- A Brief History
4, 1992 I became co-editor, with graduate student Kent Fielding, of what
had been a student literary publication at the University of Louisville in Louisville,
Kentucky. I asked the academic committee that hired us if I had their permission
to turn the publication into one of a small handful of the world's leading literary
journals. The committee members looked at each other with disbelief, simultaneously
nervously laughed real loud, then said Yes. What had been THE THINKER became
THINKER REVIEW. After the meeting Kent told me he wanted to start a literary
revolution in Louisville. I told Kent I wanted to start a Global Literary Renaissance
home based in Louisville.
three years we produced hundreds of music and poetry events in Louisville branching
out to Kentucky, the USA, the world. Kent and I worked together for three years.
From 1992 to 1995
there was lightning in the air and on the streets of Louisville, lightning that
flared out round the world to an ever growing arts community.
February 1993 we brought to Louisville Eithne Strong from Ireland and E.
Ethelbert Miller from Washington D.C. As was often the case we organized events
first and then figured out how to cover our expenses. For Eithne and Ethelbert
we needed money for airfare, hotels, and honorariums. But where would we find
it?! When faced with a crisis we had brainstorming sessions. Two days before Eithne
and Ethelbert arrived staff member Michael Crain and I had a session in
the THINKER REVIEW office. Feeding thoughts words images back and forth
we came up with the idea to produce a 24-hour non-stop music and poetry INSOMNIACATHON.
Our guests were arriving in 48 hours. We decided to produce the first ever INSOMNIACATHON
the next night at Twice Told Coffee House on Bardstown Road, the heart
of the bohemian arts district in Louisville. We produced a flier, ran copies at
Kinko's, and sent a team out to plaster the town. Everyone else got on the phones.
Word spread like wildfire. Word of mouth remains the best form of advertising.
The next night was amazing. Hundreds came. Hundreds were turned away because there
wasn't enough room in Twice Told. We passed the hat periodically throughout the
24 hours of non-stop performances. 24 hours later, hours before the arrival of
Eithne and Ethelbert, we had the money to cover all their expenses. But something
more important had occurred. I witnessed the transformational power of combining
poetry and music at the same event. I was uplifted and inspired. Nearly everyone
else in attendance was too.
year earlier, in April 1992, over 400 people attended our first ever open mic
poetry reading at which the first THINKER REVIEW was released. Between
1992 and 1995 so many amazing events and publications were produced.
first big INSOMNIACATHON was held in 1993 at multiple locations in the
Bardstown Road Bohemia district. The main venue was The Thunderdome
which, at the time, was Louisville's premiere music venue. 72 bands and 112 poets
participated. The event ran non-stop for more than three days and three nights.
Every night over a thousand people packed The Thunderdome to hear energy
charged performances from cutting edge high velocity local regional national bands
we produced four 48-hour non-stop music and poetry INSOMNIACATHONs in New
York City, Lowell Massachusetts, Monterey and Louisville Kentucky.
After 1995 Kent
and I went separate ways. Kent moved to Alaska. I moved to Iceland.
history of The Global Literary Renaissance is so rich and dense and painful
and joyous that it is nearly impossible to confine a description, albeit brief,
to a few words. Producing one INSOMNIACATHON is a near death experience.
For over a decade I produced one, two, three, and even four per year, from New
Orleans to New York City to The Netherlands.
Fielding and David Baker produced Insomniacathon 2000 at several
Louisville, Kentucky locations. Andy Cook produced Insomniacathon 2003
at The Rudyard Kipling in Louisville, Kentucky. James Walck produced
the first ever OnLine Insomniacathon 2004. I was Advisor for all three
of those Insomniacathons. Will there be another Insomniacathon? I hope so. I hope
young people (of all ages) round the planet produce many Insomniacathons.
Insomniacathon is a temporary autonomous zone where people from all walks
of life come together to create, produce, perform, share their creative work,
share their lives. All the creative arts are included: poetry, prose, music, painting,
photography, sculpture, dance, theatre, film. Performers and attendees come away
inspired to live, to create.
1992 I've produced over 1,000 music and poetry events, including 24-48-72 hour
non-stop Music & Poetry INSOMNIACATHONs, across the USA and Europe.
of Louisville Rare Books and Archives, directed by Delinda Buie, is
the permanent repository, past present future, for all my work including my work
to create and perpetuate the sacred profane fire known as . . .
The Flame Alive!
Produce! Produce! Produce!
Never Give Up!