On Thursday, May 7, Montgomery County’s Writers in Performance series will conclude its spring schedule with two events celebrating the birthday of Walt Whitman, widely known as the Father of American Poetry.
At 3 p.m. in building G-102 on the campus of Lone Star College-Montgomery, renowned Whitman scholar, Ed Folsom (University of Iowa) will discuss the impact of American culture on Whitman and vice versa. He is particularly interested in the ways American poets have “talked back” to Walt Whitman over the years, and how Whitman tapped into American culture in surprising ways to construct a radical new kind of writing. Folsom’s writing and research have centered on 19th and 20th century American poetry and culture. He has written, edited, or co-edited too many books on Whitman to list here. (see attached)
At 5:30 p.m., the annual Gathering of Poets at Dosey Doe Music Café will feature some 25 award-winning poets from across the Southwest as well as an opera program of several selections, all of which include text by Whitman, himself an ardent opera lover. Acclaimed soprano Marion Russell Dickson (bio attached) will be accompanied by pianist Shannon Hesse and clarinetist Richard Nunemaker. They will perform songs by 20th and 21st century composers Ned Rorem, Ulf Grahn and Kurt Weill - - each composer having set pieces to Whitman’s words. Musicians, poets and scholars – all will join enthusiastic poetry lovers for a jubilant evening of song, poetry readings and revelry, concluding always with cake and a Happy Birthday sing-along.
Admission to both events is free. There will be opportunities for book purchases and signing (some rare first editions). The College is located at 3200 College Park Drive (Hiway 242) west of I-45; Dosey Doe is located at 463 FM 1488, less than a mile west of I-45. They offer a full bar and wide-ranging, excellent menu for purchase.
For more information, contact Dave Parsons (936) 524-6537 or visit our website at literaryartscouncil.org.
Writers in Performance is offered through the partnership of the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council, Lone Star College-Montgomery library, Conroe Commission on Arts and Culture, SWIRL student magazine of art and literature, and Good Books in the Woods.