Celebration of the Word: This regular event features an open mike for writers hosted by Jeanne Powell. Mondays, 7 p.m., free. Perry's Joint, 1661 Fillmore (at Post), 931-5260.
Children's Story Time: Each week children aged 3 to 7 are invited to hear stories with a natural bent. Saturdays, 11 a.m., free with museum admission, free-$7. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard (at Fifth St.), 750-7145, www.calacademy.org.
Dean Sluyter: The meditation teacher and award-winning former film critic discusses Cinema Nirvana: Enlightenment Lessons From the Movies. Wed., June 29, 7:30 p.m., free. Black Oak Books/Berkeley, 1491 Shattuck (at Vine), Berkeley, 510-486-0698.
Family Storytimes: Parents and kids ages 2 to 6 are read to at various library branches. Daily, free, www.sfpl.org. Multiple locations, Multiple addresses within San Francisco.
First Friday Travel Series: A regularly scheduled evening of travel readings, followed by a reception. First Friday of every month, 7 p.m., free-$5. The Writers Center of Marin, 1323 Fourth St. (at C St.), San Rafael, 456-1825.
First Sundays Queer Fiction Book of the Month Group: Each month the readers tackle a different queer book and discuss it at the next meeting. First Sunday of every month, 4 p.m., free. A Different Light Bookstore, 489 Castro (at 18th St.), 431-0891.
Friday Night Poetry at the Yak: Spoken word, open mike, and acoustic music are the fare at this regular event. Fridays, 7:30 p.m., free. Yakkety Yak Coffeehouse, 679 Sutter (at Taylor), 351-2090.
GenderEnders: Monthly series of spoken word/music events where the performers are cheerfully queer and the audience is even more so. First Tuesday of every month, 8:30 p.m., $4-$7. Cherry Bar & Lounge, 917 Folsom (at Fifth St.), 974-1585, www.thecherrybar.com.
James Frey: The author reads from his new book My Friend Leonard. Thu., June 30, 12:30 p.m., free. Book Passage, Ferry Building (Embarcadero & Market), 835-1020, www.bookpassage.com.
John Hart: Celebrate the release of the fourth edition of the Sierra Club classic Walking Softly in the Wilderness: The Sierra Club Guide to Backpacking. Wed., June 29, 12:30 p.m., free. Stacey's, 581 Market (at Second St.), 421-4687, www.staceys.com.
K'vetsch: A regular queer open mike hosted by Tara Jepsen and Lynn Breedlove. Sign-up begins at 7:30. First Sunday of every month, 8 p.m., free. Sadie's Flying Elephant, 491 Potrero (at Mariposa), 551-7988.
Mandy Aftel: The perfume-maker reads from her book Scents and Sensibilities: Creating Solid Perfumes for Well-Being. Thu., June 30, 7:30 p.m. Black Oak Books/Berkeley, 1491 Shattuck (at Vine), Berkeley, 510-486-0698.
Mike Albo: The author reads from The Underminer . Thu., June 30, 7 p.m., free. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 441-6670, www.bookstore.com.
Natasha Radojcic: The author reads from You Don't Have to Live Here. Mon., July 4, free. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 441-6670, www.bookstore.com.
Open Mike Fridays: Authors are invited to read from their work at this regular open mike event. Fridays, 8 p.m., free. Cafe International, 508 Haight (at Fillmore), 552-7390.
Retool and Grind: Monthly open mike for musicians, poets, dancers, and others with a yen to command the stage for five minutes at a time. FTMs and those who love ´em are the staple performers. Last Wednesday of every month, 7 p.m., free. Eros, 2051 Market (at Church), 864-3767, www.erossf.com.
San Francisco Literary Walking Tour: A two-hour meander through North Beach and Chinatown to look at the apartment buildings, cafes, bookstores, and bars frequented by famous writers of the past. Meet at City Lights, 261 Columbus (at Broadway). Saturdays, noon, $25, 441-0140.
Story Time in the Library: Kids aged 4-8 are encouraged to sit back and hear stories about nature and science. First Sunday of every month, 11 a.m.; Third Sunday of every month, 10:30 a.m., free. San Francisco Botanical Garden, Ninth Ave. & Lincoln Way (Golden Gate Park), 661-1316.
Strega Literary Prize 2005: An evening of contemporary Italian literature will be hosted by the San Francisco Committee of the Premio Strega. Votes will be cast for the Premio Strega, Italy's most prestigious literary prize. Thu., June 30, 6:30 p.m. Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 425 Washington (at Battery), 788-7142, www.sfiic.org.
Sundays at Cafe Prague: Each week a featured reader presents his or her work, after which the mike is open to others who wish to read; all potential readers must arrive by 4 p.m. Sundays, 5:30 p.m., free. Cafe Prague, 584 Pacific (at Columbus), 433-3811.
Tuesday at Pat's Cafe Reading Series: Each weekly formal reading is followed by an open mike session for fledgling writers. Tuesdays, 7 p.m., free. Pat's Cafe, 2330 Taylor (at Columbus), 905-8837.
The Vowel Movement: A monthly all-ages beatboxing event hosted by Kid Beyond and Tim Barsky. First Tuesday of every month, $7-$15. Studio Z, 314 11th St. (at Folsom), 252-7666, www.studioz.tv.
Weekly Open Mike/Talent Showcase: Poets, musicians, and comics are invited to step right up and present their act to a waiting audience. All present are also eligible to win four free hours of studio recording time. Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m., free. The Canvas Cafe and Gallery, 1200 Ninth Ave. (at Lincoln), 504-0060, www.thecanvasgallery.com.