Bucky Sinister knows how to hold a room by the balls. With his poetry, he has you terrified one moment, in tears the next, and then soon breaking out into laughter. You live vicariously through his verse. You feel his hope in leaving a small town and arriving in San Francisco. You revel in his intense friendships and heady adventures. You endure the addictions, the despair, the deaths. And then with him, you survive and reflect. Sinister is among those reading at Quiet Lightning, Neighborhood Heroes, a series that combines some of the best literary talent to come out of San Francisco in the past 20 years. Organizer Evan Karp says tonight's bill includes those who've been crucial in building the literary community. Charlie Jane Anders, for example, started a reading series that has been a fixture in the Mission District since 2001. Jonathan Siegel holds frequent literary and music events in the basement of his Valencia Street antique store. Gravity Goldberg edits Instant City literary magazine. Kim Addonizio has written five poetry collections, one of which was a finalist for a National Book Award. More important than pedigree, though, is what these writers bring to the stage. Are we academics? I don't fucking know, Sinister says with a typical throaty laugh. I have a degree, but I learned to write at 22nd and Guerrero.
Tue., Nov. 30, 7 p.m., 2010