PASS: Performing Arts Salon Saturdays | Cornelius Eady & Rough Magic
Music, Poetry and Race in America: The Sterling Brown Project by Cornelius Eady and Rough Magic
CORNELIUS EADY Twice-nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; described as the heir of Langston Hughes by The Southern Review, Cornelius Eady s work, as Leslie Ullman writes, [offers] brief glimpses of urban life, meditations to jazz and blues music, and a quiet, crystalline sort of anger.
STERLING A. BROWN Called the Poet Laureate of the Jim Crow South, Sterling Browns blues and folk poems drop the reader into the untold, hidden stories of African-American life. Police and vigilante violence, cotton fields and tenements are all rendered in gripping narratives and poignant verse.
THE STERLING BROWN PROJECT -- Eady, the direct poetic descendant of Browns lineage, has brought his work shockingly alive by setting it to music. Partnering with some of the brightest stars of New Yorks experimental and indie music scenes, Cornelius Eady & Rough Magic have created a deeply moving musical experience that is modern, rhythmic, and deeply rooted in our history. It speaks as clearly to todays #BlackLivesMatter movement as to the Civil Rights movement of Browns era.
CORNELIUS EADY AND ROUGH MAGIC is a collaboration of writers and musicians whose focus is the nexus of the written word and music. Founded in 2012, the band has since released an EP, 7 Songs, and several poetry/music chapbooks. The band consists of Charlie Rauh (Stargroves; Grave Jinglers) on guitar, Emma Alabaster (Tamar-kali; Go: Organic Orchestra) on bass, Lisa Liu (Magnetic Island, Mixed Doubles) on guitar and keyboard, and Leo Ferguson (Michael Daves; Stacey Dillard) on drums. We are joined by fiction writer and poet Robin Messing (Serpent in the Garden of Dreams; Holding Not Having) on vocals.
MORE ABOUT CORNELIUS EADY: Cornelius Eady is one of Americas most celebrated poets. Born in Rochester, NY in 1954, he is the author of several poetry collections. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for his book, The Gathering of My Name, and again in 1999 for his musical theater collaboration with Diedre Murray, Running Man. He is the winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize, and has received Fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Travel- ing Scholarship, and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award. Additionally, he has published three poetry/music chapbooks: Book of Hooks, Vol. 1 & 2 (Kattywompus Press), Asking For The Moon; Recordings, 1990-2012. (Red Glass Press), and Singing While Black (Kattywompus Press). He is co-founder of Cave Canem, a home for the many voices of African American poetry, and is currently The Miller Family Endowed Chair in Literature and Writing and Professor in English and Theater at The University of Missouri-Columbia.
MORE ABOUT STERLING A. BROWN: Sterling Brown was born in Washington, D.C. on May 1, 1901. He received a bachelors degree from Williams College and in 1923, a masters degree from Harvard University. Three years later, Brown began teaching at Howard University, and in 1932 his first book, Southern Road, was published. Browns poetry was influenced by jazz, the blues, work songs, spirituals and other Black poets of the period. Along with Langston Hughes, Brown became part of the artistic tradition of the Harlem Renaissance. Some of Browns renowned students included the writers Toni Morrison and Lucille Clifton. Brown is known for his frank, unsentimental portraits of Black people and their experiences, and the incorporation of African-American folklore and contemporary idiom into his verse. He died in 1989.
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