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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 and The Green Arcade present Fred Moten and Nathaniel Mackey reading their poetry, along with Hafez Modirzadeh on alto saxophone, at the 3rd Floor, McRoskey Mattress Co., in San Francisco. Fred Moten reads from The Service Porch (Letter Machine Editions, 2016); Hafez Modirzadeh offers a brief solo performance; Nathaniel Mackey reads from Blue Fasa (New Directions, 2015), Whatsaid Serif (City Lights Books, 2001), and from manuscript. The evening culminates with Mackey and Moten performing their works in tandem.
The Poetry Center presents Lauren Levin and Melissa Mack, reading and in conversation. Melissa Mack, judge for the Poetry Center Book Award, reads from her book, The Next Crystal Text (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2018), and from newer work, before introducing Levin. Lauren Levin, winner of the Poetry Center Book Award, reads excerpts from their prize-winning book The Braid (Krupskaya Books, 2016), along with additional excerpts from their new book Justice Piece // Transmission (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2018). The poets' readings are followed by an extended conversation with one another and in response to questions from the audience.