Selections from Edgar Lee Master's 'Spoon River' Anthology
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About the Program:
No other literary work from Illinois has ever had the radical impact of Edgar Lee Master's Spoon River Anthology, published in 1915. In Master's 243 thinly veiled epitaph-poems, people from all walks of life come forward from their graves and share compelling stories of their hopes, dreams, tragedies, and joys, not to mention their advice and warnings to those still living. The uproar that this book created because of its unique free verse style and its portrayal of characters with blunt, brutal honesty caused a scandal upon its debut. As a result, it was banned from the Spoon River area schools and libraries until 1974. The stories capture all aspects of life- irony, comedy, failure, success. These dramatized monologues portrayed by one actor and actress, will not only reflect on the life and times of those living in 1915, but also offer universal lessons to Illinoisans living today.