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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 The Black Aesthetic, including curatorial members Jamal Batts, Ryanaustin Dennis, and Leila Weefur, together with contributors Shah Noor Hussein, Christian Johnson, and Ismail Muhammad, each reading and in conversation. After an introduction to the project, the writers each read their contributions to The Black Aesthetic Season II (Wolfman Books, 2018). The readings are followed by a conversation with the audience.