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Blues for Black Opals: Yolanda Wisher, Dick Lourie & Company

Rosenbach Museum & Library

Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (EST)

Blues for Black Opals: Yolanda Wisher, Dick Lourie &...

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General Admission   more info Feb 9, 2017 Free  

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Philadelphia Poet Laureate and vocalist Yolanda Wisherand poet/horn player Dick Lourie come together with poets Quincy Scott Jones, Iréne Mathieu, and Trapeta Mayson for an evening of poetry, blues, and jazz in remembrance of Black Opals, a 1920s literary magazine produced by black writers in Philadelphia.

Musician, poet, and editor Dick Lourie grew up listening to and playing traditional American folk music. After taking up the saxophone in his 40s, he has concentrated on blues and other roots music. He is the author of the poetry collections Calls on the Dream TelephoneStumbling, Anima, Ghost Radio, and If the Delta Was the Sea. He has also released two CDs based on the poems in his books —combining his sax playing and spoken word with a blues band—titled Ghost Radio Blues and If the Delta Was the Sea. His poem “Forgiving Our Fathers” was featured in the movie Smoke Signals. A cofounder and still coeditor/publisher at Hanging Loose magazine and press, this year celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, Lourie has edited more than 100 titles for the press. He was one of the founders of the New York State Poets in the Schools Program.

Yolanda Wisher is the 2016-2017 Poet Laureate of the City of Philadelphia. Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afroand the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Fence, Chain, MELUSand GOODMagazine and the anthologies Gathering Ground and The Ringing Ear. Wisher is a 2016 Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, 2015 Pew Fellow, Center for Performance and Civic Practice Catalyst Initiative grantee, Leeway Art &Change Award recipient, and the inaugural Montgomery County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate. Wisher founded and directed the Germantown Poetry Festival and served as Director of Art Education for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. She currently works as Chief Rhapsodist of Wherewithal for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture.

Have questions about Blues for Black Opals: Yolanda Wisher, Dick Lourie & Company? Contact Rosenbach Museum & Library

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When & Where


Rosenbach Museum & Library
2008 Delancey Place
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (EST)


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Rosenbach Museum & Library

The Rosenbach was founded in 1954 by Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach (1876-1952) and his brother, Philip (1863-1953). Renowned dealers in books, manuscripts, and fine art, the brothers played a central role in the development of private libraries that later became our nation’s most important public collections of rare books, such as the Folger and Huntington Libraries. The brothers’ own personal collection, now the core of the Rosenbach, features treasures the brothers were unable to part with, including the only surviving copy of Benjamin Franklin’s first Poor Richard Almanac and the manuscript of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Our collection is continuously growing, including the addition of the papers of poet Marianne Moore, and Bram Stoker’s notes for Dracula. In December, 2013 the Rosenbach became affiliated with the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, bringing together two of the world’s preeminent collections of rare books, manuscripts, Americana and art.

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Blues for Black Opals: Yolanda Wisher, Dick Lourie & Company
Things to do in Philadelphia, PA Seminar Arts

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