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February 5, 2009

George Tirado


Jennifer Joseph of Manic D Press reports the sad news that George Tirado passed away in San Francisco on January 17 at the age of 44. His work appears in the Manic D Press anthology, Molotov Mouths: Explosive New Writing, featuring powerful works of social justice and the political imagination by Molotov Mouths Outspoken Word Troupe, three women and four men from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds: Chilean-born Ananda Esteva, queer activist Dani Montgomery, performance poet Raw Knowledge, housing rights organizer James Tracy (editor of The Civil Disobedience Handbook), African-American essayist and disabled rights activist Leroy Moore, Chicano poet George Tirado, and Spanglish storyteller Josiah Luis Alderete.

Peter Byrne wrote in his excellent review of the collection in SF Weekly: "In Tirado's poem 'Silent Friend,' the poet asks a dead friend if Death's personality was frightening. 'Were his eyes soft and kind?/ Did he hug you? or touch you?/ Did he wipe the sweat from your forehead?/ Such a private moment to be shared by someone/ who did not even know you.'"

George Tirado was active in the spoken word scenes in the Bay Area and Phoenix, Arizona; he spent a summer on the Lollapalooza Tour, and was a founding member of Molotov Mouths. A Chicano performance poet/activist, he released several CDs, and read and rocked with the legendary, from beat writer Hubert Selby, Jr. to former San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman, to Lydia Lunch and Henry Rollins. George Tirado was active in the pre-Slam San Francisco spoken word scene. As poet Bucky Sinister says, "George and I shared a fascination with dirty, earth-bound angels as images in our work." Some of George Tirado's solo books include The Final Observations of a Technoshaman and the Road Kill Press chapbook From My Heart Revolution.

A memorial and reading organized by Roberta Goodman will take place on Wednesday, February 18, 4:00 p.m., at the Empress Hotel, 144 Eddy Street, between Taylor and Mason, where George Tirado was living when he passed.

You can hear George Tirado at www.myspace.com/georgetirado.


— posted by Joyce Jenkins
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