Mark your calendars: “H.D.’s Bethlehem: A Walking Tour”

(24th 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.”

dollar sign

Contributions to fund the museum-quality portrait of H. D. by local artist Angela Fraleigh that will hang prominently in the library are lagging. Can you please help? Visit http://www.bapl.org/hd/

 

Mark your calendars Sept. 28 for “H.D.’s Bethlehem: A Walking Tour,” led by Seth Moglen. Further details will be announced.

Those of you attending “Finding H. D.” events or following reports of them here on the blog (see Hilda Doolittle on the sidebar) know that H. D. left Bethlehem at age 10, but returned to it artistically throughout her life, and was buried here in Nisky Hill cemetery.

People come to Bethlehem to pay homage at her grave site.

H. D. not only adds to the artistic luster of our town but continues to chip in economically too!

HD Nisky

 

 

 

Gadfly has heard more than one talk of difficulty finding the site.

Seth will guide us.

photo by Jennie Gilrain

 

 

 

One visitor wrote: “The old granite is covered in tokens left by visitors; pebbles, shells [familiar imagery], feathers and folded sheets of paper tucked under a rock and recently plastered to the stone by a night of mid-summer rain. Often, visits to grave sites are lonely affairs, a simple place to stand and be reminded of a literary life well-lived. But H.D.’s memorial does not feel that way. Rather, it suggests that it is its own destination, a place where the writer came full circle, a place others have visited recently and where more are sure to swing by soon; a writer’s end very much connected to her beginning.”

Bethlehem was very special in H. D.’s life.

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

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

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

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

In the garden with H. D. (19)

(19th 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.”

—–

014rhododendron,
Rhodocleia,
we are unworthy of your beauty,
you are near beauty the sun,
you are that Lord become woman

rhododendron,
O strong tree
sway and bend
and speak to me;
utter words
that I may
take
wax
and cut upon my tablets
words to make men pause
and cry

 

012

 

Rhododendron,
O wild-wood,
let no serpent
with drawn hood,
enter,
know the world we know

 

 

013

 

 

 

rhododendron,
swear to me,
by his mountain,
by his stream,
none shall mar
the Pythian dream

 

 

 

 

 

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

photos by Jennie Gilrain

H. D. workshop at William Allen (18)

(18th 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.”

Gadfly:

I wanted to let you know about one of the exciting developments or off-shoots of our Finding H.D. community exploration. Amanda Riggle, English teacher at William Allen High School contacted me to see if we could do a “Finding H.D.” workshop at her school. I asked two of our actor-devisers (who are working with Doug and me on the new H.D. play) if they would be interested in running an H.D. theater workshop at Allen High School. Attached below is Amanda’s description of the workshop that Will Reichard-Flynn and Aidan Gilrain-McKenna ran at Allen High School this month [May].

Jenni Gilrain

H.D. Workshop at William Allen High School

            Lehigh Valley residents Will Reichard-Flynn and Aidan Gilrain-McKenna, conducted a workshop on Thursday, May 2, 2019, at William Allen High School, using poetry by H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), a Bethlehem native whose innovative and experimental poetry and prose established her as a leading Idealist/Modernist. H.D. is widely recognized today as a queer, feminist visionary from the early twentieth century.  Approximately 40 students from grade 9-12 attended the hour and a half workshop, which was organized by English teacher, Mrs. Amanda Riggle, and science teacher, Ms. Rachel Zane.

Students sat in a circle and introduced themselves by name and by the pronouns they prefer to use when referencing themselves, such as he/him, she/her, and they/them.  HD 7This introduction allowed them to see that not all people use the pronouns assigned to them at birth. After reading of “Sheltered Garden” by H.D., the students discussed some of the stanzas that stood out to them, including images of breaking free and nature.

However, the real connection to the writing began when they began using the movement to express the spoken word. Although some were a bit timid at first, many students gotHD 5 into the theatre exercises of portraying meaning using movement and shape to add to their synthesis of the text.

The final activity placed students into random groups, using excerpts of previously unread H.D. poetry. The objective was to have each group member participate in creating movement and shape in connection with the meaning of the lines from the poem’s excerpt. All the groups created original interpretations and seemed to enjoy the experience.

Overall, the workshop was a success, even with the initial hesitation of the students. This opportunity to see different topics of feminism, identity, and gender gave all the students insight into their own identities; some surprisingly gained the self-confidence to discuss and participate, while others held back, their self-esteem lacking in front of their peers. This workshop truly separated the leaders and followers, which was wonderful to experience as educators; this was a time for students to express who they truly are when faced with adversity. Some blossomed, while others felt shy, but the experience will hopefully resonate with all of them; these types of conversations are beneficial as they continue to educate long after they are over. These experiences of facing our own understanding will help break down barriers of discrimination, prejudice, and ignorance in the future.

Amanda Riggle

Arrangements could not be made for the H. D. film on the “Finding H. D.” program, although the organizers are hoping for a showing later in the year. There will be some slight tinkering with dates for the showing of the original play in process, but otherwise the series continues as planned.

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