Date(s) - 04/22/2023
Vachel Lindsay documentary, Kevin Purcell performance at the Varsity
CARBONDALE – A new documentary, “The Life and Work of Vachel Lindsay,” will screen
Saturday, April 22 at the Varsity Center in downtown Carbondale.
Cobden resident Kevin Purcell – actor, director and Lindsay expert who is featured in the
documentary – will perform poems and moderate discussion with the audience after the
The film, produced by The Storyteller Studios and commissioned by the Illinois Department of
Natural Resources and State Historic Sites Springfield, tells the story of Springfield poet Vachel
Lindsay. It was directed and produced by Kevin Christensen of The Storyteller Studios.
The April 22 screening begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free, however donations will be welcome.
Lindsay (Nov. 10, 1879 – Dec. 5, 1931) was an American poet. He is considered a founder of
modern singing poetry, as he referred to it, in which verses are meant to be sung or chanted.
From 1906 through 1912, Lindsay traveled by foot across hundreds of miles in the U.S., trading
his poems for food and lodging. By 1913, he had become well known as a modern version of a
Part of the success and great fame Lindsay achieved was because of the manner in which he
presented his poetry, "fundamentally as a performance, as an aural and temporal experience …
to be chanted, whispered, belted out, sung, amplified by gesticulation and movement, and
punctuated by shouts and whoops."
The documentary includes poetry performances by Aasne Daniels, James Daniels, Purcell, Jack
Drea, Alina Johnson, Asher Paris and Sterling Paris. Vachel Lindsay experts interviewed during
filming include Jennifer Caldwell, David Logan, Purcell, Sheila Ryan, and Ian Winterbauer.
The Varsity is at 418 S. Illinois Ave., downtown Carbondale. For more information, go to
www.thevarsitycenter.org or follow at www.facebook.com/varsitycenter.