Reading at Bird and Beckett Books and Records

POETS! at Bird & Beckett'sI’ll be reading next Monday at one of San Francisco’s nicest venues: Bird and Beckett’s.  Hope you can come through.

Bird & Beckett Books and Records
featuring Oscar Bermeo and Linda King
plus an Open Mic
Monday, June 21st, 7:00pm
653 Chenery Street
San Francisco
Click here for map
www.bird-beckett.com

Launch party for 580 Split, Issue 12


580 Split, Issue 12
Originally uploaded by OBermeo

OAKLAND, CA — 580 Split, the literary journal of Mills College’s Graduate English Department, presents an evening of poetry, prose, and music to celebrate the release of Issue 12. The event will take place on Friday, May 21, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at the Layover bar in downtown Oakland (1517 Franklin Street). It will be free and open to the public.

Among the many talented Bay area poets and writers featured in this year’s issue of the journal, who will be sharing some of their most recent work at the launch party, are Chinaka Hodge, Josh Healey, Aimee Suzara, Oscar Bermeo, Sonya Shah, Amir Rabiyah, and Janine Mogannam.

There will be an informal reception following the reading, with DJ Diet spinning a soulful assortment of music old and new, as well as an opportunity to be among the first to purchase the print edition. The print edition will also be available for purchase online after the event.

We hope to see you there…

Scenes from Eleven Eleven’s release party at Adobe Books

The reading at Abobe Books last night has definitely breathed new life into my poetics.  I’ve revised older work, shared new work, read work from other poets and came back to the bedrock of my work–sharing my story with new audiences.

First off, Daphne Gottlieb shared some amazing new work where she embodied the voice of carnival workers, a clear extension of her poetic manifesto of finding the voice of society’s “others.” Instead of staying in the safe space of revisiting voices she has personified before, Gottlieb brought the audience into a world many have visited (the land of carny and festival lore) but few have actually taken the time to explore.  Gottlieb let us explore that world with poetry that channeled persona and emotion in clear and direct tones while still elevating the music of common speech.

Charlie Jane Anders came through fresh from the chaos of Wonder Con and went right into a new story filled with time travel, cancer babies, sumo robots, rocket-propelled grenades and an assassination attempt on one of the US’s most beloved Presidents.  Yeah, seriously, and you know what–she pulled it all off with crisp dialogue, kinetic language and a reading style that made the audience believe every word was truth than the Bible.  With her focus on reporting for IO9 and curating some of SF’s best literary venues, you shouldn’t miss a chance to her Miss Charlie Jane when she reads her work.

As for me, I was psyched to find out earlier in the week that I would be getting twenty minutes to read, a big leap from the seven or ten minutes I’ve been getting lately.  Not that I’m complaining, any chance to read is a good chance to work on your orality but twenty minutes gives me a chance to share a couple of arcs of work, recite poems from other writers, and sneak some banter in which is exactly what I did.  My reading wasn’t perfect, my voice choked on a few spots and I swore a little too much in my banter but overall, I had a good time and my recitation skills continue to improve with better articulation, varied pacing and more persona.  I still need to work on my keeping my breathing under control and staying true to the clock (I came in just under the mark).

SET LIST

• I’m Jus Askin
• Urban Relación
• The Story of How Pigeon Came to Live in City
• One Question, Several Answers
• Mami’s Ghazal
•  M/mediation I Dominance by Ruth Ellen Kocher
•  The Lady of Guadalupe’s Dream and Jade Ruin by J. Michael Martinez
• Heaven Below
• Psalm for Public Housing
• Ash Wednesday
• Good Friday

Many thanks to everyone at Eleven Eleven and Adobe Books for making this happen.  Now I have to hustle to get more readings so I can keep this momentum going.

YouTube videos from Eleven Eleven #8 Release Party at Adobe Books

Flickr photos from Eleven Eleven #8 Release Party at Adobe Books

Scenes from Amiri Baraka at the San Francisco Public Library

YouTube videos from We Are Already in the Future: Amiri Baraka at the San Francisco Public Library can be found here.

Flickr pictures from We Are Already in the Future: Amiri Baraka at the San Francisco Public Library can be found here.

Amiri Baraka at the San Francisco Public Library, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009

Photo © Lynda KoolishJUSTIN DESMANGLES PRESENTS, IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CENTER OF THE SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

WE ARE ALREADY IN THE FUTURE! BARACK OBAMA: YEAR ONE

POET, PLAYWRIGHT, ESSAYIST, AMIRI BARAKA WILL DELIVER A TALK ON THE PRESIDENCY OF BARACK OBAMA

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1PM
SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY
MAIN BRANCH IN THE KORET AUDITORIUM
100 LARKIN STREET (at GROVE)

In a rare West Coast appearance, poet, playwright, essayist and political activist Amiri Baraka delivers a historic speech on our first African-American President, Barack Obama. One of the true giants of international poetry, Amiri Baraka is a towering presence in the history of the United States and throughout the Americas. A transitional figure in both the Beat Generation and Civil Rights Era, Amiri Baraka is also know as the father of the Black Arts Movement. In 2008, during the primary and general election cycles, Amiri Baraka continued to surprise, delight and provoke his friends and enemies with a series of rigorous, inventive, and powerfully deciphering essays on then candidate Barack Obama. With this unique, once in a lifetime, event Amiri Baraka will revisit those essays, and bring his keen, always original, interpretation of the Obama Presidency in it’s first year. The talk will be immediately followed by a discussion with Justin Desmangles, and continue with a question and answer period with the audience.