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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Peter Cavagnaro, pcavagnaro@berkeley.edu, (510) 642-0365

The Reading Room (January 15—June 17, 2012)

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George Schneeman and Bill Berkson: On the Offspring, 1969 or 1970; mixed media on illustrated board; 12 x 12 in.

PROJECT DEDICATED TO POETRY AND EXPERIMENTAL FICTION OFFERS VISITORS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TRADE BOOKS FROM THEIR OWN COLLECTIONS FOR THOSE ON THE READING ROOM SHELVES; ON SELECT FRIDAYS THE SPACE BECOMES THE SITE FOR THE DYNAMIC NEW LITERARY SERIES RE@DS, FEATURING SOME OF THE BAY AREA’S MOST ADVENTUROUS YOUNG AUTHORS

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Berkeley, CA, December 21, 2011
—The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) 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/PFA’s 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 it’s in that spirit we’ve 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.

RE@DS Schedule
RE@DS
programs begin at 5:30 p.m. General admission is $7 after 5:00 p.m. Admission is free for UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff. Ticket includes admission to the BAM/PFA galleries (open till 9:00 p.m. on L@TE Fridays) and to same-day L@TE programs. Please consult the website for the L@TE schedule: http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/late. RE@DS and L@TE are free with a same-day PFA Theater ticket. Seating to RE@DS programs is limited.

Friday, January 27, 2012; 5:30 p.m.
Jackqueline Frost
Frost is the author of When We Say Brutal (Berkeley Neo-Baroque) and The Soft Appeal (Nous-Zot Press). She co-curates the Condensery Reading Series in Oakland, California.

Friday, February 10, 2012; 5:30 p.m.
Tom Comitta
Comitta is a writer, publisher, programmer, and co-conductor of the interventionist sound poetry troupe SF Guerrilla Opera.

Friday, February 24, 2012; 5:30 p.m.
Monica Peck
The poet Peck lives in San Francisco, teaches at San Jose State, and does not have a preferred gender pronoun.

Friday, March 9, 2012; 5:30 p.m.
Christian Nagler
Nagler is a writer, translator, and artist whose work has recently appeared in Fillip, Somatic Engagment (Chainlinks Press), and Poetic Labor Project.

Ariel Goldberg
Friday, March 16, 2012; 5:30 p.m.
Goldberg is currently writing and performing The Photographer, an epistolary novel.

Brian Ang
Friday, March 23, 2012; 5:30 p.m.
Ang is the author of Communism (Berkeley Neo-Baroque, 2011) and Paradise Now (Grey Book Press, 2011), the editor of ARMED CELL, and lives in Oakland, California.

Ted Rees
Friday, April 13, 2012; 5:30 p.m.
Rees is a poet and activist living in West Oakland, whose work can be found through the usual channels— just ask him.

Friday, May 11, 2012; 5:30 p.m.
Lara Durback
Durback is a poet, leaning more toward performance art or letterpress printing on found objects, and always making books and pamphlets in Oakland.

About the RE@DS Programmers
David Brazil
was born in New York and lives in Oakland, California. With Sara Larsen, he edits the monthly xerox periodical TRY! In 2010, his groundbreaking anthology (with Kevin Killian) The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater:1945–1985 appeared to wide critical acclaim. He is active in the San Francisco Poets Theater and has co-curated a variety of local reading series, as well as the Poetic Labor Project's annual Labor Day event, which has invited writers to talk about how they make a living as well as their involvement in political work. Forthcoming publications include Mina Loy Portal (Trafficker) and ECONOMY (Little Red Leaves).

Suzanne Stein is the author of Tout va bien (Displaced) and HOLE IN SPACE (OMG!). Poems, talk performances, and prose have appeared in War and Peace, On: Contemporary Practice, Counterpath Online; and at New Langton Arts, the San Francisco Exploratorium, The Poetry Project, and elsewhere. She is editor and publisher of the small, Oakland-based poetry press TAXT and was codirector and film curator at (f o u r w a l l s gallery in San Francisco. She works currently as community producer at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, organizing a variety of talk- and conversation-based programs, and is editor-in-chief of the museum's blog, Open Space.

Support for The Reading Room
The Reading Room
is supported by a generous grant from the Kadist Foundation, San Francisco. Thanks also to Ross Craig, sound engineer, and to Meyer Sound for donating the speakers.

About BAM/PFA
Founded in 1963, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is UC Berkeley’s primary visual arts venue and among the largest university art museums in terms of size and audience in the United States. Internationally recognized for its art and film programming, BAM/PFA is a platform for cultural experiences that transform individuals, engage communities, and advance the local, national and global discourse on art and ideas. BAM/PFA’s mission is “to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.”

BAM/PFA presents approximately fifteen art exhibitions and 380 film programs each year. The museum’s collection of over 16,000 works of art includes important holdings of Neolithic Chinese ceramics, Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese painting, Old Master works on paper, Italian Baroque painting, early American painting, Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, and video art. Its film archive of over 14,000 films and videos includes the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan, Hollywood classics, and silent film, as well hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film, many of which are digitally scanned and accessible online.

Museum Information
Location:
2626 Bancroft Way, just below College Avenue across from the UC Berkeley campus.

Gallery and Museum Store Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Open L@TE Fridays until 9 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Information: 24-hour recorded message (510) 642-0808; fax (510) 642-4889; TDD (510) 642-8734.

Website: bampfa.berkeley.edu

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