Give the graduate a gator gift
May 4 , 2009 -- Give the graduate a taste of Gator success by choosing a gift with a Gator connection. Books, music and fine restaurant meals will leave a lasting impression.
Music and art
"Tough Guys," is the debut CD from the Generations Band, which features jazz veterans Marcus Belgrave, the late Ronnie Matthews, Ray Drummond, Jimmy Cobb and Lecturer and saxophonist Andrew Speight. The recording, a project of SF State's International Center for the Arts, is available online at CD Baby.
Art and music lovers will appreciate alumnus Charles L. Robinson's photography of jazz greats, beautifully reproduced in "Jazz Idiom, Blueprints, Stills and Frames," by Robinson and Al Young, (Heyday Books).
Treat Pete Seeger enthusiasts to Visiting Scholar David King Dunaway's book and 3-hour audio documentary, "How Can I Keep from Singing? The Ballad of Pete Seeger," which commemorates the folk music giant's 90th birthday.
SF State Gallery Director Mark Dean Johnson's well received art book, "Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970," (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco), is an extensive feast for any art-lover's eyes.
Graduates who like to write and appreciate the fine art of nuance will adore Professor Nona Casper's "Little Book of Days" (Spuyten Dyvil), a year's worth of personal observances and thoughts from the award-winning short story writer.
Also on the fiction front is English Professor Geoffrey Greene's collection, "Voices in a Mask" (Triquarterly Fiction), in which opera libretto's, scores and biographies are weaved into each story.
The 2009 Michael Rubin Publication competition winner, "At or Near the Surface," a collection of short fiction by alumna Jenny Pritchett, is getting rave reviews for its treatment of the mundane and bizarre aspects of domestic life. Proceeds from the sale of this SF State Seven Hills publication support future publications of poetry and fiction by SF State alumni. It is available at Small Press Distribution.
Creative writing faculty produced five volumes of poetry this year. Among these are Barbara Tomash's latest study on language and its precision, "The Secret of White" (Spuyten Dyvil) and Truong Tran's exploration of Asian identity, "Four Letter Words" (Apogee Press).
The poetry anthology co-edited by Associate Professor Camille Dungy, "From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great" (Persea Books), boasts some faculty work and a foreword by American master of the form Gerald Stern.
New in non-fiction is "At 40: Asian American Studies @ San Francisco State," which chronicles the birth and history of the Asian American Studies program. Proceeds from the sale of this book support Asian American Studies programs.
Now on DVD
Alum Arthur Dong's acclaimed documentary "Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films," which features interviews with Nancy Kwan, Christopher Lee, Amy Tan, James Shigeta and others, is now available at the Hollywood Chinese Web site.
Appreciate the exciting sound mixes of Academy Award winning alum Christopher Boyes by picking up "Iron Man," the blockbuster starring Robert Downey, Jr.
The perfect place to celebrate graduation is at one of the fine restaurants owned or operated by alumni. In fact, all of the following have made the San Francisco Chronicle's 2009 Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants list. For a taste of rustic Florence, Italy, visit Trattoria Corso in Berkeley. For genuine Latin American fare visit Fonda in Albany. Foreign Cinema in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District offers an extensive oyster bar complemented by classic films. A lively Greek evening will be enjoyed at Kokkari in downtown San Francisco. Close to campus is the fine Moroccan cuisine of Aziza on Geary Boulevard near 22nd Avenue. In the North Bay visit La Haye for casual, elegant food near the square in Sonoma.
Gator for life
For a gift that will keep on giving, consider a lifetime membership to the SF State Alumni Association. Only $45 for new grads, the membership includes such benefits as Library and Career Center privileges and discounts to cultural and sporting events throughout the Bay Area.
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