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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 Dale M. Smith speaking on Robert Duncan and Charles Olson, reading briefly from his own poetry, and in conversation. Smith presents two pieces drawing on his research into the relationship between poets Duncan and Olson, as involved in his work on two books: An Open Map: The Correspondence Between Robert Duncan and Charles Olson and Imagining Persons: Robert Duncan's Lectures on Charles Olson, both volumes co-edited by Smith and the late Robert J. Bertholf (University of Mexico Press, 2017). Smith also reads briefly from his recent book Sons (Knife Fork Book, 2017). The reading is followed by a conversation with the audience.
The Poetry Center presents a memorial tribute to Stephen Rodefer (1940–2015), with reminiscences and poems, mostly by Rodefer, read by twenty Bay Area poets and friends. The event incorporates a portion from a Poetry Center video of Stephen Rodefer reading, May 8, 1975, at San Francisco State University.