A Road Scholar Program by Paddy & Jon Lynn and Patti Ecker
2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. To this day, no other literary work from Illinois has had an impact more radical than that of the Spoon River Anthology. In Masters’ 243 thinly veiled epitaph-poems, people from all walks of life come forward from their graves and share compelling stories of their hopes, dreams, tragedies, and joys, not to mention their advice and warnings to those still living. The uproar that Masters’ book created because of its unique free verse style and its portrayal of characters with blunt, brutal honesty caused a scandal upon its debut. As a result, it was banned from the Spoon River area schools and libraries until 1974. The stories capture all aspects of life- irony, comedy, failure, success. These dramatized monologues portrayed by one actor and actress, will not only reflect on the life and times of those living in 1915, but also offer universal lessons to Illinoisans living today. Accomplished folk musician Patti Ecker provides musical interludes appropriate to the subject matter and historical period.