What a great reading this last Saturday as the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library presented “Writers Remembered 2009.” This tribute to writers who passed away the previous year is in its 7th year and seems to be one of those reading that is sincere, well organized, star studded, moving, and (sadly) not well known. Host Gerry Nicosia started the proceedings by noting that while the San Francisco Chronicle was kind enough to send a reporter to cover the event, it did not give any mention of the event before hand.
The shame is that this is the kind of event that with some good print & online advertisement, a glitzy venue, bad dress code, focus on high profile authors, and exuberant ticket price would probably sell out. Funny how things tend to work out like that.
The good news is that “Writers Remembered” is a community event that seeks to serve the community and remains committed to delivering an event that honored all kinds of writers (household names, community stalwarts, fringe anti-culturists, and the just emerging) that highlighted possible in the San Francisco Public Library’s easily accessible, free, acoustically wonderful and very packed Koret Auditorium.
When we arrived for the event, Barb mentioned that it felt “like church” with the mood shifting from serious to somber, from remembrance to tragedy, from humor to introspection. Yeah, we were at a literary wake but that wake where the dead are honored and spoken of as if still in the room- with no one getting too carried away with their tributes. No need to create monuments when the works of these writers remain for us.
I’ll leave the last word to Daniel Handler who noted, when remembering his friend Ellen Miller, that maybe in writing there is only one kind of story: “Someone lost something.”