Book Reading with Chinaka Hodge and George Watsky

(General Event)

Nov 22,2016, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ 826 Valencia Street
City Lights Books is partnering with 826 to bring you Chinaka Hodge, author of Dated Emcees, and George Watsky, author of How to Ruin Everything, who will return to 826 to celebrate the release of their new books. Grab a drink, grab a copy of their books, and join in on the excitement at our Mission Center.

About Dated Emcees:

Chinaka Hodge came of age along with hip-hop—and its influence on her suitors became inextricable from their personal interactions. Form blends with content in Dated Emcees as she examines her love life through the lens of hip-hop's best known orators, characters, archetypes and songs, creating a new and inventive narrative about the music that shaped the craggy heart of a young woman poet, just as it also changed the global landscape of pop.

Praise for Dated Emcees:

"This is poetry that, in its infinite power and intimate grace, will still turn in your mind long after the music is over."—Jeff Chang

"Hodge writes with an unpredictable, rare honesty. This collection quietly and simply illustrates love in a complicated world."––Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino

"This is an absolute powerhouse of a book, and a new pinnacle for Chinaka Hodge. . . . She deserves a wide audience, an attentive audience, an audience that wants to be astounded."––Dave Eggers

"Chinaka Hodge is hands down, unequivocally, my favorite writer of words. All day. Every day. . . . These are poems to read every day. To make mantras from. They are the best poems you've ever read."––Daveed Diggs

"Every time I hear new work from Chinaka Hodge I wonder if she was always this good. She was, I'm pretty sure. And yet somehow, she's leveled up again. Dated Emcees is a dropped microphone, and a direct challenge to anyone listening. Step your game up."––George Watsky

About Chinaka Hodge:

Chinaka Hodge is a poet, educator, playwright and screenwriter. Originally from Oakland, California, she graduated from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study in May of 2006, and was honored to be the student speaker at the 174th Commencement exercise. In 2010, Chinaka received USC's prestigious Annenberg Fellowship to continue her studies at its School of Cinematic Arts. She received her MFA in Writing for Film and TV in 2012. In the fall of that year, she received the SF Foundation's Phelan Literary Award for emerging Bay Area talent. Chinaka was also a 2012 Artist in Residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, CA. In January 2013, Hodge was a Sundance Feature Film lab Fellow for her script, "700th&Int'l." In June of 2013 Chinaka began as a first year fellow at Cave Canem's prestigious summer retreat.

For over a decade, Hodge has worked in various capacities at Youth Speaks/The Living Word Project, the nation's leading literary arts non-profit. During her tenure there, Chinaka served as Program Director, Associate Artistic Director, and worked directly with Youth Speaks’ core population as a teaching artist and poet mentor. She has acted in comparable capacities in New York and Los Angeles at Urban Word NYC and Get Lit: Words Ignite. When not educating or writing for the page, Chinaka rocks mics as a founding member of a collaborative hip hop ensemble, The Getback. Her poems, editorials, interviews and prose have been featured in Newsweek, San Francisco Magazine, Believer Magazine, PBS, NPR, CNN, C-Span, and in two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry. www.chinakahodge.com

About How to Ruin Everything:

Are you a sensible, universally competent individual? Are you tired of the crushing monotony of leaping gracefully from one lily pad of success to the next? Are you sick of doing everything right?

In this brutally honest and humorous debut, musician and artist George Watsky chronicles the small triumphs over humiliation that make life bearable and how he has come to accept defeat as necessary to personal progress. The essays in How to Ruin Everything range from the absurd (how he became an international ivory smuggler) to the comical (his middle-school rap battle dominance) to the revelatory (his experiences with epilepsy), yet all are delivered with the type of linguistic dexterity and self-awareness that has won Watsky devoted fans across the globe. Alternately ribald and emotionally resonant, How to Ruin Everything announces a versatile writer with a promising career ahead.

Praise for How to Ruin Everything:

“Funny, subversive, and able to excavate such brutally honest sentences that you find yourself nodding your head in wonder and recognition.” —Lin-Manuel Miranda

“George’s essays will lift you and light you up.”—John Green

“In How To Ruin Everything, George Watsky sets off around the world to find out why nothing ever explodes the way it should—not fireworks, spicy foods, hip-hop, sex with middle-aged women, or minor criminal activities. Along the way he captures how it feels to be young, in beautiful writing that is compulsively readable, gut-clutchingly funny, and deeply humane. Don’t miss it.”—Jeff Chang

“George Watsky does again what he does best: attaches disarming, unparalleled wit to the mundane, making meditation of the routine and human. Everything you’ve come to expect from Watsky the rapper and George the poet is housed in this brilliant and unmatched collection of essays. His unique approach to rhythm is buoyed by his precision of idea and economy of language…An instant classic.”—Chinaka Hodge

About George Watsky:

George Watsky is a writer and musician from San Francisco, California. After getting his start as a teenager in competitive poetry slam, winning both the Youth Speaks Slam and Brave New Voices National Poetry Slam at the Apollo Theater, he has since branched out into hip hop and long-form writing. Watsky has performed on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, the Ellen Show, the NAACP Image Awards, and his online videos have received hundreds of millions of YouTube hits. A committed live performer, he’s played hundreds of shows, both with his band and solo, across the North America, Europe, Australia, and India, including festival slots at San Francisco’s Outside Lands, Just for Laughs in Montreal, Rock the Bells, Soundset, Warped Tour, and released numerous music albums and mixtapes, including his most recent projects, 2013’s “Cardboard Castles” and 2014’s “All You Can Do.” He graduated from Emerson College with a degree in acting and dramatic writing, where he received the Rod Parker playwriting fellowship, and released a poetry collection, “Undisputed Backtalk Champion,” on First Word Press way back in 2006. And although he was forced to write a lot essays in school, he considers this his first attempt at prose.      

Address:
826 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110