Nine years after David Bromige officially left the firm in 2009, his long-awaited collection if wants to be the same as is: essential poems of David Bromige, is available, including within its folds an entirely new work, American Testament, composed but then never published a third of a century ago.
Events celebrating the appearance of if wants to be the same as is are taking place in Sebastopol, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, and Vancouver, and will feature readings of Bromige’s work by a spectacular array of poets, many who knew him.
David’s if wants to be tour starts with a celebration / reading in his long-time hometown of Sebastopol, where he was Sonoma County’s second Poet Laureate, on Friday, August 17, at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.
The event is hosted by Bill Vartnaw and features the book’s editors, Ron Silliman, Bob Perelman and Jack Krick, and recollections, and readings from the book, by Gillian Conoley, Pat Nolan, Cole Swensen and Jonah Raskin.
The evening also features the world premiere of Incremental Windows, a documentary by filmmaker, photographer and poet James Garrahan (whose photo of David graces the book’s cover), who filmed a series of conversations with Bromige made in the latter years preceding the poet’s death in 2009 that cover his poetics, his family and his life.
The Sebastopol Center for the Arts is at 282 High Street, Sebastopol. Doors open at 5:30, proceedings get underway at 6 p.m. An entrance donation of $10, with no one turned away for lack of funds, is requested. Proceeds will be used to place a bronze poem of Bromige’s on the grounds of the Arts Center, a project of Bill Vartnaw, also a Sonoma County Poet Laureate.
The next night, Saturday, August 18, a launch / reading at Alley Cat Books in San Francisco features Norma Cole, Lyn Hejinian, Maxine Chernoff, Paul DeBarros, Jean Day, Norman Fischer, Kathleen Fraser, Susan Gevirtz, Barry Gifford, Opal Nations, Michael Palmer, Stephen Ratcliffe, and Kit Robinson. Holy cow!
Alley Cat Books is at 3036 24th Street, San Francisco, in the Mission District. Lotsa readers, so things start at 6 o’clock.
Then, suddenly, it’s Tuesday, September 25, and you’re at the Kelly Writers House for the Philadelphia, PA if wants to be the same as is tour event. Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Steve Dolph, Ryan Eckes, George Economou, Rochelle Owens, Eli Goldblatt, David Hancock, Tom Mandel, Chris McCreary, Ariel Reznikoff, Frank Sherlock, and Orchid Tierney are on the bill.
Kelly Writers House is at 3805 Locust Walk. The launch gets underway at 6 o’clock.
Before you know it it’s Wednesday September 26, and it’s New York for the next stop on the tour, at the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s. How does Bruce Andrews, Steve Benson, Charles Bernstein, Lee Ann Brown, Nada Gordon, Aldon Nielsen, Nick Piombino, James Sherry, and who knows, and maybe Abigail Child and Robert Grenier too, sound?
Everybody knows where the Poetry Project is: 131 E. 10th Street. This is the only 8 p.m. starting time on the tour, because New York never sleeps.
Then it’s on Bridge Street Books in Washington, DC, on Sunday, September 30, for readings by Lorraine Graham, Buck Downs and Rod Smith for sure, and probably one or two others.
Bridge Street Books finds itself at 2814 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; things get going at 6 o’clock.
Stay tooned for details about a Vancouver event on Friday, October 12, and maybe even Seattle on October 14.
There’s an entry on Ron Silliman’s blog that gets to the crux of the biscuit more directly (but then he’s a poet).