Born in Miami Beach, Florida in 1951, Michael Rothenberg 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. He is a poet, songwriter, editor and co-founder of Big Bridge Press and Big Bridge, a webzine of poetry and everything else. He is also co-editor and co-founder of JACK Magazine, a literary publication that relates to, but expands beyond, the beat generation.
He has published several poetry books: What The Fish Saw (Twowindows Press, CA, 1984), Nightmare Of The Violins (Twowindows Press, CA, 1986), Man/Woman, a collaboration with Joanne Kyger (Big Bridge Press, CA, 1988), Favorite Songs (Big Bridge Press, CA, 1990), The Paris Journals (Fish Drum, Inc, 2000), Monk Daddy (Blue Press, 2003), and Grown Up Cuba (IL Bagatto Press, Amsterdam 2003). He is also the author of the novel Punk Rockwell (Tropical Press, 2000).
Editorial projects include Overtime, Selected Poems by Philip Whalen (Penguin Books), As Ever, Selected Poems by Joanne Kyger (Penguin Books), David’s Copy, Selected Poems by David Meltzer (Penguin Books), Way More West, Selected Poems of Edward Dorn (Penguin Books, 2007). His most recent project is The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen published by Wesleyan University Press, 2007.
His songs have appeared in Hollywood Pictures’ Shadowhunter and Black Day, Blue Night, and most recently, TriStar Pictures’ Outside Ozona. Other songs have been recorded on CDs including: The Darkest Part of The Night by Bob Malone, Difficult Woman by Renee Geyer, Global Blues Deficit by Cody Palance, The Woodys by The Woodys, and a soon to be released CD by Johnny Lee Schell.
His poetry books and broadsides are archived at the University of Francisco, and are held in the Special Collection libraries of Brown University, Claremont Colleges, University of Kansas, the New York Public Library, UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis, and UC-Santa Cruz.
His most recent book of poems is Unhurried Vision (La Alameda/University of New Mexico Press 2003).
He is presently living in the redwoods.