Insomniacathon 2024: The Last Insomniacathon will take place from July 26-28. This will celebrate Ron Whitehead’s last official Insomniacathon, respecting decades of work of Ron and the past artists who have been these events together, It will feature somewhere between 50-100 poets and writers and over 30 bands and musicians. This is a historic 17th Insomniacathon and the longest one since 2001. This is an event not to be missed.

Table of Contents

insomniacathon 2024 chapel of st phlip neri july 26 to 28


Noon: Ron Whitehead – Introduction, nina snoogans, Tommy Twilight, Belle Townsend


1 pm: Merritt Waldon, Ryan Case, Larry Jaffe, Leland Locke


2 pm: Tommy Bays, Dusty Jaggers, Lisa Ann “LAMARKS” Markuson


2:45 pm: Michael Duckwall 


3 pm: Frogg Corpse, Jan LaPerle, Tony Brewer, Chris Dean


4 pm: James D. Casey IV, Jon Hardy, Paul McDonald, Jonathan Baker 


5 pm: Ella Rennekamp, Elise Pfeiffer


5:30 pm: Brent and Brennan Embry


6 pm: The Char


6:45 pm: Mark Forman


7 pm: Bill Brymer 


7:15 pm: Manuel Grimaldi


7:30 pm: Chris Kubrick 


7:45 pm: Lee Pennington


8 pm: Sugar Pill


9 pm:  Woods at Nite


10 pm – Midnight: Durex, Crop Rot, Charm School, Shark Sandwich and Terminal Axon


Midnight: Outlaw Poet: The Legend of Ron Whitehead (Film)

2 am: The Story Behind the Story of Lee Pennington

3 am: Love Janine Pommy Vega


4 am – 8 am: The Graveyard Hour Poetry and Open Mic featuring  CP Maze, Ben Holland, Sean Childress, Elemen2al the Poet, James D. Casey IV,  Michael Duckwall, Dylan Hogan, Sarah Young, Leslie Mendoza (organized by Frogg Corpse)





8 am Kent Fielding, music by Nina Snoogans


9 am: Tyler Frederick, Arizona, Amy Christine Matus, Jennifer Seelig & Chris Bryd


10 am: Tommy Bays, Jake Mahaffey


10:45 am: Walden Quinn Caesar


11 am: Wendy Cartwright, Chris Bayer, Rita S. Spalding, Erren Kelly 


Noon: Cajun Mutt Press reading featuring Ron Whitehead, Frogg Corpse, Michael Duckwall, Chris Dean, Leland Locke, Dusty Jaggers, John Burroughs and others 


1-2 pm: Cheek Press featuring Louisville Jazz Initiative, Elizabeth Colon Nelson, Josh English, Jameson Welch, Makalani Bendele, Kent Fielding, Krista Kane 


2 pm: Jimmy Broccoli,  Paige Turner, Blue Murphy, John Paul Wright


3 pm: John Hagan Memorial Reading (with Dortha Hagan, Chance Fazio, Conner Fazion, Alex Faxio, Rob Totten) 


3:30: Lance Minnis


4 pm: Jon Kidd & Sheila Burke


5 pm: John Burroughs, Jennifer Brown, William F. DeVault


6 pm: George Wallace, Jordan Green, Sean Cole, Brendan Lorber 


7 pm: Jim Dunn, Duncan Barlow, Ashley Farmer, Jinn Fuller Renfro


8 pm: Ron Whitehead


8:15 pm Night Parade


9:15 pm Frank Messina and the Storm Generation


10 pm Tall Squares


11 pm: Creeps Incorporated 


Midnight: Huncke and Louis (Film about Herbert Huncke)

1-2:30 pm: Jacob Forman’s Films: UNTITLED 4My Blade is FuryBLEACH, and As it Fades

3 am:  The Empireid, by Ilvario (multimedia performance)

4:30 am: John Paul Wright (drumming) 

5-8 am: Open Mic and Drum Circle (run by Chris Byrd and Kent Fielding)

8 am – “Don’t Touch Me” a film by Zoe Wassman

9am: Corso in Louisville

10 am: Bob Whelan, Gui Stuart, Brandon Harper (10:45) 

11 am: Mark Lipman, A.S. Coomer (poetry and music),

11:45 am: Danny O’ Bryan

 Harold Maier Celebration (Award Ceremony) 

Noon: David Baker Memorial Reading

1-2:30 pm: Lipstick Wars: Various artists including Lary Hary, Shauntrice Martin (Choctow), Alicia Fox (Cheokee, Shanee, Mashantucket Pequots, Mashpee Wampanoag) and more

2:30 pm: Elizabeth Nelson Colon

2:45 pm: FKR

3 pm: Tim Habeger and PushPush. Theaeter performance selection of 13 poems by Rory Sullivan

3:45 pm: Kink Head (with Conner Goldsmith)

4 pm PW Coddington, Sunfrog, Noel Mitchell, 

5 pm: Bus Hus 

5:30 pm: Christ McConnell

6 pm: LAPSIS

7  pm: Mythagoe

Program Highlights

George Wallace is Writer in Residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace, first poet laureate of Suffolk County, LI NY, author of 40 books and chapbooks of poetry, published in the US, UK, Italy, Macedonia and India, and a spoken word performer with five albums of his work released.

His most recent work is Resurrection Song (Roadside Press 2023).


John Burroughs: U.S. Beat Poet Laureate 2022-23. He is author of The Wrest of the Worthwhile: Unselected, Uncollected, and New Poems 1983-2023 and Rattle & Numb: Selected and New Poems 1992-2019


Ashley Farmer is the author of the essay collection Dear Damage winner of the 2022 International Rubery Book Award in Nonfiction. She is also the author of Beside Myself, a collection of short stories, and The Women, a collection of poetry. White Fields Press will release a new broadside of her work at Insomniacathon 2024. 


Sean Cole, producer of the weekly radio program This American Life, is the author of After These Messages (Lunar Chandelier 2022), One Train (Dusie 2012), The December Project (Boog Literature 2005), and Itty City (Pressed Wafer 2003). White Fields Press will release his new chapbook at Insomniacathon 2024. 


Brendan Lorber is a visual artist, poet, prose writer, and editor who lives in an old observatory just south of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. He is author of if this is paradise why are we still drivingHe also creates hand-drawn maps of the known poetic and musical universe. These can be found on Etsy and the Insomniacathon book fair. 


Duncan Barlow is the author of A DOG BETWEEN USTHE CITYAWAKEOF FLESH AND FUR, and SUPER CELL ANEMIA. His fiction has appeared in The Denver Quarterly, The Collagist, Banango Street, The Apeiron Review, Calamari Press, and Meat for Tea. He is currently revising a novel, a memoir, and a collection of short stories. He is the publisher at Astrophil Press and the managing editor at South Dakota Review.


Jordan Green is an investigative correspondent based in Greensboro, N.C., who covers right-wing extremism for Raw Story. His work has been featured in a host of publications, including the Washington Post, The Daily Beast, The Nation, In These Times and Sojourners. Jordan won the 2023 Folio Award for his January 6th-related investigations and his reporting on right-wing extremism. 


Ron Whitehead. U.S. National Lifetime Beat Poet Laureate Ron Whitehead is the author of 30 books and 40 albums. His newest book, plus accompanying album with The Storm Generation Band, is THE GREAT BLUE HERON of QUASAR POETRY: New & Selected Poems, 1992 – 2022 (TranceMission Press book & sonaBLAST! Records album). OUTLAW POET: The Legend of Ron Whitehead (Storm Generation Films/Dark Star TV). A new broadside of Ron’s work with poet Wang Ping will be featured at Insomniacathon 2024. Ron Whitehead & The Storm Generation Band has performed in Europe and the USA for over a decade. They have recorded eleven albums. 

William F DeVault is the US Beat Poet Laureate Emeritus as well as having been previously crowned the Romantic Poet of the Internet by Yahoo.  He is the author of dozens of books and among his recordings and collaborations had “Nightfall Angel” with European Hardcore artist Ophidian go to #1 in the European charts a few years ago.  He splits his time between Northern Virginia and Southern California. 


Jim Dunn is the author of The Silence is a Junkyard (‎Spuyten Duyvil Publishing)

Soft Launch (Bootstrap Productions), Convenient Hole (Pressed Wafer), and Insects in Sex (Falling Angels Press). His work has appeared in Shampoo, EOAGH, Polis, Battersea Review, Jacket2 and elsewhere. Jim Dunn also published the broadside “A Flight of Stairs for John Wieners” part of the Pressed Wafers “52 Broadsides for John Wieners”.


Kristi Maxwell is the author of eight books of poems, including Goners (Green Linden Press, forthcoming 2023), winner of the Wishing Jewel Prize; My My (Saturnalia Books, 2020); Realm Sixty-four, editor’s choice for the Sawtooth Poetry Prize and finalist for the National Poetry Series; and Hush Sessions, editor’s choice for the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She’s an associate professor of English at the University of Louisville and a 2022-23 American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellow.


Larry Jaffe Poet-In-Residence at the Autry Museum, co-founder of Poets for Peace, former Poet Laureate Youth for Human Rights, Florida Beat Poet Laureate, Pushcart Nominee, and the recipient of the Saint Hill Art Festival’s Lifetime of Creativity Award. He was recently awarded the Lifetime New Generation Beat Poet Laureate. Poet in Residence Jack Kerouac House in St. Pete. He has six books of poetry: Unprotected PoetryAnguish of the Blacksmith’s Forge, One Child SoldIn Plain View30 Aught 4Sirens and Man without Borders


Jinn Bug is a poet, photographer, gardener, activist, visual artist, and life-long dreamer. Her photography, vignettes and poems have appeared in Appalachian Heritage, New Southerner, LEO Weekly, Fiolet & Wing–An Anthology of Domestic Fabulism, Aquillrelle, For Sale, Pure Uncut Candy, The Rooted Reader and other print and virtual publications.  


Martha Greenwald is the Founding Director, Creator, and Curator of The WhoWeLost Project. Who We Lost: A Portable COVID Memorial, an anthology based on the WhoWeLost website, was published by Belt Publishing (2023). Martha is also the author of the poetry collection Other Prohibited Items, which won the Mississippi Review Prize for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in PoetryRattleNurtureSlateBest New PoetsThe Threepenny Review, and numerous other journals and anthologies.  


PW Covington His work has been featured from The Havana International Poetry Festival in Cuba to The Beat Museum in San Francisco, CA. A multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, in 2019, PW’s collection North Beach and Other Stories was named an International Book Award Finalist in LGBTQ Fiction. Covington lives just off Historic Route 66, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he has appeared in film and television projects such as Better Call Saul and The Cleaning Lady. 


Elizabeth Colon Nelson holds an MFA in Physical Theater from Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. She is a poet, activist, and actor. Her broadside “Horizontal Water” was recently published by Cheek Press. 


Chris Dean is a storyteller, spoken word artist and self-proclaimed Magpie Poet who writes from the heart of Indiana where they live with their husband, two dogs and too many cats to mention. Their work has been featured by Cajun Mutt Press, Fevers of the Mind, Dumpster Fire Press, and the upcoming Gal’s Guide Anthology. Their debut Book of poetry, Tales from a Broken Girl, was released in 2023 by Storylines Press.


Belle Townsend is a rural Kentucky born and bred writer, poet, researcher, organizer, baker, multi-media artist, cat mama, and quadruple cancer. Belle has published three poetry collections: The Holy in the Humdrum (2024), The Observer Effect (2023) and Push and Pull (2022). Belle’s writing intimately explores themes of rural life, queerness, girlhood, survival, and community. 


Jonathan S Baker is primarily composed of the stuff of dead stars and suffers from the same insecurities as everyone else.  They are the author of Cock of the Walk (Laughing Ronin Press, 2022) and Long Nights in Stoplight City (Between the Shadows Press, 2023) and Pressure (Two Key Customs, 2023).  They are also co-editor at The Grind Stone and editor-in-chief at Pure Sleeze Press.


Elemen2al the Poet: A performance writer seeking to inspire & enlighten all that hear his poetry. Elemen2al is an MC for the Nuyorican Café in New York. He has published a book of poetry Calamity (2021)His work has also appeared in the anthology I Can’t Breathe Vol 2: A Social Justice Literary Magazine.

Zu Zu Ya Ya is a Be-Here-Now Modern Psychedelic Funk Rock band from Louisville Kentucky. Their most recent album is Center of the Universe (2022). 


Joe Kidd & Sheila Burke are an Award Winning, International, Recording Artists and Songwriters. Together they have created a sound that is powerful and unique influenced by 60s Folk, tradition Appalachian songs, Celtic melodies, Bluegrass, Country, & Gospel standards, Classical atmospheres, African & Middle Eastern rhythms, Native American prayer chants, & world class Rock & Roll. Joe & Sheila incorporate guitars, autoharp, djembe, Native American sacred drum, and other diverse instruments from around the world to provide their original and uplifting music.


Freaks Incorporated a heavy punk rock band from Louisville. 


Night Parade is a rock and roll group leaning towards psychedelic/stoner rock. The group features Aaron Williams on guitar and vocals, Cade Howard on guitar and vocals, Wilfred Sieg on vocals, Bill Hardesty on bass and Andy Cook on drums and vocals.


Tall Squares Louisville-based, slacker rock band consisting of Adam Crowhorn – guitar & lead vox, Christian Grant Lewis – Bass & Chill dude, Brian Burchett – Crayons, and Bohrville Redenbacher – Drums & Vox. Check out their music video “Hang Yer Hat”:

Mythagoe ArtHouse Rock duo Mythagoe is masterminded by guitarist Artemus Sumetra and bassist Julia Who. They blend eclectic musical influences, smooth vocal harmonies, and sophisticated lyrics, which, along with their visual art-oriented, do-it-yourself attitude, officially stamps Mythagoe as their own brand of groovin’ and movin’, pop-progressive-psychedelic-blues-jam band rock. 


Nina Snoogans is a 25-year-old solo folk and country artist based out of southern Indiana. She travels across the USA and writes about what she sees and who she meets.


Christ McConnell is an artist and multi-instrumentalist with a wide range of styles from jazz and classical to electronic and rock. His work has been featured in films like The Delano Files. The Louisville Public Media reviewed and promoted his 2022 single “A Ghost Will Follow You Home”. Christ McConnell’s work can be found on Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Discovery+, and Apple Music. 

Huncke and Louis shot in 1993 offers a tender, candid glimpse into the lives of seminal (if under-acknowledged) Beat Generation writer Herbert Huncke, and his longtime friend and companion Louis Cartwright.


Love Janine Pommy Vega A female poet finding her voice and making her niche among some of the most revered men of the counterculture. Taking refuge with Gregory Corso and other Beat poets in the Village as a teenager escaping the suffocation of conformity. Cherishing the inspiration of other female poets and writers like Elise Cowen, Barbara Moraff, and Bonnie Bremser. Love Janine Pommy Vega is a tribute to this remarkable woman, a friendly voice from the grave, the last testament of a wise woman who was there and now is gone.


Outlaw Poet: The Legend of Ron Whitehead Filmed over 10 years, this documentary follows the wild life and tumultuous times of Ron Whitehead. The documentary film chronicles his journey, battle with alcoholism, and the people he met along the way including Hunter S. Thompson, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane di Prima, the Dalai Lama and many more.


Corso in Louisville This is a film of Gregory Corso’s reading in Louisville Kentucky in 1993. The reading was part of the White Fields Press International Reading Series. It is one of the rare films of Gregory Corso. It was shot and produced by David Cambron. 


“Don’t Touch Me”: A short film created during COVID to express an individual’s fears. 

Cajun Mutt Press Founded in 2018 by James D. Casey IV, Cajun Mutt Press publishes Featured Writers every Mon/Wed/Fri of each month and full-length poetry collections (50-100 pages) in paperback. CMP also offers AD spots.


Cheek Press Founded in 2020 by Krista Kane. Cheek Press published poetry, short stories, novels, and nonfiction. Some of it books include The Last Confessionalist by Billy Lee, and various broadsides by writers like Nickole Brown, Kent Fielding, Elizabeth Nelson, and others.


White Fields Press Founded in 1992 by Ron Whitehead and Kent Fielding. It has published nearly a 100 broadsides and chapbooks by various writers including Hunter S. Thompson, Anne Waldman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane di Prima, Allen Ginsberg, Nickole Brown, Diane Wald, William S. Burroughs, and others. New work to be released at the Insomniacathon include broadsides by Wang Ping and Ron Whitehead, Ashley Farmer, and a chapbook by Sean Cole. 


CARPAZINE ART MAGAZINE A magazine that features underground graffiti, punk, art, reviews of music, and interviews. 

Special Events

David Scott Baker Memorial Tribute: A celebration of D.S. Poorman’s life with a reading of his work by friends and family. 

D.S. Poorman, the pen name of David Scott Baker, published three novels during his life, Macky Dunn’s Got Nothing to Lose (1999), Once Removed (2011), and Somewhere There’s a Place (2014). A woodcraftsman and a book smith, D.S. designed and crafted wooden books, including The Largest Poetry Book in the World, and The Book of America (an unfinished project that was to collect handwritten poems by poets across the country). Many of his wooden books have been collected by the University of Louisville’s Ekstrom Library Rare Book Collection. His collection of poetry, Before the Grave, was posthumously published by Radial Books. 

David Baker co-produced Insomniacathon 2001. 


The John Patrick Hagan Memorial Reading: A Celebration of John Hagan’s life with a reading by family and friends. 


John Patrick Hagan was a writer, poet, editor, and small press publisher. He encouraged many young poets to write and continue to write and he published many local Louisville writers.  He worked on the production team of a few Insomniacathons including the 1996 New Orleans Insomniacathon, and Insomniacathon 2001.


The 1st Insomniacathon happened on November 6th, 1992. It was a 24-hour non-stop event held at Twice Told Coffee House on Bardstown Road. Performers included Carmen Embry, W. Loran Smith, Jason Noble and Jeff Mueller, Andrew Hinton, Susanne Turner among others.


The 2nd Insomniacathon took place at Twice Told Coffee House during February of 1993 and was billed as a 24-hour non-stop poetry, music, and performance art celebration. Over 200 poet crowded Bardstown Road and waited in the cold to get in.


Insomniacathon 1993 – “RANT EATS KENTUCKY, EATS THE BOOK” – took place at The Brewery’s Thunderdome, Telwigans, and the Silo. It featured over 100 poets including Michael Waters, Richard Taylor, and Jim Wayne Miller, and over 40 bands including Poster Children, Rodan, Crain, Drinking Woman, Ten Foote Pole, Catawampus, Interplanetary Music Ensemble. 


Louisville Alternative Literary and Music Festival happened in late February of 1994 at Twice Told Coffee House and Highland Coffee House. It featured a 39-Hour Insomniacathon. Highlights included readings by Brian Foye, Brett Ralph, Douglas Brinkley, Ray McNeice, and music by Eleven-Eleven and Crain. 


Insomniacathon Monterey (known as the Firehouse Insomniacathon): A 48-hour non-stop music and poetry festival held in the Monterey Fire House in Monterey Kentucky and was produced and hosted by Jordan Green and the literary renaissance. It featured James Baker Hall, Gray Zeitz, George Eklund, Alan Wolf, Wendell Berry, and music by Telephone Man and John Daniels. Highlights included a knockdown fistfight and lots of screaming in the hills. It was the first Insomniacathon to be held outside of Louisville. 


Insomniacathon – RANT EATS THE BEATS, EATS NEW YORK opened the NYU 1994 Beat Literature Celebration in May of 1994. Seven vans and a U-Haul traveled from Kentucky to NYC (driving 110 mph through PA) to participate in the event. Highlights included music by Rodan, David Amram, The Looney Wails, and readings by Ted Joans, Nickole Brown, George Eklund, FKR and the Goose Poets.


Insomniacathon Lowell – A 24-hour non-stop Insomniacathon at the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival. It featured Diane Wald, Frank Messina, Brett Ralph, Jan Kerouac, Douglas Brinkley, and a woman who claimed to be Maggie Cassidy.


Insomniacathon 1994 took place at The Louisville Gardens, Twice Told Coffee House, and Telwigans, in October of 1994. It featured over 100 poets, over 40 bands and ran 48 hours non-stop. Highlights included Douglas Brinkley and the Majic Bus, music by The Dharma Bums and Monostat 7, a performance art piece called The Culture Mud Man, and readings by Jim Carroll and Ray McNeice. There was also a film crew present filming for the Majic Bus Documentary (this film has never been released).  


Insomniacathon 1996-New Orleans. A 48-hour non-stop event at the University of New Orleans and various clubs around the city. It featured many important writers and musicians including Amiri Baraka, E. Ethelbert Miller, Richard Hell, Ed Sanders, John Rechy, Rambling Jack Elliot, Robert Creeley, David Amram, Jay McInerny, Frank Messina and many others. 


Insomniacathon 2001: Art Makes a Difference was held from February 22nd-25th (82 non-stop hours) at the Brycc House on Bardstown Road, as well as at Twice Told Coffee House, Cumberland Brewery, the Hideaway Saloon, and the Rudyard Kipling. Highlights included: music by Retsin, Diana Darby, Freakwater, Parlour, My Morning Jacket; readings by Ed Sanders, Suheir Hammad, David Amram, Ed McClanahan, Jeff Worley, Frederick Smock, Gray Zeitz, Joe Survant, Ryan Masters, Lee Ann Brown; and theater by the Squallis Puppeteers. 


Insomniacathon 2003 was held at the Rudyard Kipling. 31 non-stop hours. It featured David Amram, Foster Dickerson, Dan Barth, Gatewood Galbraith, Scaramongo, James Walck, Ray Rizzo, Michael Pollock, and others. The film Pull My Daisy also was shown.


Online Insomniacathon 2004. See


Insomniacathon 2008, the Official Alternative to Thunder Over Louisville, was held at the Rudyard Kipling. 29 non-stop hours. It featured Frank Messina, Tyrone Cotton, Serpent Wisdom, Charlie Newman, Tom House, W. Loran Smith, Susi Wood, George Wallace, Shakespeare’s Monkey, Christopher Felver, Dean McClain, Nickole Brown, Yoruba Kikiloma-Mason, Danny O’Day’s Circus Freak Show, and others. 


Insomniacathon Estonia 2019. May 2019 at the Tartu Literature House as part of the Annual International Prima Vista Literature Festival. 24 non-stop hours.


Insomniacathon Estonia 2023. May 2023 at Tartu Literature House as part of the Annual International Prima Vista Literature Festival. 24 non-stop hours.


Insomniacathon Estonia 2024. May 2024 to be held at Tartu Literature House as part of the Annual International Prima Vista Literature Festival. 24 non-stop hours.


Insomniacathon 2024: The Last Insomniacathon will be held at the Chapel of Neri in Louisville. It will run 56 non-stop hours.

All Insomniacathons were produced by Ron Whitehead except 2003 which was produced by Andy Cook, 2001 which was produced by David Baker and Kent Fielding, and the 1994 Monterey Insomniacathon which was produced by Jordan Green. Ron Whitehead served as advisors to those Insomniacathons. Kent Fielding also co-produced many of early Insomniacathons with Ron Whitehead.