Literature and Performance

Summer 2010

Ballad of Birmingham as read by Brandi Winstead

July 30th, 2010


It’s by Dudley Randall.

I LOVE THIS POEM. I fell in love with it after a good friend of mine read in the the state poetry competition this year. It is powerful and sad all at the same time. You cannot help but pay attention to this heartfelt poem.

Just Take My Heart as read by Brandi Winstead

July 30th, 2010


Chapter 1

Its by Mary Higgins Clarke. And it really grabbed my attention and just sucked me in. Reading books aloud is something I’ve never tried and is totally out of my comfort zone. Hopefully you will enjoy.

“Where’s My Cow?” As Recorded By Leighanne Ellis

July 23rd, 2010

I always have a blast reading this book. I love reading to kids, and I love the Discworld series written by Terry Pratchett. It’s the perfect combination! Adding voices and accents to the characters only makes it more fun for the kids and for the reader. I hope the silliness brings a smile to your face!

“Where’s My Cow” by Terry Pratchett

“Beauty” As Recorded by Leighanne Ellis

July 23rd, 2010

I chose to record this poem because it has always had a powerful impact on me. It changed the way I view the act of creating–of being an artist–and gave me a way to live: governing myself by beauty.

“Beauty” by Stephen Dobyns

“Nineteen Thirty-Seven” by Edwidge Danticat

July 22nd, 2010

brayhan2 The short story that I read is called Krik? Krak? by Edwidge Danticat. The chapter that I read is called “Nineteen Thirty-Seven” it takes place in Haiti, where the years of  thousands of Haitians where massacred by the Dominican soldiers. This particular chapter is about a young women(Josephine) finally understanding her family ancestor especially, her mothers death(Manman). This particular book and chapter is all about Haitian women trying to understand their relationships to their families.

Finally why I chosen this book nor chapter is because it is full of tragedy stories, descriptive narrative-story and dramatic story-plot. Part of it is also, the diversity of suffering that demonstrates that everyone experiences in his or her own way.

By: Brayhan Chirinos

” I Like For You To Be Still” by Pablo Neruda.

July 22nd, 2010

The poem I picked is called ” I Like For You To Be Still” by Pablo Neruda. It’s a love poem that shows a lot of emotion to the loves one. Before, I talk about more about the poem, I would give more information about Pablo Neruda. Mr. Neruda was born on Sept. 23, 1973 in Parral, Chile. He is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century. I picked this poem because it’s a love poem and imagine you are in the room with someone you love. You don’t need to speak because you full each other’s souls just by your presences. When it says ” you hear me from away/and my voice does not reach you” thinking she can feel his presence even if he doesn’t speak. There is a lot of symbolism in”I Like For You To Be Still” like, the symbol of the night is another beautiful of one for his lover and also, the poet’s lover is like a butterfly which makes no sound and only present for a moment!brayhan-2 1

By: Brayhan Chirinos

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe — read by Kate Spencer

July 22nd, 2010

Ever since I was a little kid, I loved Edgar Allan Poe. I may be the only one to remember “The Raven” being read on Animaniacs, but it was the greatest thing ever. In middle school, as an assignment to memorize a poem, a boy in my class memorized over 100 lines of “The Raven” and read it in this creepily accurate British acccent, which thrilled the entire class. I think it’s the eerie-ness Poe has that’s always fascinated me (y’know, it appeals to my very gothic soul).


Still I Rise By Maya Angelo

July 22nd, 2010

Maya Angelou

I chose this poem because it is an inspiring poem about overcoming great obstacles/oppression. I get such a rush when I read this poem, truly one of the greatest to emerge from many of her works. The first time I read this poem was in high school, and I honestly fell in love. Angelou does a great job of giving readers a visual look to what she is trying to describe in her poetry. For example, when she says ” you may shoot me with you words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I rise”. Every word read runs throughout my entire body with the passion and desire to continue reading. I have and will always appreciate Maya Angelou works, because she began her career when Black Americans were looked at differently than White Americans, and she used that negativity to motivate her to write powerful works.

R09_0028  Hands by Sarah Kay

This is a reading that I chose to read because I love the way how the writer describes the importance of hands, and basically tells some of the worth of having hands. This is a piece I’ve always wanted to perform, I love how to  the words are very powerful and make you want think of all the times you used your hands to shame, or show emotion towards someone or an object. This is kind of short but I really wanted to perform this work, I LOVE this piece!

The Jabberwocky and Riddles in the Dark, read by Shannon Harris

July 22nd, 2010

I was unsure of what poem to read for this project, wanting to do something in the same kind of theme as my selection from The Hobbit. However, as I was looking through to countless poetry websites, I found this one by Lewis Carroll. Many people view this as the way a poem should not be written, however, I find this to be a fabulously fun poem to read because of the nonsense words. It also reminds me a little of my middle school years when I came across this poem for the first time on (bear with me) when you enter their Gallery of Evil.

The Jabberwocky

I also chose one of my favorite chapters from one of my favorite books to read. I would watch this movie every time I was home sick, and fell in the love with the book when I was old enough to read it. I thought long and hard about what to read from this book. Would I read from when Thorin & Co. meet their expert treasure hunter, Biblo, or Bilbo and Gandalf’s encounter with Beorn after their episode with goblins, or perhaps when Bilbo meets Smaug for the first time? That last one was incredibly tempting, but I didn’t feel that I could give Smaug the dangerous and seductive quality to his voice that is so crucial to his character. Instead, I settled for probably the most well known scene from the chapter Riddles in the Dark, when Bilbo enters into a riddle contest with the creature Gollum. I begin after Biblo has lost his party and finds an underwater lake, stopping to gather himself and decide his next course of action. We have just been introduced to the character Gollum, and his unpleasant and lonely nature when my reading begins, and will end with one of numerous demonstrations of how Bilbo’s inordinate amount of luck saves his skin.

Riddles In The Dark

Popol Vuh: Creation and Discruction

July 21st, 2010

The Popol Vuh : The Definitive Edition of the Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life and the Glories of Gods and Kings

Translated by Dennis Tedlock

This is a reading from the Mayan creation myth called the Popol Vuh. The ancient Mesoamerican civilization based their religion, art, architecture, values system, and many other aspects of their culture on this myth.

I have studied this culture and a few other Mesoamerican cultures in an anthropology class and find this story the most fascinating. Dennis Tedlock does a wonderful job of preserving the meaning and rhythm of the original Quiche Maya version which makes this translation perfect for performing.

Popol Vuh

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