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.
Wesley Strick: The author reads from Out There in the Dark. Tue., Feb. 28, 7 p.m., free. Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole), 863-8688, www.booksmith.com.
Word Beat Reading Series: Readings are followed by an open mike hosted by David Gollub, Debra Grace Khattab, and Jeremy Morris Siegel. Thursdays, 7 p.m., free. Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave. (at Dwight), Berkeley, 510-549-1128.