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Archive for June, 2008

CODY’S BOOKS SHUTS DOWN

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Go to The Berkeley Daily Planet original

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Michael Howerton | The Berkeley Daily Planet

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Cody’s Books at Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street in its heyday
Courtesy Photo

 

Cody’s Books Closes After 52 Years in Berkeley

By Michael Howerton
Friday June 20, 2008

Cody’s Books, founded on Euclid Avenue in Berkeley in 1956, moved to Telegraph Avenue, expanded to Fourth Street in 1998 and San Francisco in 2005, closed on Telegraph in 2006, closed in San Francisco the following year, moved to Shattuck Avenue in March, and then, on June 19, 2008, went out of business.

Shoppers and passersby at the 2201 Shattuck store Friday found a locked store and a sign taped on the glass doors reading: “Cody’s Books is Closed-Thank You.” Above the windows a recently hung temporary banner proclaimed: “Now Open-Cody’s Books.”

An employee greeted a few people who knocked on the locked doors Friday afternoon, informing them that Cody’s was indeed closed for good.

Melissa Mytinger, Cody’s last manager, said that staff was told of the store’s closing during an all-staff meeting Friday morning. She had no forewarning of the move, she said.

“We were all shocked,” she said. “It was a great team.”

She said an official statement was expected to be issued from Japan, but as of Friday late afternoon, it was not available.

Cody’s Books, founded by Fred and Pat Cody 52 years ago, was for many years Berkeley’s most famous and most beloved book store in a town that loves books. The Codys were renowned for treating street people and protesters with kindness and generosity, especially during the time of the Free Speech Movement.

The business was sold to Andy Ross in 1977. He was responsible for the Fourth Street and San Francisco expansions and presided over closing the Telegraph store, after a business downturn that many observers thought was caused by problems with the expansion financing.

Soon after closing the Telegraph store in mid-2006, Ross sold Cody’s to Yohan, a Japanese book distributor whose owner-CEO was Hiroshi Kagawa. Yohan kept only the Fourth Street shop open. In December, Ross, who had stayed on as Cody’s president under the new owner, stepped down, and at the same time Kagawa left Yohan and took Cody’s with him to the IBC Publishing Group, the current owner.

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SONOMA STATE 2008

Friday, June 20th, 2008

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A photo recap of the California poet laureate’s June 14th visit to Sonoma State University, where he addressed Roshni Rustomji‘s New College M.A. Seminar on the Humanities and Leadership. Al Young’s topic: The Poet and Leadership.

 

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Roshni’s MA Seminar in Humanities and Leadership at year’s end: (standing) Gary, Paul, Beth, Roshni, Tori Jacobs; (seated) Pam, Sheila, Emmanuel | Al Young

 

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Emmanuel’s recital with dancer | Al Young

 

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Friends and family swell and energize the Saturday afternoon audience for Emmanuel’s recital on jazz and vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Natalie Cole. | Al Young

 

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Sheila Norman | Al Young

 

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Tori Jacobs | Al Young

 

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Roshni Rustomji | Al Young

 

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Soulmates: Charles Kerns and Roshni Rustomji Kerns | Al Young

 

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Al with poet-professor and passionate performance artist Genny Lim
Sheila Norman

 

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Roshni and Al at Khana Peena, Indian Cusine, Berkeley
Charles Kerns

LISA ALVARADO, AMARANTH BORSUK, HÉLÈNE CARDONA, KATE DURBIN , JOHN FITZGERALD, NAOMI SHIHAB NYE, ROBERT PINSKY: Featured Poets at World Wide Word Radio Network

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

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Is proud to present the following shows:
Listen live or later.
Feel free to download any of our archived shows at
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/onword/
Call-in number 718.508.9717

Thursday June 19
5:30 pm Pacific 7:30 pm Eastern

spkr.jpgFOR THE LOVE OF POETRY
Hosted by Cassandra Love:

A conversation with Naomi Shihab Nye

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Naomi Shihab Nye is author or editor of more than 27 books — poems, essays, children’s books, seven anthologies of poetry from around the world for young readers and, most recently, Honeybee. Palestinian-American, and a resident of San Antonio, Texas, she travels widely for talks and workshops.

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spkr1.jpgEASY SPEAK with Doug Knott in conversation with Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States (1997-2000), and author of Gulf Music.

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THE MOE GREEN POETRY HOUR

Join Rafael F. J. Alvarado (a.k.a. Moe Green) and Kate Durbin as they feature the poetry of Lisa Alvarado.

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Sunday, June 22

spkr3.jpgA SUNDAY AFTERNOON OF POETRY AT THE AMSTERDAM CAFÉ
hosted By Rafael F J Alvarado
at 3 pm

Amaranth Borsuk
Hélène Cardona
Kate Durbin
John M. FitzGerald

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Amaranth Borsuk is a Ph.D. candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in ZYZZYVA, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Denver Quarterly, POOL, and thedrunkenboat.com. She recently placed third in The Atlantic’s student poetry contest, and her manuscript, Pomegranate Eater, has been a semifinalist for the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Four Way Books intro prize, and the Saturnalia Books poetry prize.

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A citizen of the United States, France and Spain, Hélène Cardona is fluent in English, French, Spanish, German, Greek and Italian. Born in Paris of a Greek mother and Spanish father and raised all over Europe, she studied English Philology and Literature in Cambridge, England; Spanish at the International Universities of Santander and Baeza, Spain; and German at the Goethe Institute in Bremen, Germany. She attended Hamilton College, New York, where she also taught French and Spanish, and the Sorbonne, Paris, where she wrote her thesis on Henry James for her Master’s in American Literature. She has worked as a translator/interpreter for the Canadian Embassy and the French Chamber of Commerce. She is also a teacher and dream analyst and has appeared in many films. Her first book, The Astonished Universe, an uplifting and luminous collection of poetry about consciousness, is the first bilingual edition in English and French from Red Hen Press. Richard Wilbur writes that “each poem fully exists in two tongues at once, and this adds to the book’s great charm and visionary quality.”

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Kate Durbin’s first collection of poetry, The Ravenous Audience, is forthcoming from Black Goat Press/Akashic Books in Fall 2009. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, The Ledge Poetry and Fiction Magazine, The Elegant Variation and Boxcar Poetry Review. Currently, Durbin is a staff writer for Asian American Poetry and Writing (http://www.aapw-la.org). Durbin received her MFA from the University of California in Riverside, and is working on a novel.

 

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A dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, John M. FitzGerald is a poet and attorney in Los Angeles. He attended UCLA and the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review. His poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. Spring Water, a novel in verse, was a Turning Point Prize selection. His second book of poetry,Telling Time by the Shadows, came out in April 2008 from Turning Point Books. His other collections include The Mind, The Charter of Effects, and Question Creation. He has just completed his first novel, Primate, and has turned it into a screenplay. He has lived in England and Italy, and currently resides in Santa Monica. Robert Nazarene, editor of the American Journal of Poetry, says: “Spring Water is to poetry what The Silence of The Lambs is to filmdom: a harrowing, horrifying narrative trip which makes for an absolutely compelling read…brilliantly delivered by one of America’s most promising new poets.”

 

WARMLY ARCHIVED

Joy Harjo

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spkr4.jpgCassandra Love interviews Joy Harjo (45 minutes)

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Sascha Feinstein

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Yusef Komunyakaa

spkr5.jpgSascha Feinstein interviews Yusef Komunyakaa (2 hours)


BIG BENEFIT READING FOR SQUAW VALLEY COMMUNITY OF WRITERS POETRY PROGRAM

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Don’t miss this chance to hear some of our greatest poets read their work.

Friday, July 18, 2008 7:30 PM

First Unitarian Universalist Center
of San Francisco
1187 Franklin Street at Geary

415.776.4580

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LUCILLE CLIFTON

ROBERT HASS

SHARON OLDS

C.D. WRIGHT

DEAN YOUNG

Doors will open at 6:30 pm, and seating is general admission. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

ADVANCE TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE. Click here to purchase your tickets from Brown Paper Tickets. If we do not sell out in advance of the reading, there will be tickets available at the door.

TICKET PRICES
Premium Seating (An unreserved seat in the first 3 rows): $30
General Admission: $20
Student: $15
Group discounts available.

Books by the poets will be available for purchase before and after the reading, and the poets will be available to sign books after the reading.

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Bring a friend and join us Friday, July 18.

Help our Scholarship Fund while experiencing great poetry.

* Hotel Rex has generously provided hotel rooms for our poets the night of the reading for the last 6 years.

* The Mill Valley Book Depot will generously provide books for sale the evening of the event and will donate a percentage of the evening’s proceeds. Visit them in Mill Valley or online.

* Rev. Audrey González, a volunteer probation officer, CASA worker, and prison chaplain for Shelby County juvenile court in Tennessee, an art collector, theatrical entrepeneur, former award winning journalist, and resident of Uruguay for 20 years, is attempting to be a poet.

* Deborah and Leo Ruth have been supporters of the Community of Writers for many years. Deborah is a poet and a many-time Poetry Program participant. They are sponsoring this event to help poets who, without the financial aid this event provides, would be unable to attend.

For more information on the venue and its location, visit www.uusf.org.

Community of Writers at Squaw Valley – A Non Profit Corporation
PO Box 1416
Nevada City, CA 95959

530.470.8440
530.581.5200

www.squawvalleywriters.org

JIMMY McGRIFF (1936-2008) | Blues Organ Master

Friday, June 6th, 2008

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A 2001 courtesy photograph of Jimmy McGriff
© Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos | All Rights Reserved

Jimmy McGriff Bio

Organ master Jimmy McGriff may have studied formally at Juilliard and at Philadelphia’s Combe College of Music, but there’s nothing fancy about his music. It’s basic to the bone, always swinging and steeped in blues and gospel. McGriff’s brand of jazz is about feeling. “That’s the most important thing,” he says.

Blues has been the backbone of most of the major jazz organists, including Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff, but throughout his 42-year recording career, McGriff has stuck closer to the blues than any of them. “People are always classifying me as a jazz organist, but I’m more of a blues organ player,” he insists. “That’s really what I feel.”

McGriff’s recordings of “I’ve Got a Woman” and “All About My Girl” were r&b and jukebox staples during the Sixties. With McGriff Avenue, his fourteenth album for Milestone (counting the five he’s cut as co-leader with Hank Crawford), the Hammond organ grinder remains true to the blues grounding for which he’s famous. The way things turned out, McGriff Avenue was not just another record date for the organist and his sidemen, as producer Bob Porter recounts in the CD notes. Porter had booked a noon session at Rudy Van Gelder’s New Jersey studio for September 11th, 2001, but that morning he quickly realized — especially since bridge and tunnel access to and from Manhattan was cut off soon after the World Trade Center towers were hit — that the session was not going to take place as scheduled.

When the record date was rescheduled for six weeks later, some personnel adjustments were necessary. Although Bill Easley, Ronnie Cuber, and bassist Wilbur Bascomb were able to make both days of recording, Purdie was replaced on the second day by Don Williams. Guitarist Rodney Jones couldn’t make the first session, but he contributed the funky title track (and was ably replaced by Melvin Sparks-Hassan).

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