Praise for A Child’s Christmas in San Francisco
“Handsome, fiendishly ingenious. And unfailing.
I can almost hear the cable cars clanging at Market and Powell
because of the bargains they’re getting at Owl.”
— Robert Hass, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, and Poet Laureate of the United States, 1995–1997
At the core of A Child’s Christmas in San Francisco are seven poems, composed, author John Briscoe tells us, by generations of San Francisco school children.
Over the week before Christmas these children paired iconic San Francisco food and drink with the days of the week.
Each day got a poem featuring a particular food or beverage. In this way, Briscoe observes, the young poets showed “a precocious affection for the culinary tradition and abiding spirits of Christmas in their City of St. Francis.”
Briscoe was one of those children. “For the occasion of those seven days, we composed ditties of juvenilia, in verse from bad to worse, to celebrate the days of the week and their paired food or beverage soulmates. From Sutro Heights to South Beach, from Bernal Heights to the Bayview, we composed, and competed, and conceded to the best of us.”
These then are the best productions of San Francisco’s youthful versifiers. They are sly and surprisingly sophisticated comic verses that bring to life a forgotten San Francisco, one spiced with wicked innocence and fueled by the city’s unique culinary offerings.
Like the season it recalls, this book is celebration, a feast that is guaranteed to delight.
A Child’s Christmas in San Francisco
By John Briscoe
Clothbound, with jacket • 80 pages
Black and white illustrations throughout
5.5″ x 8.5″ • 978-0-86719-885-0
Praise for John Briscoe’s poetry
“Absolutely fascinating . . . beautifully timeless.”
— Columbia Review
“Shimmering. . . . Evocative and lyrical free-verse poetry.”
— Kirkus Review
“Lovely, ripe with simple imagery and a musical lyricism.”
— Foreword Reviews
“Subtle, sweet, subversive, and sly, The Lost Poems of Cangjie will leave many
readers puzzled — and, equally, delighted. . . . The Lost Poems of Cangjie is
one of the most original and fulfilling books I have read in a long time.”
— Catamaran Literary Reader
Praise for John Briscoe’s prose
“Crush is destined to earn a place among the classics of wine literature
and the history of California.”
— Kevin Starr, pre-eminent historian of California
John Briscoe is a San Francisco poet, author, and lawyer. His poetry has been praised by Kirkus Review, Columbia, and other reviews. His book Crush: The Triumph of California Wine took the Oscar Lewis Award in Western History for 2020, and first prize in the Top Shelf Book Awards. His Tadich Grill: The Story of San Francisco’s Oldest Restaurant, is a critically praised history not only of the Tadich, but of San Francisco’s remarkable culinary history. As a lawyer, he has tried and argued cases throughout the country, in the Supreme Court of the United States, and in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. He is a Distinguished Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, president of the San Francisco Historical Society, and co-owner of Sam’s Grill in San Francisco, fifth-oldest restaurant in the country.