Poetry off the Shelf: Poetry and Piano

April 14, 2012

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From left to right, poets Averill Curdy, Calvin Forbes, Coya Paz, and Roger Reeves


Written and improvised music and words alternate and intersect in this combination concert/reading, featuring local writers Averill Curdy, Calvin Forbes, Coya Paz, Roger Reeves, and pianists Adam Marks and George McRae.
Averill Curdy’s poems have been published widely in journals. The recipient of fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the NEA, as well as a residency fellowship from the Lannan Foundation, she lives in Chicago and teaches at Northwestern University. Calvin Forbes teaches writing, literature, and jazz history at the School of the Art Institute. His first book, Blue Monday, appeared in 1974, and his most recent, The Shine Poems, a book that resurrects the African-American folk character, was issued in 2001. Coya Paz is a poet, director, and educator. Raised in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil before moving permanently to the United States in 1987, she is an assistant professor in theatre at DePaul University. Roger Reeves teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds degrees from Morehouse College, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas. Among his awards are Lilly, Cave Canem, and Provincetown Fine Arts Center fellowships.
The New York Times calls Adam Marks an “excellent pianist” with “titanic force.” Marks reaches diverse audiences with his commitment to contemporary music and innovative programming. He has performed at notable venues around the world and regularly collaborates with other artists to produce highly creative interdisciplinary programs. Pianist George McRae is a writer and performer of jazz and rock, as well as a teacher. His improvisations, while remaining introspective and deeply personal, evoke Chopin and Debussy as much as Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett.
This event was coproduced by The Poetry Foundation and PianoForte Foundation.
Recorded Saturday, April 14, 2012 at Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building.