Visitor Performances

Listen to audio recordings of guest and visitor performances.

  • E.E. Cummings, Poetry Reading, Part 2

    Edward Estlin "E. E." Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), often styled as e e cummings, as he sometimes signed his name, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. He wrote approximately 2900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays, and several essays. This undated recording captures cummings during his visit to Eastern Michigan University. There is no commentary between poems.
  • E.E. Cummings, Poetry Reading, Part 1

    Edward Estlin "E. E." Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), often styled as E. E. Cummings, as he sometimes signed his name, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. He wrote approximately 2900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays, and several essays. This undated recording captures Cummings during his visit to Eastern Michigan University. There is no commentary between poems.
  • Anne Sexton, Poetry Reading, 1963

    Anne Sexton (November 9, 1928 – October 4, 1974) was an American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die. Her poetry details her long battle with depression, suicidal tendencies, and various intimate details from her private life, including her relationships with her husband and children. This recording is comprised of a poetry reading given by Sexton on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. The original magnetic reel for this recording is severely damaged and fragile, resulting in periodic stoppage.
  • Robert Bly, Poetry Reading, 1963

    Robert Bly (born December 23, 1926) is an American poet, essayist, activist, and leader of the mythopoetic men's movement. His most commercially successful book to date was Iron John: A Book About Men (1990), a key text of the mythopoetic men's movement, which spent 62 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list. He won the 1968 National Book Award for Poetry for his book The Light Around the Body. Bly visited the campus of Eastern Michigan University in November of 1963 and delivered this poetry reading, in which he explains the construction of his poems, and compares himself to other notable poets of his day. Bly also quotes what he considers to be some of the worst opening lines in literature, and details what he considers to be the restrictions of iambic pentameter.
  • William Stafford, Poetry Reading, 1964

    William Edgar Stafford (January 17, 1914 – August 28, 1993) was an American poet and pacifist, and the father of poet and essayist Kim Stafford. He was appointed the twentieth Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1970. In this audio recording from Eastern Michigan University’s visiting authors series, Stafford speaks about his creative process, the mechanics of his poetry, and reads several selections from his vast body of work.
  • Eastern Michigan University Presents Poet John Ciardi, 1964

    John Anthony Ciardi (June 24, 1916 – March 30, 1986) was an Italian-American poet, translator, and etymologist. While primarily known as a poet, he also translated Dante's Divine Comedy, wrote several volumes of children's poetry, pursued etymology, contributed to the Saturday Review as a columnist and long-time poetry editor, and directed the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in Vermont. In 1959, Ciardi published a book on how to read, write, and teach poetry, How Does a Poem Mean?, which has proven to be among the most-used books of its kind. At the peak of his popularity in the early 1960s, Ciardi also had a network television program on CBS, Accent. In 1964, Eastern Michigan University invited Ciardi to Pease Auditorium for a reading of his poetry. Remarking that poetry is “always a statement about poetry,” Ciardi reads poems about his father, Theodore Roetke, and the poetic capabilities of university students.
  • Frederick Alexander Memorial Organ Dedicatory Recital, 1961

    In his will, longtime Michigan State Normal College music professor left $85,000 to Eastern Michigan University for the purpose of installing a pipe organ in Pease Auditorium. This recording captures the inaugural recital of that organ after its completion. Also in his will, Alexander requested specific musicians and pieces of music to be performed at this recital. All of his wishes were honored, and here several pieces of music are performed by former Alexander student Russell Gee of Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Pieces of music performed include: Basse et Dessus de Trompette by Louis-Nicolas Clerambault; Prelude, Fugue and Chaconne by Detrich Buxtehude; Chorale Preludes by Johannes Brahams; and Ronde Francaise by Leon Boellman.