updates to the festival page
curator and venue lists posted
We are too thrilled to announce our complete list of Events this year... It might be over 36 total? We are so excited by everyone's participation. This is going to be THE LARGEST Beast Crawl Lit Fest in all our measly 11 years of crawling, including a few years of deep sleep nappin for the recharge. Wow what a recharge it is! We can't wait to see you. Truly.
Before you ask any questions, basically, we are in talks with a few more Venues. We are capped on Curators.
Our Legs are as follows
Leg 1: 4-5PM
Leg 2: 5:30-6:30PM
Leg 3: 7-8PM
Leg 4: 8:30 PM Afterparty
Click the button to get directly to our festival page!
Beast Crawl of Fame All Stars Jam
Beast Crawl of fame all stars - success
Last Saturday night at Intersection for the Arts, Beast Crawl Lit Fest reached the halfway point of their pre-festival fundraising drive with an absolute gem of a reading!
An all-star lineup of some of the brightest authors and poets to participate in the Beast took their turns at the mic inside 1446 Market Street to lay down their words to the atmospheric grooves of the lay/lie band featuring John Givens on guitar, Carl Nash on the keys and Sarah Iyer on vocals.
Beast Crawl stalwarts and long time supporters Joel Landmine with his trademark deadpan style, and SF Poet Laureate Emerita Kim Shuck kicked off the event in grand style. Shuck in particular has been a champion of the East Bay scene from across the Bay as she is fond of letting her audiences know that when she was starting out, it was Oakland and the East Bay that provided her initial platforms when the Beats were still treating the city like a good ole’ boys club.
Natasha Dennerstein and MK Chavez closed out the first half by essentially setting the room on fire, finding their cadence in lockstep and letting their poems be entwined with the surreal music that filled the room.
The second half of the show upped the ante as East Bay slam shot caller Reggie Edmonds, Alameda Laureate Kimi Sugioka, and Nazelah Jamison let the audience enter into their darkest and most heartfelt visions of a society on the brink. Edmonds in particular noted that the Oakland Poet Laureate was completely moved to tears during his set, as were many others in the crowd.
Finally, the inaugural Poet Laureate of Oakland, Dr. Ayodele Nzinga topped off the evening with one of the most “maestra-ful” sets of poetry the Beast has ever scene, a clear overture, prelude, main program and closing reprise that reflects Dr. Nzinga’s longtime dramatic sensibilities as she put American society underneath the interrogation lights and found it as compromised, flawed and full of promise as ever.
Audience members came away from the event profoundly moved, reaffirming the power of collaborative art that Beast Crawl ultimately wishes to embody in its festival and in its vision of community. Even with a cozy and intimate audience, the reading was a stunning success for the Beast Crawl in a showcase moment with their new fiscal sponsor, Intersection for the Arts, and the creative artists who are going to define the paradigms in the East Bay for years to come.
Galactic Rivers fundraiser
galactic rivers, an afrofuturist journey
For the third in our series of fundraisers, Beast Crawl Literary Festival will be featuring local Black speculative writers and poets in an extraordinary evening event called Galactic Rivers, An AfroFuturist Journey. It will be an immersive, multi-media evening of AfroFuturist Poetry and Fiction, planned for 7:00PM Saturday, June 3rd, 2023 at Intersection for the Arts at 1446 Market St, San Francisco. Doors open at 6:30. We strongly suggest you get there early to grab a seat!
Our stage will be transformed into the observation deck of a galactic star cruiser, helmed by a select group of Space Captains to guide an audience through the cosmos to a reality of their design. There will be live ambient music and film projection to provide an unmatched and entirely immersive environment for your enjoyment. The evening will be co-hosted by literary luminaries of Black speculative fiction Audrey Williams, Director of Ancestral Futures and Kevin Dublin, Director of Living Room SF Reading Series.
The Bay Area musical ensemble lay/lie (laylie.bandcamp.com) will provide a subtle synthesizer drone, space reverb guitar, ambient vocals, and visuals of galaxies broadcast on a screen.
This event is part of the fundraiser series leading up to the 2023 Beast Crawl Literary Festival. All donations will support the resurgence of the annual Beast Crawl celebration of literature as we work to return to pre-covid splendor.
Founded in 2012 by a group of writers, Beast Crawl’s mission is to promote the literary arts in the East Bay and to provide a platform for diverse voices to be heard.
Beast Crawl Literary Festival is funded by donations from individuals and businesses. Beast Crawl is fiscally sponsored by Intersection for the Arts EIN # 94-1593216
This event was made possible in part by a grant from California Humanities; Cal Hum. Cal Hum is a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities – focused on ideas, conversation and learning – as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect us to each other in order to help strengthen California.
California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more visit www.calhum.org, or follow Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Take a seat on the observation platform
on our star cruiser of the mind
and experience the finest voices
in Black speculative fiction.
Our roster of Space Captains:
Audrey T. Williams is a speculative literary artist writing poetry, fiction, and memoir. She is Co-chair of Speculative Literature Foundation’s SF Bay Chapter and a Board Member of the Black Speculative Arts Movement’s Oakland Chapter. Audrey writes from her ancestral heritage at the cultural intersection of Southern Black America and South Asian post-colonialism.
Kevin Dublin is an educator, economic justice advocate, and poet. As Director of Litquake’s Elder Writing Project & founder of The Living Room, he’s committed to helping nurture emerging writers of all ages. He is a Writers Studio Ralph Dickey Scholar and has received fellowships, grants, and awards from the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, and more. His words have recently appeared in The San Franciscan, Cincinnati Review, & NCLR. Kevin is the author of How to Fall in Love in San Diego (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and Eulogy (Raven & Wren Press, 2023). He resides in San Francisco, holds an MFA from San Diego State, and for a little Black boy from Smithfield, NC, believes he has been brought a mighty long way.
Tureeda Mikell, story medicine woman, poet, educator, activist for holism, is a U. C. B. BAWP Fellow, author of Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine; released in 2020, coauthor and curator of EastSide Arts Alliance’s, Patrice Lumumba Anthology, released 2021, both by Nomadic Press, and MoAD 2022 poet in residence.
Alie Jones is a self-care advocate, writer, artist, and Creole mermaid. She is Co-founder and Director of Black Freighter Press, a revolutionary press committed to the exploration of liberation, using art to transform consciousness. Alie graduated with her MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Mills College. She is the host of the podcast called Chit Chat with Aliecat, a platform to explore self-care practices and journeys of self-love in community.
Bisexual artist/activist Juba Kalamka is most recognized for his work with performance troupes Sins Invalid and Mangos With Chili and as co-founder and producer of the queer hip hop group Deep Dickollective (D/DC). His writing appears in numerous journals and anthologies including The Yale Anthology of Rap (2010),Queer and Trans Artists of Color: The Stories of Some of Our Lives (2014) Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men (Bisexual Resource Center, 2015) and Hustling Verse: An anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry(Arsenal Pulp Press 2019). His first full-length poetry anthology, Son of Byford (Nomadic Press) and his debut album with queer nü metal/rap-rock collective COMMANDO (Kill Rock Stars) were released in 2022.
Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, and podcaster creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California. He is currently a video game writer at the transmedia company, DJ2 Entertainment. Thaddeus' speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, Hayward's Reach (2011), a collection of short stories and Broken Glass (2013), an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram. He is also the creator of a technique-development series of essays called Writing Craft: Mastering the Urge to Write.
BEAST CRAWL OF FAME ALL STARS @ INTERSECTION
The Beast Crawl of Fame All Stars features Oakland Poet Laureate Dr. Ayodele Nzinga and SF Poet Laureate Emerita Kim Shuck as headliners in a heavyweight ticket that also features MK Chavez, Nazelah Jameson, Natasha Dennerstein, Reggie Edmonds, Kimi Sugioka, and Joel Landmine; the very best of East Bay poetry. Readers will perform over a lush layer of ambient blues kindly provided by lay/lie.
All ticket sales will go to support the Beast Crawl Literary Festival taking place July 22nd, 2023 in Downtown Oakland.
Joel Landmine’s work has been described as sounding like “the diary of a sixteen-year-old-girl [sic] as written by a fortysomething hipster… imagining he's being real when actually he's a self-indulgent douche who's never allowed himself to understand shit," by an anonymous internet troll. However, retired bus driver Jon Nelson says he’s “pretty good.” His collections Yeah, Well…(2014) and Things Change (2021) available from Punk Hostage Press. He lives in Oakland with his wife and cats.
Nazelah Jamison is a Bay Area-based performance poet, author, actor, vocalist and emcee. Her first book of poetry, Evolutionary Heart, was released on Nomadic Press in 2016. Her work can also be found in The Racket Journal: Issue Fifteen (2020), Culture Counts Magazine (2021), La Raiz Magazine (2022), Better Ancestors, Sparkle + Blink 115 (Quiet Lightning 2022) and others. In her spare time, Nazelah enjoys writing horror screenplays and saving the day. She hosts Thee Virtual Open Mic every 1st & 3rd Friday on zoom, and gives the best hugs in the Bay Area.
Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne, Australia. She has an MFA from San Francisco State University and has had poetry published in many journals internationally. Her chapbook Broken: A Life of Aileen Wuornos in 33 poems was published in 2021 by Be About It Press. She lives in Oakland, California, where she is an editor at Nomadic Press and works at St James Infirmary, a clinic for sex-workers in San Francisco. She was a 2018 Fellow of the Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat.
MK Chavez is an Afro-Latinx writer, educator, multi-disciplinary artist, and curator. Chavez is co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival and co-founder and curator of Lyrics & Dirges and teaches and supports writers at Ouroboros Writing Lab. Chavez’ writing explores identity, social injustice, environmental degradation, horror cinema, magic, and ritual and has been recognized with a Pen Oakland Josephine Miles award, the San Francisco Foundation/Nomadic Press Literary Award. She is a 2018 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award recipient and a 2023 YBCA 100 fellow. Her literary offerings include Dear Animal, Mothermorphosis, the lyric essay chapbook A Brief History of the Selfie, and Virgin Eyes. Chavez’s work can be found among the trees in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park through the Voices of the Trees Project.
Reggie Edmonds the co-founder of Rich Oak Events which organizes the Oakland Poetry Slam, the Berkeley Poetry Slam, the Rich Oak Alchemy Open Mic, and Daydreamer’s Poetry. Their work has been selected for fellowships and awards from Nomadic Press, the Afro Urban Society, Shuffle Collective and others. Their work can be found in Rigorous Magazine, Foglifter Journal, and elsewhere. Their poem, Aerodynamics of the American Negro, was a finalist for the Red Wheel Barrow Poetry Prize in 2022. Currently, they can be found working as the Community Arts Partnership Manager at the RYSE Youth Center and as the coach of the 2023 Berkeley Poetry Slam Team. ig and twitter: @Reggiepoetry
Kimi Sugioka, is a mother, educator, songwriter and poet. Her newest book is Wile & Wing on Manic D Press and she is the poet laureate of Alameda, CA. She loves cats and birds and believes that creating community through art is a revolutionary act.
Kim Shuck writes things. Much of what Shuck writes these days are thumbnail autobiographies for the purpose of advertising books and shows. Shuck is author of ten books and editor, co-editor, assistant editor, coffee monkey, edit adjacent or edit curious for ten anthologies. Awards, degrees, reviews, boards of directors and all of the expected literary lint pertain. Shuck is the 7th Poet Laureate Emerita of San Francisco.
Ayodele Nzinga is a multi-hyphenated artist. She is the founder of Oakland's oldest Black Theater Company and the producer of BAMBDFEST, a biennial international arts festival, an actress, director, and producer. Nzinga's publications include Performing Literacy, The Horse Eaters, SorrowLand Oracle, and Incandescent. Her work appears in numerous journals and anthologies. She is the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Oakland, CA.
California humanities grant award
BEAST CRAWL RECEIVES GRANT AWARD FROM CALIFORNIA HUMANITIES
OAKLAND, CA— California Humanities has announced the recent round of Humanities For All Quick Grant awards. BEAST CRAWL has been awarded $5000 for its project entitled BEAST CRAWL LITERARY FESTIVAL 2023
The Humanities For All Quick Grant is a competitive grant program of California Humanities that supports locally-initiated public humanities projects that respond to the needs and interests of Californians, encourage greater public participation in humanities programming, particularly by new and/or underserved audiences, and promotes understanding and empathy among all our state’s peoples in order to cultivate a thriving democracy.
Beast Crawl, Oakland’s Premiere Literary Festival, is an annual literary festival that celebrates the power of words and showcases the literary diversity and talent in the Bay Area. Beast Crawl returns to Old Oakland and the historic 14th St Corridor on Saturday, July 22, 2023 from 4-9pm taking place over the course of three one-hour Legs, Beast Crawl will also offer an open mic during each Leg of the festival, so anyone can share their work.
“Beast Crawl is a celebration of the literary arts in all their forms,” said Youssef Alaoui, co-founder of Beast Crawl. “We’re thrilled to receive support from Cal Humanities and excited to bring this festival back to Oakland for its 11th year!”
Committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive space for all writers, readers, and lovers of the literary arts, Beast Crawl is a free and accessible event. It is wheelchair accessible and BART friendly. The festival is also committed to diversity and inclusion, and welcomes all people of all backgrounds.
“We’re really excited to have such a diverse lineup of events this year,” said Paul Corman-Roberts. “We have something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out.
“These projects will bring the complexity and diversity of California to light in new ways that will engage Californians from every part of our state, and, will help us all understand each other better,” said Rick Noguchi, President & CEO of California Humanities. “We congratulate the grantees whose projects will promote understanding and provide insight into a wide range of topics, issues, and experiences.”
A complete list of all Humanities For All Quick Grants can be found on the calhum.org website.
California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment of the Humanities, promotes the humanities – focused on ideas, conversation and learning – as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect us to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more visit calhum.org, or follow California Humanities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
the beastly blog
Here is the place for current events, partnerships, and Festival Info.