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A Tribute to Russell Atkins

February 27 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


During Black History Month, Cave Canem is pleased to offer “A Tribute to Russell Atkins.” Poet, playwright and composer, Atkins’ work has had a devoted following since the 1950s, but he has found new audiences in the 21st century. At soon-to-be 96, Atkins has survived an extortionate conservatorship–during which time legally-appointed guardians went quickly through money earned from the resale of his family home, burned all his papers (opera, drama, poetry, journals, and correspondence with Langston Hughes and Marianna Moore)–and COVID19. This program honors the tenacious artistry and longevity of this innovative virtuoso.

Readings will be given by Janice Lowe, Daniel Gray-Kontar and Julie Ezelle Patton, along with a rare performance of Atkins’ “Objects for Piano” by pianist Milena Gligić.

Russell Atkins’ collections of poetry include the chapbooks and small-press books A Podium Presentation (1960), Phenomena (1961), Objects (1963), Objects 2 (1964), Heretofore (1968), The Nail, to Be Set to Music (1970), Maleficium (1971), and Whichever (1978). He also wrote two verse-plays or “poems in play forms”: The Abortionist and The Corpse, both published in Free Lance. His only full-length collection, Here in The (1976), was published by the Cleveland State Poetry Center. Russell Atkins: On the Life & Work of an American Master (2013), was edited by Kevin Prufer and Michael Dumanis, and included a large selection of Atkins’ previously published work and essays from poets on his continuing influence. World’d Too Much: Selected Poems of Russell Atkins, edited by Kevin Prufer and Robert E. McDonough, was published in 2019.


February 27
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


cave canem
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