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Paula - Roulette cover

Monday, December 3rd:
POETS!
Paula Hackett & Alfonso Texidor
open mic follows

Jerry Ferraz, native son & troubadour, hosts this last session of the year in our ongoing poetry series.  Monday, December 3rd, beginning at 7 p.m.  Two of our favorite poets, and a few surprises are in store for you!  And you’re welcome to bring your own work to read in the open mic segment…

Paula Hackett brings a sheaf of poems published in her classic chapbook, Roulette— the same poems that she recorded and released in a CD of that name with the astonishing accompaniment of pianist Rudi Wongozi. The poems themselves reveal a musical pulse rooted in her many years of close collaboration with her brother John on jazz lyrics — some set to music by the likes of legendary drummer Max Roach, a founding father of bop, and others written to fit the music of some of our most honored jazz composers, including Roach, Cedar Walton, Teddy Edwards, John Handy, Ivan Lins and many others.  Many of the songs featuring the Hacketts’ lyrics have been recorded, including enough to fill two CDs by the vocalist Diane Witherspoon.  As poetry, Paula’s work is crystalline and riveting.

Alfonso Texidor has written poems that one would expect to nail shut forever the coffins of the bankers and plutocrats, if such a thing were only possible.  Of course, those vampires aren’t so easily dispatched.  Still, Alfonso fiercely wields the silver stake of his words, valiantly and with abundant humor.  San Franciscans may know him most broadly for his work on the arts and culture beat for the Mission District newspaper, “El Tecolote”, but it’s those who’ve heard him rapping with his confederates in the cafes and performing his work at the mic on local stages who are the lucky ones.

As always in our ongoing series, an open mic follows– so feel free to bring a bit or your own work to read.

Two special cameos are scheduled for tonight’s reading:

— Howard Isaac Williams will bring his modern day take on “A Christmas Carol”, and

— actors from the PUS Theater Company will romp through a bit of their current theatrical show called “You Need to Read Poetry”.  YNTRP is being presented at the Bindlestiff Studio at 185 Sixth Street, near Mission, weekends through December 23rd.  Catch the snippet on display at B&B tonight, and then get down to the theatre for the whole enchilada — the work of a fat bakers’ dozen of classic poets brought to vivid life by a terrific theatre troupe known to Bird & Beckett audiences from a number of previous appearances here.

And of course, Jerry Ferraz can be counted on to open the open by unrolling his verbal tapestry in the best troubadour tradition, spinning a mesmerizing tale channeled from sources centuries and continents distant, yet completely of this moment.  And resident mythologist Walker Brents III will undoubtedly perform his traditional closing role, delivering a tale of Mullah Nasruddin or perhaps a trickster tale of Coyote.

Please note:  Our ongoing POETS! series — always presenting featured poets followed by an open mic — moves to a once-a-month Third Thursdays slot in the new year, so mark your calendar!  Many other readings, sans open, will occur each month on an as-scheduled basis.

POETS! pays a small honorarium, augmented by your donations at the shows, through the courtesy and generosity of its community sponsor, Carlota del Portillo.

Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.

The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
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