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Big Night: David Meltzer & Babel Book Discussion: Ha Jin

Big Night: David Meltzer

David Meltzer

With the chill of winter ahead, Just Buffalo Literary Center promises to rival downtown’s summer Thursdays with its latest in the Big Night series. Thursday, November 12 brings Beat poet David Meltzer, writers Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrión, and live music by jazz trio Other Side, (Kelly Bucheger-saxophone, John Werick-bass, and Albright-Knox curator Doug Dreishpoon-drums).

A mere $5 grants admission to a sizzling cornucopia of artistic output, with a cash bar and an incredible edible display by chef Geoffrey Gatza, poet and publisher of BlazeVOX [books]. Big Night begins at 8pm at the Western New York Book Arts Center (468 Washington Street at Mohawk). The event is free for members of Just Buffalo, WNYBAC, Big Orbit, and CEPA Galleries.

Burning brightest will be a leading poet of the Beat Movement, David Meltzer, who was raised in Brooklyn, then “exiled” to L.A. Off to San Francisco in l957, with peers and maestros like Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, Joanne Kyger, Diane DiPrima, Michael McClure, Lew Welch, Philip Whalen, Jack Hirschman, he joined a cast of thousands “all living extraordinary ordinary lives.” With Steve Dickison, he co-edits Shuffle Boil and 2005 saw the publication of David’s Copy: The Selected Poems of David Meltzer by Viking/Penguin, a collection that paints a vivid portrait of Meltzer’s life as a poet through poems taken from thirty of his previous books of poetry.

Michael Rothenberg is a Bay Area poet, songwriter, and editor and publisher of Big Bridge magazine ( His poetry includes Man/Woman, a collaboration with Joanne Kyger, and most recently CHOOSE, Selected Poems;. Terri Carrión, a poet, photographer, and fiction and nonfiction writer, grew up in L.A., where she spent her youth skateboarding and slam-dancing.

Babel Book Discussion: Ha Jin

What better way to prepare for celebrated author Ha Jin’s visit to Western New York than in the cozy atmosphere at Betty’s Restaurant (370 Virginia Street) with local literary notable Sam Magavern, a writer and public interest lawyer who co-directs the Partnership for the Public Good while teaching at the University at Buffalo Law School and the Cornell University ILR School.

Ha Jin comes to Kleinhans Music Hall on November 20 thanks to Just Buffalo Literary Center’s groundbreaking international author series Babel. (Tickets still available, including student seats for only $10—visit for more information.) In advance of his visit, Just Buffalo, Talking Leaves Books, and Betty’s Restaurant offer an evening with Magavern for finger food, coffee, wine and a dynamic discussion of Jin’s novel Waiting, on Monday, November 9 at 7pm. This Babel Extras Book Discussion is free for members of Just Buffalo and Babel subscribers, and just $10 for their guests and the general public. An RSVP is required, so call 832-5400 or email to make reservations.

A writer of poetry, fiction, film, scholarly essays, and comic books, Magavern’s work appears in many respected literary journals, including Poetry, The Antioch Review, and The Paris Review. His latest book, Primo Levi’s Universe, is a literary biography which has been hailed as “elegant” and “exemplary.”

robin brox

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