Not terribly long ago, supermodel Bar Rafaeli was on the cover of Esquire, naked, save for words from Stephen King's cover story about the recession. The two, arguably, had nothing to do with one another, which begged the question: If a reigning supermodel is needed to entice people to read Stephen King, one of the few contemporary authors actually making money, then what chance does poetry, the unsung stepchild of literary forms, have of thriving?
Since 2007, acclaimed local poet Jack Hirschman, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, and the Mayor's Office have been making sure that poetry's rich, cultural legacy gets its due with The San Francisco International Poetry Festival, a free, four-day citywide event featuring book signings, street parties, translation workshops, poetry crawls, music, and of course a chance to see and hear some of the world's best poets, coming from countries as varied as Iraq, Colombia, Turkey, Malta, the Philippnes, and our own backyard.
Bibliophiles who want to get lost in a book -- literally -- can do so Friday, July 27 at 11 a.m. with photographer and visual artist Lars Howlett's "Literary Labyrinth," a kind of walkable zen garden installation made entirely out of books. The official kick-off party starts Thursday, July 26 in North Beach with Hirschman, S.F.'s first poet laureate Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and City Librarian Luis Herrera.
Also, just for fun, read this hilarious post from The Hairpin about getting your M.F.A. in poetry.