Friday, February 10, 2006

"Poets in the Parlor" to feature Dr. Marcellus Leonard

Poet Professor Marcellus Leonard, author of Shake Down the Thunder, will give a performance of his work at a "Poets in the Parlor" appearance at the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site on Saturday, February 11, at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Leonard is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Springfield as well as the University Ombudsman. He holds a PhD in Teaching Writing from Illinois State University.

This will be Dr. Leonard's second appearance at the Vachel Lindsay Home. His singular rendition of Lindsay's "The Congo" at his first appearance gave a whole new dimension to the piece. First published in 1914, the poem bills itself as "A Study of the Negro Race" and its first subheading reads, "On Their Basic Savagery." It's still Lindsay's most famous work, but it has always been controversial. Lindsay grew to detest the poem and the incessant calls for him to perform it, sensing that much of his audiences' appreciation for it was basically racist.

Leonard's own work is the real draw, though. His poetry is lyrical and sensuous, subtle yet honest. Come experience the warmth and vitality of the man and his talent.

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