January at the Hammer

The Hammer Museum features Frank Bidart, Jim Shepard, David Lehman, and Sven Birkerts in January.  First up is Frank Bidart on January 15 at 7 P.M.  I remember the first time I heard him read–around 1990, in the Sunset Canyon reading series at UCLA:  Stephen Yenser gave an introduction in which he praised the surgical precision of FB’s punctuation.  Not until I came to read the poems–like “To the Dead,” a poem that still elates and pierces me–did I really understand what he meant.

Matt and I both go back to work tomorrow–teaching for me, and rehearsals for Candida at the Colony Theatre in Burbank for him (he plays Mr. Burgess).  I’ve never read this Shaw play, and I can’t even think of when I’ve had the opportunity to see it, so this will be a fresh experience indeed when it opens in early February.

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