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 them are the staple performers. Last Wednesday of every month, 7 p.m., free. Eros, 2051 Market (at Church), 864-3767,

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.

Eric Schlosser: The author reads from Chew on This. Thu., April 27, 7 p.m., free. A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 441-6670,

David Sedaris: The famed humorist speaks. Sun., April 30, 8 p.m., $27.50-$36. Flint Center, 21250 Stevens Creek (at Mary), Cupertino, 408-864-8820.

Seminars for Aspiring or Developing Writers in the Bay Area: Each month this series of three-hour adult seminars for fledgling writers tackles a different theme and includes successful big-name panelists; all proceeds benefit student programming at 826 Valencia. Fourth Sunday of every month, 6 p.m., $100. 826 Valencia, 826 Valencia (at 19th St.), 642-5905.

Mara Holt Skov: The author presents Blobjects & Beyond: The New Fluidity in Design. Tue., May 2, noon, free. SF Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third St. (at Mission), 357-4000,

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, 4 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.

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez: The author reads from Make Him Look Good. Thu., April 27, 6 p.m., free. Cody's Books/Stockton, 2 Stockton (at Ellis), 773-0444,

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez: The author reads from Make Him Look Good. Fri., April 28, 7:30 p.m., free. Books Inc./Alameda, 1344 Park Street, Alameda, 510-522-2226,

Jim Van Buskirk: The author reads from Celluloid San Francisco: The Film Lover's Guide to Bay Area Movie Locations. Sat., April 29, 7 p.m., free. Cody's Books/Stockton, 2 Stockton (at Ellis), 773-0444,

Lara Vapnyar: The author reads from Memoirs of a Muse. Wed., April 26, 7 p.m., free. Books Inc./Laurel Village, 3515 California (at Locust), 221-3666.

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,

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,

Word Beat Reading Series: Readings are followed by an open mike hosted by David Gollub, Debra Grace Khattab, and Jeremy Morris Siegel. Occurs on the first and third Thursday of every month. Daily, 7 p.m., free. Mediterraneum Caffe, 2475 Telegraph Ave. (at Dwight), Berkeley, 510-549-1128.

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