Noted Poetry Collective ‘Rockpile’ Comes to RIT

Features leading Beat Generation and San Francisco Renaissance poet David Meltzer

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Rockpile, the poetry collective led by David Metzler, one of the seminal figures of the Beat Generation of writers and poets and a leader of the San Francisco Renaissance, will bring its unique live show to Rochester Nov. 11 and 12.

The tour stop will include a performance at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Student Innovation. Rockpile will be accompanied by musicians and RIT faculty members Carl Atkins and Alan Jackson and interactive visuals from RIT’s iPixLab. Group members will also give a poetry reading at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at Writers and Books, 740 University Avenue in downtown Rochester.

Rockpile presents songs, poetry readings and dramatic presentations that attempt to bring to life the writing style and ideals of the Beat movement, which helped revolutionize American writing, art and politics in the late 50s and early 60s.

Along with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg, Meltzer was a central player in the Beat Generation and is best known for the epic poem Beat Thing. He has authored over 50 books of poetry and prose and was the subject of the 2005 retrospective David’s Copy: The Selected Poems of David Metzler. The group also features poet and songwriter Michael Rothenberg who is editor of the influential online poetry magazine Big Bridge and an editor of The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen.

Rockpile’s Rochester visit is sponsored by the RIT English department and supported by an Interactive Learning Grant from the RIT Office of Student Affairs. Additional funding is also provided by Poets & Writers Inc. with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.

For a full list of Rochester appearances by Rockpile contact John Roche at All events are free and open to the public.