Upcoming Events


Ruth Asawa School of the Arts: A Reading by Students in the Creative Writing Program
Monday, May 4, 2015, 5-7 pm

Reception: 5-5:30 pm
Reading: 5:30-6:30 pm

At the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, every Creative Writing student in their 12th grade year proposes and completes a self-directed manuscript of publishable quality called the senior thesis.

Seniors work with a writer in the community who serves as a mentor and advisor, and over the course of a year the students develop and refine their manuscript (typically a collection of poems or short fiction, novella, or play). This year, most of the students are also designing and producing chapbooks of their thesis work.

Please join us to celebrate the completion of these ambitious and impressive theses at a reading on Monday, May 4. Each of the seniors will read excerpts from their work and have their chapbooks on display. To get a taste of student writing in the CW program at SOTA, and for more information, please visit http://sotacw.org/

Free & open to the public.


In the Library: Clifford Burke’s Cranium Press
Monday, May 11, 2015, 5-7 pm

Join us for an informal gathering in the library to view works from the Book Club’s collection.

Free and open to the public but seating is limited. RSVP to georgie@bccbooks.org


Exhibition Opening: Alice in Bookland, Fine Press Editions
Monday, May 18, 2015, 5-7 pm

5-6 p.m.: Hospitality
6-7 p.m.: Presentation by Mark Burstein, curator of the exhibition

Celebrate the opening of our summer exhibition.


Dance for Life: The California Legacy of Isadora Duncan. An Illustrated Talk by Margaretta K. Mitchell
Monday, June 15, 2015, 5-7 pm

Dance for Life,  Margaretta K. Mitchell’s stunning portfolio of photogravures and original text, tells the story of the Temple of Wings in Berkeley, California and the legacy of the dance of Isadora Duncan that was practiced there for three generations. The project is the result of twenty years of original research and photography. It culminated in a 1985 exhibition at the Oakland Museum, and inspired a symphony, Berkeley Images, commissioned by Kent Nagano for the Berkeley Symphony in 2000.

In this illustrated talk, Mitchell will share images from the portfolio as she describes the process of creating it—including printing and design. Along the way, she will describe the legacy of Isadora Dunca (as famous in her day as Madonna is now); the dance she inspired; her friendship with her fellow-progressive, Florence Treadwell; and the architecture of the Temple of Wings—the product of an early-twentieth-century Bay Area culture that envisioned a “new Mediterranean” with Berkeley as the Athens of the West.

Margaretta K. Mitchell is a highly accomplished photographer, writer, and educator. Her work has been exhibited nationally and is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, the New York Public Library, Princeton University, UCLA, the Bancroft Library, Smith College Museum, and the Royal Print Collection, Windsor, England, among others, including many private collections. She is the author of five books (including, most recently, The Face of Poetry, UC Press, 2005) and is a contributor to many more books and publications.

Photo: Victory by Margaretta K. Mitchell, from the portfolio Dance for Life.


Murder Most Foul: Printed Sources on Homicide in Early America
Monday, June 22, 2015, 5-7 pm

In the summer of 2012 the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan mounted an exhibition of primary sources on murder in America from the 1670s to 1900.  Clements director Kevin Graffagnino’s PowerPoint presentation of murder books, pamphlets, serials, prints, photographs, and ephemera illustrates the ways our ancestors dealt with murder as vehicle for moral instruction, basis for social attitudes and legal policy, and source of guilty-pleasure titillation.  Given the enduring popularity of crime and punishment for American readers, collectors, and researchers, this lecture should appeal to scholarly and popular audiences alike, while also offering libraries and historical organizations a golden opportunity to cultivate new support among their local cutthroats, assassins, poisoners, stranglers, hatchet men (and women), decapitators, cannibals, parricides, matricides, fratricides, pistoleros, and other mischievous folk.

Kevin Graffagnino has been director of the University of Michigan’s William L. Clements Library since 2008.  He has also served as executive director of the Vermont and Kentucky state historical societies, as library director at the Wisconsin Historical Society, and as a Special Collections Curator at the University of Vermont.  Author or editor of seventeen books and dozens of scholarly and popular articles, Dr. Graffagnino has delivered hundreds of lectures from Maine to California on American history, antiquarian books, and related topics.  He started his bibliophilic career as a seventeen-year-old antiquarian bookseller specializing in Vermont history to pay his way through college.


The Book As Art: Form and Function in Creative Book Structures. An Illustrated Talk by Dominic Riley
Monday, July 13, 2015, 5-7 pm

This lecture illustrates the potential of the book as a three dimensional object, from pop-ups, hidden fore-edge paintings, peep-show books, to books with hidden compartments and intriguing surprises. Whatever the reason for the creation of these unusual books, playfulness and humour is always a guiding principle. Dominic will show work from his favourite book artists, including examples of experimental book structures he has collected and some he has made himself as part of his interest in this creative genre. Seen together they represent over two hundred years of questioning the notion of ‘what is a book?’

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