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Bill Berkson Paints the Town

Poet, teacher, critic, and curator Bill Berkson will trail a literary storm behind him this weekend as he tours Buffalo, making multiple stops at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Just Buffalo Literary Center, and Buffalo State College.

Berkson is the author of more than 18 collections of poetry, including Our Friends Will Pass Among You Silently, Goods and Services, and his latest, Portrait and Dream: New & Selected Poems in 2009. He has been an important voice in arts criticism since the 1960s, and has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1980.

Berkson’s first event takes place on Thursday, March 18, in the Student Union Assembly Hall at Buffalo State College. Berkson will read selections from his wide catalogue of poetry, with a question-and-answer period to follow the reading. The event begins at 4pm.

Secondly, Berkson, who was the director of Letters and Science at the San Francisco Art Institute fro m 1993 to 1998, will host a two-part event on the work of Willem DeKooning at the Albright-Knox. The first part of the event, “DeKooning-esque,” takes place Friday, March 19 at 7pm, and will explore the art of the 1960s, specifically the Pop and Minimalist movements. Part two at the Albright-Knox will be a special “walk and talk” guided tour through the gallery with Berkson. That event takes place on Saturday, March 20 at 12:30pm, and will surely be a rare and intimate chance to admire and discuss fine art with a leading figure in contemporary arts criticism.

The Big Night! multimedia event at the Just Buffalo Literary Center this Saturday (March 20) will be Berkson’s final stop in the Queen City. Poetry for the event will be provided by Berkson, with video by Shasti O’Leary Soudant, film by Justin Chouinard, and food by chef and publisher Geoffrey Gatza. Saturday’s Big Night! event at the Just Buffalo Literary Center begins at 8pm.

peter vullo

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