by Garrett Caples
As we recently posted, David Meltzer has just undergone an operation to remove a cancerous tumor from his liver. The operation was a success and his recovery so far has been excellent. Nonetheless, his medical expenses have been predictably greater than his health insurance coverage, so his friends have been doing some online fundraising on his behalf. If you haven’t already donated, I encourage you to do so, as David is one of American poetry’s living legends.
Not content to remain online, David’s Bay Area friends have banded together to raise money the old-fashioned way with a star-studded event on Sunday, November 9, from 7:30-10 p.m. at San Francisco’s beloved bookstore Bird & Beckett, located at 653 Chenery St. in SF’s Glen Park neighborhood. “Onward! David Meltzer: A Benefit” will feature poets Clark Coolidge, Andrew Joron, Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, Les Gottesman, and Julie Rogers, music groups Cloud Shepherd and The Rabbles, and (health permitting) a brief appearance by the man himself, David Meltzer. There’ll be wine and beer available as well. As Bird & Beckett owner Eric Whittington writes: “A $20 donation at the door is requested, though we’ll not turn anyone away as long as space allows—and much larger donations are definitely encouraged and appreciated. We’ll also sell a signed letterpress broadside that will be hot off the press.”
There will also be a second fundraising event in Berkeley on Saturday, November 22 at 4 p.m. at Mythos Fine Art and Artifacts and Firehouse North Gallery, 1790 Shattuck Avenue, featuring readings by Jack Hirschman, Joyce Jenkins, Owen Hill, and Julie Rogers, along with Zan Stewart on saxophone. This event too is $20 or whatever you can afford.
Please come to either Bird & Beckett or Mythos/Firehouse to catch some great performances and show your support for the man Lawrence Ferlinghetti called “one of the greats of post-World-War-Two San Francisco poets and musicians.”
If you’ve already donated to the online fundraiser, I’d like to pass along the following message from David: “I’m truly overwhelmed by the generosity of all the people, known & unknown, who have given so kindly to me. Am still in a post-op bog of sorts, but wanted to say for now a collective deep thanks to all. As it clears away, I’ll try & contact individually everyone. Onward!”