Tourism for Locals: SF State's Poetry Center a Bay Area and National Archive

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Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
The Pyramid of Knowledge..and Poetry

It's common knowledge that poetry is one of humanities greatest, and oldest, art forms. And while we may enjoy reading poetry of some of our favorite poets, sometimes we love hearing poetry.

And even though it won't be possible to hear the original voices of those predating the age of audio recording, those from the last century are easily attainable, especially if you live San Francisco.

Yes, you can search the Internet for recordings of your favorite poets reading their work in their unique style but why binge-listen in the confines of your home when you can visit the Poetry Center and American Archives , which is also celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

Located at San Francisco State University, this center is one of America's most long-lived and nationally renowned literary-arts institutions, having amassed more than 4,000 hours of original recordings of poets and writers reading from their works since the center's creation.

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The Write Stuff: George Albon on Being Willing to Sound like the Crankiest Crank

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Dennis Moribe
A San Francisco resident, George Albon's most recent books are Fire Break (Nightboat Books, winner of the NCIBA Award for Best Poetry book of 2013) and Aspiration (Omnidawn), both from 2013. Earlier books include Brief Capital of Disturbances (Omnidawn, 2003), Step (Post-Apollo, 2006), and Momentary Songs: They That Are Delivered From the Noise of the Archers (Krupskaya, 2008). He's had work in Hambone, Zyzzyva, New American Writing, Talisman, Try, and elsewhere. His essay "The Paradise of Meaning" was the George Oppen Memorial Lecture for 2002.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

I usually just mention my day job.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

Finding days to write.

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

Never stop learning and questioning. It's an endless discipline. Also, chuck the TV.

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The Write Stuff: Rob Rosen on Falling in Love Repeatedly and Often

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Ken Blackwell
Rob Rosen, award-winning author of the novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You'll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, and Queens of the Apocalypse, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, and Best Gay Erotica 2015, has had short stories featured in more than 200 anthologies.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

I'm a writer, I answer, proudly and with a broad smile on my face.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

I have a 9-5 job, and a 5-9 job as well, my writing being the latter. I wish there were more hours in the day to be able to get on paper all the stories swirling around inside my twisted, little brain.

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Just in Time for National Library Week, Now you can Access Library Materials Online

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hoopla digital

People don't go to the library as much as they used to. And why would they, when almost every book is available as an eBook or for purchase on Kindle? Plus, to go to the library, you have to actually get off your couch and take the bus or drive all the way there, and then you have to wait in line, and then worry about when your books and movies are due. The struggle.

But a lot of eBooks are only excerpts, and not everything is available on Kindle. Double struggle.

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Le Video Strikes Back: A Sequel for the Awesome Video Store

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Things are looking up for Le Video. The store, which carries an estimated 80-100,000 titles and was expected to close by the end of April, is now planning to stay open. This is thanks to a successful Indiegogo campaign, a recent uptick in customer support, and the addition of Green Apple Books as a tenant.

Le Video owner and founder Catherine Tchen recently explained her plan to SF Weekly. While the store is going stay open, it won't look exactly the same.

Green Apple Books will take over the bottom floor of the building, and Le Video will move into the mezzanine upstairs. All of the films will be added to an online database that customers can search from home or at a kiosk in the store, and then pick up their movie at the counter. The upstairs area will have a smaller browsing selection than the current store, but the entire collection will still be available. Tchen promises to keep as many movies on display as possible, and is much more upbeat about Le Video's future than she was in March.

"The mezzanine space will be awesome," Tchen says. "We'll still be able to display way more movies than the average video store; at least 25,000."


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Belle SF is Here! Tastefully Naughty, and Literate

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Belle SF Magazine #1

Last fall, SF Weekly interviewed David Beaulieu, City resident and entrepreneur who, together with his wife Melissa, was preparing to launch Belle SF, a new quarterly print magazine.

The wait is over. Belle SF issue one has arrived.

Belle SF promises to resurrect the glory days of Playboy. The magazine will feature tasteful, artfully-lit photos of beautiful women in the nude. Nothing too graphic, but skin will definitely be on display. The magazine will also feature works by local artists and writers: art, culture and nudity is the motto.

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The Write Stuff: Matthew Zapruder on Language When It Starts to Get Liberated

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Meghan Dewar
Matthew Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon 2010), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Sun Bear (Copper Canyon 2014). An assistant professor in the St. Mary's College of California MFA program and English department, he is also an editor at Wave Books. He lives in Oakland. See him read at City Lights Bookstore on Tuesday, April 15.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

If in their eyes I detect the usual understandable flicker of disinterest about the conversation, in order to let us both go on our peaceful separate ways, I say "English professor." If for some reason they seem to really want to talk, I will say "poet." More often than not something weird happens after that.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

My own distraction.

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The Write Stuff: SB Stokes on Re-testing Desire Through the Work You Produce

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Ian Tuttle
SB Stokes' first book of poetry, A History of Broken Love Things, is out now from Punk Hostage Press. He has produced the blog MASS COMMUNICATIONS since 2004 and also can be found on YouTube and Tumblr. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is a founder, event producer and art director for Oakland's free, annual literary event, Beast Crawl, which happens Saturday, July 12 this year.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

"I'm a bouncer" is my first answer normally, but it depends on the environment and who is asking. If they care about literature or poetry, I'll tell them I write poems and tell them about my book, ask them if they've heard of Beast Crawl. If they're looking for design help, I'll tell them about my editing and designing and art directing skills. Sometimes I'll offer to read them a poem or two, but it really depends on who's asking and where we are at that time.

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The Write Stuff: Shannon Bowen on Taking Charge of Your Story

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Nathaneal Trimboli
Shannon Bowen is a screenwriter inspired to write strong female characters who (shockingly) have loyal lady friends, because she has been lucky enough to be surrounded by badass women all of her life. You can watch the first two episodes of her web series Cost of Living (about struggling to afford a city that no one can afford) and join the Kickstarter to help film the remaining episodes. She is the co-author of two feature-length scripts, and she analyzes "Downton Abbey" from a funny, feminist, foul-mouthed perspective on her podcast Downton Gabby. Follow all of her crazy adventures on Twitter @LittleLadyBrain

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

I write a fictionalized version of the truth. There are real stories from my life incorporated into each script that I write. Yes, I did accidentally throw away all of my clothes in a dumpster once.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

Balance. Time. Not freaking out about my horoscope.

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The Write Stuff: Will Viharo on Self-Therapy and Throwing Out Notes in Bottles

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Mike Lano
Will "the Thrill" Viharo is a freelance writer, pulp fiction author, B movie impresario and lounge lizard at large. His novels A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge, Chumpy Walnut, Lavender Blonde, Down a Dark Alley, Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room, It Came From Hangar 18 (with Scott Fulks), and the entire Vic Valentine, Private Eye series (including Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me, Fate Is My Pimp, Romance Takes a Rain Check, I Lost My Heart in Hollywood, and Diary of a Dick) are now available. Actor Christian Slater is currently developing a film version of Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me. The original "Vic Valentine" cocktail is now being served exclusively at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge in Alameda, CA.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

I'm a writer.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

Turning my passion for pulp into a lucrative career. Basically: making money. I have no talent for generating wealth. I'll settle for a steady income.

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