Airing live on KCPR is a collection of poems from one of the most notorious collections of poetry in American history, the Spoon River Anthology.
The event will air March 16th from 2-4 p.m. and each student in Cal Poly’s Voice and Diction for the Stage class will share two poems from the collection.
For those who do not know, the Spoon River Anthology is a collection of 245 free-verse elegies in the form of monologues. The collection was written in 1915 by Edgar Lee Masters and recounts epitaphs about the residents of a fictional town named Spoon River. The town and residents of Spoon River were largely inspired by a real town named Spoon River that was located near Masters’ home town in Illinois. The speaker narrates the residents’ dreams but the dreams will never be fulfilled and residents ultimately live bitter, unfulfilling lives.
The collection had sold 80,000 copies by 1920, which today would easily be considered an international bestseller. However, the collection received very negative responses from the citizens who lived in areas like Spoon River as it poked at their values and morals as a community. Up until 1974, the collection was banned in Spoon River area schools and libraries. However, the town has since come around to the collection and even celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015 with grand public events.
Making up the students coming to the radio waves are those from Cal Poly’s Voice and Diction for the Stage class, also known as TH260. The students coming live to air will continue the legacy of the rich collection of poetry created by Masters and hopefully make us listeners take a step back and evaluate our daily life. This is the Theatre Department’s first collaboration with KCPR.
The event will be aired live on 91.3 FM and kcpr.org on March 16th and 23rd at 2 p.m. For those who appreciate poetry, or those who simply want to hear some amazing content that might change the way you view your life, this is event for you.
Nick Bishop is a Cal Poly computer science junior and a KCPR staff member. He wrote the article. Pamela Moidel is a Cal Poly graphic design senior and KCPR’s Creative Director. She created the graphic.