Masters is best known for “Spoon River Anthology,”
his poems about life, death and secrets in a small town. But in his
later years, he wrote lovingly about the rivers, prairies and people
of central Illinois.
Now those later poems have been collected by director Phil
Funkenbusch to be performed by actors accompanied by original music
by Mark Mathewson.
“My Heart’s Home” takes place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22. Tickets,
which are just $10, can be purchased by visiting
Lincoln.illinois.gov and clicking on “special event
“My Heart’s Home” transforms his long poem “Fiddler’s Contest” into
a showcase for the production’s musicians, especially fiddler Sharon
Graf. Other poems in the production include “The Sangamon River,”
“The Prairie: Sandridge,” and “River Towns.”
That last poem includes the lines, “Youth is the river towns they
knew/By the enduring river.”
“Most of these poems about Menard County and central Illinois were
written in the decade or so before Masters’ death in 1950. I believe
he was looking back on memories of his childhood in Petersburg and
these works seemed to have flowed onto the page,” said Funkenbusch.
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The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum contains one of the nation’s
largest collections of original documents and photographs from Edgar Lee
Masters’ life. A death mask of his father’s face is now on display as part of
the museum’s “Rare and Rarely Seen” exhibit.
The presidential library, a division of the Illinois Historic Preservation
Agency, is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through
old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology.
The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents,
photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to
all aspects of Illinois history. The museum uses traditional exhibits,
eye-catching special effects and innovative story-telling techniques to educate
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library]