Wednesday, April 22
Before you embarrass yourself, here are some clarifications. Mark Rudd is an antiwar activist, and no known relation to bromantic comedy actor Paul Rudd. SDS is the abbreviation for Students for a Democratic Society, an American activist movement from the mid-'60s, and certainly not to be confused with SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The Weathermen were a radicalized revolutionary faction of the SDS, not TV climatologists who show you animated greenscreen maps between news and sports. For more information, come to City Lights, 261 Columbus (at Broadway), at 7 p.m., when Rudd will read from his new book, Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen (William Morrow, $25.99). Free; 362-8193, www.citylights.com. Here's another option for the same evening. At 14, Cori Crooks got word from her con-artist mom that her dad wasn't really her dad. At 21, when her mom died from an overdose, Crooks still had a lot of questions pending. She's since channeled them into writing, first with her blog, A Gag Reflex, and then a sort of memoir-scrapbook hybrid (involving photos, letters, and mail-order DNA test results), Sweet Charlotte's Seventh Mistake (Seal Press, $18.95). In Crooks' telling, Charlotte is her mom, and she's the mistake. At 7 p.m., as part of Modern Times Bookstore's Indie Press of the Month Event, she will read from and discuss her project, her parents, and her life. 888 Valencia (at 20th St.). Free; 282-9246, www.moderntimesbookstore.com.
Thursday, April 23
Look, just because every month is National Something Month doesn't mean you're entitled to not give a damn that April is National Poetry Month. Forget national poetry: How about local poetry? There's more than a month's worth of satisfaction to be had from the poems of Randall Mann and D.A. Powell, who share a nimbleness with great subjects — love, learning, erotic recollections from local gay life (and afterlife) — and will read together from their respective recent books, Breakfast with Thom Gunn (University of Chicago, $14) and Chronic: Poems (Graywolf, $20), at the Castro branch of Books, Inc., 2275 Market (at 16th St. Free; 864-6777, www.booksinc.net.
Tuesday, April 28
Whether you know him as a radical Nowtopian, a chronicler of Critical Mass, a sharpener of The Political Edge, or, okay, you've never heard of the guy, local writer, activist, and historian Chris Carlsson will be waiting for you at 6 p.m. at the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin (at Grove). He'll be discussing his dynamic, democratically participatory local history project, www.foundsf.org, which he describes as "a collaboration between Shaping San Francisco, the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, and you!" So obviously you'd better show up. Free; 557-4400, www.sfpl.org.
Thursday, April 30
In 1928, three female ghosts floated by riverboat into the Sacramento River Delta town of Locke, just in time to remind the Chinese immigrant community there that "strange happenings ... can take place in a town built on tragedy." Well, that's what happened in local author Shawna Yang Ryan's debut historical novel, Water Ghosts (Penguin, $22.95), anyway. And that's just the beginning. Find out more when she reads from her sensuous, scrupulous book at 7 p.m. at Bookshop West Portal, 80 West Portal (at Vicente). Free; 564-8080, www.bookshopwestportal.com.