Thursday, March 27, 2008

Richard Fitzpatrick Performs in Saginaw

Richard Fitzpatrick performed Roethke and Me: Conjuring the Garden Master, the play he wrote and compiled over the last 30 or so years of his life, in Saginaw tonight (Thursday, March 27, 2008). This was at Founders Hall, SVSU. Linda Farynk, SVSU Library Director, announced in her introduction that this performance followed performances in New York and in Stratford, Ontario. Other than that, this has not been performed anywhere.

Patricia Shek, instrumental in creating the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, was in the audience. Annie Ransford was there too, as were several members of Saginaw's River Junction Poets. Annie was instrumental in creating The Friends of Theodore Roethke Foundation which owns and operates the Roethke home, now a national literary landmark, on Gratiot Avenue. And it turns out that Richard Fitzpatrick and I have a mutual friend in Maxine Harris who was also in the audience.

After the performance, light refreshments were served. I and a few other River Junction Poets asked Richard to sign our programs, and he was happy to sign them. We talked to him long enough for me to learn that I enjoy his sense of humor and his work ethic. He said this was the first performance where he got any laughs. He's hoping to get his performance professionally recorded for PBS. I hope he gets what he wants. It's a terrifically dynamic performance, probably no less dynamic than Roethke's teaching.

-- "It is our goal to appreciate and improve our talents, to share our own work and to communicate the joys of poetry with others. Everyone's poetry is valued."
iver Junction Poets Mission Statement

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