Poetry and Music Unite!
PETER MEINKE, Florida Poet Laureate, will be speaking about his work and giving readings from a selection of his poetry at one of the year’s most unusual cultural events in Naples - a very special fusion of literature and music. SW Florida composer, William Dawson, Jr., who has become an aficionado & friend of Peter, has composed a song cycle for Soprano, Baritone and Piano to various texts of Meinke’s poetry. The world premiere of these songs will be the musical highlight of this event, which is produced under the auspices of Grand Piano Series.
The performing artists at this event include the renown Naples soprano, Steffanie Pearce, founder of Opera Naples & Gulfshore Opera, Christopher Holloway, Baritone, Nadia Marshall, rising young star in the opera world, and Richard Bosworth, pianist. Steffanie Pearce is a world-class soprano who has enjoyed a long & stellar operatic career on various international stages and at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Holloway is widely acclaimed as a phenomenal vocalist and an energetic and dynamic performer who has appeared in operatic roles too numerous to name e.g.”La Boheme”, “Lucia di Lammermoor”, “Carmen” etc. with the Houston Grand Opera as well as companies throughout Florida, North America & Europe. He was a Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions.
Richard Bosworth, concert pianist, is well known to Naples’s audiences as a brilliant and highly admired performer. This concert will feature other engaging new vocal music including songs in Spanish composed by Fort Myers resident, William Dawson Jr., to the poetry of various Mexican poets, one of whom, Luis Pérez Sabido, will be guest of honor. A reception with refreshments after the concert will give the public a chance to greet and meet the Poet Laureate, Mr. Meinke, who will also do some book signing.
In June of 2014 Florida lawmakers established a four-year term for State Poet Laureate. The poet is appointed by the Governor from a list of nominees selected by the Florida Council on Arts & Culture and culled by the Secretary of State. Peter Meinke is the first Florida Poet Laureate to serve under the 2014 statute. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Nation and scores of other journals; he’s received many major awards including a Fulbright, two NEA Fellowships, three prizes from the Poetry Society of America and the Flannery O’Connor and O’Henry Awards for short stories. He retired from Eckerd College in 1993, where he received its Distinguished Teacher Award in 1990. Peter has read his poems in over a dozen countries and has been appointed Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at many colleges and universities including Davidson, Emory, University of North Carolina, George Washington University and the University of Hawaii. The most recent of his twenty plus books is Lucky Bones (2014), his eighth collection in the prestigious Pitt Poetry Series. Peter, who is considered a master of the short story, published a new collection of short of short stories entitled The Expert Witness this past year.