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A Social Summer at the Bookmark

By Laura Guzman

July was a busy month at the Bookmark Bookstore, with two major social events taking place in our space – the first public events since before COVID.

Elaine Cynthia Brown, aka Poet E Spoken, delivers some of her work during the Beast Crawl event.

On July 22, we welcomed the local literary community into our space a host venue for the Beast Crawl Literary Festival, an annual literary festival showcasing talented writers with deep roots in the East Bay.

It was a full house for each of the two hour-long reading performances, the first featuring writers from Milvia Street Journal, the literary magazine of Berkeley City College, followed by a number of talented authors with the Colossus Press.

On the heels of the Beast Crawl, we hosted our first members-only Summer Sale & Soiree on July 27th. This Thursday evening social drew a great crowd of Friends of the OPL members – and some new members – to enjoy some book shopping, wine and nibbles. Attendees also enjoyed a live performance by Exaudi Nos, a Gregorian chant musical group that longtime volunteer Jim Wenniger participates in. It turns out the acoustics in The Bookmark are ideal for live music!

Volunteer Jim Wenniger (far right) and Exaudi Nos perform for the crowd at the Summer Sale & Soiree event.

Both events were a huge success, giving us the opportunity to (re)introduce the Friends of the OPL and our beloved bookstore to the local community, provide additional benefits to our members, and continue to enhance our contribution to the Oakland Public Library.

Many thanks to the volunteers who contributed extra time and support to help make these events possible!


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