The most popular Parlando Project piece for Summer 2018 is…

Since I’ve been keeping track, one thing has been consistent with the most popular piece each season: it’s been by a poet not widely known or read in the United States. So previously we’ve seen on top after a season of your listening: my translation of Dada principal Tristan Tzara’s “The Death of Apollinaire,”  the … Continue reading The most popular Parlando Project piece for Summer 2018 is…

The Most Popular Parlando Project Piece for Spring 2018

I’ve already mentioned in this count-down that I’m sometimes surprised at what Parlando Project pieces are the most listened to. It’s not just that it isn’t always the best-known poems, a surprise factor that I’ve already mentioned, but that it sometimes isn’t a performance that I think I pulled off well. Such is the case … Continue reading The Most Popular Parlando Project Piece for Spring 2018

And the most popular piece here last season was…

Musician jokes have a cruel streak, though most musicians love them.   “How can you tell if there’s a drummer knocking at your door?” “Because his knocking speeds up and slows down, and he doesn’t know when to come in”     “Did you hear about the banjo player who played in tune?” “Neither did … Continue reading And the most popular piece here last season was…

Tired

I’m going to close out our investigation into the little-known early 20th Century Chicago Modernist poet Fenton Johnson with one of his most emotionally moving poems. James Weldon Johnson first included “Tired”  in his “Book of American Negro Poetry”  in 1922, and it has been anthologized several times since. “Tired”  remains the poem of Fenton … Continue reading Tired

A Dream

Here’s a second poem by Afro-American Modernist poet Fenton Johnson. Like the first piece of Johnson’s that I presented earlier this week, there’s a religious element, but it’s handled this time with a remarkable framing device. As published in 1921, “A Dream”  is the longer of two pieces which are grouped together as “Two Negro … Continue reading A Dream