653 Chenery Street
in San Francisco's Glen Park neighborhood

[email protected]

Open to walk-in trade and browsing
Tuesday to Sunday
noon to six


Live Streams every weekend!
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to catch a show in progress!
Visit our Facebook page or
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But nothing beats being in the room
with the music & the musicians!

Amerarcana Reading + Nellie Wong + Social Media Panel + Blind Willies + Booker T. Washington

Thursday, May 17 – 7 pm

“Amerarcana 2012″

Bird & Beckett’s Annual Literary Journal
A Reading & Celebration!

The 3rd issue of our own “little magazine” has arrived, and it’s exquisite in content and design, just like the first two! Come & get it at the AMERARCANA 2012 RELEASE READING: Thursday, May 17th from 7:00 pm — with readings by contributors Bill Berkson, Duncan McNaughton, David Meltzer, Jackson Meazle, Jason Morris, Erik Noonan, Cedar Sigo, Tisa Walden & editor Nick Whittington.  Less likely to appear are Justin Desmangles, Joanne Kyger, Sarah Menefee, Jeffrey Joe Nelson, Will Skinker & Colter Jacobsen. Certain not to appear is Rodrigo Lira, as he no longer walks this earth, but who knows, perhaps his translators Rodrigo Olavarria & Thomas Rothe will show… Regardless, it’s sure to be a grand event, with wine & words aplenty.

Amerarcana is a proud production of the Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project — and one of the reasons we feel it’s completely legit and crucial to raise money for our 501(c)3, which makes it all possible.  Buy tickets to Saturday’s Big Bash ($10 ea.) to show you care and provide us the finances we need to press on!  We’ve just got about 3 months of operating funds left in the coffers right now, and the year isn’t quite half over — so we need your help!


Saturday, May 12 – 5:00 pm

Poet Nellie Wong
Book release reading
and celebration

Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Nellie Wong has been a crucial San Francisco poet since the 1970s.  Long an impassioned champion of left politics and social struggle, she gives voice to working class, feminist, immigrant, minority — i.e., American and international — ideas, ideals and concerns.  She was born in Oakland’s Chinatown in 1934 and is known and admired internationally for her work.

She also lives a stone’s throw from Bird & Beckett and is a staunch ally, a woman who deeply enjoys her neighborhood bookshop and its cultural offerings.  The feeling is mutual!

Nellie’s new book of poems is called Breakfast Lunch Dinner.

Oakland High, her alma mater, just last year named one of its new buildings for Nellie– by vote of the student body.  In fact, three buildings were named for individuals the students decided to honor:  Nellie; novelist, socialist and partisan of labor Jack London; and civil rights pioneer and Harlem Renaissance figure Louise Thompson Patterson.  Read about that event online by clicking on this link to Freedom Socialist, the “Voice of Revolutionary Feminism.”  Thanks to Nellie, you’ll always find the monthly “Freedom Socialist” newspaper on sale at Bird & Beckett, publishing not just the news that the powers that be deem fit to print, but the news and analysis that truly needs to see print.


Sunday, May 13 – 2:00 pm

Social Media & the Individual – a Panel Discussion

Rohit Chopra (Communications, University of Santa Clara) and Aaron Bady (English Literature, UC Berkeley)  discuss the lightning fast evolution of social media and the consequent reshaping of lives across the globe in every sphere of existence–be it politics in the US or the Middle East, entertainment in Bollywood or Hollywood, conversations on mobile phones in China or Kenya, or new forms of social shopping.  The same exciting transformations and benefits provided by social media raise concerns about privacy and identity. How much control do we have over those aspects of our lives in which social media is involved? What are the key challenges regarding privacy and how do we meet them? Have people’s very expectations about privacy changed? More broadly, how has our sense of self and community, our understanding of friendship and social interaction, been reshaped?  Please join us in the discussion.

Sunday, May 13 – 4:30 pm

Blind Willies

Which Way West?
Sunday Concert Series

All ages welcome!
Your donations help us pay the band!

Blind Willies is a band of once-upon-a-time SOTA kids out on their own… a rock band playing an un-plugged set for the Bird & Beckett audience.   Alexei Wajchman, guitarist/singer/songwriter; Alex Nash, drums; Misha Khalikulov, cello; Max Miller-Loran, keyboard/trumpet; Daniel Riera, bass.

This will be a lovely way to get ready for next Saturday’s (May 19) “Big Bash” (see below), which will cast a bright spotlight on current talent being developed up ther on the rim of Glen Canyon at SOTA (aka, The Ruth Asawa School of the Arts).

Down the road apiece, watch for SOTA alumni musicians to appear at Bird & Beckett including the Joe Warren Trio with drummer Alex Nash on June 4, and trombonist Natalie Cressman’s quartet on July 8.  You’ll find more than a few musicians out of  SOTA on the stage in our regular Friday evening jazz series as well…


Tuesday, May 15 – 6:00 pm

Author event – Stephanie Deutsch

You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South

Deutsch’s book weaves together the careers of two fascinating and significant figures, Julius Rosenwald — founder of Sears/Roebuck, and Booker T. Washington, champion of black aspiration through assimilation, who worked together to build 5,000 schools for blacks in the segregated south.  In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled “a separate but equal” public education system unconstitutional, making obsolete the schools built by Washington and Rosenwald.  The issues the two men raised one hundred years ago, issues of race and opportunity, education and the importance of community, are with us still.  And their contributions to our national conversation about them continue to reverberate.


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The Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project

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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The Independent Musicians Alliance

Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!
The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.


Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site

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