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The Poetry Center and The Green Arcade co-present a tribute to Bill Berkson (1939–2016), hosted by McRoskey Mattress Co. Thirty poets, artists, and friends of Bill Berkson come together to reminisce and read poems and prose, from, among others of Berkson’s books, Lush Life (Z Press, 1984), Blue is the Hero (L Publications, 1976), Repeat After Me (with John Zurier, paintings, Gallery Paule Anglim, 2011), Portrait and Dream: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2009), Our Friends Will Pass Among You Silently (The Owl Press, 2007), What’s Your Idea of a Good Time? Interviews and Letters 1977–1985 (with Bernadette Mayer, Tuumba Press, 2006), The Sweet Singer of Modernism & Other Art Writings 1985–2003 (Qua Books, 2004), Sudden Address: Selected Lectures 1981–2006 (Cuneiform Press, 2007), and For the Ordinary Artist: Short Reviews, Occasional Pieces and More (BlazeVox, 2010), as well as from the festshrift volume For Bill, Anything (Pressed Wafer, 2015). The program incorporates "School of Poets," a short video featuring Bill Berkson interviewed at his home, commissioned by Kenward Elmslie and appearing here courtesy of Citizen Film.
The Poetry Center presents Duncan McNaughton, reading from Tiny Windows (Auguste Press, 2014), among other work, and Bill Berkson, reading from earlier poems and then from Expect Delays (Coffee House Press, 2014), followed by the two poets conversing and responding to questions from the audience.
The Poetry Center presents Lee Ann Brown and Rod Smith reading and in conversation. Lee Ann Brown reads new work as well as poems from her book In the Laurels, Caught (Fence Books, 2013). Rod Smith reads from his book Touché (Wave Books, 2015) as well as from unpublished work. The readings are followed by a conversation with the audience.
The Poetry Center presents Martha Ronk and Paul Vangelisti, reading and in conversation. Martha Ronk reads poems on the subject of photography from her book Ocular Proof (Omnidawn Publishing, 2016) and newer works in manuscript. Paul Vangelisti reads poems from his book Border Music (Talisman House, 2016) and a longer work from the chapbook "Toodaloo" (Magra Books). The readings are followed by a conversation with the audience.