SONG OF MYSELF
Performance and Workshop by Johnny Stallings
Poem written by Walt Whitman
Friday, September 22, 2017 - 7pm
Marfa Courthouse Lawn
Saturday, September 23, 2017
10:30am — 2:30pm
USO Building/Marfa Visitor Center
302 S Highland Ave, Marfa, TX 79843
On Friday, September 22, 2017 Marfa Live Arts hosted a performance of Walt Whitman's epic poem Song of Myself by actor, writer, and director, Johnny Stallings. One of the original twelve poems from Whitman's Leaves of Grass (1855), Song of Myself is considered a representation of Walt Whitman's poetic vision. Having connected with the work at an early age, Stallings performs the work from memory in venues across Oregon, his home state. According to Stallings, Song of Myself's "astonishing celebration of beauty" communicates Whitman's vision of "the simple life" in a transformative way.
On the following day, Saturday, September 23rd,2017 Marfa Live Arts held an educational workshop taught by Johnny Stallings focused on Whitman's Song of Myself. The workshop provided an opportunity to discuss the work and its cultural and personal significance. Both events were free and open to the community.
The Oregonian interviews Stallings on performing A Song of Myself
Johnny Stallings is an actor, director, writer and teacher living in Portland, Oregon. He is Executive Director of Open Hearts Open Minds, a nonprofit organization that has dialogue, theater, arts and music programs in three Oregon prisons. Johnny has directed six Shakespeare plays at Two Rivers prison in Oregon. He has performed solo versions of King Lear, Hamlet, Dostoevsky's "Dream of a Ridiculous Man" and Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself."
Photos courtesy of the artist. Paintings by Rick Bartow.