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Kim Shuck

Monday, May 8th – 7pm
VirtualPoets! Kim Shuck hosts
Norma Smith and Gail Mitchell
and an open mic

Kim Shuck, San Francisco’s 7th poet laureate, now emerita, and more vital than ever, has been hosting a zoomed poetry reading for Bird & Beckett since way back, early pandemic… it continues. We’re grateful for the fabulous ways in which she extends the bookshop’s boundaries. Tonight, she’s invited Norma Smith and Gail Mitchell to read, and hosts the Bay Area’s most vital open mic, without exception.

Zoom link:


Norma Smith is a writer and semi-retired community scholar-educator living in Berkeley, California. Her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poets Reading the News, Thanatos Review, The Racket and Despues del Aguacero: A Pan Dulce Anthology. The invaluable Nomadic Press published Norma’s book of poems, Home Remedy (2017). We regret that Nomadic has drifted on, as nomads are wont to do.

Norma writes, “In the beginning was the word and I’ve drawn on it, to map the internal terrain and make sense of the external world, to investigate life and death, traversing a language that leaves me spellbound.

Words are my foundation and making a poem is part resistance, part fury. Emmett Till sits under my breast-bone. History shatters my heart and poverty is a scathing rebuke, so I write. It’s the only way I can make sense of humanity being inhumane.”

Norma received both her BA and her MFA from San Francisco State University in Creative Writing, a testament to the value of the public education system, threatened as it is, if not at SFSU, where construction seems to proceed apace, then at CCSF constantly besieged for years now and SFUSD, scandalously underfunding its staffing requirements, and depriving our children of the education they have every right to receive and battering the staff that is uninterested in jumping ship.


Gail Mitchell is a poet living in San Francisco.

Her volume of poems called Bone Songs was published by Taurean Horn Press in 1999.


A shout out to Brett Benson, poet and educator, who’s been keeping the tech working for this zoom series since the beginning!


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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