The Broken Flower: A Reading of Nature Poems by poet Jeffery Beam
Jeffery Beam will be reading and singing a selection of his poems that are rooted in the earthly shadows of garden, woods, fields, mountains, and world waters. There he finds human feeling in Nature’s broad manifest—a world ripe with bobwhite, copperheads, bees, owls, deer, apples, persimmons, mountain fogs and water rhythms.
Natural historian Janet Lembke says of Beam's work: "Jeffery Beam, poet and gardener, understands that human beings are part of the natural world, not observers standing apart from it or lords insisting on remaking it. He makes our connectedness wonderfully clear with poems focused primarily on plants, from dandelions to wildflowers to pumpkins and cabbages and on to lilacs and tulip trees. He sees humankind as an intrinsic part of creation sharing equally with moth, acanthus leaf, black gum, and nuthatch. Gentle poems, tender poems, poems unafraid of death and rejoicing at resurrection. He lets us go forth into gardens, fields, and woods as part of the green world. Down with dominion! Here's to courting earth's acceptance."
About The Speaker
Native North Carolinian Jeffery Beam's many award-winning works include The Broken Flower, Gospel Earth, Visions of Dame Kind, An Elizabethan Bestiary: Retold, The New Beautiful Tendons, and The Fountain.His spoken word CD What We Have Lost: New and Selected Poems 1977-2001 was a 2003 Audio Publishers Award finalist. The song cycle, Life of the Bee (composer Lee Hoiby) continues to be performed on the international stage and can be heard, along with a Beam reading of the texts, on Albany Record's New Growth, a recording of the Carnegie Hall premiere. Young composers Steven Serpa and Holt McCarley continue composing for his poems, the most recent being performances of two works by Serpa last year by the Austin Symphony Orchestra and Austin Opera. 2015 saw the premier of Family Secrets, a Daniel Thomas Davis song cycle commissioned by soprano Andrea Moore, with Beam’s Porch Song, and texts by other noted North Carolina authors. Forthcoming is Spectral Pegasus, a collaboration with Welsh painter Clive Hicks-Jenkins, his first children’s book The Droods with British artist Phil Cooper, and as editor of a major collection of critical essays Jonathan Williams: The Lord of Orchards. Poetry editor emeritus of the print and online literary journalOyster Boy Review, Beam retired in late 2011 from many decades as a UNC-Chapel Hill botanical librarian. He and his husband live in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and include frequent visits to their cabin on Flat Top Mountain. You can learn more about, read and hear more of his poetry at www.unc.edu/~jeffbeam/index.html.
TAC Talks are sponsored in part by First Citizens Bank
Thank you also to Frances Hairfield for helping to sponsor this TAC Talk.