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Archive for the ‘Robert Frost’ Category

Signed photographic portrait of Vachel Lindsay, from the Lawrence H. Conrad Vachel Lindsay and Robert Frost Collection.

Signed photographic portrait of Vachel Lindsay, from the Lawrence H. Conrad Vachel Lindsay and Robert Frost Collection.

Amherst College recently received the donation of a small, fascinating collection of correspondence and other materials related to Robert Frost and the now lesser-known poet (Nicholas) Vachel Lindsay. Vachel Lindsay styled himself as a twentieth-century troubadour. He traveled around the Midwest performing his poetry, which he chanted or sang, sometimes in costume. Few recordings of Lindsay exist, but there are several short clips online at the PennSound project. Lindsay originally trained as a visual artist, and often sold or traded illustrated pamphlets of his poetry in exchange for food and lodging.

This collection of material belonged to Lawrence H. Conrad, and was donated to Amherst by Conrad’s granddaughter, Angela Conrad. Lawrence Conrad was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, when Robert Frost held the position of poet-in-residence at the University. During the same time period, Lindsay gave a reading at the University. Conrad served as an assistant to the poets and helped with their arrangements while in Michigan. In a May 9, 1928 letter from Conrad to Lindsay, he writes, “You probably remember that I was a sort of pet of Robert Frost when he was here [at the University of Michigan].” Conrad later became president of the Michigan Author’s Association and arranged further Michigan appearances for Frost and Lindsay. Conrad corresponded with both men and appears to have become a personal friend of both, who were also friends with each other. He continued corresponding with Lindsay’s widow, Elizabeth Connor Lindsay after Vachel Lindsay committed suicide in 1931.

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RFB1941-cover

 

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The Frost Tapes

We are delighted that A. M. Dolan’s play This Verse Business — a one-man play about Robert Frost — will be performed in Amherst’s Kirby Theater at 8:00 on Thursday and Friday this week. Dolan conducted much of his research for the play in the Archives & Special Collections at Amherst College and made extensive use of our holdings of audio and video recordings of Robert Frost. At 4:00 PM on Thursday, November 28, I will be on a panel discussion “Robert Frost: From Page to Platform” with playwright A. M. Dolan and actor Gordon Clapp who plays the part of Robert Frost. In preparing for this event, I spent a little time looking into our audio-visual holdings in the Frost Collection.

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