News Release - July 8, 2009

Visit Poetry this July 23-26, 2009 at the 2nd Biennial San Francisco Internation

For Immediate Release

Contacts: Michelle Jeffers, Public Relations Officer, SFPL

(415) 557-4282

Katie Ambellan, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library

(415) 626-7512 ext: 123

Photos available upon request

Visit Poetry this July 23-26, 2009 at the 2nd Biennial San Francisco International Poetry Festival

San Francisco— Add another stamp to your poetry passport this summer with the 2nd San Francisco International Poetry Festival, July 23-26, 2009. Presented by Friends, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Jack Hirschman and the San Francisco Public Library, the festival takes place at the Palace of Fine Arts and various venues and libraries throughout San Francisco.

The four-day extravaganza brings 26 poets from 21 countries to San Francisco for free and open-to-the-public poetry and music at both large and small venues throughout the City, including a street party in North Beach, youth events, book signings, translation workshops and more.

This year’s landmark event will be co-hosted by Poet-in-Residence for Friends of the SFPL, Jack Hirschman; California Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes and San Francisco Poet Laureate Diane di Prima. San Francisco Poet Laureate emeritus Lawrence Ferlinghetti will be presented with a special honor.

The truly international group of poets will read together with the leaders of San Francisco’s own highly regarded literary community. From countries including Bangladesh, China, France, Greece, Haiti, Iraq, Israel and Sudan, the poets represent a wide spectrum in the world of literary arts and poetry—from recognized masters to emerging new talents—who are redefining the art in our evolving times. The Festival honors our City’s great legacy of hosting and encouraging cross cultural dialogue.

In 2007, the festival drew thousands of people from the Bay Area. Friends of the SFPL has presented smaller poetry festivals in a variety of languages, such as the Iranian Literary Arts Festival, Vietnamese Poets of the Diaspora and Flor y Canto en el Barrio: A Celebration of Latino Poetry, in their ongoing effort to continue to build cultural bridges, celebrate the literary arts and foster international dialogue.

Join us this year as we visit poetry! For more information, check out or

2009 Schedule of Events

All Events FREE and OPEN to the public.

All events subject to change please visit

Thursday, July 23, 2009

  • Jack Kerouac Alley Kick Off Party – Celebrate the kick off of the 2nd Biennial San Francisco International Poetry Festival with an outdoor party featuring poetry and music.

Kerouac Alley (North Beach)

7-8:30 p.m.

Friday, July 24, 2009

  • Main Stage Poetry Reading

Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon Street

7-9:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

  • Mission Branch Library: 300 Bartlett St. (@ 24th Street)

12-2 p.m.--Translation Colloquy

2:30-4:30 p.m.--Poetry Reading

  • Richmond Branch Library: 351 9th Avenue (@ Geary Street)

12-2 p.m.--Children’s Story Time

2:30-4:30 p.m.--Poetry Reading

  • North Beach Branch Library: 2000 Mason Street (@ Columbus Street)

1-2 p.m.--New Voices

2:30-4:30 p.m.--Poetry Reading

  • Western Addition Branch Library: 1550 Scott Street (@ Geary Street)

12-2 p.m.--Youth Poet Event

2:30-4:30 p.m.--Poetry Reading

  • Palace of Fine Arts: 3301 Lyon Street

7-9:30 p.m., Main Stage Poetry

Sunday, July 26, 2009

  • North Beach Poetry Crawl (Various Locations)

2-7:30 p.m.

  • Washington Square Park Closing Party: Columbus Street (@ Union)

8 p.m.

Participating Poets

Roy Arad - Israel

Maram al-Massri - Syria/France

Tamim Al Barghouti - Egypt/Palestine

Ferruccio Brugnaro - Italy

Georges Castera - Haiti

Sasha Pimentel Chacón - Philippines

Francis Combes - France

Carla Badillo Coronado - Ecuador

Lam Thi My Da - Vietnam

Menna Elfyn - Wales

Agneta Falk - US/Sweden

Ziba Karbassi - (Niloufar Talebi, Translator) Azerbaijan

Anna Lombardo - Italy

Ignatius Mabasa - Zimbabwe

Taslima Nasrin - Bangladesh

Cletus Nelson Nwadike - Nigeria/Sweden

Ámbar Past - Mexico

Alexander Skidan - Russia

Tarek El Tayeb - Sudan

Daisy Zamora - Nicaragua

Zhai Yongming - China


Jack Hirschman , Poet in residence, FSFPL


Carol Muske-Dukes, CA Poet Laureate

Diane diPrima, New SF Poet Laureate

Paul Flores, ‘Youth Speaks’ poet

Lawrence Ferlinghetti will be presented with a special honor.

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