Poetry Series Featuring Actors From The Alley Theatre
Watch and listen as actors give voice to the words of renowned poets through a partnership with Houston's nationally recognized Alley Theatre. In this video series, a curated selection of poems by authors such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Emily Dickinson, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman, and many others whose written words can be found in the holdings of the Harry Ransom Center will be activated through readings by celebrated actors in the Alley Theatre’s Resident Acting Company.
Join us each month for a new, inspiring poetry reading, complete with an introduction and commentary by Ransom Center Betty Brumbalow Director Dr. Stephen Enniss, who will provide insight into the poems and authors selected. He has written on Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Seamus Heaney, among other notable literary figures. He is the author of After the Titanic: A Life of Derek Mahon (Gill and Macmillan, 2014).
Each episode will be available for a limited time. Set reminders to see the videos as they are released.
16th- and 17th-century Poets
September 6, 2021 - Todd Waite
Works of celebrated 16th- and 17th-century poets including John Skelton, William Shakespeare, Anne Bradstreet, and John Donne are highlighted in this installment of the Harry Ransom Center’s Wordplay virtual poetry series. Actor Todd Waite of Houston's Alley Theatre brings to life through performance and commentary important works of poetry by authors represented in the Ransom Center’s collections.
August 2, 2021 - Melissa Molano
Dive into the works of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in this installment of the Harry Ransom Center’s Wordplay virtual poetry series. Actor Melissa Molano of Houston's Alley Theatre captures the rhythmic nature of Thomas' writing and provides commentary. The Ransom Center is home to the largest collection of Dylan Thomas manuscripts in the world, many of which can be viewed online in the Dylan Thomas digital collection.
Countee Cullen, Rita Dove, Robert Hayden, and Langston Hughes
July 5, 2021 - David Rainey
African American writers Countee Cullen, Rita Dove, Robert Hayden, and Langston Hughes are highlighted in this installment of the Harry Ransom Center’s Wordplay virtual poetry series. Actor David Rainey of Houston's Alley Theatre brings to life through performance and commentary important works of poetry by authors represented in the Ransom Center’s collections.
Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman
June 1, 2021 - Dylan Godwin
The second installment of Wordplay continues with a selection of poems by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, both of whom are represented in the Ransom Center’s collections. These 19th century poems will come alive when read by Alley Theatre Actor Dylan Godwin. Listeners are invited to acknowledge the obvious contrasts between the poets, while listening closely for similarities pointed out in the commentary surrounding the poems.
A Ransom Center Anthology
May 3, 2021 - Elizabeth Bunch
The series begins with Alley Theatre Actor Elizabeth Bunch giving voice to the poetry of Irish poet Louis MacNeice, Welsh-born Dylan Thomas, and American poets Anne Sexton and Robert Lowell. Also included in this episode will be poets well-represented in our rare print collections, including Gwendolyn Brooks and June Jordan. These poems will convey the breadth and depth of the poetry holdings of the Ransom Center, and audiences will find new favorites among familiar classics.