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  Reflections on Poetry & Inspiration

             Program #2: "(Mostly) Poetry Inspired by Music"              Thursday, April 29th, 2021 @8pm

Poetry curated by Tom Yuill

Poets: Peter Campion, Aviya Kushner, Robert Pinsky, Tim Seibles, Julie Sheehan, Rosanna Warren, and Tom Yuill. 

Respond to music by composers Derek Bermel, Hannah Lash, and Bruce Wolosoff.

With special performances by dancers Xin Ying, Natasha Diamond-Walker, and video art by Margaret Garrett.

Guest Artist Biographies

Derek Bermel


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An “eclectic with wide open ears” (Toronto Star), composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel is acclaimed for music that is “intricate, witty, clear-spoken, tender, and extraordinarily beautiful...” (San Francisco Chronicle). Artistic Director of the American Composers Orchestra, Bermel is also curator of the Gamper Festival at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Director of Copland House's emerging composers institute Cultivate. His studies of ethnomusicology and engagement with other musical cultures are part of the fabric and force of his compositional language, in which the human voice and its myriad inflections play a leading role.

Through his writing, Bermel endeavors to tell lesser heard American epic tales. He has most recently joined forces with celebrated author Sandra Cisneros to adapt The House on Mango Street for the operatic stage. His Migration Series for jazz band and orchestra pays homage to the great American artist Jacob Laurence, and his two dramatic works with librettist Wendy S. Walters, The Good Life and Golden Motors, depict life and loss in American industrial cities. Bermel is also known for his works meditating on the cosmos, including his newest work for live instruments and digital media, Nine Revolutions.

Praised in BBC Music Magazine for its “captivating and colorful” sound, Bermel’s most recent recording, Migrations (Naxos), was nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award. He has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh, National, Boston, Saint Louis, New Jersey, and Pacific Symphonies, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, eighth blackbird, the Guarneri and JACK String Quartets, Asko/Schönberg (Netherlands), and Figura (Denmark).

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Photo credit Karjaka Studios

Hannah lash

Hailed by The New York Times as “striking and resourceful…handsomely brooding,” Hannah Lash’s music has been performed at such major venues as Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, the Times Center in Manhattan, the Chicago Art Institute, Tanglewood Music Center, The Aspen Music Festival & School, among others. In 2016, Lash was honored with a Composer Portrait Concert at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, which included commissioned works for pianist Lisa Moore (Six Etudes and a Dream) and loadbang (Music for Eight Lungs). In the 2017-2018 season, Lash's Piano Concerto No. 1 “In Pursuit of Flying” was given its premiere performances by Jeremy Denk and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; the Atlantic Classical Orchestra debuted Facets of Motion for orchestra, and Music for Nine, Ringing was performed at the Music Academy of the West School and Festival. Last season, Paul Appleby and Natalia Katyukova gave the world premiere of Songs of Imagined Love, a song cycle commissioned by Carnegie Hall. Hannah Lash’s chamber opera, Desire, recently premiered at Miller Theatre to great acclaim. Hannah Lash’s Concerto for piano and harp was premiered in November by the Naples Philharmonic. Most recently, Hub New Music premiered Lash's The Nature of Breaking, written for Hub New Music and Hannah Lash to perform together as a mixed ensemble with harp. Hannah Lash's music is published exclusively by Schott Music Corporation (New York).



Photo credit Katya Wolosoff

Bruce Wolosoff is a pianist and composer of solo, chamber, and orchestral music. Lauded as “an authentic American voice” for his integration of classical, jazz, blues, and contemporary influences, Wolosoff often composes in response to visual art and through collaborations with leading artists across a variety of disciplines. Most recently, his “Concerto for Cello and Orchestra,” written for cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio of the Eroica Trio, was recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Grzegorz Nowak and commercially released in 2019. Critic Jerry Dubins of Fanfare Magazine described the concerto as one of “compelling beauty” that “can be declared an instant masterpiece.” Wolosoff has been commissioned to write music for ETHEL, the Eroica Trio, Inbal Segev, the Montage Music Society, the Roswell Artists-in-Residence Program, and more. He began receiving wide acclaim as a composer with the release of “Songs Without Words” on Naxos American Classics, a collection of 18 divertimenti performed by the Carpe Diem String Quartet, and for his collaborations with choreographer Ann Reinking on the award-winning ballets The White City and A Light in the Dark.


Peter Campion

Peter Campion is the author of Radical as Reality: Form and Freedom in American Poetry; four collections of poems, Other People, The Lions, El Dorado, and One Summer Evening at the Falls; and several monographs and catalog essays on modern and contemporary visual art. A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize, he teaches in the writing program at the University of Minnesota.

Aviya Kushner

Aviya Kushner grew up in a Hebrew-speaking home in New York. She is the author of The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible (Spiegel & Grau), a National Jewish Book Award Finalist and Sami Rohr Prize Finalist, and Wolf Lamb Bomb, a debut poetry collection forthcoming in June from Orison Books. She is The Forward’s language columnist and an associate professor at Columbia College Chicago. 

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Aviya_Kushner_headshot_by Danielle Aquil

Photo credit Danielle Aquiline

Robert pinsky

Robert Pinsky is the author of several books of poetry, including At the Foundling Hospital, Gulf Music, Jersey Rain, The Figured Wheel, The Want Bone, History of My Heart, An Explanation of America and Sadness and Happiness. His bestselling translation The Inferno of Dante sets a modern standard. Pinsky is also the author of vital, prescient books of literary criticism, including Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry, and The Situation of Poetry, among others. He was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000. Among his awards and honors are the William Carlos Williams Award, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the PEN/Voelcker Award, the Korean Manhae Prize and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the PEN American Center. He teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Boston University.

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tim seibles

Tim Seibles is the author of several poetry collections including Hurdy-Gurdy, Hammerlock, Buffalo Head Solos, and Fast Animal, which was afinalist for the 2012 National Book Award and winner of the TheodoreRoethke Memorial Poetry Prize. Tim is a former NEA fellow and recipientof a fellowship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. His latestcollection, One Turn Around the Sun was released in 2017. He recently completed a two-year appointment as Poet laureate of Virginia.


Julie Sheehan

Julie Sheehan’s three poetry collections are Bar Book, Orient Point and Thaw. A Whiting Writers’ Award winner, her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Parnassus, Prairie Schooner, The Best American Poetry, and Good Poems, American Places. She teaches in the MFA and BFA programs at Stony Brook at Stony Brook.

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Rosanne Warren

Rosanna Warren teaches in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her book of criticism, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, came out in 2008. Her most recent books of poems are So Forth (2020), Ghost in a Red Hat (2011), and Departure (2003). Her biography of Max Jacob, Max Jacob: A Life in Art and Letters appeared in October 2020. She is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, The American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Lila Wallace Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the New England Poetry Club, among others. She was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.


Photo credit Joel Cohen

Tom Yuill

Tom Yuill’s first book of poetry, “Medicine Show,” is published by the University of Chicago Press. He has poetry, translations and interviews published or forthcoming in Great River Review, A Public Space, Newsday, Literary Imaginations, Salamander and Dalhousie Review and featured on Poetry Daily, among others. Yuill is also writing a literary biography of Francois Villon containing his own translations of Villon’s poetry. He teaches in the World Languages and Cultures Department, Honors College, English Department, and guest lectures in the French Department, at Old Dominion University, and is nearing completion of his next book of poetry, whose working title is “American Bull Terrier.” He will be giving a paper on Francois Villon and Simone Weil at Yale University next year. Yuill also teaches various poetry classes of his own design, using Zoom, at the Muse Writer’s Center in Virginia; examples of his classes include “Their Ancient, Glittering Eyes,” “Ancients” and his upcoming class, “Walk on the Wild Side.” 




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Natasha Diamond-Wade is a seventh season Soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company. As a performer she has collaborated on original works with Kyle Abraham, Pam Tanowitz, Liz Gerring, Francesca Harper, Sonya Tayeh, Lil Buck and Nacho Duato- to name a few. Apart from her work with Graham, Ms. Diamond Walker is a guest artist with Annie-B Parson’s Big Dance Theater, and she can be seen in myriad TV/Film projects. She has been featured in campaigns by Hermes, Pure Barre, GNC and has co-starred on Fox’s Gotham and Netflix’s Friends from College. Most recently she was featured in Moulin Rouges and Reed Luplau’s film Sixth Borough. She also starred in Boaz Yakin’s “Aviva” with movement direction by Bobbi Jene Smith. Natasha is also a published writer for health and fitness and the owner and creator of private pilates enterprise Sleekfiit LLC. She  is an Ailey/Fordham BFA alumn, holding a BFA in Dance. 


Xin Ying is a choreographer and a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, featured as Dance Magazine's October 2020 cover star. Her work “Almost Ritual” was commissioned by Co•Lab Dance and previewed on the New Yorker and NY Times must-watch lists. Her improv dance videos have been been featured by MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. In 2016, Xin Ying choreographed her own “Lamentation Variation” and created a dance film inspired by Martha Graham's "Lamentation." In 2018, she presented a piece entitled “巢”(Nest) at Google, which incorporated dance with Google VR paint technology. 

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margaret garrett, artist

Margaret Garrett is an American artist and dancer whose abstract paintings, videos and works on paper explore movement, shape, rhythm, and the unfolding of contrapuntal patterns. Born in North Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania, she grew up training to be a dancer. At the age of sixteen, she joined the Pennsylvania Ballet and later danced with the Cleveland Ballet as a soloist. In her early twenties, she discovered painting, finding something spiritually akin to dance in the movement of line and color and from that time on her focus has been on visual art.


Margaret Garrett’s work has been exhibited in solo and group shows across the United States in galleries and museums including Planthouse Gallery, the Parrish Art Museum, Danese/Corey and the Flag Art Foundation, the Armory Show, Art on Paper, Art Miami, Dallas Art Fair, and the Baltimore Museum Contemporary Print Fair. In 2020, her film “Elegy” was an official selection for the London International Motion Picture Awards. She has been awarded residencies at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and in Assisi, Italy, and has collaborated on two projects with Flatbed Press in Austin, Texas. Garrett’s work is held in numerous private and corporate collections in the United States and Europe. Museum collections include the Blanton Art Museum, Parrish Art Museum, Jordan Schnitzer Collection, and Guild Hall Museum. She currently lives and maintains a studio on Shelter Island, NY.

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