To celebrate the debut of its location in San Francisco’s gay Castro district, its second in the city, Dog Eared Books is planning to throw a free gala opening party next month.
Lesbian bookseller Kate Rosenberger announced in March she had signed a lease to move into 489 Castro Street, which became available due to the closing of the clothing shop Citizen.
The storefront formerly had housed LGBT bookstore A Different Light, which operated there from 1986 until its closing in 2011.
The news about Dog Eared Books came within days of the announcement by Books Inc. that it would be shuttering its Castro location at 2275 Market Street. It is expected to close in mid-June.
Since A Different Light closed, Books Inc. has been the only bookstore in the heart of the Castro. A few blocks north, just off Market Street, is Aardvark Books, which has long had its storefront at 227 Church Street.
As for why Rosenberger, whose flagship store is at 900 Valencia, wanted to expand, she had told the Bay Area Reporter in March that “the Castro needs and deserves a great bookstore and we are planning to bring it to the neighborhood.”
In an announcement about the event to mark the opening of the Castro store, Dog Eared Books said it is “throwing a great big party where members of the public can mix ‘n’ mingle with our staff, drink swanky cocktails, eat fancy hors d’oeuvres, and listen to brief readings by a few of our favorite local authors.”
The Castro location’s gala opening party will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday, June 20 right at the start of the city’s Pride Week festivities. Entrance will be based on first-come, first-served, and the night will feature a number of local literary luminaries.
Among those invited are Armistead Maupin, the gay Castro resident who wrote the beloved Tales of The City series of books that were made into a TV miniseries, and fellow gay writer Brontez Purnell, the author of Johnny Would You Love Me If… who is also a choreographer, performance artist, filmmaker, and musician.
Others expected to present short readings of their work include Harper’s Magazine contributor Rebecca Solnit, an activist and the author of Men Explain Things to Me and Infinite City; and San Francisco State University professors and authors Peter Orner and Alejandro Murguía, a former San Francisco poet laureate.
Also on the bill are Amy Berkowitz, who wrote Tender Points and hosts the Amy’s Kitchen Organics reading series, and Katrina Dodson, the translator of The Complete Stories, by Clarice Lispector, which won a 2016 PEN Translation Prize.
Serving as the night’s emcee will be Baruch Porras-Hernandez, a writer, performer, visual artist, and storyteller. He is also the curator and head organizer for the San Francisco Queer Open Mic and program director for ¿Donde Esta Mi Gente?