Like Decorations in a Cemetery

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
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WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Wallace Stevens' enigmatic, fifty-stanza poem, "Like Decorations in a Nigger Cemetery" comes to life in a reading and performance by Laylage Courie. Written in 1935, the poem references the African-American tradition, necessitated by poverty, of marking graves with pots, broken glass, metal scraps, plants, and other detritus. Stevens conceived each stanza of his poem as a similar decoration around a theme - mortality. Courie's performance, Like Decorations in a Cemetary appeals to Stevens fans, poetry and spoken word enthusiasts, and anyone seeking an innovative theater experience. Described by NYTheatre.com as "truly passionate," Courie works in the Roy Hart vocal tradition - a style of singing created in post-World War I Europe which presupposes an eight octave range and that the "voice is the muscle of the soul." Traditional and folk singing styles, extended voice techniques, raw sound, and subtle speech inflection are all used to bring the poem to life in the audience's imagination.

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