Actor Stephen Collins will perform his one-man show, "Unlaunch'd Voices: An Evening with Walt Whitman."
About The Show: The show opens with the elderly Whitman on the evening of his seventieth birthday. The audience is a visitor in his room as he prepares for his birthday celebration. Whitman begins to reminisce and to question his success as a man and a poet. He remembers a mystical experience he had in his thirty-seventh year that inspired him to write poetry. During the telling, Whitman transforms into his young vibrant self and we begin to trace back along with him the experiences that led to the creation of Leaves Of Grass, his lifetime work. The first part of the performance explores Whitman's preoccupation with the self and his resolve to write with "free and brave thought..." In the second part of the performance, Whitman's life is changed forever by the occurrence of the Civil War. It is here that he finds "... the most important work of my life..." nursing the wounded soldiers in the hospitals. Through poetry and readings of actual letters, experience Whitman's movement from selfishness and selflessness and his growth into a mature artist who is at peace about "himself, God and death."
About Stephen: Stephen Collins grew up in Cambridge, and received a BA in Literature from UMass Boston. After twenty plus years in a sales career, he is back doing what he truly loves - performing and teaching. Collins teaches seminars on Whitman, Hardy, Shakespeare, Frost, and Contemporary Poetry around the country. He also works as a professionally licensed tour guide doing narrated historical tours of Boston. Collins now has eight one-man shows and six courses where his teaching style has been described as a hybrid between lecture and performance.
This event will be held in the Fairgrieve Wing. Q&A to follow the performance. Limited to 75 seats. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. This program is a part of the library's spring living history series.