Thursdays at Readers Poetry Series: Melba Abela & David Meltzer

Thursdays at ReadersJoin us every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in our Readers Bookstore Fort Mason for our weekly FREE poetry series! Browse books while listening to internationally acclaimed poets and artists such as Jonathan Richman, David Meltzer, Diane di Prima and California Poet Laureate Al Young. The series is  curated by Friends’ Resident Poet Jack Hirschman. For a full line-up and more information please visit our calendar of events.

Proceeds from our bookstores benefit the San Francisco Public Library

This Thursday, June 30th, we are excited to have  Melba Abela & David Meltzer read!

Melba Abela is a Filipno-American immigrant artist and poet.  Her early work has been shown in galleries and published in art and literary anthologies in the United States. Currently her work centers on text + images that comment on breaking news-worthy problematic events.  She has also undertaken the translation into English of some poems in Pilipino by  E. San Juan, Jr., a world- renown Filipino-American academic, writer, poet and activist.

David Meltzer’s most recent publications include: Stuntman (Omerta Press), S.F. Beat: Talking With the Poets (City Lights), When I Was a Poet (City Lights, Pocket Poet 60), and Two Way Mirror: A Poetry Note-Book (City Lights).

I SHOULD TELL YOU
By Melba Abela

The jay was waiting this morning
for his breakfast as though I’d tamed him.

My country is falling apart, pulling down
decency and order, into a pile of sticks.

On the most peaceful of mornings
it is good to sweep the floor in bare feet.

When I am afraid, please put your face close
to mine and tell me a story with an animal in it.

It is story for you as well
and I hope you are listening.

A world of sticks is kindling for conflagration:
a match is a small thing and cheap.

Peace is a hummingbird a wide sky,
and small things are not so small.

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Thursdays at Readers Poetry Series: Chun Yu & Kevin Simmonds

Join us every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in our Readers Bookstore Fort Mason for our weekly FREE poetry series! Browse books while listening to internationally acclaimed poets and artists such as Jonathan Richman, David Meltzer, Diane di Prima and California Poet Laureate Al Young. The series is  curated by Friends’ Resident Poet Jack Hirschman. For a full line-up and more information please visit our website at www.friendssfpl.org.

Proceeds from our bookstores benefit the San Francisco Public Library

Tonight we are excited to have  Chun Yu & Kevin Simmonds read!

kevin-simmondsKevin Simmonds is a poet and musician originally from New Orleans. His poetry collections include Mad for MeatBend to it, and the edited anthology Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality. He composed the score and cowrote the text for the Japanese noh-inspired theater work Emmett Till a river, commissioned by the Creative Work Fund and debuted at San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen. He’s also collaborated extensively with poet Kwame Dawes, setting a number of his works to music, including Wisteria: Twilight Songs of the Swamp Country, HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica, which won an Emmy Award, and Voices of Haiti, which debuted at the National Black Theatre Festival and became an award-winning interactive e-book. He’s received fellowships and commissions from Cave Canem, the Community of Writers, Fulbright, Napa Valley Writers Workshop, San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Edward Stanley Award from Prairie Schooner. He lives in San Francisco and Tokyo.

Chun Yu readingChun Yu is the author of the award-winning memoir Little Green: Growing Up During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and one of the authors of the award-winning anthology Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace. She will be reading from her new collection of bilingual poetry in English and Chinese which merges science, art, and spirituality. This work is supported by a cultural equity grant from San Francisco Arts Commission.

Poetry after the jump:

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Lovin’ Our Library Laureates: Brian Christian

brian-christian-640x660This month we caught up with 2016 Library Laureate Brian Christian to discuss all things poetry and what makes libraries so valuable in this day and age.

Brian Christian is the author of The Most Human Human, which was named a Wall Street Journal bestseller and a New Yorker favorite book of the year.  Christian has been featured on The Daily Show, Radiolab, and The Charlie Rose Show, and his work has won several awards, including fellowships at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. Check out his latest book, Algorithms to Live By.

What are you reading right now?

I recently started Sarah Schulman’s The Gentrification of the Mind, a book which I learned about the old-fashioned way: by shamelessly eavesdropping on two readers discussing it at the table next to mine over brunch.

Who, currently, are your favorite living poets?

I was so stunned to hear of C. D. Wright’s passing, and I still can’t quite come to terms with that. Forrest Gander was my mentor at Brown and my gateway drug to contemporary poetry. Ben Lerner is electric on the page, and I devour his novels but hope we haven’t seen the last of his verse. Arthur Sze’s work is somehow both meditative and haunting, an unusual combination, in the best of ways.

Which poet of past would you most like to share a drink with?

Maybe this is cheating, but my first thought is Eliot, because the rest of the Lost Generation would probably be drinking with him. Also because I’d be in Paris. In the 20s.

How do you envision libraries in the future?

I’m reminded of the quote by Thoreau about college. “Tuition, for instance, is an important item in the term bill, while for the far more valuable education which he gets by associating with the most cultivated of his contemporaries no charge is made.”

I agree: while the lectures were what I ostensibly paid for, the real value was in the one-to-one off-hours mentorship of several of my advisers, and even more so in the fellowship of my peers—both of which were ostensibly free. Through this lens, I take a skeptical view of the online education movement, though I do think people around the world benefit from better access to information.

This is how I think of the future of the library as well. Mentorship and fellowship will require physical spaces whether or not the consumption of information does. In these the institution of the library has a unique and important role to play—now and for a very long time.

What projects are you working on right now?

Last month was the publication of my second book of nonfiction, a collaboration with a good friend of mine, Tom Griffiths. The book is called Algorithms to Live By and uses computer science as a lens for thinking about human decision-making. In short, we think of things like choosing between our favorite things and new ones, wrangling mess, and managing time as uniquely human problems. They’re not. I’m extremely proud of it and can’t wait to see it make its way to readers’ hands and minds.

Creating a Lasting Impact in Our Libraries

Barbara Photo Homepage

Barbara Berman with her husband Cliff.

Meet Barbara Berman: Friends supporter, Library advocate, literary lover and a member of our Mary Louise Stong Society Legacy Circle.

“Like far too many people,  my husband and I put off making our wills.  When we finally decided to start the process,  our first concerns were the futures of our beloved young grand nieces.   Next came the non-profits we care about the most. Friends of the San Francisco Public Library embodies our values of leveling the playing field in innovative ways.  Librarians are a brave lot, acting against censorship and supporting the communities where they work and live.

In making Friends of the San Francisco Public Library part of our estate plan , we say yes to the conviction that -long after we are gone – the Library and it’s supporters will live up the challenges they face.”

Join Barbara today to create a lasting impact! You can choose to designate support for general purposes of the Library, or your favorite section or function of the Library, such as children’s programming, exhibitions, library staff development, etc. Either way, you will feel deeply rewarded by the knowledge that your investment will have a beneficial impact on our  community for years to come.

Legacy giving provides the resources necessary to sustain excellence and preserve the future of the San Francisco Public Library.

For more information on how you can make a lasting impact, please contact our Executive Director, Marie Ciepiela, at (415) 477-5220 or marie.ciepiela@friendssfpl.org.

Thursdays at Readers Poetry Series: SF Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia & Trang Cao

Join us every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in our Readers Bookstore Fort Mason for our weekly FREE poetry series! Browse books while listening to internationally acclaimed poets and artists such as Jonathan Richman, David Meltzer, Diane di Prima and California Poet Laureate Al Young. The series is  curated by Friends’ Resident Poet Jack Hirschman. For a full line-up and more information please visit our website at www.friendssfpl.org.

Proceeds from our bookstores benefit the San Francisco Public Library

Tonight we are excited to have  SF Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia & Trang Cao read!

Join us for this special reading, as this may be the last reading of the current Poet Laureate, Alejandro Murguia at the Readers Bookstore before he becomes the Emeritus P.L., as the process of electing the next one is well underway.

Murguia FotoAlejandro Murguía is the author of This War Called Love, City Lights Books (winner of the American Book Award,) and The Medicine of Memory: A Mexica Clan in California, University of Texas Press. Last year City Lights Books released his new book Stray Poems. In May 2014 the SF Weekly named him Best Local Author. He is the author of the short story “The Other Barrio” which was filmed in the Mission District. Currently he is a professor in Latina/Latino Studies at San Francisco State University. He is the Sixth San Francisco Poet Laureate and the first Latino to hold the post.

 

Thursdays at Readers Poetry Series: Jami Proctor-Xu & Mauro Fortissimo

Join us every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in our Readers Bookstore Fort Mason for our weekly FREE poetry series! Browse books while listening to internationally acclaimed poets and artists such as Jonathan Richman, David Meltzer, Diane di Prima and California Poet Laureate Al Young. The series is  curated by Friends’ Resident Poet Jack Hirschman. For a full line-up and more information please visit our website at www.friendssfpl.org.

Proceeds from our bookstores benefit the San Francisco Public Library

Tonight we are excited to have  Jami Proctor-Xu & Mauro Fortissimo read!

IMG_9880Jami Proctor Xu 徐贞敏 is a poet, essayist, translator, and mother, who writes in English and Chinese. Her chapbook of Chinese poems Shimmers 轻轻的闪光 was published in 2013 as part of the EMS: Du Shi Poetry Series and her full-length Chinese collectionSuddenly Starting to Dance 突然起舞 was published by Yi 翼 Press in 2016. Her chapbook of English poems, Hummingbird Ignites a Star, was published in 2014. A collection of Sylvia Plath’s poems she co-translated with Zhou Zan is forthcoming from Yi Lin Press. She was a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a writer-in-residence at the Chengdu Gao Di artists village. In 2016, she co-organized the event, Poetry Across Languages, Dialogue and Translation Between Chinese and International Poets, which was held at the BNU International Writing Center. She has read at international poetry festivals in China, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and the US, and her poems and translations have appeared in journals and anthologies in the US, China, and India. Her poetry is currently part of the exhibit Void/Express(ion) at the Suzhou Biennial. She is a recipient of a 2013 Zhejiang Poetry Award for a non-Chinese poet who has made a contribution to contemporary Chinese poetry.

Zanetti-Mauro.jpg.250x300_q85_cropMauro Aprile Zanetti  is a San Francisco-based storyteller, filmmaker and writer—stringer for the Italian national newspaper, La Stampa. Born in Sicily (Italy, 1974). Thanks to his film critic paper on Martin Scorsese’s remake, Cape Fear, he is selected to join the national jury at the Mostra Internazionale del Cinema di Venezia. He writes the master thesis of his Italian Laurea degree on Gilles Deleuze philosophy, and his experimental docudrama, The Joy. Carnations and Siesta (2002). In 2004, Mille Piani publishes his homonym book-catalog. He writes and directs a docudrama on people with disabilities, DiversabilMente Uguali, editing a monologue after poet, Dario Tumino. In 2006, he collaborates with Italian singer-song writer, Vinicio Capossela for the creation of a video-clip series, Ovunque proteggi, and later directing the live-drama, Nel Niente Sotto il Sole. He writes La Natura Morta de La Dolce VitaA Mysterious Morandi in the Matrix of Fellini’s Vision (NYC, 2008). In 2013 he moves to San Francisco, where he interviews poet and activist, Lawrence Ferlinghetti for the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in US. He creates and directs a short video series, Cultural Ambassadors Circle, dedicating one to Mr. Ferlinghetti. On 2015 he curates Lawrence Ferlinghettis painting exhibition: Fluxare – The European Connexion, editing the booklet, Il Verbo Fluxare.

 Work by the poets after the jump:

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Massive Comic Book Sale: July 9th

On Scomic book sale_1aturday, July 9th our Book Donation Center will be selling over 40,000 comic books for only .25 cents a piece! Mark your calendar and don’t miss out on one of the biggest comic book sales in the city.

There will be tons of boxes of Sci-Fi television and film glossy magazines, so now is the time to indulge your passion for Supernatural, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galctica, Star Trek (TNG, TOS, and Voyager), Farscape, Charmed, and much more!

Our stash is excellent for comic collectors and fans of all ages.

All proceeds support the San Francisco Public Library.

One Night in June: A Pride Literary Reading

Rebecca PrideCalifornia LGBT writers celebrate Pride with a literary reading presented by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library!

One Night in June: The 3rd Annual Queer Reading for Pride happens June 22, 2016, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at the \, Fort Mason Center, Building “C”.

New York Times best-selling author Kevin Sessums (Mississippi Sissy) and rising star Audrey Coulthurst (Of Fire and Stars) join nine other queer authors from the Bay Area to present a live reading of their published pieces and works-in-progress. The event is free and open to the public.

Readers include Natalia Vigil (Still Here San Francisco, a live theater exploration of the queer scene in 1980s and 1990s San Francisco), National Poetry Slam stars Cam Awkward Rich and Amber Flame, and other masters of short fiction, memoir, and poetry. They are joined by emerging voices in queer fiction and poetry.

Sarah Rosedale, manager of the Readers Bookstore, a public venue operated by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, said, “Readings such as this are at the core of what we do to ensure everyone in San Francisco has the opportunity to read and hear local authors. We are very excited to be contributing a literary event of this caliber to the overall celebration of Pride month in San Francisco.”

The Mix at SFPL Turns One!

The Mix Birthday ImageOn Saturday, June 22nd join us for live music, spoken word, refreshments, green screen photo booth fun & more in SFPL’s new teen digital learning center, The Mix at SFPL!

Usually available only to youth ages 13-18, The Mix at SFPL will be opening its doors to all ages during it’s open house birthday party. With furnishings and equipment funded by Friends’ donors, The Mix is an innovative learning center for teens to create and develop digital media.

You’ll get to see:

  • The state-of-the-art recording studio
  • Video production space
  • High-end digital equipment with media creation software
  • A makerspace with 3D printers and more maker tools
  • And of course, a diverse collection of books & graphic novels

Please note that The Mix at SFPL is open from 12 – 6 PM on Saturday, but that the all ages portion of the celebration will be from 3:00 – 4:30 only. (Teens are welcome to partake in festivities during the 12 – 6 time period!)

More information on the event’s Facebook page here and on the Friends’ calendar of events page here.

Thursdays at Readers Poetry Series: Patti Trimble & Fred Norman

Join us every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in our Readers Bookstore Fort Mason for our weekly FREE poetry series! Browse books while listening to internationally acclaimed poets and artists such as Jonathan Richman, David Meltzer, Diane di Prima and California Poet Laureate Al Young. The series is  curated by Friends’ Resident Poet Jack Hirschman. For a full line-up and more information please visit our website at www.friendssfpl.org.

Proceeds from our bookstores benefit the San Francisco Public Library

This Thursday, May 26th,  we are excited to have  Patti Trimble & Fred Norman read!

Patti Trimable headshot 2015-31Patti Trimble‘s poetry is widely published and she performs her lyric poems in the USA and Europe. She lives in Sicily part-time, works with translations, and thinks often about the tower of Babel. She will read about Greek tragedy/myth, and will be reading some in Italian. You can find out more about Patti here.

photo-2Fred Norman served in the Marines and Air Force for 10 years and now is a member of Veterans For Peace, with the emphasis on Peace. He has a BA in Chinese Studies from SFSU and an MA in Writing from USF. What he calls his “sweeter” work of the past has been published in numerous local publications and in England, but he now writes almost exclusively on antiwar themes in the hope that he might someday write the words that would motivate others to try to put an end to war.

 

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