devorah major, San Francisco’s third Poet Laureate (2002-2004), is an award-winning poet and fiction writer, a creative non-fiction writer, performer, editor, and part-time senior adjunct professor at California College of the Arts. She was poet-in-residence of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco for 28 years. devorah has toured Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and all over the United States performing her poetry and speaking on panels focused on African-American poetry, Beat poetry, and poetry of resistance. She is the author of two novels and six books of poetry. Her fifth book of poetry, and then we became was published by City Lights in 2016 and her sixth, Califa’s Daughter was published by Willow Books in 2020.
Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California U.S.A. Allen is active in creative writing and spoken word since the early 1990s. Under POOR Press, he has published four books: Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater, Skeletal Black.
John Curl has lived the revolution since his youth in the 1960s, writing articles and poetry, turning to as an activist for social and environmental justice. He writes, “Back in 1968 at Drop City, where we truly believed that the Revolution was now and here, I built an early solar heater onto the back of my dome. After a year on the Navajo reservation in 1970, I learned woodworking, worked for over forty years in a coop woodshop in the Bay Area, helped to stop rapid gentrification in the arts & crafts industrial zone as an author of the West Berkeley Plan, and later as a planning commissioner. I was one of the founders of Indigenous Peoples Day; I studied indigenous languages and translated classical poetry from ancient Native America. I was an activist in the cooperative movement and wrote a history of when early labor unions tried to transform America into a Cooperative Commonwealth through worker cooperatives. I became a street poet, editor and publisher.”
Avotcja is a writer of prose as well as poetry, a musician, a musicologist and a dj (on KPFA and KPOO). For insight into the depth and breadth of Avotcja’s talent and artistry, we encourage you to buy her newly issued book, With Every Step I Take 2, and catch her performances in Berkeley with the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and with ModÃºpue, which can be counted on each January and July at Bird & Beckett, or attend one of the poetry open mics she conducts. We also point you to this insightful 2014 profile by writer Andrew Gilbert: https://www.berkeleyside.org/2014/07/24/avotcja-jiltonilro-soul-on-soul. Avotcja is a national treasure.
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