The cast of <em>Finding Your Best Angle</em>.

It’s not hard to live a rich literary life in Santa Barbara, but this weekend it gets even easier, with four events celebrating the joys of writing. Whether you’re a fan of dramatic monologues, poetry, or prose-or you just want to schmooze with your writerly friends-this is the weekend to do it. Read on for what’s happening around town.

1) READ ALONG: The annual community reading month, Santa Barbara Reads, kicks off at the Central Library this Friday, September 25, from 5:30-7 p.m., with an appearance by the mayor and a drawing for free copies of this year’s book, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Refreshments will be served and, in keeping with the novel’s dystopian, book-burning theme, a few firefighters will make an appearance. The party is free and open to the public. If you don’t already have your copy of the book, now’s the time to pick it up and join the discussion; you’ll want to be ready when Bradbury makes an appearance at the Lobero on October 11. For the full schedule of Santa Barbara Reads events, call 564-5633 or visit

2) PLACEHOLDER PARTIES: Immediately following the festivities for S.B. Reads, the library’s Faulkner Gallery will host a tribute to two major literary events on hiatus this year: the Santa Barbara Book & Author Festival and the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. Dubbed Wait ‘Til Next Year, the party runs from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, September 25. Stop by to sample wine and cheese, hear an authors’ panel discussion, and learn the winners of Writers Conference’s national writing contest. Admission is free. To learn more about the event, call 962-9500 or visit or

3) FROM STAGE TO PAGE: Also on Friday, from 7-9 p.m., author Mary Rose Betten will hold an ensemble reading of poems from her new book, Finding Your Best Angle. A retired character actor, Betten has crafted a collection of poems that captures the behind-the-scenes life of a professional thespian, drawing out the agonies and the ecstasies of the craft. Among the cast of readers will be Santa Barbara Poet Laureate David Starkey. The staged reading will take place at the Fe Bland Auditorium on the West Campus of Santa Barbara City College. For info, call 482-9417.

4) POETRY PROS: Then, on Saturday, September 26, at 1 p.m., noted Santa Barbara poets Lois Klein, Perie Longo, and Peg Quinn will read and discuss their work in the inaugural Mission Poetry Series event. You’ll find the poets in the library and conference room at the Mission Renewal Center on the grounds of the Old Mission. The reading is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. For more information, call (650) 465-2008.


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