A Poetry And Dance Project

  • 08 Oct 2016
  • 7:00 PM
  • Performing Arts Auditorium, Walla Walla Community College, 500 Tausick Way Walla Walla, WA 99362
Walla Walla Community College’s Arts and Sciences will present “A POETRY AND DANCE PROJECT” on October 8th at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Auditorium on the WWCC campus.
The program will feature the poetry of Raymond Carver and Tess Gallagher, presented as Dance/Theater works choreographed and staged by Vicki Lloid.

Performers include Kevin Loomer, head of the Theatre Arts Department at WWCC; Allison Michelle Keppel, formerly of Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle and current yoga instructor; Dr. Edward Dixon, cellist and professor emeritus at Whitman College; Vicki Lloid, longtime area choreographer and dance instructor for both Whitman College and WWCC; and Matti Eisenberg, graduate of Smith College and local yoga instructor.

Tess Gallagher will read selected poems from the book she is currently at work on titled Is, Is Not. One of her poems, “Little Inside Out Dream,” muses on death and its ability to permeate this life and inform our way forward when loved ones leave us behind. The poem will be performed as a dance duet for Lloid and Eisenberg.

Carver’s poem “Lemonade” was written after Carver’s lung cancer spread to his brain and shortly before his death on August 2, 1988. It is the true story of a boy who drowns in the Elwha River after going back to his father’s car for a thermos of lemonade. It will be performed by Kevin Loomer, Allison Michelle Keppel and cellist Dr. Edward Dixon.

“His Bathrobe Pockets Stuffed With Notes,” performed by Kevin Loomer, came together as a poem when Carver and Gallagher were working on Carver’s last book A New Path To The Waterfall. “Ray would have lots of ideas for poems and would ask me to write them down”, said Tess. “I thought he could do that, so I gave him his first notebook and he would carry them in his bathrobe pocket—a bathrobe I had sewn for him myself that had big front pockets on it. In that way ‘His Bathrobe Pockets Stuffed With Notes’ came to live between poems written as he was fighting for his life and then actually grappling with death.”

“About Ray’s poems,” Tess said, “although death is integral to the poems, I believe these are also poems about chance and the onrush of time, maybe even the way a writer identifies his
possible material.” Both poems are powerful, wrenching tales that take everything from us and return it in the form of grace expanded by love.

Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His first collection of stories, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please (a National Book Award nominee in 1977), was followed by What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1984), and Where I’m Calling From in 1988, the year he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in August of that year, shortly after completing the poems of A New Path to the Waterfall.

Tess Gallagher’s ninth volume of poetry,Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems and her fiction The Man from Kinvara: Selected Stories are available from Graywolf Press. Most recently, Gallagher companioned the productions of the films Birdman and The Revenant, directed by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu. Birdman uses a story and a poem of her late husband, Raymond Carver. The films garnered seven Oscar awards total in 2015 and 2016. Gallagher writes in a cottage on Lough Arrow in the West of Ireland where many of the poems toward her next book are set. Boogie-woogie Crisscross, a book composed in collaboration with Seattle poet Lawrence Matsuda, was also written in her chair at this cottage. She also lives and writes in her hometown of Port Angeles, Washington when not in Ireland.

Admission is free. Donations are welcome and appreciated. Contributions support performing arts programs at Walla Walla Community College.
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