Michael Rothenberg



6 x 9 inches

128 pages




Underneath the art of poetry exists the tradition of the journal—the attempt to capture and reveal the world as it passes by. Observations, reflections, and ideas accumulate to form connections and reveal process, content and story. Unhurried Vision is a record of the year 1999, and continues Michael Rothenberg’s experiment with the journal. This is the year Philip Whalen became terminally ill and Rothenberg began taking care of him, pulled together Whalen’s archives and library and edited his book of selected poems, Overtime. Political, personal, and romantic, Unhurried Vision works to savor the impermanent, looking at the moments in a poet’s life, contemplating the body of experience. It is the mind on a quiet stroll through longing, loss and beauty.


Unhurried Vision, a year in the life of Michael, is really a deeply loving celebration & farewell to mentor Philip Whalen, poet, roshi, & all around confounder of boundaries. A day-book; a non-epic odyssey through routes & roots of living & dying; a gastronome’s pleasure dome, but above all a deeply stirred & stirring affirmation of poetry’s centrality in realizing mundane & profound instances in the everyday extraordinary. Rothenberg’s raw footage is disarming; sly, self-effacing, proclaiming, doubting, affirming. You can read it in one sitting, say blurboligists, but it takes at least a lifetime. & then what?

—David Meltzer


Born in Miami Beach, Florida in 1951, Michael Rothenberg is a poet and songwriter. He has been an active environmentalist in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 25 years, where he cultivates orchids and bromeliads at his nursery, Shelldance. His broadside “Elegy for the Dusky Seaside Sparrow” was selected Broadside of the Year by Fine Print Magazine. The broadside of his poem “Angels” was produced in limited edition by Hatch Show Prints as part of The Country Music Foundation’s museum resources. His songs have appeared in the films Shadowhunter, Black Day Blue Night and Outside Ozona. He is also editor and co-founder of Big Bridge Press and Big Bridge, an online magazine. Michael Rothenberg divides his time between Pacifica, California and Miami, Florida and is on the constant lookout for bottle caps and pennies for his son Cosmos.