Like It’s Still Going On: A Civil War Sesquicentennial Reading and Discussion [part 1]
Frank Bidart, Wellesley College
Vijay Seshadri, Sarah Lawrence College
Kevin Young, Emory University
Sally Dawidoff (moderator), American Social History Project
The Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference
Washington, DC, February 5, 2011
In the first part of this two-part panel discussion, held at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, distinguished contemporary American writers Frank Bidart, Vijay Seshadri, and Kevin Young talk about writing about the Civil War 150 years after it began. Seshadri grew up an immigrant child of an immigrant father obsessed with the war; Young comes to the subject as a twenty-first-century African-American poet living in the South; and Bidart was spurred to write about Gettysburg by “the world created by the Bush administration.” Allen Tate and Robert Lowell’s seminal odes are also read and discussed. For all these writers, the war has become part of their Americanness.
Part 1: Introduction by Sally Dawidoff
- Ode to the Confederate Dead by Allen Tate (recording), read by the author
- For the Union Dead by Robert Lowell, read by Frank Bidart
- The Nature of the Chemical Bond (excerpt) by Vijay Seshadri, read by the author
- For the Confederate Dead by Kevin Young, read by the author
- For the Republic by Frank Bidart, read by the author
Permission to broadcast Frank Bidart’s reading of Robert Lowell’s poem “The Union Dead” granted by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.
Permission to broadcast the recording of Allen Tate reading his poem “Ode to the Confederate Dead” granted by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC and by Universal Music Enterprises, a division of Universal Music Group Recordings, Inc.
Permission to post Vijay Seshadri’s “The Nature of the Chemical Bond” granted by Graywolf Press.
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