Our Story

Origins of an East Bay institution

IN THE WINTER of 2012, a group of friends were holding a poetry workshop and celebrating Youssef Alaoui's birthday. The group was Andrew J Thomas, Patti Orozco Cronin, Paul Corman-Roberts, Missy Church, and Youssef Alaoui. Paul said, "You know, the East Bay needs a poetry festival..." and they looked around at one another and Youssef said, "If it's in the East Bay then we gotta call it Beast something." Andrew said "Everybody knows that East Bay is Pig Latin for Beast." "What is the beast of the East Bay?" Patti said. "Why, it's the cranes out on the water! We used to call them the Guardians of the Gate!" They spoke about the giant metal creatures and Missy said... "The Beast shall walk on four legs!" So that's why our festival's full iteration has three hours of readings and one "hour" of afterparty (although it is known to stretch far into the night) ...


Andrew J. Thomasat our first Hat Party Fundraiser

Here's What Happened

Since that evening, the Festival successfully included thousands of readers and audience members; revelers in the power of the spoken word. For seven years straight, once a year in the Summer, Uptown Oakland was filled with literary Beasties holding 10 - 12 readings at a time, for three consecutive hours, and capping off the event with an extraordinary afterparty at one or two restaurants in the area. Writers met other writers, publishers, and curators, people regrouped with friends, old pals, and made new friends. BEAST CRAWL BROUGHT JOY, as was the goal from the very first departure point, sitting in a house by the sea, in the quiet night, on the couch, talking about poetry.


Where we are today

The Beast took some time off and today we are seeking fiscal sponsorship and bringing on permanent local partners to ensure the continuation of a truly great resource for the SF Bay literary community. We will interact with you throughout the year with new offers and projects. In short, we love you and enjoy you very much and it is our mission to not only showcase the amazing wealth of talent in our area, but to offer strategic networking that behooves all involved. We enjoy and celebrate the power of the WORD and what it does for the literary community, SF Bay Community, society at large, and humanity in general.

Reborn with a marathon reading:UPRISING
Emerging with a fundraiser:RESURFACING
Virtual BEAST!The largest zoom conference ever in the known land of Beasts and Crawlers.Our Literary Festival to cap the Summer of 2021


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