Thursday, January 17th:
POETS! All open mic
in the memory of Dan Harrington
7:00 p.m.

Poets! is an ongoing Bird & Beckett poetry series, hosted by Jerry Ferraz, which presents featured poets followed by an open mic.  We’re moving this series from its twice-a-month Monday schedule to a once-a-month “Third Thursdays” schedule.  So mark your calendars!  Click here for an overview of the series.

7:00 p.m.  Tonight’s reading in our ongoing monthly “Third Thursdays” poetry series will be an all-open-mic in honor of Dan Harrington.  As you’ll read below, Dan was a fascinating and unique person — a long-time friend of our series host Jerry Ferraz — who often showed up at our readings over the years with a banjo or guitar to deliver a rough and lovely song that he’d been working out — usually a chestnut from the folk annals by the likes of Woody Guthrie, but sometimes an original drawing on his deep abiding affection for the wilderness trails or his compassionate observations on the trials of the working class and the poor.

Dan always declined our offer of a feature spot in our series, though we often asked…  In that spirit, there is no featured reader on this program.  Just you.  If you knew Dan and have something appropriate, fine.  But we’re pleased just to hear you read something of your own you want to share.

Please read on for more about Dan, written by his good friends Jerry Ferraz and Nicole Savage, from Nicole’s wonderful website SFHeart.com

San Francisco native, Dan Harrington was a musician and music was his life. In the early 70’s, Dan had studied with Nanos Valoritos at S.F. State and was a student of literature, especially modern French and Spanish literature, and film. Dan lifelong interest in those subjects made him an interesting and eccentric conversationalist, often making obscure Dan Harringtonreferences or comments about esoteric literature of all kinds. During those years, Dan could also often be found with his good friends, Jerry Ferraz, Tony Vaughan, and Ted Arvidson. They enjoyed going to poetry readings, writing songs and playing their music at the cafes around town.

When Dan retired from thirty years as a dock clerk, he had even more time for his music. He was already an expert guitarist and banjo player but when he would see an instrument that interested him, he would get it and begin to teach himself how to play it. He enjoyed sitting outside the Cafe Trieste and playing one or more of the instruments from his collection. Sometimes he would join in playing with others.

On occasion Dan could be coaxed to come out and sing his songs at the Bird and Beckett, which was always much appreciated by his fans, but he flat-out refused to feature or in any way bring any attention to himself.

Dan also loved the outdoors and before the State Parks closed he often went camping by himself. According to Jerry, he was a secret Zen adept, which few of his friends even knew about and sought solitude hence his frequent get a ways to commune with nature.  Dan Harrington was a quiet courteous man in this world but not of it.

Dan died a month after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and left the world as unobtrusively as he had lived in it. His music and his manner are very much missed by his friends.

Dan Harrington lived in North Beach, San Francisco.