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LISTEN: Lawrence Poet Mark Hennessy On Poetry As Performance

Karen Matheis
Larryville Artists

Throughout the 1990s, Mark Hennessy was the frontman for the hard rock Lawrence band PAW. After the band broke up in 2000, Hennessy turned his focus to writing — and continued performing.

"I think performance of poetry offers opportunities to communicate in ways that the page just doesn't," says Hennessy. 

His doctoral dissertation, completed last year at the University of Kansas, is titled Airport Motel. The poems combine the Airport Motel outside of Lawrence, with the epic poem, The Aeneid when Troy is burning and families flee.

The separation of Aeneas and his wife, Creusa, sets the stage for this poem called "Collect Call from a Long Distance: Aeneas to Creusa." Hennessy is accompanied by Clint Rogers on standup bass. 

All of our WORD readings, including bonus tracks by some poets, are archived on SoundCloud.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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