At-A-Site Theater presents a Summer Project Celebrating Birthdays of Dead Writers: Edgar Lee Masters, August 23

AUGUST 23, 2014


Location:   Downtown Asheville NC

Time:         7:00pm - 11:00pm

On the corner of North Lexington Ave & Walnut St map link
or Haywood St near Malaprops map link 
or the "Iron" sculpture at Wall St & Battery Park Ave   map link

or near Wicked Weed & Mamacita's on Biltmore Ave map link

(Please note:  The Reader may occasionally need to move to an alternative site because of weather or other onsite circumstances)


Passersby are invited to chose a poem randomly from this American poet, biographer and dramatist's, who though primarily known for Spoon River Anthology, his suite of poems about the richly imagined lives of the dead intered in the imagined small-town cemetery or imagined Spoon River, IL, in his lifetime also published twelve plays, twenty-one books of poetry, six novels and six biographies.

The passersby will be invited to choose a name randomly from the alphabetical contents of Spoon River Anthology, and then the corresponding poem will be read to them.


Masters in himself buried in Oakland cemetery in Petersburg, Illinois. His epitaph includes his poem, "To-morrow is My Birthday" from Toward the Gulf (1918):

Good friends, let’s to the fields…
After a little walk and by your pardon,
I think I’ll sleep, there is no sweeter thing.
Nor fate more blessed than to sleep.

I am a dream out of a blessed sleep-
Let’s walk, and hear the lark.



More information about Edgar Lee Masters can be found at Wikipedia and at the Academy of American Poets and at The Poetry Foundation. You can read all the Spoon River Anthology poems online here.



I am Minerva, the village poetess,
Hooted at, jeered at by the Yahoos of the street
For my heavy body, cock-eye, and rolling walk,
And all the more when "Butch" Weldy
Captured me after a brutal hunt.
He left me to my fate with Doctor Meyers;
And I sank into death, growing numb from the feet up,
Like one stepping deeper and deeper into a stream of ice.
Will some one go to the village newspaper,
And gather into a book the verses I wrote?--
I thirsted so for love
I hungered so for life!



How could I till my forty acres
Not to speak of getting more,
With a medley of horns, bassoons and piccolos
Stirred in my brain by crows and robins
And the creak of a wind-mill--only these?
And I never started to plow in my life
That some one did not stop in the road
And take me away to a dance or picnic.
I ended up with forty acres;
I ended up with a broken fiddle--
And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,
And not a single regret.

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