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We Got the Beats 

Wednesday, Jul 15 2009
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In these cash-poor times, “staycations” are all the rage, and the San Francisco Public Library is no stranger to the phenomenon. Your bank balance may be meager, but the city’s cultural resources are rich, so the library invites you to “Visit Poetry” at its second annual San Francisco International Poetry Festival. Okay, so the tagline is cheesy. But we’re not as concerned with the skills of the library’s PR machine as we are with its talent in assembling a lineup of more than 25 poets from 21 countries.. Need help fine-tuning the declaration of your affection for the local barista? Syrian/French scribe Maram al-Massri hosts a love poem workshop. Want to treat your kids to storytime with authors from Mexico, El Salvador, the Philippines, and Sweden? This is the festival for you. And of course, no poetry event in this burg would be complete without a nod to the Beat poets who frequented the bars and coffee shops of North Beach; Dianne di Prima cohosts, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti receives a special honor. The festival culminates in a North Beach Poetry Crawl that visits such history-soaked spots as Kerouac Alley and Caffe Trieste, and affords poetry fans an opportunity to see more than 20 poets read their work before closing out the affair at a bash in Washington Square Park.
July 23-26, 2009

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Andy Wright

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