Bird & Beckett Books And Records Celebrates 25th Anniversary Throughout May

The Glen Park staple is holding a month-long celebration full of events and new merchandise.

Jazz performance in a bookstore
Domingo & Friends brought the house down last night and here’s the proof. | Courtesy Bird & Beckett Books And Records

Glen Park’s Bird & Beckett Books & Records is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month.

In May 1999, Eric Whittington acquired the former Glen Park Bookstore and transformed it into a book and record store and performance venue. In honor of its many years in business, Whittington and company are hosting a month-long anniversary party. It will be jam-packed with 25 events including poetry readings, live music and more.

“A quarter-century ago, in May 1999, Bird & Beckett Books flung its doors open with reckless abandon and somehow, some way, we've kept those doors open ever since,” the store’s newsletter said. “We'll keep them open come hell or high water. But like Slim said to Steve in ‘To Have and Have Not,’ it's better when you help!”

They are offering a 25% discount on all new and used memoirs when shoppers pay in cash. If customers pick up one extra book from any section in the store in addition to a memoir, they will also apply the discount to it.

Artist Mateo Burch's block print-style rendering of the store’s facade. | Courtesy image

Day one of the celebration started with a poetry reading by Poets James Cagney, author of Black Steel Magnolias In The Hour Of Chaos Theory and winner of the PEN Oakland 2018 Josephine Miles Award and Thomas Dunn, a multi-media artist and experimental filmmaker from Midland, Michigan. It was followed up by an open mic by staff members Jerry Ferraz and Michael Koch.

The first week included three back-to-back nights of jazz performances by the Francis Vanek Trio, Macy Blackman’s Mighty Fine Trio, the Jinx Jones Jazz Trio, two jazz combos from the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts which was followed by a jam session from the Akira Tana Trio.

Additional events can be found on the store calendar and festivities will conclude with a performance by Red Fast Luck on May 31.

Bird & Beckett is also selling 25th anniversary t-shirts and tote bags designed by Mateo Burch, who also made a block print-style rendering of the store’s facade at the top of their email newsletter. Screen printing of the design will be done by Fleet Wood on Clement.

“Thanks for 25 years,” the newsletter said. “We'll be here for another 25, thanks to you!”

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