A SINCERE (AND SUCCESSFUL) BEAST CRAWL FUNDRAISER
The first of our 2023 Beast Crawl fundraisers, held last Saturday 4/8/23, was a dreamy success!
The evening was spent in gorgeous company, under the lights of the lovely loft space at INTERSECTION for the Arts. It's hard to narrow the highlights down to just a few, so why would we?
Was the official launch of Paul Corman-Robert's The Sincere the crux of the celebration, or merely the hook that caught us a plentiful feast of literary goodness and brilliant Bay Area community? One thing is for sure, last Saturday's benefit reading was exemplary of all that the Beast Crawls toward and all that it aims to bring with it, everywhere it slouches.
California death doula, poet, publisher of anthologies, haiku-ist, and creative force behind Naked Bulb Press and open mic, Missy Church kicked off the night with her lovely poetry and presence. Her poems were a sweet song rocking us into the rapture of the evening.
A veteran Beast Crawl participant, Missy donated copies of her poetry collections Church: Retrospective (Paper Press Books, 2015) and deathaiku (Collapse Press, 2022). Thank you, Missy!
We look forward to more Missy Church in future Beast Crawl line-ups.
Andrew J. (A.J.) Thomas- husband, father, poet, and one of the original founders of the Beast Crawl, unintentionally (or intentionally) had us crying this night.
Cue the crowd: sniffling, laughing, musing, and nodding in catharsis as A.J. shared morsels of vulnerable poetry, on the night of his own birthday nonetheless. Thanks for spending your birthday with us, Andrew, and for letting us sing to you. We hope it wasn't too painful!
Our immense gratitude goes to A.J. for donating copies of his collection Strangeland (Naked Bulb Press, 2017) and for continuing to be an integral part of the Beast Crawl operations.
California educator, moon witch, drummer, and poetess K.R. Morrison fully embodied all of her magic and graced us with the sorcery of her poems.
Thank you K.R. for sharing your "new sh*t!" with us, an offering that is all too awkwardly familiar to any writer who has vulnerably shared their latest, lesser polished works with an audience before. Your "new sh*t" is good sh*t, and an inspiration to us.
Gratitude abounds to K.R. for donating copies of her chapbook Cauldrons (Paper Press Books, 2021). We are excited for the folks who went home with your magic on Saturday evening.
Original creator of the Beast Crawl, founder of Paper Press Books & Associates Publishing Company, Arab-Latino fiction and poetry extraordinaire Youssef Alaoui continues to pour his soulful time, energy, and intention into the production of our beloved literary festival.
Youssef's presence and voice at last Saturday's benefit were poignant reminders of why the Bay Area needs the Beast Crawl. There is power in community. There is power in seeing and being seen, as a writer, and as every single facet of a being that brings us as writers to the page. Youssef embodies that power and clearly puts in the work to lift up that power in each of us.
Thank you, Youssef, for donating your time, energy, intention, and copies of your book Fiercer Monsters (Nomadic Press, 2017) to benefit the Beast Crawl. We appreciate you, big time!
Bay Area based poet, educator, elocutionist, activist for holism, Story Medicine Woman, called 'word magician and a U. C. Berkeley Bay Area Writing Project Fellow recently named a MoAD 2022 Poet in Residence, Tureeda Mikell shared poems, old and new.
Thank you, Tureeda, for gracing us with your word-play, making us laugh on the verge of urinating, and for being a continued force for reckoning and good in our community. We are lucky to exist in the wake of your poetry.
Tureeda donated copies of her poetry collection Synchronicity, The Oracle of Sun Medicine (Nomadic Press, 2020) as well as copies of the East Side Arts Alliance's Patrice Lumumba Anthology (Nomadic Press. 2021) for which Tureeda was co-author and curator. We are immensely grateful!
Author of five books of poetry and short prose, including Unit of Agency, Be A Bough Tit, Sudden Windows, Poems for Teeth, and The Orange Book, along with ten chapbooks in various genres, Richard Loranger blessed the room with prose and poems and immense stage presence.
Richard left us in a trail of glittery poetic goodness that we won't soon shake off, nor do we want to. Those of you who were not with us on Saturday, we hope that you too someday get to hear Richard's true story about sending glitter to Queen Elizabeth II. It's good, real good.
Thank you, Richard, for sharing your work with us, and a huge thanks for donating copies of Hello (We Press, 2001) and Unit of Agency (Collapse Press, 2021).
How lucky are we? So lucky, to have been in the presence and ear shot of Kim Shuck, the seventh poet laureate of San Francisco.
A fifth-generation resident of the city, community activist, enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and an accomplished visual artist whose beadwork has been exhibited across the U.S, Kim Shuck is also a principal thread of the cloth that is the Bay Area literary community, which includes our beloved Beast Crawl.
Kim's poetry moved through the room and moved through us, reminding us of the power of writing what we know and writing toward and into our pain and loss.
We appreciate Kim for being with us at this first of many 2023 Beast Crawl benefit readings, and for donating copies of her books Smuggling Cherokee (The Greenfield Review Press, 2006) out of print, Rabbit Stories (Poetic Matrix Press, 2013), and Murdered Missing (FootHills Publishing, 2019).
Were we surprised that Paul Corman-Roberts brought on the community ethos and Bay Area beasty beat? Of course not!
An original founder and organizer of the Beast Crawl, author of the CLMP Firecracker nominated poetry collection Bone Moon Palace (Nomadic Press, 2021), Paul brought us together that evening to celebrate the release of his latest chapbook The Sincere (Libran Apocaplyse Books, 2022) and all things Beast Crawl! Paul's presence in the room (and in our community) was as integral that night as it has been for as long as we've been blessed to have him.
It gives pause to recognize Paul's commitment to wielding words and energy (and time and sweat and tears) in the name of greater good for the literary arts. Beast Crawl would not be such a powerful and beautiful force without his efforts. Thank you, Paul, for bringing us together year after year, event after event, benefit after benefit, crawl after Beasty Crawl. We love what you do and we love being a part of it!
And then there was an open mic!
And then the night went winding.
What's a benefit reading without giving benefit to the community members who fill the room and spill their tears and laughs and sighs? We are so grateful to the lovely folks who shared their magical words and ways with us during our open mic last Saturday night. We acknowledge you by name: Claire Gallagher, Garrett Murphy, César Love, Charisel Parla, Milo Johnson, Taneesh Kaur, and Neil Uzzell.
We see you, we love to hear you, and we await your return at all future Beast Crawl events.
Crawl towards us! Crawl with us! Come on, keep on crawling!
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