Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2017
CONTACT: Roy L. Williams                                
Director of Public Relations             
Birmingham Public Library                          
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067                        
Bards & Brews fundraiser to be held at Central Library on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017

WHO: Birmingham Public Library
WHAT: Bards & Brews Performance Poetry/Beer Tasting
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 3, 2017  Music by Clutch starts at 6:30 p.m. and poetry performances begin at 7 p.m.
WHERE: The Central Library, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —The future of Bards & Brews, the Birmingham Public Library’s popular spoken word poetry and beer tasting event, is in jeopardy due to lack of funding, and the public is being asked to help.

The Central Library, 2100 Park Place, will host a special Bards & Brews fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 3, in which attendees will be asked to pay-what-they-can to enter. The library is planning another Bards & Brews fundraising event at an off-site location later in 2017. More details on that event will be announced at a later date.
A dedicated group of BPL staff and community supporters are working to keep Bards & Brews alive and vital. An All Star Bards & Brews featuring previous slam winners and crowd favorites will perform on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 at the Central Library downtown.

Craft beer has been donated by Grayton Beer Company of Florida. Donations via cash, check or credit card will be accepted throughout the evening and online at

Poets performing will be as follows: Blaque Diamond, BStucc, Jahman Hill, Jerri Hardesty, JP Da Poet, Lee Green, Michael Harriot, Mojo Mama, Quang Do, Shaun Judah, Shaunteka, Southern Boy Buff, and Voice Porter.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with live music by Clutch, beer tasting, and light refreshments. The poetry will begin to flow at 7 p.m. with Brian "Voice Porter" Hawkins serving as host. Attendees must be at least 18 to enter and 21 to participate—ID is required.

For more information about Bards & Brews, call Brandon C. Smith at 205-591-4944 or email him at

Here are the three main challenges the Bards & Brews program is facing in 2017, as highlighted at the following link:

* Last year, the Alabama State Legislature passed a bill (aka the growler bill) that limited beer donations by Alabama's breweries. BPL has depended on beer donations for the Bards & Brews events for the past six years. Purchasing the beer, which will be necessary going forward, substantially increases the event expenses. Funds for beer will have to be donated, since it is not possible for the library to use taxpayer money to purchase alcohol.

* The grant cycle for this program has run its course. 2017 is the sixth year of Bards & Brews, and grant funding for the current version of the program has ended.  

* The Birmingham Public Library has had to re-prioritize budgeting for programs and there is not enough money to continue Bards & Brews without public and/or private support.

For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for 130 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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