Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Madness at the Grolier
11 Bow St. Union Square, Somerville.
Nov. 6, 2011
Madness at the Grolier: In spite of Trials and Travails Poetry Prevails.
By Doug Holder
Ifeanyi Menkiti, Lo Galluccio, Paul Steven Stone, Alice Weiss and I have organized the literary event “Madness at the Grolier” for a number of reasons. We want to inaugurate a new Grolier Poetry Book Shop poetry room in Somerville, Mass.; we want to celebrate poets Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, and John Berryman, who were all affected by mental illness, and in spite of this terrible affliction created groundbreaking art. We also want to raise funds for an endangered species, this all- poetry bookstore located in Harvard Square.
During the program we will have dramatic presentations, film clips, sound recordings of Sexton singing with her folk/rock band, as well as Allen Ginsberg reading “ Howl”, confidantes of Sexton, Plath and Lowell talking about their experience with these poets, poetry put to original music, as well as readings from other well-know local poets and writers.
I have worked at McLean Hospital for close to 30 years, and for much of that time I have run poetry workshops in one form or the other. Many of the poets presented during the program were once hospitalized at McLean—so I am well-aware of the legacy. I am also well- aware of the tragedy of mental illness, and the great creativity that can be associated with it.
Readers and Performers:
Kathleen Spivack-- Condfidane to Lowell
Lo Galluccio- Poet, Vocalist, Performer
Lois Ames-- Wrote introduction to " Bell Jar."
Bob Clawson- Band manager of Sexton's " Anne Sexton and her Kind."
Paul Steven Stone- Novelist, co-founder of Madness at the Grolier.
Michael Mack-Performance Artist
Doug Holder-- Author of "From the Back Bay to the Back Ward" and poetry workshop leader at McLean Hospital.
Alice Weiss- Poet, Civil Rights Activist.