Finding H. D. — Funding H. D.

(23rd in a series of posts on H.D.)

Finding H.D.:
A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

Bethlehem-born writer Hilda Doolittle — H. D. —  (1886-1961) is
the “Lehigh Valley’s most important literary figure.”

What a difference one letter makes!

So Gadfly went all in for a donation to the GoFundMe for Angela Fraleigh’s commissioned portrait for the Bethlehem Area Public Library described to you in his last post on H. D.

He dug up a Chef Boyardee spaghetti can with cash in it planted in the backyard for safe-keeping during the Cold War and peeled off $100.

That figure shouldn’t scare you.

Just $5 – $10 each from certified, card-carrying Gadfly followers would seal the commission. More, of course, would be welcome.

Now if we and others don’t come through financially, it’s true that we have adorable options.

Just look at these contributions from H. D. fans among kid library patrons!

H. D. kids 3

But don’t let the kids out-do us.

Go to http://www.bapl.org/hd/ for information on how to donate either by check or online.

Finding H.D.:
A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

Gadfly has a heavenly afternoon

“We must be in heaven, man.”
Woodstocker, 1969

Gadfly is older than the Hippies.

Gadfly completely missed the Sixties we talk of as “the Sixties” while in college and graduate school.

The only marijuana Gadfly has had in the house (that we know of, anyway — boys, ‘fess up!) has been in the last three weeks, and that of the medical variety. True.

So it’s no surprise that Gadfly never got to Woodstock, that “three days of peace and music” creating a sense of community much different than that which Gadfly tries to foster in these pages.

On the Ohio Turnpike 50 years ago this week, Ken Kesey’s old schoolbusload of Merry Pranksters tooling to Woodstock passed the Gadfly old Volkswagenbusload of squashed children and Salvation Army belongings on the way to Bethlehem.

The middle-seat of that bus of revered memory served as our living room sofa for a year.

Gadfly was no merry prankster in 1969.

But sometimes life grants you something close to a second chance.

Gadfly moonlighted this afternoon at the SteelStacks showing of the Woodstock movie — all 3hrs. and 45mins. of it.

It was like being in heaven, man.

And the Anthem, however performed, and whether acknowledged with palmed heart or on bended knee, never fails to inspire.

The Bethlehem Area Public Library portrait of H. D. needs our help

(22nd in a series of posts on H.D.)

Finding H.D.:
A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

Bethlehem-born writer Hilda Doolittle — H. D. —  (1886-1961) is
the “Lehigh Valley’s most important literary figure.”

hildadoolittleh.d.

A few days ago Gadfly reported that Moravian College’s Angela Fraleigh was commissioned to do the portrait of H. D. that will hang in the Bethlehem Area Public Library, literally on the spot where she lived as a child.

“Not only is H.D.’s poetry evocative and mesmerizing,” says Fraleigh, “but her work aligns with my own interests, as she helps reconstruct a mythic past for women. It’s an honor to receive this commission.”

Fraleigh is a distinguished artist — take a look at her work here.

And see her talk about her work here: “Inside the Artist’s Studio: Angela Fraleigh”

Fraleigh_ Where the Bones of Us

Where the Bones of us Hunger for Nothing
Angela Fraleigh 2014

The H. D. portrait will be a museum-quality work of art by a professional painter.

As Gadfly writes, the library has raised $515 of the $3000 goal.

Gadfly is in — how about you?

Go to http://www.bapl.org/hd/ for information on how to donate either by check or online.

“Writing. Love is writing.”

Finding H.D.:
A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

Mark your calendars, buy your tickets, Touchstone Theatre “Festival UnBound” in October

(Latest in a series of posts on the Arts)

“Festival UnBound is part of Touchstone’s mission of community-building.”

Faithful followers know that “community” is aphrodisiac for Gadfly.

Musikfest is in full FEST mode, but it is time to mark your calendars for another major, similarly 10-day-long festival, this time featuring a variety of local talent.

Festival UnBound

Look at the participants and locales on the above web site or in the article linked below: Touchstone Theatre and its ensemble members, the Greenway, Charter Arts students, the Bethlehem Area Public Library, Sisters’ House, Bethlehem highschoolers, Payrow Plaza, Mock Turtle Marionettes, SteelStacks, Nazareth High School choir, Zoellner Arts Center, Moravian College undergrads, the Cafe the Lodge, the Charles Brown Ice House, Godfrey Daniels, Sigal Museum, Miller Symphony Hall, etc., etc.

Amazing array!

Stunning!

Gadfly has, of course, been following Finding H.D.:  A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle and hopes to do more in highlighting local artistic talent and events.

Such as Touchstone’s Festival UnBound.

Gadfly hopes you will get on board and help provide community support for this wonderful project.

Not too early to get your Festival UnBound tickets here or here!

And please consider donating here as well.

Craig Larimer, “Touchstone Theatre announces 10-day Festival Unbound schedule and ticket sales.” Morning Call, August 6, 2019.

On Monday, Bethlehem’s Touchstone Theatre announced a schedule and ticket plan for Festival Unbound — a 10-day series of about 20 events that intends to use the arts community to help chart a course for the creative future.

The festival will feature free and ticketed events Oct. 4-13 throughout the Lehigh Valley, but with a concentration in Bethlehem. According to festival organizers, Festival UnBound will use art to spark conversations about how the city has changed since Bethlehem Steel closed, and to imagine a future together — after being “unbound” from the Steel.

The festival was organized in collaboration with the City of Bethlehem, local African American and Latino communities, educational institutions such as the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts and Moravian College, and area steelworkers and other residents.

The program plan includes nine pieces of original theater by local, national and internationally known artists and musicians, and will include parades, youth activities, street performances, panel forums/discussions and more.

About half of the events require tickets, while many are free.

Touchstone Theatre is one of the country’s longest continuously producing ensemble theaters. Festival UnBound is part of Touchstone’s mission of community-building.

Forest Bathing with H.D. (21)

(21st in a series of posts on H.D.)

Finding H.D.:
A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

Bethlehem-born writer Hilda Doolittle — H. D. —  (1886-1961) is
the “Lehigh Valley’s most important literary figure.”

—–

It is time to register for our next Finding H.D. event:

Forest Bathing with H.D.

September 22, 2019. 2-5 pm
Rain date: September 21, 2-5 pm
Little Pond Arts Retreat
92 South Penn Dixie Road, Nazareth
A meditative Shinrin Yoku practice with readings of
H.D.’s work. Limited to 10 participants. Register by
emailing jega@lehigh.edu. First come first served. 

Given by Anisa George.

The white violet / is scented on its stalk, / the sea-violet / fragile as agate, /lies fronting all the wind / among the torn shells / on the sand-bank.

009

The greater blue violets

flutter on the hill,

but who would change
for
these

who would change for these

one root of the white sort?

Violet / your grasp is frail / on the edge of the sand-hill, / but you catch the light — /

                                               frost, a star edges with its fire.

 

Finding H.D.:
A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

photo by Jennie Gilrain
taken in her Southside neighborhood

Portrait of Bethlehem-born poet H. D. commissioned, fund-raising campaign steps up (20)

(20th in a series of posts on H.D.)

Finding H.D.:
A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

Bethlehem-born writer Hilda Doolittle — H. D. —  (1886-1961) is
the “Lehigh Valley’s most important literary figure.”

—–

Kate Racculia
Bethlehem Area Public Library, Development & Marketing Specialist
kracculia@bapl.org     610.867.3761 x 259

Bethlehem Area Public Library Commissions

Portrait of H.D. from Local Artist

(Bethlehem, PA) — The Bethlehem Area Public Library (BAPL) is thrilled to announce it has awarded its portrait commission of local literary great H.D. to Angela Fraleigh, painter, professor, and chair of the Moravian College art department.

The completed museum-quality portrait will hang permanently in the Main Library at West Church Street, commemorating H.D. as a citizen of Bethlehem who made a tremendous contribution to literature and the world–and who, as a child, lived on land where the library now stands.

Bethlehem native Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), known as H.D., drew on the experiences of her hometown throughout her long writing life. H.D.’s innovative and experimental poetry and prose established her as a leading Modernist in the early twentieth century, and she is widely recognized today as a queer, feminist visionary. She remains the most influential literary figure born in the Lehigh Valley.

Angela Fraleigh received her BFA in painting from Boston University and her MFA in painting from the Yale University School of Art, and was a Core Artist in Residence in Houston, Texas. She has mounted solo exhibitions at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, New York; Inman Gallery in Houston, Texas; and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her work “weaves together realism and abstraction in lush and complex works…that reimagine women’s roles in art history, literature, and contemporary media.”

Angela Fraleigh graduated with an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from Boston University.  She has exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO and has been the recipient of several awards and residencies including the Yale University Alice Kimball English grant, The Sharpe Walentas Program Brooklyn, NY and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE. Fraleigh most recently created a site-specific body of paintings for a solo exhibition at the Vanderbilt Mansion Museum in Hyde Park, NY, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY and the Edward Hopper House Museum in Nyack, NY. Fraleigh looks forward to upcoming solo exhibitions at the Delaware Art Museum in 2019 and the Reading Public Museum in 2020. Her work “weaves together realism and abstraction in lush and complex works…that reimagine women’s roles in art history, literature, and contemporary media.”

“Not only is H.D.’s poetry evocative and mesmerizing,” says Fraleigh, “but her work aligns with my own interests, as she helps reconstruct a mythic past for women. It’s an honor to receive this commission.”

The portrait is commissioned in conjunction with Finding H.D., a 12-month long public exploration of the life and work of the poet, culminating in the premiere of a new play by Mock Turtle Marionette Theater in October of 2019 at Touchstone Theatre’s Festival Unbound. Finding H.D. is a partnership between the Lehigh University English Department, Mock Turtle Marionette Theater, the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, and BAPL. BAPL announced an open call for portrait submissions in the spring, and the commission was awarded by a committee of Finding H.D. stakeholders, artists, and community members.

“The idea for a portrait of H.D. came from renowned portrait artist Ben Fortunado Marcune, who approached us with a proposal in 2017,” says BAPL Executive Director Josh Berk. “Unfortunately, Ben passed away before work could begin on the painting. We were so saddened by this loss, but decided to move ahead with the portrait of Bethlehem’s greatest literary figure. We worked with our friends at Lehigh University as well as ArtsQuest, the City of Bethlehem, and the local arts community to conduct a search for a portrait artist. We were so impressed with all the submissions and so happy that Angela Fraleigh was chosen. It is going to be a beautiful work of art and a wonderful way to honor H.D.!”

The portrait is expected to be unveiled before the end of the year. To learn more about the library’s fundraising campaign for the portrait, please visit bapl.org/hd.

About the Bethlehem Area Public Library

On December 1, 1900 nine prominent women from Bethlehem’s north, south and west sides met to “consider the need of a Public Library in the Bethlehems and to devise methods by which it might be established.” On February 1, 1901 the doors to the free reading room and library officially opened to the public, and the Bethlehem Area Public Library has faithfully served the community since. Committed to the public good, the Library educates, informs, and inspires by providing community, engagement, and free and open access to materials and information. bapl.org

Finding H.D.:
A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

“Our house, now silent, embarrassed, a piece of plywood, like a bandage, / Covering its wound.”

The Gadfly invites your creative work in whatever medium

Tony Hanna is the Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Bethlehem. Before assuming that role in 2010, he was the Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Bethlehem, a position he held for 11 years. Prior to that he was the Executive Director of Historic Bethlehem Partnership for 4 years, from 1995 to 1999. More importantly, almost 50 years ago as a young Engineering student at Lehigh University, he was fortunate enough to take two non-engineering elective courses in American Literature. His professor, a young member of the English Department, Ed Gallagher.

Robbed

Robbed, we are now statistics, a police report number, lucky

No one was hurt. We are told they’re only things, some money, not much

We don’t keep cash in the house, except for my Etruscan money pot. Filled

Bloated, actually, ready to be emptied for our upcoming vacation, smashed

Like our vacation plans. The quarters, dimes, and nickels used to buy drugs

Or maybe food or clothing, I would feel better, but I won’t count on it. Drugs.

Our jewelry, each piece with a story, each a piece of our lives, a connection to

A friend, a family member, an event, a trip, a memory, our memories, stolen

And our house, violated, the front door, that said welcome, be our guest

Smashed, penetrated, like rapists they entered and crawled through the hole

And stole pieces of our souls, pieces of our memories, and

Our innocence, our feeling that this can’t happen to us. But it does and

It hurts and it stings and Pat, sitting silently, trying to remember what we’re

Missing, and when she does, she cries and she says, “I can’t live here anymore.”

They have taken more than things, they have taken our home, the only home

We’ve ever owned. Year after year, no problems, no regrets, no incidents

Sure, there was the time that I didn’t lock my car door and my briefcase was

Stolen. Kids, the police said, and the briefcase was recovered in a field. Kids,

Looking for a wallet, some money, not interested in boring files or magazines

About planning or development in Philadelphia or New York. This kind of thing

Only happens there, right? Philadelphia or New York? Not in West Allentown.

Maybe downtown, but not here. Why here, why us, why our house?

Our house, now silent, embarrassed, a piece of plywood, like a bandage,

Covering its wound. No answers, no suspects, just memories and the loss

The loss of faith, of innocence, of our home.

Tony