Saturday, April 14, 2012

Performance of Berryman’s Dream Songs To Be Part of Grolier Benefit

Performance of Berryman’s Dream Songs
To Be Part of Grolier Benefit

An upcoming benefit for the Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Harvard Square will include a performance of Homage to Henry: A Dramatization of John Berryman’s The Dream Songs. The one-act, one-person play, adapted by Jim Vrabel, will be performed on Wednesday, May 16th, at 7 p.m. at the Oberon Theatre, 2 Arrow Street in Cambridge. The performance will be followed by a Poetry Open Mic, hosted by Harris Gardner of Tapestry of Voices.

John Berryman was one of America’s greatest poets and The Dream Songs is one of the masterpieces of American poetry. But its “wrenched syntax, scrambled diction, [and] extraordinary leaps of language and tone” can confound readers. Homage to Henry transforms the poems into a more accessible play and brings to the stage the unforgettable character of Henry, as he encounters wine and women; faculty meetings, fame, and family; old age and God. The play also presents Henry’s portraits of his fellow poets - “expression’s kings” like Frost, Stevens, Williams, Schwartz, and Plath. Poet Paul Mariani, Berryman’s biographer, calls Homage to Henry “a sad and very human story, as stark in its way as anything in Samuel Beckett.”

Admission to the event is $15. All proceeds go to the Grolier, the oldest continuously operated poetry book shop in the United States. For tickets online: In advance: Grolier, 6 Plympton Street, Cambridge. On the night of the show: Oberon Box Office beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, call the Grolier at 617-547-4648.

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