John Briscoe is a San Francisco poet, author, lawyer, and restaurateur. 

He has published poetry, articles on law, literature and history, and several books including Crush: The Triumph of California WineThe Lost Poems of Cangjie, and Tadich Grill: The Story of San Francisco’s Oldest Restaurant. John’s latest book, A Child’s Christmas in San Francisco, was released in December, 2020 and has received favorable reivews from Bob Hass, the former Poet Laureate, and is a finalist for the Foreword Indie Book Awards.

Since 1972 he has argued and tried cases in the United States Supreme Court, in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, and in courts across the country. The senior partner in the San Francisco law firm Briscoe Ivester & Bazel LLP, Briscoe served as a special adviser to the United Nations concerning the environmental devastation caused by Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait during the Gulf War and has represented nations in boundary and in law-of-war disputes. 

A distinguished fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, he has served for 22 years on the advisory board of the creative-writing MFA program at St. Mary’s College of California. 

He sits on the boards of several historical societies, and other organizations as well. He is the co-owner of Sam’s Grill in San Francisco, founded in 1867 and the fifth-oldest restaurant in the United States. Writers, artists, poets, pipefitters, carpenters, journalists, laborers, lawyers and the political class, all come to Sam’s to be home.

Buy John Briscoe’s books at Book Passage

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