Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Poets in the (Think) Tank: ROCKPILE Symposium

November 3, 2009 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

In anticipation of what is sure to be a music and poetry extravaganza at Busboys and Poets November 4, ROCKPILE artists David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg host an open discussion on art and activism, poetry, music and the troubadour tradition, censorship and the academy, community and collaboration.

ROCKPILE is a collaboration between David Meltzer, legendary poet, musician, and essayist, and Michael Rothenberg, poet, songwriter and editor of Big Bridge Press. In the tradition of the troubadour and with the spirit of improvisation and collaboration, the duo will journey through eight U.S. cities and perform poetry, composed on the road, in a spontaneous fusion with local musicians in each city. Washington DC is the fourth stop of the ROCKPILE journey.

David Meltzer was an important figure in the 1950s San Francisco Renaissance and appeared in Donald Allen’s “The New American Poetry,” a seminal work of that era. “Beat Thing” a book-length, poetic journal, published by La Alameda Press in 2004, won the Josephine Miles PEN Award in 2005. His books, Reading Jazz, Writing Jazz and No Eyes, Lester Young all reflect his deep connection and dedication to music throughout his career. His complete publication history is at

Michael Rothenberg is a poet, songwriter, and editor and publisher of Big Bridge magazine online at www. His poetry books include The Paris Journals (Fish Drum Press), Monk Daddy (Blue Press), Unhurried Vision (La Alameda/University of New Mexico Press) and most recently CHOOSE, Selected Poems (Big Bridge Press). He is also editor for the Penguin Poet series, which includes selected works of Phillip Whalen, Joanne Kyger, David Meltzer and Ed Dorn. He has recently completed the Collected Poems of Phillip Whalen for Wesleyan University Press. Complete publication history can be found at m/

Fred Joiner is a poet living in Washington, DC’s Historic Anacostia neighborhod. He works as a systems administrator for a small progressive consulting company. He collaborates frequently with jazz musicians and his poems have appeared in Callaloo, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Warpland: A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas, and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora.

Sarah Browning will moderate this event. If you can’t make it on November 3rd, be sure to attend ROCKPILE’s other DC events: 11/1 at The Writers Center in Bethesda, and 11/4 at Busboys and Poets.


November 3, 2009
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:
, ,


IPS Conference Room
1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20036 United States
+ Google Map