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!
Refresh your browser
to catch a show in progress!
Visit our Facebook page or
YouTube channel!

But nothing beats being in the room
with the music & the musicians!

Thursday, June 1st – 7-9pm
Featured poets Bill Vartnaw
and Jack Crimmins
Open Mic Follows
hosted by Jerry Ferraz and Michael Koch

Sonoma County poet laureate emeritus Bill Vartnaw (2012-2013) has been publisher of Taurean Horn Press since 1974. He is director of the Petaluma Poetry Walk, an annual poetry festival founded by Geri Digiorno in September 1996. His latest chapbook is “The Nile to the Milky Way,” available online at sharpgiving.com

Jack Crimmins’ poetry is concerned with people, landscape and spirit. His books are “Kit Fox Blues”, with an introduction by Diane di Prima, published by di Prima’s press, Eidolon Editions; “The Rust Life”, an experimental long poem; and “Dancing In The Sun Room”. He’s worked for many years as a licensed psychotherapist and lives in Sonoma County.

An open mic follows, so please bring your work. The open mic always reveals talent and insight that can’t be predicted but is ultimately so very rewarding, for the poets and audience alike.

No charge to read at or attend our monthly 1st Thursdays poetry series, but donations are very much welcome and appreciated, and help us pay a small honorarium to the featured poets.

San Francisco and the Bay Area have enjoyed a wellspring of poetry that reaches back to the oral traditions of the indigenous peoples or the region; its modern age and character interwoven with this mythic thread is traced most clearly from the mid-twentieth century work nurtured by Madeline Gleason and Kenneth Rexroth, bringing the work of Helen Adams, Robert Duncan, James Broughton and others into focus as key figures in a San Francisco Renaissance and its Beat era flowering.

Poets need places to gather and to present their work to each other and to a receptive public. Thank you for supporting Bird & Beckett as a home for these crucial encounters; we’re pleased that our readings go back to the earliest days of the bookshop, when David Hallstrom, Justin Desmangle, Dan Richman, Jerry Ferraz and others found receptive ears here, with Diane di Prima becoming an early ally and frequent reader, bringing in as well dozens of the women from her workshops three at a time to use and develop their poetic voices. We dedicate our monthly reading series to Diane, who passed in October 2021 and to Nancy Wakeman, one of Diane’s students and a frequent reader in the shop, who followed in December 2022. In recent years, Nancy generously underwrote our series, for which we remain very grateful. A celebratory reading for Nancy will take place here on June 28th, and we’ll also present a reading for Diane on August 5th, the eve of a grand celebration of her life and work at the Castro Theater that will draw poets from far and wide.

Thank you for supporting the venues that present the poets and musicians who keep our culture alive and evolving. Bird & Beckett presents its music and poetry events under the umbrella of the Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, which counts on the donations of individuals like you to augment audience revenues in order to pay the culture workers who contribute their talents and labors and to help cover operating costs. Please consider making a donation today. Only with a healthy donor base can we do what we do. Click here for information on how to donate and be part of the Bird & Beckett family.



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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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