joy, and premised on care—emerging from the centuries-long arc of Black rebellion, a tradition that traces back to the Black slave. Drawing on his own experiences as an activist and organizer, Christopher Paul Harris takes readers inside the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) to chart the propulsive trajectory of Black politics and thought from the Middle Passage to the present historical moment. Carefully attending to the social forces that produce Black struggle and the contradictions that arise within it, Harris illustrates how M4BL gives voice to an abolitionist praxis that bridges the past, present, and future, outlining a political project at once directed inward to the Black community while issuing an outward challenge to the world.

    Benjamin Weber is an assistant professor of African American and African Studies at the University of California, Davis. He has worked at the Vera Institute of Justice, Alternate ROOTS, the Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers Project, and as a public high school teacher in East Los Angeles. He makes his home in Davis, California.

    Christopher Paul Harris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Global and International Studies at University of California, Irvine. His research interests range from Black political thought, culture, aesthetics, and social movements to broader questions concerning the possibility of revolutionary transformation in the 21st century. Advancing an abolitionist critique of the capitalist world-system, his work aims to understand the political lives, thought, and cultures of the Black diaspora and the underlying social forces that shape them.

    You can purchase copies of “America Purgatory: Prison Imperialism and the Rise of Mass Incarceration” at https://citylights.com/new-nonfiction-in-hardcover/amer-purgatory-prison-imperialism/.

    You can purchase copies of “To Build a Black Future: The Radical Politics of Joy, Pain, and Care” at https://citylights.com/new-nonfiction-in-hardcover/to-build-a-black-future-radical-politi/.

    This event is made possible with the support of the City Lights Foundation.

    To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/foundation/.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Found In Translation: Adventures in Language

    Found In Translation: Adventures in Language

    City Lights LIVE! presents "Found in Translation: Adventures in Language." As part of its 70th Anniversary programming, City Lights celebrates literature in translation with a discussion moderated by Olivia E. Sears, featuring Gabriela Alemán, Dick Cluster, Gillian Conoloy, Elaine Katzenberger, Emilie Moorehouse, and Mark Schafer.

    City Lights was conceived as an international project. From the very beginning, from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s own translations of Jacques Prévert , and on to some of the exciting authors City Lights publishes today, the world in translation has been at the core of the City Lights mission. Spend an evening with the editors and translators who have helped shape the translation program at City Lights.

    Dick Cluster is a writer and translator living in Oakland, California. He translated Gabriela Alemán’s “Poso Wells” and “Family Album: Stories.”

    Gillian Conoloy is a poet, editor, and translator. Her new collection is “Notes from the Passenger,” released from Nightboat Books in May 2023. Conoley’s translations of three books by Henri Michaux, including “Thousand Times Broken,” appeared in English for the first time, with City Lights Books.

    Elaine Katzenberger is the executive director of City Lights and the publisher of City Lights Books.

    Emilie Moorehouse is a teacher, writer, translator, and environmentalist. She translated “Emerald Wounds: Selected Poems” by Joyce Mansour for City Lights Books.

    Mark Schafer is a literary translator, a visual artist, and a senior lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he teaches Spanish. City Lights recently published his translations of Belén Gopegui’s “Stay This Day and Night with Me” (2023) and “The Scale of Maps “(2010), a novel by Alberto Ruy Sánchez entitled “Mogador: The Names of the Air” (2004), and “Dawn of the Senses: Selected Poems,” an anthology of poems by Alberto Blanco.

    This event was made possible with the support of the Center for the Art of Translation/Two Lines Press and the City Lights Foundation.

    To learn more about Center for the Art of Translation visit: https://www.catranslation.org/.

    To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/foundation/.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Lynn Lewis and Friends

    Lynn Lewis and Friends

    City Lights LIVE! celebrates the publication of “Women Who Change the World: Stories from the Fight for Social Justice” from City Lights Books, edited by Lynn Lewis, with a conversation between the editor and contributors Hilary Moore and Malkia Devich-Cyril.
    – Edited by Lynn Lewis – published by City Lights Books

    “Women Who Change the World” examines the inspiring oral histories of women fighting for justice and radical social change at community, state, and national levels.

    Award-winning oral historian Lynn Lewis brings together the stories of nine exceptional women, from their earliest formative experiences to their current strategies as movement leaders, organizers, and cultural workers. Each chapter is dedicated to one activist–Malkia Devich-Cyril, Priscilla Gonzalez, Terese Howard, Hilary Moore, Vanessa Nosie, Roz Pelles, Loretta Ross, Yomara Velez, and Betty Yu. Reflecting on the paths their lives have taken, they talk about their struggles and aspirations, insights and victories, and what keeps them in the fight for a better world.

    The life stories of these inspiring women reveal the many ways the experience of injustice can catalyze resistance and a commitment to making change. They demonstrate how the relationships and bonds of collective struggle for the common good not only win justice, but create hope, love, and joy.

    Lynn Lewis is an oral historian, educator, and community organizer. She is the author of “Love and Collective Resistance: Lessons from the Picture the Homeless Oral History Project” and is the former executive director and past civil rights organizer at “Picture the Homeless.” Lewis is the recipient of many honors and awards, including a 2022/2023 National Endowment for the Humanities Oral History Fellowship. She makes her home in New York City.

    Malkia Devich-Cyril is an organizer, activist, movement builder, writer, poet, educator, public speaker, and social justice leader in the areas of Black liberation and digital rights in expansive and profound ways that connect racialized capitalism to the digital economy. In her “Women Who Change the World” oral history, Malkia reflects on the responsibility of lineage, conferred by her mother, a leader of the Harlem Chapter of the Black Panther Party. Related to this is the theme of belonging: to family, community, and movement and the importance of narrative struggle to make meaning and build power to change material conditions. At the time of this interview, Malkia was formulating an analysis around the relationship between grief, grievance, and governance as a critical strategy to win freedom. Malkia, who also goes by Mac, was born and raised in New York City, and lives in Oakland, California.

    Hilary Moore is an organizer, educator and author who works within an anti-racist framework that links movements to abolish the police and the military with environmental justice, racial justice, and anti-imperialist struggles in the U.S. and internationally. She draws connections between eco-fascism, white supremacy, policing, the military, and surveillance that forecasts many of the dynamics we see today. In her “Women Who Change the World” oral history, she reflects on the process of her own political development and explores the meaning of belonging, creating community and connection. She describes the importance of mentorship and the role of storytelling as a way to build connection, leadership, and movement. Born in Sacramento, California, and raised in rural northern California, Hilary now lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

    You can purchase copies of “Women Who Change the World: Stories from the Fight for Social Justice” at https://citylights.com/city-lights-published/women-who-change-the-world-stories-from/.

    This event is made possible with the support of the City Lights Foundation.

    To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/foundation/.

    • 58 min
    Insurgent Beautitudes: The History of a Cultural Center

    Insurgent Beautitudes: The History of a Cultural Center

    City Lights LIVE! presents "Insurgent Beatitudes: The History of a Cultural Center,” a conversation between Elaine Katzenberger, Amy Scholder, and Paul Yamazaki, moderated by David L. Ulin.

    Continuing its 70th anniversary celebratory programming, City Lights Books brings together those who are at the heart of its core.

    City Lights was founded as a cultural hub, providing space and encouragement for a creative cross-pollination across the arts, as well as the realms of politics, philosophy, and social change. Here’s a chance to hear about our history from some of the folks who’ve made significant contributions over the years, working alongside Lawrence Ferlinghetti and beyond, guiding City Lights into its present and future.

    David L. Ulin is the author or editor of nearly twenty books, including "Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles,” shortlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and the novel "Ear to the Ground." His fiction has appeared in Black Clock, The Santa Monica Review, Scoundrel Time, and Zyzzyva, among other publications.

    Elaine Katzenberger is the executive director of City Lights and the publisher of City Lights Books.

    Amy Scholder is a literary editor, documentary filmmaker, and a former editor at City Lights Books where she began her career.

    Paul Yamazaki has been a bookseller since 1970. He has been the principal buyer at City Lights Booksellers for more than thirty years.

    • 46 min

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