2023 Prologue Schedule

It’s impossible to showcase all of the Bay Area’s bookish delights in a single weekend—that’s why this April we’re launching the Bay Area Book Festival Prologue. Prologue is a full month of literary happenings all around the Bay, presented by the BABF as well as our partners and friends. We’re featuring local nature walks, writing workshops, author events, open mics, and more—and don’t forget that April is National Poetry Month and April 29 is Independent Bookstore Day, too! Follow the links below to learn more about participating events . . . and get ready to start your BABF story early this year!


(APRIL 1 – MAY 5)


(coming soon)

    SOLD OUT: Crying in H Mart: An Evening with Michelle Zauner and Soleil Ho

    Saturday, April 1 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

    The California Ballroom, 1736 Franklin St, Oakland

    In celebration of the paperback release of Crying in H Mart, the Bay Area Book Festival is honored to host Zauner’s only Bay Area book tour appearance this spring. She’ll be in conversation with San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho at Oakland’s gorgeous California Ballroom in what promises to be a wide-ranging discussion of love, loss, cultural identity, the art of memoir writing, and, of course, food.

    • Environment/Nature
    • Food
    • Outdoor
    • Ticketed

    Berkeley Foraging Walk

    Mia Andler

    Sunday, April 2 - 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Heyday Books, 1808 San Pablo, Berkeley

    Heyday Books is proud to present a local foraging walk with Mia Andler. Click here to read more.

    Presented by Heyday Books

    • Literary

    Dominican MFA Reading

    Britta Stromeyer Esmail, Judy Halebsky, Matthew Kline, Abby Peyton Laporte, Reneé Marie, Nichole Turnbloom, and Sandy White

    Wednesday, April 12 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Sausalito Books by the Bay, 100 Bay St, Sausalito

    The event is a partnership between Dominican University of California's MFA in Creative Writing Program and Sausalito Books by the Bay. The event features current students, alumni, and faculty of the program. Presenters will read from samples of their poetry and prose writing in the cozy setting of a small bayside bookstore. Click here to read more.

    Presented by Sausalito Books by the Bay and Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing at Dominican University of CA

      SOLD OUT Nightcrawling: A Conversation with Leila Mottley and Shereen Marisol-Meraji

      Wednesday, April 12 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

      Oakland Museum of California (OMCA), 1000 Oak Street, Oakland CA 94607 - James Moore Theater

      Last July, Oakland native and author Leila Mottley took the literary world by storm with her critically-acclaimed debut novel, Nightcrawling. Mottley became the youngest ever Booker Prize nominee and the youngest author ever picked for Oprah’s Book Club. Join us for a homecoming evening with the author, interviewed by Shereen Marisol Meraji, as we celebrate the official release of the paperback version of Nightcrawling in her hometown of Oakland, CA and on the stage where she was named the 2018 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate.

      • Environment/Nature
      • Outdoor
      • Ticketed

      A Birding Walk in Point Reyes Station with Artist and Author Keith Hansen

      Keith Hansen

      Sunday, April 16 - 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

      Bovine Bakery, 11315 California 1 Point Reyes Station

      Heyday Books is proud to present a Point Reyes Birding Walk with Keith Hansen. Click here to read more.

      Presented by Heyday Books

      • International
      • Literary
      • Ticketed

      German Writer Thomas Brussig with Jonathan Franzen

      Thomas Brussig and Jonathan Franzen

      Monday, April 17 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

      Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St, San Francisco

      German novelist Thomas Brussig, author of "The Short End of the Sonnenallee," appears with English translator, award-winning writer Jonathan Franzen.

      Presented by Mechanics' Institute

      • Poetry

      Celebrate National Poetry Month!

      Henri Cole and Brenda Hillman

      Thursday, April 20 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

      Two nationally known award-winning poets read from their new works and talk about their influences and passions.

      Presented by Mechanics' Institute

      • Writing & Publishing

      Queer Bedtime Stories

      Scott Sessions

      Thursday, April 20 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

      Milk–SF, 302 Valencia Street, San Francisco

      Queer Bedtime Stories is an opportunity to re-seed the fertile ground of your imagination with poetry, memoirs, and history from our people: LGBTQ+ ancestors and creators alive today. Together, let's uncover the richness of our shared history and catch a glimpse of the blossoming future. Click here to read more.

      • Outdoor

      Hayward Lit Hop

      Saturday, April 22 - 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM

      Hayward's Heritage Plaza, 835 C St, Hayward

      A variety of local writing groups will put on hour-long readings and shows at various venues, mostly for all ages, and all free and open to the public! We'll gather at Hayward's Heritage Plaza first for music and an Earth Day-themed reading from poet laureates from around the East Bay, then disperse to venues along B Street downtown, then congregate again for music and refreshments at the Sun Gallery, which will showcase a climate change–themed art exhibit. Click here to read more.

      • Literary

      Survive & Thrive: A Literary Reading & Conversation with Devi S. Laskar & Lucy Jane Bledsoe

      Lucy Jane Bledsoe and Devi S. Laskar

      Sunday, April 23 - 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

      Oakland Main Library, 125 14th St, Oakland

      Lucy Jane Bledsoe and Devi S. Laskar will read from their new novels and discuss how they write with an eye toward redemption that is true and honest. Click here to read more.

      Presented by Oakland Public Library

      • Literary

      Alta Live: Author Jane Smiley

      Jane Smiley, interviewed by Blaise Zerega

      Wednesday, April 26 - 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

      Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jane Smiley joins Alta Journal editorial director Blaise Zerega to discuss her new collection, "The Questions that Matter Most," explore the connection between the writer and the reader, and answer your questions during this free virtual event.

      • Poetry

      New Works from Barbara Tomash, Joan Baranow and Dominican MFA Writers

      Joan Baranow and Barbara Tomash

      Wednesday, April 26 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

      Garden Room, Edgehill Mansion, 75 Magnolia Avenue, San Rafael

      Join Barbara Tomash and Joan Baranow reading from their new poetry collections. Dominican MFA students and alums will also share brief excerpts from new works. This is a free event. Click here to read more.

      Presented by Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing at Dominican University of CA

      • Literary
      • Writing & Publishing

      Bagels with Writers

      Faith Adiele, Grant Faulkner, Michael David Lukas, and Shanthi Sekaran, hoste by Janis Cooke Newman

      Saturday, April 29 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

      Page Street, 297 Page Street, San Francisco

      Spend Saturday morning with bagels and coffee in the company of four talented authors. Click here to read more.

      Presented by LitCamp

      • Science Fiction & Fantasy
      • Writing & Publishing

      Sistah Scifi Author Expo

      Sistah Scifi

      Saturday, April 29 - 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

      Oaklandia Cafe x Bakery, 555 12th Street Oakland

      We will have 12 to 14 indie Black and Indigenous speculative fiction writers showcase their work with physical and digital copies available for purchase. In addition, we will bring Sistah Scifi Bookish Tea Party vibes with areas to play games, read, and, of course, color!! This event is appropriate for readers of all ages. Click here to read more.

      Presented by Sistah Scifi

      • Ticketed
      • Writing & Publishing

      Book Conservators in Private Practice (virtual event)

      Juliayn Coleman and Karen Zukor

      Saturday, April 29 - 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
      • Live Streamed Only

      Join us for a look behind the covers, with a virtual discussion of books conservation with practitioners in private practice. Click here to read more.

      Presented by American Bookbinders Museum

      • Comics & Graphics

      All-Ages Adventures: The Wonderful New Worlds of Graphic Novels

      Susan Beneville, Alex De Luca, Emily Martin, Melissa Pagluica, and Samuel Sattin

      Sunday, April 30 - 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

      Dr Comics & Mr Games, 4014 Piedmont Ave, Oakland

      A panel of Bay Area indie creators explore the vibrant world of indie, self-published, and small press graphic novels, comics, and webcomics that truly are for readers of all ages.

      • Literary
      • Writing & Publishing

      Black Fire This Time

      Heather Buchanan, devorah major, and Nia McAllister

      Thursday, May 4 - 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

      We Work, 2120 University Ave, Berkeley

      Inspired by an anthology featuring over 100 poets and writers celebrating the roots and legacy of the Black Arts Movement, this lunchtime writing workshop will feature Heather Buchanan, who presents writing workshops and readings across the country and is the publisher of Aquarius Press/Willow Books. Click here to read more.

      Presented by National Writing Project

      Coming Out of Your Shell: A Conversation with Turtle Boy author Evan Wolkenstein

      Evan Wolkenstein, in conversation with Bel Beeson

      Thursday, May 4 - 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

      Jewish Community High School of the Bay, 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco

      This event will feature young people reflecting on their journeys of becoming, along with dramatic readings by Evan Wolkenstein, author of Turtle Boy, a middle grade novel about coming out of one's shell into the light. Click here to read more

      Presented by Jewish Community High School of the Bay and The Brandeis School

      • Current Affairs
      • Literary

      Words on War: Readings by Writers from the Former USSR

      Katya Cengel, Evgeniya Dame, Andrei Kurkov, Maggie Levantovskaya, Masha Rumer, Simon Shuster, Vlada Teper, Sasha Vasilyuk, Olga Zilberbourg

      Thursday, May 4 - 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

      DecoDance Bar, 1160 Polk St, San Francisco

      Writers and journalists from Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, and the United Statesshare work in response to the war in Ukraine. Click here to read more.

      • Culture
      • History & Biography

      Spies & Journalists: Daughters Breaking Silence

      Leslie Absher and Eric Newton

      Thursday, May 4 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

      Great Good Place for Books, 6120 La Salle Ave, Oakland

      Leslie Absher, daughter of a CIA father, and Eric Newton, husband of the late author and Bay Area journalist Mary Ann Hogan, discuss how memoir led each writer to better understand themselves and their secretive fathers.

      Presented by Great Good Place for Books

      • Poetry
      • Ticketed

      Berkeley Poetry Slam

      Berkeley Slam

      Every Wednesday - 8:30 PM - 10:45 PM

      The Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

      A 25-year landmark and staple of Berkeley culture, Berkeley Slam at the Starry Plough Pub on Shattuck is a medley of great art, good food/beer and great vibes! Click here to read more.

      Presented by Rich Oak Events