Poet program Saturday at Vachel Lindsay Home to feature the Lindsay-Masters
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[October 23, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- The relationship
between two of Illinois' most well-known poets, Vachel Lindsay and
Edgar Lee Masters, will be explored during the next program in the
"Poets in the Parlor" series. Masters biographer Herbert Russell
will give the presentation on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Vachel
Lindsay Home State Historic Site, 603 S. Fifth St. in Springfield.
Russell completed his doctorate with a dissertation on Masters'
post-"Spoon River Anthology" life and career. In 1991, Edgar Lee
Masters' son, Hilary, encouraged Russell to write the authorized
biography of his father. Published by the University of Illinois
Press as "Edgar Lee Masters: A Biography" in 2001, the book makes
use of Masters' letters, diaries and unpublished chapters from his
autobiography. Portions of the book discuss the friendship of
Lindsay and Masters.
Edgar Lee Masters and Vachel Lindsay knew and admired each
other's work for parts of three decades. Masters knew Lindsay was as
loyal to the Springfield area as Masters was to his own Spoon River
country. Both men enjoyed the praise of the Eastern literary
establishment for several years at the time of World War I and
later. And both men are indelibly associated with the literary
coming-of-age known as the Chicago Renaissance.
Both men also encountered realities they had difficulty dealing
with -- which will be the subject of the discussion Saturday.
Masters was flattered to be held in high regard by Lindsay; and
Lindsay knew he could depend on Masters for help.
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Russell's most recent work is "The State of Southern Illinois: An
Illustrated History," published by SIU Press earlier this year.
Richly illustrated, "The State of Southern Illinois" is the most
accurate account of the 28-county area known as "Egypt," which is
sometimes regarded as a state within a state.
Russell and his wife, Thyra, live near Carbondale.
The free program Saturday is sponsored by the Vachel Lindsay
Association and the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site.
Limited seating is available. Refreshments and tours of the
Lindsay Home will follow.
Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site is the birthplace
and longtime residence of poet, author and artist Nicholas Vachel
Lindsay, 1879-1931. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m. for free public tours.
[Text from file received from
the Illinois Historic