The Signature of All Things

a passionate ode to the artist Kenneth Rexroth

The Signature of All Things 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.

DVD (all regions), 83 minutes, 1 Disc
$21.99 (Individual), $86 (Institutional)

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Contributing Artists

Michael C. Ford

Reads excerpt from Thou Shalt Not Kill
Michael C Ford, a legendary voice on the LA poetry scene 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. Ford has shared the stage with many including Jim Morrison, Charles Bukowski, Jello Biafra, Henry Rollins and Timothy Leary.
Official Site   Wikipedia on Michael C Ford   Facebook Page   Bio

Morgan Gibson

Reads I-Thou Poem for Kenneth Rexroth's Centenary
Since 1950 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. His countercultural essays have been about Henry Miller, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Paul Goodman, the Lebanese poet and artist Etel Adnan, besides Ginsberg and Rexroth, the civil rights and anti-war movements, and a slew of isms. He taught in Amerika and Japan about 20 years each–before retiring from teaching but never from poetry.
  Revolutionary Rexroth

Philomene Long

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. Beat legends Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, whose world Philomene would later join, as well as artists Jackson Pollock and William de Kooning, were but a few of those laying the groundwork for the Beat explosion (in the neighborhood where she lived) that would forever change the world, and continued to influence Philomene to her last day. She wrote several volumes of poetry, including The Queen of Bohemia and The Ghosts of Venice West, and also wrote American Zen Bones, Maezumi Roshi Stories, a prose work about the founder of the Zen Center of Los Angeles. As a film director, Long is best known for The Beats: An Existential Comedy with poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti making appearances. She also directed "The California Missions" narrated by Martin Sheen.
Web Page   Literary Licks   Poems and Prose


Doren Robbins

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. Eastern Washington University Press is the publisher of his two recent collections of poems, My Piece of the Puzzle, a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award winner for 2008, and Driving Face Down, which won the 2001 Blue Lynx Prize. He has also published many limited edition small press books and chapbooks. He was co-founder of the literary magazine Third Rail. "A pantry man, broiler chef, book store clerk, and carpenter from 1967-1990, he has taught Creative Writing and English since 1991." Currently he teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Foothill College.
Web Site   Wikipedia Page   Poets & Writers

Lewis MacAdams

Reads Codicil
Lewis MacAdams is 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, including The Young American Poets (Follette), An Anthology of New York Poets (Random House), The Coyote Reader (U. of California Press) and The Faber Book of Movie Verse. Over the last five years, the Blue Press in Santa Cruz has issued three new long poems, The River, Books 1,2 & 3 (2007), The Family Trees (with artist Kim Abeles) (2001) and A Poem For The Dawn of the Terror Years (2003).
Appreciation of Jim Carroll   KCET Interview   FOLAR


Eloise Klein Healy

Reads three Sapphos from Poems From The Greek Anthology translated by Rexroth
In 2012, Eloise Klein Healy was named the first Los Angeles Poet Laureate. 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.
Web Site   Wikipedia  Lunch Ticket


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.
The recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts poetry awards (one of them for his controversial one-word poem "lighght"), Saroyan is a past president of PEN USA West and a current faculty member of the Masters of Professional Writing Program at USC.
Wikipedia page on Aram Saroyan   Interview   Poetry Foundation


Carol Tinker

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's a poet, a painter, the last wife of Kenneth Rexroth and, presently living in Santa Barbara.
The Pillow Book


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. He continues to edit Third Rail online at and is co-editing a new online Rexroth festschrift, with John Solt, which includes Hertz's essay on Rexroth's jazz-poetry, "The King is Dead. Long Live the King!" His own work in poetry & jazz with pianist Steve Correll and the late bassist, Glen Mont, was released as a CD under the title, Inner Cities, (Third Rail, 2005). Hertz’s Poems Torn from a Life was published by highmoonoon in 2008. He teaches English at Santa Monica College and resides in Los Angeles with his wife, artist Linda Haim.
Third Rail


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

Reads Rexroth's translation of Pablo Neruda's Serenade from 30 Spanish Poems of Love And Exile
Ruben Funkahutel Guevara is a singer, songwriter, producer, writer, poet, performance artist, and impresario. He made his mark in music with his 1970s band Ruben & the Jets, who recorded two albums on the Mercury Record label, the first produced by the legendary Frank Zappa. In the early eighties, and again in the mid-nineties, he ran Zyanya Records, a subsidiary of Rhino Records.  At Zyanya, he compiled and released three albums in the 80s and two in the 90s, which featured Chicano rock artists, as well as rock en Espanol groups from Latin America and Europe.  He has composed a rock gospel cantata, created art videos and performance art pieces, provided music composition and coordination for movies and television, and put together shows featuring music and dance.  He has been aptly called a culture sculptor.
Tantrik Funk  


Brad Dourif

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.
Wikipedia   More About (IMDB)


James Cushing

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. Cushing has been a DJ since 1981, initially at KPFK, Los Angeles, then from 1986-1997 at KCBX, San Luis Obispo, and from 1997-present at KCPR. 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.
Selected Works   Facebook Page   Cal Poly Profile


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

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. In the 80's her path took the turn of devoted mother and wife to actors and artists Russ and Amber Tamblyn. Yet Bonnie never left her music, and continues to play and write.
MySpace Page   Linkedin Page   Go BOOM (Videos)


Sprague Grayden

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.
More About (IMDB)   Wikipedia Page on Sprague Grayden


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)

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