When you mention T.S. Eliot and then refer to texts like The Waste Land or his magnum opus The Four Quartets you generally elicit discomfort, anger or suspicion. The feeling is that these texts are highly revered, but off limits. The fact is they are getting dusty on the shelves of university libraries. The Gift Series Producer Stanzi Vaubel found that when she took them off the shelves and asked Professors Rachel Jamison Webster and Spencer Parsons to talk about and perform these texts, they began to take on a re-activated meaning that has everything to do with now.
For the month of August The Gift poetry series will drop inside five literary works. These pieces are radio essays. They do not claim to be definitive or scholarly responses to these great historical texts. Instead, each piece comes out of the emotional and psychological journey taken by the listener, becoming a conversation that resonates with our own inner thoughts.
In this week’s installment, several people read from William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. With Carrie Dabelow as Addie, Jerry Bloom as Vernon Tull, Spencer Parsons as Darl, Larry Garner as Anse, and Ryan Heindl as Vardaman.
First launched in April 2013 to celebrate National Poetry Month, WBEZ now continues our weekly series, The Gift – produced by Stanzi Vaubel and curated by Rachel Jamison Webster, author of September: Poems. This project is a collaboration with UniVerse of Poetry, a station partner that aims to celebrate poets from every nation in the world. Each piece drops us into a poets’ inner life, reminding us of the gift of being human among others.