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“NEW YORK IS A SUMMER POETRY FESTIVAL” The Summer Poetry Festival was presented at St. Clement’s Church, 423 West 46 Street, NYC, NY 10036 for the first time in 1979. The Poetry Festival at St. Clement’s presented 18 nights of poetry performances by eight groups and one play from July 27th to August 21st. All shows were at 8 p.m. and admission was $2.50, except as noted. On July 27, “Colosseum” by William Packard, “a history of the Roman Colosseum,” was performed by four actors: Martin Donegan, Lynn Hardy, Joseph Hardy and Deborah Houston. On July 28, “Four Quartets” by T.S. Eliot, was performed by Jim Curran. This is Eliot’s last poetic work, the passionate and religious culminating work of a great intellect and innovator in poetic forms. On July 29, a selection of Shakespeare’s Sonnets was presented by poet William Packard, and actors Jim Curran, Ann Folke and Elissa Napolin. All had worked before in poetry theater. On August 3 & 4, solo performances by Clyde’s repertory company of actors, “Midsummer Clyde,” included the work of 20 poets, both classical (Sappho, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson and others) & contemporary (Diane Ackerman, Barbara Holland, Ulf Goebel and others). $3, TDF. On August 5 & 6, the White Mask Players’ “Divining Crystals,” combined dance and music with poetry, by musicians Jim Haggerty and Allan Goldschmidt, poets Howard Berland, Kendell Lide, Terry Hayes and poet/director Doloris Holmes, with stage lighting by Julie Fisher. On August 9-10-11, St. Marks Poets Theatre, created by members of the St. Marks Poetry Theatre Workshop, and directed by Bob Holman, presented experimental performances based on Ted Berrigan’s poetry. Previous presentations by St. Marks Poets Theater were: “Jet of Blood” by Artaud and “A Tragedy” by Mayakovsky. On August 12 & 13, the festival continued with “Eliot Among The Nightingales” by the Sunday Brunch Company, featuring the light verse of T. S. Eliot, his correspondence with Groucho Marx, and the jazz poem/play “Sweeney Agonistes.” On August 16-17-18, the play “Zelda” by Kaye McDonough, published by City Lights (1979), illuminated the life and mind of Zelda Fitzgerald. $3, TDF; senior citizens $1.50. This play was performed as a staged reading. On August 19-20-21, “Damn Everything But the Circus” showcased e.e. cummings poetry with dance and music. This show was conceived and directed by Loyd Williamson and performed by his Masque Ensemble Company. $3, TDF; senior citizens $1.50. Mary Clark was the director of the Poetry Festival at St. Clement’s. This article is also on Wikipedia Creative Commons.