Philomene Long - Kenneth Rexroth: The Signature of All Things

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Kenneth Rexroth: The Signature of All Things

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, Los Angeles' premier venue for poetry hosted a night of luminaries celebrating the work of one of the poetry world's stars: Kenneth Rexroth. This 83-minute film, shot at Beyond Baroque, the notoriously avant-garde Literary Arts Center in Venice Beach, attracted an eclectic and eccentric roster of participants extolling Rexroth's impact on his art forms. The Signature of All Things film expounds on the poet's legacy with captivating recitation, live music, and rare accounts of Rexroth's remarkable life by some of the most important writers, historians, and activists of our day.


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Contributing Artists


MICHAEL C. FORD
MC and Curator


Reads excerpt from Thou Shalt Not Kill

A legendary voice on the LA poetry scene, Michael C. Ford has produced a steady stream of print and recorded material since 1970. Ford received a Grammy nomination for his 1986 debut vinyl disk entitled Language Commando and a 1998 Pulitzer Prize nomination for his compilation of selected work (culled from 14 volumes: 1970-1995) Emergency Exits.
MORGAN GIBSON

Revolutionary Rexroth

Reads I-Thou Poem for Kenneth Rexroth's Centenary.

Morgan Gibson has published poetry and prose, two books on Kenneth Rexroth (one winning a CHOICE Award), two Buddhist books from White Pine Press, and two short plays.
PHILOMENE LONG

Web Site

Reads Nicholos, The Experimental Dog by Raymond Queneau (translated from the French by Rexroth).

Poet Laureate of Venice, CA and Queen of Bohemia, Philomene Long was a poet, teacher and filmmaker. She wrote several volumes of poetry, including The Queen of Bohemia and The Ghosts of Venice West. As a film director, Long is best known for The Beats: An Existential Comedy with poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti making appearances.
DOREN ROBBINS

Wikipedia

Reads For Eli Jacobson.

Doren Robbins' poetry, prose poetry, and short fiction has appeared in over 100 literary journals, including The American Poetry Review, Sulphur, Exquisite Corpse and Poetry International. He has published critical essays and articles on Kenneth Rexroth, Gerald Stern, Phillip Levine, Larry Levis, Philip Whalen, Charles Bukowski, and Carol Tinker among others.
LEWIS MACADAMS

Interview

Reads Codicil.

Lewis MacAdams was the author of a dozen books and tapes and CDs of poetry, including The Poetry Room (Harper & Row), Live At The Church (Kulchur Foundation), News From Niman Farm (Tumbouctou) and Africa and the Marriage of Walt Whitman and Marilyn Monroe (Little Caesar Press). His poems have appeared in many anthologies. He was also founder of FOLAR, the Friends of the LA River.
ELOISE KLEIN HEALY

Wikipedia

Reads three Sapphos from Poems From The Greek Anthology translated by Rexroth.

The first Los Angeles Poet Laureate and author of seven books of poetry. She is the author of seven books of poetry: Building Some Changes (Beyond Baroque Foundation); A Packet Beating Like a Heart (Books Of A Feather Press); Ordinary Wisdom (Paradise Press/re-released by Red Hen Press); Artemis In Echo Park (Firebrand Books), nominated for the Lambda Book Award and released as a spoken word recording by New Alliance Records; and her collections from Red Hen Press, Passing and most recently, The Islands Project: Poems for Sappho. The Inevitable Press published her chapbook Women's Studies Chronicles in the Laguna Poets Series. A Wild Surmise was published in 2013.
ARAM SAROYAN



Reads Autumn In California.

An internationally known poet, novelist, biographer, memoirist and playwright. His poetry has been widely anthologized and appears in many textbooks. Among the collections of his poetry are Complete Minimal Poems and PAGES (both Random House). His largest collection, Day & Night: Bolinas Poems, was published by Black Sparrow Press in 1999.
CAROL TINKER

The Pillow Book

Reads Autumn In California Reads excerpt from Andromeda Chained to Her Rock the Great Nebula in Her Heart with flute accompaniment.

Carol Tinker was born. She was a poet, a painter, and the last wife of Kenneth Rexroth.
URI HERTZ



Reads excerpts from Noretorp-Noretsyh on the Hungarian revolution with piano and bass accompaniment.

Uri Hertz launched Third Rail, a now-legendary international literary/arts review, with co-editor Doren Robbins, in 1975. Hertz took over sole editorship of the magazine in 1981 and edited the Third Rail Rexroth issue in 1987.
MARIANA REXROTH



Reads Un Bel Di Vedremo (in memory of his mother during the German bombing of London), Advent, (and from The Lights in The Sky Are Stars for Mary)-A Sword in a Cloud of Light].

Formerly Mary, the eldest daughter of Kenneth Rexroth.
RUBEN GUEVARA

Confessions of a Radical Chicano...

Reads Rexroth's translation of Pablo Neruda's Serenade from 30 Spanish Poems of Love And Exile.

Singer, songwriter, producer, writer, poet, performance artist, and impresario. A pioneer of Chicano rock, Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara performed with Frank Zappa, Johnny Otis, Bo Diddley, Tina Turner, and Celia Cruz, though he is best known as the front man of the 1970s experimental rock band Ruben And The Jets.

In the early eighties, and again in the mid-nineties, he ran Zyanya Records, a subsidiary of Rhino Records, which featured Chicano rock artists, as well as rock en Espanol groups from Latin America and Europe. In 2018 University of California Press published his brutally honest and open autobiography "Confessions of a Radical Chicano Doo-Wop Singer"
BRAD DOURIF

Wikipedia

Reads The Advantages of Learning, Proust’s Madeleine, For A Masseuse and Prostitute.

Brad Dourif is a BAFTA-winning and Academy Award and Emmy-nominated American film and television actor, best known for his roles as Younger Brother in Ragtime, Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Hazel Motes in Wise Blood, Grima Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Doc Cochran in the HBO television series Deadwood.
JAMES CUSHING

Selected Work

Reads an excerpt from Jazz and Poetry, a Rexroth Essay published in Esquire Maggazine May 1958.

Dr. James B. Cushing is a College English Professor, teaching Modern Poetry at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) San Luis Obispo, and has been the host of the KCPR-FM (91.3) radio show "Miles Ahead" since 1997. He is the only member of the Cal Poly faculty to appear in the punk-documentary "The Decline of Western Civilization," and has published three books of poetry.
BOB BRANDTS



Reads The Body Beside The Ties by Kenneth Patchen.

"My sense of complacency rests clearly in the statutes of limitation, the poor memory of friends, the deaths of others and, oh yes, a working wife. And it was she who read aloud Rexroth's autobiographic novel, as we motored down the west coast of Mexico. That was the summer before Kenneth and I were both institutionalized at University of California Santa Barbara."
BONNIE TAMBLYN

Videos

Plays & sings original music for excerpts from A Bestiary.

Bonnie Murray Tamblyn was born to music. Living on the road with her guitar for years, she gained the soul of the honky-tonk chanteuse. Bonnie stretched out into the field of folk-rock in the 60's and 70's and recorded her songs with many notable musicians on the Southern circuit; Duke Bardwell from Louisiana, Merel Bregante of Austin Texas and Al Garth from California, to name a few.
SPRAGUE GRAYDEN

Wikipedia

Reads excerpts from A Bestiary Bear, Deer, Fox & Wolf.

Grayden is an American television, film and theater actress. An alumna of Barnard College and Columbia University. Grayden has been involved in critically acclaimed shows (Joan of Arcadia, Six Feet Under, Over There, John Doe and 24). She often takes character roles that are eccentric or a bit different.
KERRY TOMLINSON



Reads a personal essay..

Student of Kenneth Rexroth. Santa Barbara resident and poet, whose works include: Time Payment (Mudborn Press, 1978) and Night Letter (Mudborn Press, 1982)
LINDSAY D. MOFFORD Director, Producer and Editor
TUCKER Sound and Graphic Design
HARLAN STEINBERGER Executive Producer
MAY RIGLER Cinematographer

About Kenneth Rexroth: The Signature of All Things

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, Los Angeles' premier venue for poetry hosted a night of luminaries celebrating the work of one of the poetry world's stars: Kenneth Rexroth. Held at Beyond Baroque, the notoriously avant-garde Literary Arts Center in Venice Beach, this standing-room-only celebration attracted an eclectic and eccentric roster of participants extolling Rexroth's impact on his art forms.

This film documents a magical night of tribute to the genius of Kenneth Rexroth and his numerous timeless contributions to the world culture. Curated and hosted by Grammy-nominated poet Michael C. Ford, this film is a testament to one individual's impact on an art form and expresses a lasting impression of an American original.

By turns exuberant and bitter-sweet, this film memorializes Rexroth with wild recitations and wry reminiscences from the assorted friends, family members, former students, writers, music archivists, performers and poets who knew him best. The film bridges the gap between past and present literary generations and shares special memories through forgotten images, rare photographs and original artwork.

This lively document will excite the ear and intellect and provide a fuller portrait of Kenneth Rexroth, whose work is sure to inspire anyone interested in contemporary poetry.

Purchase the DVD

Purchase DVD (Individual)
Purchase the DVD for individual use.

+ $4.00 Shipping and Handling charge
Purchase DVD (Institutional)
For institutional use. Includes English transcript.

+ $4.00 Shipping and Handling charge

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