Three more reasons to attend "The Ancient Book of Hip" Release Party: Poets Truong Tran and Tess Patalano, and Artist David Gerbstadt

Besides hearing D.W. Lichtenberg read from his Michael Rubin Award-winner The Ancient Book of Hip, attending Wednesday’s Fourteen Hills Press-sponsored release party also affords you a chance to hear an up-and-coming Bay Area poet and a respected writer, and to take home a work of art for next to nothing.

First on the evening’s agenda is Tess Patalano. Tess received her BA in Creative Writing from Hamilton College in New York and will receive her MA in Creative Writing (poetry) from San Francisco State (a program that has produced many fabulous writers, if I do say so myself). Her poetry emphasizes the beautifully uncomfortable aspects of life. She reads at Wide Open Mic at San Francisco State the first and last Wednesdays of every month and at Brainwash Cafe Open Mic on Monday nights in San Francisco. 

Second to read will be Truong Tran. Truong has five collections of poetry and a children’s book to his name, and was awarded the San Francisco Poetry Center Book Prize in 2002 for dust and conscience. Claire Light, in a review for KQED, said of his most recent work: “’Four letter words’ is the most resoundingly accomplished of all of Tran's books; every piece is a new effort, every page offers a new angle.” Truong is also a visual artist and was featured in Fourteen Hills 15.1. You can check out his art at gnourtnart.com. Truong teaches creative writing at San Francisco State and Mills College.  

On display will be works by Pennsylvania-based artist David Gerbstadt, who created the cover for The Ancient Book of Hip. Gerbstadt sees art in everything around him and uses whatever’s within reach to make his colorful, ecstatic multimedia pieces. Gerbstadt also has an incredible life story (he survived miraculously after being hit by a truck while riding his bike in 2007) and a viral YouTube presence. You can check him out on MySpace and YouTube. Gerbstadt’s art will be for sale and there's no way you can't afford to take some home. He believes in sharing art, and used to leave his creations in public places for the taking. He now rarely charges more than 10 dollars for a piece; his MySpace page advertises everything for a dollar.

Doors open at 7 p.m. on Nov. 18 at Space Gallery, 1141 Polk Street, San Francisco. Cost is $10 (for a good cause) and includes a free book, three amazing performances, killer art, and a DJ set. RSVP now on Facebook. (21 and older, please.)

See you there!

-- Leigh Ann D., Fourteen Hills staff

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