Back in 1999, the year we opened Bird & Beckett, Jerry Ferraz was on the first poetry reading we presented, alongside Justin Desmangles and Dan Richman. He’s remained at the center of our poetry presentations ever since. Until now.
Jerry has been saying for years that his “compass points North” and now he’s done it, moved on from the City That Knows How, now the City At a Bit of a Loss, to Portland & environs up in Oregon. His ex, Shelley, drove him up there with his two suitcases and a box or two of art supplies and notebooks and not a whole lot else (zen detachment, you know) to cohabitate with their son Robin and infuse that troubled but city not without charms with his bohemian poet’s sensibilities. Lord knows, they need him!
Born and raised in Eureka Valley, that is to say the watershed off Twin Peaks that spills into the Castro District, Jerry took to wandering the city at a precociously young age and spent the next seven decades spouting poetry and song with flamenco-inflected flourishes and train rhythms on a long succession of pint-sized, sticker-encrusted guitars, ubiquitous in cafes and bars and alleyways from Minnie’s Can Do to the Prague, from Specs all the way across Columbus to Vesuvio, from Kerouac to Adler, uncrowned prince of North Beach, defrocked priest of Mission Street.
We wish him well, and expect he’ll be back from time to time, else we’ll dig out our compass and find our way up to spot him in his new habitat. Poets are an endangered species, but a hardy one. Bohemians, too. Be one. There’s strength in numbers… we’re here for you.
Michael Koch and your humble proprietor will welcome you with open arms to give some early thanks at this month’s first Thursdays poetry session that we call POETS! (clever, eh?), 7pm. Byob and a poem or two for the open mic.
This month, the featured readers are Keith Felton, long-time proponent of Jerry Day, tragically exiled from Berlin against his druthers, a presence at Bird & Beckett since the Blanche days of yore, a kind fella with a great appreciation of poets from Goethe to Whitman to Kaufman to Corso, and Andrena Zawinski, enamored of Paris and Pittsburgh, incorrigible kingfisher of a writer who’s never met a river or a reality too daunting and deep to dive to the bottom of, surfacing with a fully wrought, delicious poem every time. Michael will introduce the poets with his customary grace and good humor, and single-handedly conduct the open mic (opening with a poem or two of his own); and, as is also customary, Bird & Beckett’s resident mythologist Walker Brents III will likely have the final word.
Keith Felton was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he received a degree in English Literature from Duquesne University. For many years he divided his time between San Francisco and Berlin, but now he resides full time in San Francisco. He’s recently been a featured poet at readings hosted by the Presidio Library, Caffe Trieste, Le Petit Paris 75, Cafe Greco, First Fridays North Beach and The Beat Museum. His very small edition chapbook poem, A Literary History of San Francisco was published by Off The Cuff Press. He is the Associate editor of an upcoming edition of Beatitude Magazine.
Andrena Zawinski, born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, earned degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and has lived over twenty years in Oakland and Alameda. She has been featured with her award winning social justice poetry by the Women’s National Book Association, Monterey Poetry Consortium, Modesto-Stanislas Poetry Center, Henry Miller Memorial Library at Big Sur and other fine institutions. She has authored four full-length collections of poetry and some smaller editions, has edited two anthologies, and was PoetryMagazine.com’s long-time Features Editor. Her latest poetry collection is Born Under the Influence, from Word Poetry.
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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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