People’s Poetry Gathering


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In 2003, the Gathering highlighted ballads and epics.  Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, wrote an insightful essay on the ballad for The New York Times on the festival’s opening day; and we hosted a special conference and concert honoring Alan Lomax for his contribution to folk music and poetry.  Sierra Leonean Kewulay Kamara, a member of the finenu caste of poets joined with jali musicians from West Africa for a performance of Sundiata.  Acclaimed chanter of medieval epics Benjamin Bagby performed the Anglo‑Saxon Beowulf, and Kazakhstan singer Almasbek Almatov presented a stunning performance of the traditional epics of his homeland. 

Selections from the 2003 Poetry Gathering Brochure (Forthcoming):

Recognition: An Epic

The Ballad Hunters: Sung Stories at the PPG

Points of View: A Global Salon/The Iliad and Postmodern War

Some Highlights:

-Epics and Ballads

-Folk Music in the American Century: an Alan Lomax Tribute

-Lyrical Campaigns: Celebrating the Legacy of June Jordan


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