Bookmobile Story by Library Patron












Written by a Library on Wheels patron, 2014.

For more information about SFPL’s Bookmobiles and Mobile Outreach Services please visit their website.

SFPL’s Bookmobiles is a Friends funded  program.

Translating Pain a poem by Peter Sherburn-Zimmer

Translating Pain


The dates are all wrong…

It was yesterday, head through the window,

Web of silence in the middle of the night:

Red-light running-car to death.


Then there’s the end of memory…

Cover up what happened, but,

Yes, you can go on…the leaves dry

Before they jump to the ground

No matter how high the branch.


In the eye, the dance, twirl:

Draw a map of the chamber,

Upper right ventricle, to add to your own

Confusions…as light is not evenly distributed

Across the park in a syntax where one

Sentence merges with the next,

So there’s no beginning no end

And it is almost impossible to come to

A full stop.



San Francisco poets, get your pens—Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and our Poet-in-Residence Jack Hirschman, together with the San Francisco Public Library,  are pleased to announce Poets 11 2014, now in its 5th edition!  This citywide poetry contest and reading series collects poems from every neighborhood and features poetry readings at branch libraries in each of the City’s 11 districts.

Now accepting submissions through October 1st, 2014

Local poets are encouraged to submit up to three poems.  Poetry is chosen by Jack Hirschman and selected poets are announced at each of the branch events.  All types of poetry are accepted.  Writings which reflect San Francisco’s diversity of language and culture and those written in languages other than English are highly encouraged.

Selected poets will be presented with a $50 honorarium and their poems will be published in an anthology.  Now in its fifth year, Poets 11 celebrates San Francisco’s rich literary life and thriving poetry community.

Beginning in October, selected poets will take the microphone and share their works in a variety of languages and topics.  Eleven events will take place at branch libraries, concluding with a final event featuring all participating poets at the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium in December.

Submission Guidelines
•    Must be 18 or over to participate.
•    Must reside in one of San Francisco’s 11 Districts.  For information on city districts, visit or view map below.

  • Submissions must include a return address, email or phone number and district number for response.
  • Poets can submit up to three poems by email to or by mail to:

Readers Bookstore Fort Mason
ATTN: Poets 11
2 Marina Blvd
San Francisco, Ca 94123
For more information, or to download the submission form, please visit or call (415) 626-7500. 

Poets 11 Map


The Big Book Sale Turns 50!

49th annual Big Book SaleIn 1964, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library hosted its first book sale. As the years went on, cigar boxes were replaced with cash registers and eventually the crowd outgrew the Main Branch’s basement and the sale moved to Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion and became an established San Francisco tradition.

Turn the page to 2014, the year Friends celebrates its 50th Big Book Sale! From September 24-28 the Festival Pavilion will be filled with over 500,000 books and multi-media items in over 70 categories, all for $1-$3, with all items only $1 on the final day of the sale.

The scale of the sale has grown with each year, but one thing stays the same: all proceeds benefit the San Francisco Public Library. More than half a million transactions at the Sale—combined with online auctions, two used book stores and annual events—will raise approximately one million dollars to benefit the community by helping to fund free programs and initiatives at the public library

As shoppers browse the bins for rare books and autographed favorites, clues broadcast daily over Twitter and Facebook will guide people to gift certificates from San Francisco’s most iconic art organizations and restaurants.  To celebrate our milestone, we’re giving out gifts to shoppers who can crack the clues!

Members: Join us on September 23rd, 4 – 8 p.m. before the sale goes public for wine, refreshments and first dibs on all the loot! Not a member? Not too late! Join today and receive your Member Preview Sale & Reception tickets.

old and new comparison


WHAT: Friends’ 50th Annual Big Book Sale.

WHEN: Sept. 24-28, 10 a.m.—6 p.m.

MEMBER PREVIEW: Sept. 23, 4 p.m.—8 p.m. for wine and refreshments, and first dibs on sale items.

WHERE: Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center

COST:Entry is free and open to the public. $3-hard cover books; $2-paperback books; $1 all other media. All items are $1 on Sunday.


Follow along for daily prize clues at the Big Book Sale!



Authors Take It to Amazon

Great Interview with Jonathan Lethem

Authors and the Ongoing Battle against Amazonian Hegemony

Thursdays at Readers Poetry Series: Avotcja and Steven Gray

Join us every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in our Readers Bookstore Fort Mason for our weekly FREE poetry series! Browse books and enjoy a glass of wine 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

Proceeds from our bookstores benefit the San Francisco Public Library

This Thursday we are excited to have Avotcja and Steven Gray read.

steven-slide-1Steven Gray has lived in San Francisco since the 1970’s and reads his work all over town.  Sometimes he accompanies other poets on guitar.  He edits an art and poetry magazine, Out of Our, and has two books of poetry:  Jet Shock and Culture Lag (2012), and Shadow on the Rocks (2011).  He also writes reviews for  Visit his website at


By Stephen Gray

(For the Libyan pilot who

refused to bomb his own people)


A pilot has ejected, he rejected the regime,

he’s floating in the air, a parachute protecting him,

it’s downright paranormal, and his fighter jet is going

on without him.  He has bailed out of the war machine

and hangs suspended by his principles a mile above

the ground.

A parachute is fragile as a flower or a

cloud, but it supports a man.  It’s focused on the human,

it’s a renaissance parachute, the lines are like a poem

which can save your life.

The old regime is losing its grip,

it’s showing what it’s all about when pilots have been told

to bomb their countrymen, to cut them into pieces on the

ground.  The pilot is responding to a higher authority,

instead of dropping a bomb he drops himself – it is

another way to join the crowd.  Instead of acting like

a robot in a cockpit he is landing like a man

and walks away.  His fighter jet will burn out in the desert

like a cigarette in a bowl of sand.

New Poem from Sherburn-Zimmer

Here’s a really short one from Peter Sherburn-Zimmer

All of Us :


My whole life, too…

Looking for rainbows.

Fearing mushrooms.


August 7, 2014

Revolutionary Poets Speak Out for LaborFest, Check It Out

Here’s a handful of SF’s top poets reading in support of LaborFest: