Saturday, October 31, 2009


WASHINGTON, DC is the 4th Stop on the ROCKPILE TOUR. Come join us!

Wednesday, November 4 ROCKPILE PERFORMANCE
Host: Busboys and Poets: “Hump Day Groovez” w/ Burnett Thompson and The New Columbia Orchestra
Time: 9pm-11pm
2021 14 St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
admission—10 dollars at the door

Tuesday, November 3, noon-1:30 pm
Poets in the (Think) Tank: ROCKPILE Symposium Co-sponsored by Split This Rock and the Institute for Policy Studies
Brown bag lunch
The Institute for Policy Studies
1112 16th Street, NW, Suite 600Washington, DC
Farragut North or Farragut West Metro
For more info:, 202-787-5210

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. Panel participants include David Meltzer, Michael Rothenberg, and Fred Joiner (bio below). Moderator: Sarah Browning

Sunday, November 1, "All About Rockpile" with David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg and celebrated pianist and composer Burnett Thompson with members of The New Columbia Orchestra at The Writer's Center. Special celebration of guest readers include Terri Carrion, Carlo Parcelli, Beth Joselow, Rod Smith, Sarah Browning, Tom Mandel, Ruben Jackson, Ed Baker, Tala Rahmeh, and Brian Gilmore
Writer's Center
Time: 2pm – 5:00
4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815
Admission free
(festivities continue at Gaffney’s after the reading!)


A leading poet of the Beat Movement, David MELTZER was raised in Brooklyn during the War years; performed on radio & early TV on the Horn & Hardart Children's Hour. Was exiled to L.A. at 16 & at 17 enrolled in an ongoing academy w/ artists Wallace Berman, George Herms, Robert Alexander, Cameron; migrated to San Francisco in 1957 for higher education w/ peers & maestros like Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, Joanne Kyger, Diane DiPrima, Michael McClure, Lew Welch, Philip Whalen, Jack Hirschman, and a cast of thousands all living extraordinary ordinary lives. Beat Thing [La Alameda Press, 2004] won the Josephine Miles PEN Award, 2005. Was editor and interviewer for San Francisco Beat: Talking With The Poets [City Lights, 2001]. With Steve Dickison, co-edits Shuffle Boil, a magazine devoted to music in all its appearances & disappearances. 2005 saw the publication of David's Copy: The Selected Poems of David Meltzer by Viking/Penguin, a collection spanning over forty years of work that paints a vivid portrait of Meltzer's life as a poet through poems taken from thirty of his previous books of poetry. With a versatile style and playful tone, Meltzer offers his unique vision of civilization with a range of juxtapositions from Jewish mysticism and everyday life to jazz and pop culture.

Michael ROTHENBERG is a poet, songwriter, and the editor of Big Bridge magazine online at 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, Van Gogh's Ear, Vanitas, Zyzzyva, JACK, milk, and Jacket. 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.

Burnett Thompson and The New Columbia Orchestra. Pianist and composer Burnett Thompson has lately been working with Chinese erhu soloist Ma Xiaohui, Shanghai-based jazz vocalist Coco Zhao, Flamenco guitarist Abraham Carmona, Argentinian bandoneonista Juan Pablo Jofre Romarion, and the New Columbia Jazz Orchestra.
His Silent Shakespeare and the Sonnets is an ongoing partnership with the Goethe Institute, the Shakespeare Theatre, the National Gallery of Art and the National Arts Club in New York.
Past associations have included a unique collaboration with Maestro Lorin Maazel on recording projects and an adventurous educational program.
Burnett maintained a “piano room” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington throughout the 80’s and 90’s, hosting guest artists Chris Vadala, Keter Betts, Drew Gress, Louis Belson, and countless others. He has appeared with numerous orchestras including the Washington Chamber Symphony and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.
Burnett Thompson was educated at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Vienna, Austria, and the New England Conservatory of Music.

Sarah Browning is co-director of Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness and DC Poets Against the War. Author of Whiskey in the Garden of Eden (The Word Works, 2007) and co-editor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology (Argonne House Press, 2004), she has received fellowships and prizes from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the Creative Communities Initiative, and the People Before Profits Poetry Prize. She co-hosts the Sunday Kind of Love reading series at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC, where she lives with her husband and son.

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

ROCKPILE, made possible by grants from the Creative Work Fund (, the James Irvine Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and is sponsored by the Committee on Poetry, Inc.

A Gunshot Or Did Someone Drop A Broom?

Marcus Slease:
A Gunshot Or Did Someone
Drop A Broom?

If You Must Sing
Gut Cult

Friday, October 30, 2009

a brief episode of fondness

Audri Sousa:
Three Poems,
kill author

Someone I once knew

Puma Perl:
Someone I once knew,
Counterexample Poetics

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sleeping with Demons

Photo of A.D. Winans by Ulvis Alberts

The A.D. Winans Mystery Island Interview

A.D. Winans:
Sleeping with Demons, Mystery Island
Poem For A Poet Friend, Punk Rock Poetry

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Whiskey, Madness, and Bellevue

Jack Micheline:
Whiskey, Madness, and Bellevue
Underground Voices

Rockpile Joins New Columbia Orchestra

Rockpile Joins New Columbia Orchestra
Wed. Nov. 4, 2009
9 p.m.
Bus Boys & Poets
2021 14th St. NW

Monday, October 26, 2009

This must be the place

Kate Greenstreet:
Leaving the old neighborhood,
This must be the place,
Gut Cult #6

The Aztec

Tomaz Salamun:
The Aztec, translated from the Slovenian
by Joshua Beckman and the author,
The Wolf

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Having a coke with you


Henry Gould:
Poet's Corner


Spencer Selby:
Gut Cult #1

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

life in bed

Del Ray Cross:
Two Poems, Shampoo #20
Poems, Shampoo #24

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Poems from GODZENIE

Marcus Slease,
Poems from GODZENIE (BlazeVox 2009):
Poems, past simple
24:00, Shadowtrain
Three Poems, Word For/Word #12


Nico Vassilakis:
Eoagh #5

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spanish Bombs

Eileen Myles (poems)

Eileen Myles:
Howland, Drunken Boat #10
Sunday, Drunken Boat #10

Monday, October 19, 2009


Tomaz Salamun:
Three Poems translated from the Slovenian,

Sunday, October 18, 2009


William Allegrezza:
Two Poems, Eoagh #5

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Sleep of Blowflies

John Kinsella:
Two Poems,
The International
Literary Quarterly

Introducing Scott Thurston

Introducing Scott Thurston
(by Robert Sheppard)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Christopher Mulrooney:
emcee, Drunken Boat #10

e.e. cummings

e.e. cummings:
Two Poems,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009