To Ekabhumi, Steve, Scott, and Powers That Be, please please please feel free to take this message down in a hot minute if any of you feel it is disruptive, because nothing could be further from my intent.
It appears that the host hotel is filling up quickly (as of this posting there are still King-Bed rooms available). The hotel is http://www.hotelshattuckplaza.com
If the host hotel fills up (again, it ain't full yet! Go there first!) then it starts to make a whole heap of sense for people to seek out one or two other hotels and carpool/ bunk together. It would be a shame if there were fifty poets staying at the host hotel and then another fifty lonely poets scattered throughout the Bay Area.
So, if the main hotel fills up, I'd hope people would use this thread to coordinate their searches for lodgings and transportation. We can all go our own way on Priceline and I'm sure some of us will, but it would probably make for a much more fun/ green/ affordable event if we coordinated.
Quoted below is Ekabhumi's excellent, from-the-horse's-mouth advice on lodging in SF/Berkeley.
Folks, I won't be able to answer all of these distance-related questions. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of hotels in the East Bay. This particular hotel is as far away from our venues and you can physically get and still be in Berkeley.
Here are some general guidelines:
All the hotels in downtown Berkeley are decent, expensive, and walkable.
There are a number of hotels and motels along University Avenue, which is fine if you have a car. You can catch a public bus, they run all night, but it'll take you half an hour to get to the venues. You could walk it if you have hiking boots and 45 minutes to spare. Most of those will be about a $5 cab ride one-way.
I do not suggest any of the motels or hotels on San Pablo Avenue, especially as you head South into Oakland. Though cheap, it can be an unsavory area.
Emeryville has several LARGE hotels. They have shuttles. Emeryville also has a city shuttle bus that runs all night for free and will drop you off either at McAurther BART (two stops from Ashby BART in Berkeley) or at the Bus line that runs all night and goes straight to the venues. This is NOT walking distance. It's about a $7 cab ride one-way.
Downtown Oakland (and Jack London Square) has several large hotels. If you get a hotel on Broadway Ave, you can catch BART or bus back in to Berkeley without any transfers. Buses run all night, but BART stops at midnight. It's about a $10 cab ride one-way.
San Francisco has MANY hotels, and many of them aren't as expensive as you might guess. You can easily catch BART across the Bay for a $7 round trip. But remember, the BART stops at midnight and it's a $30 cab ride one-way.
There are sometimes apartments and houses for rent for short periods. Team Oakland usually does this when going to Nationals. If you have a group of people, it's often much less expensive than a hotel, just as close, plus you can get all kinds of extras like kitchens and pools. This is up to you, I haven't done the research.