Saturday, April 07, 2007

April is National Poetry Month

The Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site will host a series of events in April in honor of National Poetry Month. The events are all free and open to the public. A new display of Lindsay's artwork will grace the home throughout the month. The Vachel Lindsay Home is at 603 S. Fifth Street, Springfield, Illinois.

April 14 - Bonnie Bollman, Poets in the Parlor - 2:30 p.m.

Hillsboro poet Bonnie Bollman will share work from her latest book, "My Tote Bag of Rhymes," in the Lindsay parlor. Ms Bollman is active in the Academy of Lifelong Learning. She also hosts a monthly writers' group and is a hospital and nursing home volunteer.

April 21 - Springfield Yourspace Outdoor Art Mural Campaign - 1 p.m.

This special event will be the premier display of Vachel Lindsay's early 20th century town improvement series of illustrations from the collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Come and learn about the VLA's exciting idea to feature Springfield's favorite poet in our cityscape. Catherine O'Connor will give a tour of the home paying special note to the Lindsay art reproductions which will be a feature in the house throughout the month of April. Catherine in Manager of Local Government Services, Preservation Services Division of hte Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

April 28 - Vachel Lindsay's Gospel of Beauty - 2 p.m.

I will present a program at the Lindsay home on Lindsay's social philosophy as enunciated in a sequence of three poems known collectively as "The Gospel of Beauty." One of Lindsay's stock platform programs, it was presented to audiences on myriad cross-country tours. The three poems, "The Proud Farmer," "The Illinois Village," and "On the Building of Springfield,"express Lindsay's hope for a democratic utopia born in the small, agrairian towns dotting the American landscape.

In Lindsay's own words, the Gospel of Beauty program consists of poems "threaded together with a discussion of Democracy and Art; it is intended for art schools and departments."

In his self-published Letter on My Four Programmes for Committees in Correspondence, Lindsay advised his prospective hosts to have the audience learn his poems by heart in advance, or at least be familiar with them.

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