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Poetry Magazine Release Party: Billy Blake and the Vagabonds Live in Concert

Thursday, March 29th – Thursday, March 29th, 6:00 PM–9:00 PM

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street 

Advance ticketing for this event is no longer available, but a limited number of additional tickets will be released March 29 at 6:45pm on a first come, first served basis. Please note that these standby tickets may be standing room only.

Doors open at 6:00pm; performance starts at 7:00pm. Capacity is limited to the first 125 guests. Attendees will receive complimentary copies of the April 2012 issue of Poetry magazine and a limited edition Edie Fake print of “The Little Vagabond” by William Blake.

Songwriters Reid Coker and Kennedy Greenrod perform with musicians Saleem Dhamee, Jason Labrosse, Alan Scalpone, and Seth Vanek as “Billy Blake and the Vagabonds” for a concert of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Billy Blake and the Vagabonds have created a thoroughly modern interpretation of Blake, drawing from folk, pop, country, and gospel music to New Orleans drum line with a Bo Diddely beat. Join Poetry editors for a debut of this song cycle, and for a reception before and after the show.

Come, eyes, see more than you see!
For the world within and the outer world
rejoice as one. The seminal brain
contains the lineaments of eternity.
     “Two Dicta of William Blake: Variations,” by Robert Duncan
       Poetry, December 1961

Preview Billy Blake and the Vagabond’s cut of “The Little Vagabond”



The band will also perform the following poems, which you can peruse beforehand on poetryfoundation.org:

Introduction to the Songs of Innocence
The Echoing Green
The Chimney Sweeper: A little black thing among the snow
A Cradle Song
A Divine Image
The Clod and the Pebble
The Little Girl Lost
The Chimney Sweeper: When my mother died I was very young
The Sick Rose
The Fly
The Tyger
The Garden of Love
The Little Vagabond
Infant Sorrow
A Poison Tree

Other Information

  • Browse Poems

  • Illustration of Gwendolyn Brooks.
    Slang, “Through the Words of Miss Brooks,” 2017.
    Current Exhibition
    Jun 16, 2017 – Aug 25, 2017

    This exhibition showcases highlights from the literary archives of Gwendolyn E. Brooks (1917–2000), Illinois Poet Laureate and the first black winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Brooks’s papers include youthful poetry and prose, scrapbooks of pieces she published as a young woman, extensive correspondence with a significant roster of other writers, and manuscript drafts and proofs, especially after she left mainstream publishing to produce her works with black-owned presses.