READING: David Meltzer, Michael Rothenberg, Terri Carrion Robert Priest & Jim Christy join ROCKPILE with music and poetry
Friday November 13th, 8pm-11pm reading takes place in the store. Event is FREE
One of the key poets of the Beat generation, David Meltzer is also a jazz guitarist and Cabalist scholar and the author of more than 50 books of poetry and prose. 2005 saw the publication of David’s Copy: The Selected Poems of David Meltzer (edited by Michael Rothenberg, with an introduction by Jerome Rothenberg) which provides a current overview of Meltzer’s work. Meltzer’s Beat Thing (La Alameda Press) is his epic poem on the Beat generation. It was called by Jack Hirschman: “Meltzer’s most important lyri-political work to date…written by a poet who, in terms of the rhythms and verbal inventiveness and the naming of figures of popular culture, is without equal anywhere.” Meltzer’s other books include No Eyes, poems on Lester Young, and a book of interviews, San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets (City Lights Books). Meltzer teaches at the New College of California in the Poetics Program which was
originally founded by Robert Duncan. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Terri Carrión was conceived in Venezuela and born in New York to a Galician mother and Cuban father. She grew up in Los Angeles where she spent her youth skateboarding and slam-dancing. Terri Carrión earned her MFA at Florida International University in Miami, where she taught Freshman English and Creative Writing, edited and designed the graduate literary magazine Gulfstream, taught poetry to High School docents at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and started a reading series at the local Luna Star Café. In her final semester at FIU, she was Program Director for the Study Abroad Program, Creative Writing in Dublin, Ireland.
Michael Rothenberg is a poet, songwriter, and editor of Big Bridge magazine. His poetry books include Man/Woman, a collaboration with Joanne Kyger, The Paris Journals (Fish Drum Press), Monk Daddy (Blue Press), and Unhurried Vision (La Alameda/University of New Mexico Press). His poems have been published widely in small press publications including, 88: A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry, Berkeley Poetry Review, Exquisite Corpse, First Intensity, Fish Drum, Fulcrum, Golden Handcuffs Review, House Organ, Prague Literary Review, Tricycle, Vanitas, Zyzzyva, JACK, Jacket, and others. He is also author of the novel Punk Rockwell. Rothenberg’s 2005 CD collaboration with singer Elya Finn was praised by poet David Meltzer as “fabulous-all [the] songs sound like Weimar Lenya & postwar Nico, lushly affirmative at the same time being edged w/ cosmic weltschmertz. An immensely tasty production.” He is also editor for the Penguin Poet series, which includes selected works of Philip Whalen, Joanne Kyger, David Meltzer, and Ed Dorn. He has recently completed the Collected Poems of Philip Whalen for Wesleyan University Press.
Always in search of original characters and experiences, Jim Christy is a literary vagabond with few peers. He was once described by George Woodcock as ‘one of the last unpurged North American anarchistic romantics’. His publisher has called him a hip Indiana Jones; one reviewer credited him with a ‘Gary Cooper-like presence’. His buddies have included hobos, jazz musicians, boxers, and non-academic writers such as Charles Bukowski, Peter Trower and Joe Ferone. “I never dismiss another’s story out of hand,” he writes, “no matter what it’s about or how outrageous it may seem.” Christy’s often wry reminiscences of his travels, trysts and trials
are fueled by a hard-won pride. A gardener, a sculptor and a spoken word performer with a jazz/blues ensemble, Christy has been seen in film and television productions, usually in non-speaking roles as a thug or a gangster. “You remind me of Malraux,” — Charles Bukowski
Robert Priest is a British born Canadian poet and children’s author. He has written numerous books of poetry, several children’s novels, and has often appeared on CBC radio’s hit spoken word show “Wordbeat” under the alias “Dr Poetry”. He is well known for his aphorisms and performance poetry. His adult poetry has been categorized as surrealistic satire while his children’s poetry is more tender, underpinned with a utopian hopefulness. Canadian novelist Barbara Gowdy has described him as “the voice of the people and the angels, entwined” and the Toronto Star has called him “passionate, cocky, alternately adoring and insulting.” Aside from poetry, Priest has also branched out over the years to write plays, novels and songs, many of which have earned him awards and recognition in Canadian literary circles. Priest won the Milton Acorn Memorial People’s Poetry Award for The Mad Hand (1988). As a songwriter, he co-wrote the international number one hit, “Song Instead of a Kiss” for Alannah Myles. His most recent poetry book is Reading the Bible Backwards (ECW).
LISA ROBERTSON reads from Magenta Soul Whip, with LISE DOWNE and NATLIE ZINA WALSCHOTS
Monday, November 16, 2009 – 8:00pm – event is in the store and free.
‘Robertson makes intellect seductive; only her poetry could turn swooning into a critical gesture.’ – The Village Voice
Lisa Robertson writes poems that mine the past — its ideas, its personages, its syntax — to construct a lexicon of the future. Her poems both court and cuckold subjectivity by unmasking its fundament of sex and hesitancy, the coil of doubt in its certitude. Reading her laments and utopias, we realize that language — whiplike — casts ahead of itself a fortuitous form. The form brims here pleasurably with dogs, movie stars, broths, painting’s detritus, Latin and pillage. Erudite and startling, the poems in Lisa Robertson’s “Magenta Soul Whip,” occasional works written over the past fifteen years, turn vestige into architecture, chagrin into resplendence. In them, we recognize our grand, saddened century.
‘Lise Downe is the author of three books: A Velvet Increase of Curiosity, The Soft Signature and most recently Disturbances of Progress, the language and prosody of each book more delicately, purposefully broken than the last. Not “broken” as in a smashed teacup, but as light is broken by a prism, fanning out in front of the reader’s eyes. I hear echoes of, or parallels to, many other authors in Downe’s work – of Clark Coolidge’s Space in “Driven,” a sequence from The Soft Signature; or of Marjorie Welish’s iterative loops and sampled backtalk, in Disturbances of Progress. But one would hardly mistake Downe’s work for anyone else’s: these are some of the most scrupulous and beautiful of contemporary poems, possessing a tough unreasonableness underneath the slight lyric grace, as Eliot didn’t say of Andrew Marvell.’ – Nate Dorward
NATALIE ZINA WALSCHOTS:
Natalie Zina Walschots’ writing has appeared in FOURSQUARE, Matrix, Rampike and Open Letter. She served as the Managing Editor of both filling Station and dANDelion magazines, and co-curated the Flywheel reading series from 2005–08. Walschots completed her MA in English/Creative Writing at the University of Calgary, and recently moved to Toronto where she teaches writing to grade 12 students at a private school. Walschots’ first book of poetry, the 2007 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry-winning Thumbscrews, is a poetic engagement with the aesthetics of sadomasochism and consensual pain, each poem taken as a miniature sadomasochistic encounter where language is tied up, beaten, and twisted into submission.