San Francisco International Poetry Festival 2007
In his inaugural address, San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman
envisioned creating an International Poetry Festival, reprising a great
tradition from the City’s literary past.
In July 2007, Friends
of the San Francisco Public Library, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Jack Hirschman
and the San Francisco Public Library presented their first San Francisco International Poetry Festival.
San Francisco International Poetry Festival honors our City’s great
legacy of hosting and encouraging cross cultural dialogue. In 2007,
the three-day extravaganza drew thousands of people from the Bay Area
for free and open-to-the-public poetry and music at both large and
small venues throughout the City, including a street party in North
Beach, youth events, book signings, translation workshops and more.
landmark event showcased fifteen poets from around the world, reading
together with the leaders of San Francisco’s own highly regarded
literary community, including all past Poet Laureates (Lawrence
Ferlinghetti, Janice Mirikitani and devorah major). The truly
international group of poets, from countries including France, Greece,
Iraq, Israel and Syria, represented a wide spectrum in the world of
poetry, from recognized masters to emerging new talents, who are
redefining the art in our evolving times.
Friends of the SFPL is
committed to continuing this tradition of diversity, dialogue, prose
and poetry for years to come. The International Poetry Festival will
continue as a biennial event, with the next International Poetry
Festival in Summer 2009.
In the interim years, Friends will
present poetry festivals in a variety of languages, such as Flor y
Canto en el Barrio: A Celebration of Latino Poetry and continue to
build cultural bridges, celebrate the literary arts and foster