Bill Berkson and Duncan McNaughton at The Poetry Center
Bill Berkson is a poet, critic, teacher and curator who has been active in the art and literary worlds since his early 20s. He is the author of 15 books and pamphlets of poetry, including Saturday Night: Poems 1960 – 61, Shining Leaves, Recent Visitors, Enigma Variations, Blue is the Hero, Lush Life, Serenade, Fugue State, a collection of his 1960s collaborations with Frank O’Hara titled Hymns of St. Bridget and Other Writings and Gloria, with etchings by Alex Katz. Berkson has received awards and grants from the Poets Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, Briarcombe Foundation and Marin Arts Council.
In addition to his own important and original work as a poet, Duncan McNaughton is a small-press editor and the founder/publisher for Fathar and Mother, two seminal little magazines. He also established the Poetics Program at the New College of San Francisco and directed the program from 1965 to 1990. The Poetics Program, from its inception, was at the forefront of innovative literature, not only in the Bay Area but also in the country at large, and for almost three decades McNaughton acted as its principal spokesman and planned its public events. He is the author of 12 books of poetry, including A Passage of Saint Devil (1976), Sumeriana (1977), Valparaiso (1995), Kicking the Feather (1996) and Capricci (2003).