With the plummeting of arts funding and the general disappearance of public space, salon-style events (“house readings”) are taken very seriously in the Bay Area; performing at one can garner more kudos than at a public venue. House readings frequently take place on the weekend and are just as devoted to partying as to poetizing. When the reading begins the party slams to a halt and attention is rapt.
The atmosphere may be casual—those not lucky enough to snag a seat on a couch are crammed together on the floor, some are sprawled across a mattress that somebody—who knows who—actually sleeps on, but this audience knows poetry, and they listen with razorlike precision. At such readings, whether I’m performer or audience, I feel like a beat in a larger matrix of communal creativity.
To celebrate the long tradition of non-institutional spaces for poetry and writing in the Bay Area, poetry darlings Brittany Billmeyer-Finn, David Brazil, Brandon Brown, David Buuck, Zach Haber, Andrew Kenower, Cheena Marie Lo, Kate Robinson, and Juliana Spahr are throwing a looong weekend party of poetry goodness. They’ve invited many poets from around the US (list below) to converge on the Bay Area to give readings, lead conversations, mix cocktails, and teach and learn from each other. For folks coming from out of town, we are asking that the poetry community can pitch in and help with the cost of their travel. All the readings and events will be absolutely FREE! so any help you can provide would be critical to help poets with the burden of travel costs.
Go to their indiegogo page, check out the amaze rewards, & make a contribution.
& check out the Facebook Event Page while you’re at it.
Friday, May 24th, 7pm
2127 Blake St, Berkeley, CA
Saturday, May 25th, 4pm
Long Haul: 3124 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA
Potluck at Woolsey Heights: 1628 Woolsey St, Berkeley (house in back)
Sunday, May 26th, 3pm
The Public School: 2141 Broadway, Oakland
Tender Oracle: 531 22nd St, Oakland
Dawn Lundy Martin
Monday, May 27th
BBQ at David Buuck’s. (location TBA)