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Joseph Chaikin: Poetry Readings, Part 2



"Merciless executioner!" "Sacred blue corn seeds, I am planting." These are but a few lines from the continuation of Joseph Chaikin's reading of a selection of prose; works ranging from philosophers, poets, and Native Americans.

Equally celebrated for his commitment to avant garde theater as he was to poetry, this program documents the late director, Joseph Chaikin, reading a compilation of poems at the WBAI radio studios in 1976. During the second segment of this broadcast, Chaikin's selection of lyrical prose takes a shift towards works of greater intercultural significance.

Among the poems are the works of León Felipe and Søren Kierkegaard, as well as verses translated from Navajo and Cheyenne songs. While the selected readings are culturally diverse and vary drastically in form, the pieces are united in their minute insights into the human condition. They also share a uniquely similar relationship between author and reader, despite having been written centuries apart.

Joseph Chaikin (1935-2003) was a celebrated founder of New York's The Open Theater and The Winter Project. He worked closely with The Living Theater and San Francisco's Magic Theater. As a playwright, actor, and director, he has influenced today's off off broadway productions. Chaikin is perhaps best known for producing and directing Viet Rock and The Serpent. His book, The Presence of The Actor was first published in 1972 by Theatre Communications Group and reprinted in 1991. In 2010, he was posthumously inducted into The American Theater Hall of Fame.
 

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