On April 20th at Cornell College students and faculty gathered to translate the poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” (William Carlos Williams) into some of the many languages spoken in the urban Midwest, including German, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish. This effort is in support of my Mural Speaks! project born at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2014.
A spread consisting of eight works from Phase One of “Cage Dies Bird Flies,” my on-going collaboration with painter Dale Williams, will appear in Issue #60 of the Hayden’s Ferry Review. To visit this print journal’s website, follow the link below:
In 2015 I received the gift of two baby lilacs–Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Betsy Ross’ (white) and Syringa vulgaris President Lincoln (blue)–from Arnold Arboretum propagator Jack Alexander. At the moment Betsy and Abe sleep swaddled in blue light and snow in our front yard in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
On April 14th MURAL SPEAKS! rolls into Harvard Square:
On May 3rd I will be shaking the branches at Arnold Arboretum:
Follow that Fragrance! Chasing Lilac History
Ben Miller, Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Team Lilac
Location: Hunnewell Building
White lilacs and Rachmaninov are connected how? What villainous role did lilac blooms play on the old “Batman” TV show? Can you name the Walt Whitman lilac poem not addressing President Lincoln’s assassination? This year at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, fellow Ben Miller and four Harvard College research partners (Theodore Delwiche ‘17, Sarah Blatt-Herold ‘18, Christine Legros ‘17, Ian Van Wye ‘17) have been harvesting material for a book-length lyric essay about the lilac aura, and ways it has filtered through their own lives and cultures around the globe. In this lively program, “Team Lilac” will present an array of poems, songs, monologues and visual art celebrating the lavish, mysterious, and ever-enduring charisma of Syringa vulgaris.
I continue to work hard on the Mural Speaks! project in Cambridge.
Here is a link to a recent article in the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader detailing progress:
Follow the link below to hear a short radio interview about the project which recently aired on “Sunny FM” (92.1) in South Dakota.
Exciting Mural Speaks! events are planned for 2015. Stay tuned.