MONDAY

Feb. 19

EVENT

Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka doesn’t fear controversy. The playwright, author, and former poet laureate of New Jersey is as notoriously outspoken as he is celebrated. Famous for The Dutchman, his confrontational play about race relations, he’s always pushed the proverbial envelope: his post 9/11 poem Somebody Blew Up America sparked criticism from the Anti-Defamation League and resulted in the revocation of his poet laureate title. At this event Baraka will read from his newest work, Tales of the Out and Gone, a collection of unpublished short fiction. (Hayley Elisabeth Kaufman)

7 p.m., free
City Light Books
261 Columbus, SF
(415) 362-8193
www.citylights.com

FILM

“Oscar Nominated Shorts”

Add a little mystery to your awards-show viewing experience by throwing down some bones on a favorite short. The two categories are playing in separate animated and live-action programs. On the live-action side, my affections are divided. I enjoyed West Bank Story, American Ari Sandel’s witty take on competing falafel stands in the title locale: the Muslim-owned Hummus Hut and the Jewish-owned Kosher King. I also appreciated Éramos Pocos about a slacker father-son duo whose first instinct after Mom ditches them is to dig Grandma out of the nursing home and start exploiting her superlative cooking skills. But my heart’s with The Saviour, from Australia’s Peter Templeman, in which a Mormon missionary falls for a married woman. (Cheryl Eddy)

In Bay Area theaters