Reminder: Rock Creek Church Cemetery, Saturday, May 8, 11 am
- Dear friends,
We have a special treat in store for our Saturday, May 8, gathering in Rock
Creek Church Cemetery. Soprano Lara Michole Tillotson will sing a new a capella
version of the Calamus poem, "Long I thought that knowledge alone would suffice"
by composer Gilda Lyons. Ms. Tillotson is a native of Dallas, Texas, who has
appeared frequently with Opera in the Heights, Opera Fort Collins and the Dallas
Opera in such roles as Tosca, Nedda in Pagliacci and Amelia in Un Ballo in
Maschera. Ms Tillotson will enjoy her concert debut in New York this June when
she performs selections from La Boheme and Tosca with Ensemble 212 at Merkin
Hall. We are indebted to Greg Trupiano of Brooklyn's Walt Whitman Project for
arranging Ms. Tillotson's appearance with us.
Just a reminder of the details of the May 8, event:
We will gather in front of Old St. Paul's Church at 11 am, then proceed to the
grave of Charley Eldridge, Whitman's friend and the publisher of the 1860
edition of Leaves of Grass. This edition featured the first publication of the
groundbreaking and complimentary "Calamus" and "Enfans d'Adam" clusters of poems
exploring same-sex and opposite-sex love. Following a brief grave-side service
featuring Ms. Tillotson's solo, friends are invited to picnic nearby (please
bring goodies' to share), and read their favorite poems from the 1860 edition.
In case of inclement weather, Kim Roberts has invited us to take our picnic to
our home nearby. Rock Creek Church Cemetery is in the Petworth neighborhood of
NW DC, opposite the Old Soldier's Home. For more information & directions, see:
To learn more about the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass, check out the essay by
Gregory Eislelein, first published in the Walt Whitman Encyclopedia (NY:
Garland, 1998) and now reproduced in the Walt Whitman Archive.
I look forward to seeing you there!
"For who but I should understand lovers and all their sorrow and joys,
And who but I should be the poet of comrades?" WW