Poet, performer, and librettist Douglas Kearney

In this episode, Lissa sits down with poet, performer, and librettist Douglas Kearney to discuss his work. Douglas Kearney has published six books. His most recent, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry and was a silver medalist for the California Book Award (Poetry). His other works include Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014), The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), and Someone Took They Tongues (Subito Press 2016), a collection of Kearney’s Libretti.

In addition to his work as an artist and performer, Kearney teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota. Learn more about Douglas Kearney by visiting his website: https://douglaskearney.com/

Episode 45 – Douglas Kearney

In this episode, Lissa sits down with the poet, performer, and librettist Douglas Kearney.

What is a Libretto?

Lissa and Douglas speak extensively on the podcast about Douglas’s work writing libretti. For those not well versed in opera, ‘libretto’ might be an unfamiliar term. According to Encyclopedia Brittanica a libretto is the “text of an operaoperetta, or other kind of musical theatre.” In other words, the words that are set to music in one of these types of performance. You can learn more about libretti here: https://www.britannica.com/art/libretto.

Go Deeper: Additional Materials

Watch: Douglas Kearney reads from Buck Studies at the Poetry Center at The University of Arizona

Watch: The trailer for an opera created by Douglas Kearney and Anne LeBaron, which was performed in Sweden

SUCKTION Trailer

Cybererotic Opera by composer Anne LeBaron and librettist Douglas Kearney, performed by soNu

Listen: Langston Hughes reads The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Learn: Douglas Kearney cites poet and educator Harryette Mullen as an important mentor and influence on his work. Learn more about her and read some of hear work at The Poetry Foundation website

Harryette Mullen

Harryette Mullen is a poet and a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing and African American literature. Her collections of poetry include S*PeRM**K*T (1992), Sleeping with the Dictionary (2002), Recyclopedia (2006), and Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary (2012).

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