Like a pub crawl with a literary bent, the fifth annual Lit Crawl L.A. parades through North Hollywood’s Arts District on Wednesday for an evening of readings, live storytelling, literary quizzes and more. Spanning just a few blocks, Lit Crawl takes over local galleries, restaurants and bars for an overlapping list of literary happenings — all within walking distance. This year’s crawl has more than 40 presenters; here are a few top picks.
Duel of the Typewriters: Melrose Poetry Bureau Squares Off
Part poetry reading, part improv, the Melrose Poetry Bureau adds an element of theater to its live literary show, placing the clack of typewriter keys front and center of a stage performance. Members of the Bureau type impromptu poems based on audience suggestions, and for a dash of healthy competition, they also face off against one another in poetry duels. How many people can say they’ve witnessed a live, typewritten poetry battle in a design-your-own pizza shop? Here’s one chance.
The theme of this reading is “matters of the heart,” but considering the lineup, it may skew more scary than sappy. Shades and Shadows is a reading series and nonprofit organization that promotes the visibility of horror, sci-fi, dark fantasy, noir and speculative fiction in Southern California, and for Lit Crawl L.A. it has collected authors to share potentially spooky, or at least surreal, stories. Hear from Mallory Reaves, who co-wrote “The Silver Dream” with Neil Gaiman, Ben Loory, whose latest collection is “Tales of Falling and Flying,” and more. On theme for Halloween, plus more pizza!
8 p.m. at the Pitfire Pizza Patio, 5211 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
Out of the Mouth and Into the Fire: Jack Jones Presents Black Women Poets Reading from the Body
Established in 2015 by writer Kima Jones, Jack Jones Literary Arts is a local book publicity company that works predominantly with women of color and has already gained a national profile, including representing the 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry, Tyehimba Jess. For Lit Crawl, Jack Jones presents Natalie Graham, winner of 2016’s Cave Canem poetry prize, Allison Conner, Ashaki Jackson and Shauna Barbosa. Readings will touch on “the segregation of southern California, the cruel beauty of the deep south, murdered black children, queer lovers making love despite the world outside, celebrity, domestic violence and what it means to be black, female, alive, determined, bruised.” Hosted by Lilliam Rivera, author of “The Education of Margot Sanchez” and deejayed by Peter Woods of L.A.’s Writ Large Press.
9 p.m. at NoHo Plaza, 5223-5225 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
Still standing? The crawl reaches the finish line with a closing party, where guests will have a chance to mingle with favorite readers and any presenters they missed.
10 p.m. at the Eclectic, 5156 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood