The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
presents The Reading Room, a temporary project dedicated to poetry and experimental fiction. The space offers visitors the chance to take home a free book drawn from the overstock collections of several noted East Bay small presses, including Kelsey Street Press, Atelos Books, and Tuumba Press. Books and catalogs from Small Press Distribution (SPD) will also be available, thanks to Laura Moriarty and Brent Cunningham of SPD. In turn, visitors are asked to replace that book with one from their own collection.
The Reading Room will be open during regular gallery hours and features a comfortable reading area, a listening station featuring recordings of selected poets published by these presses, and silk-screen prints and original works on paper created by New York based artist George Schneeman in collaboration with poets Ron Padgett, Bill Berkson, and Lewis MacAdams. Guided and inspired by arts writer and poet Ramsay Bell Breslin and poet and UC Berkeley Professor of English Lyn Hejinian, BAM/PFAs new literary project invites visitors to look, listen, share, and read in The Reading Room.
As part of selected L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA programs throughout winter and spring, The Reading Room will be the site of literary readings (RE@DS) co-curated by poet/author David Brazil and Suzanne Stein, poet, publisher, and community producer at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The vibrancy of the contemporary Bay Area writing community emerges from a long tradition of artistic and literary interdisciplinary attention, and this reading series highlights that generational continuity. The opening celebration of the Berkeley Art Museum in 1970 included performances by Robert Duncan, William Wiley, and Anna Halprin, and its in that spirit weve organized our program. For this series, we invited eight younger writers to present their own work in the context of another writer or artist who has been a source of inspiration and excitement for them. Expect these events to be two parts performance and one part conversation.