TITLE: Daniel Mark Epstein on Walt Whitman's "The Death of Lincoln"
SPEAKER: Daniel Mark Epstein
EVENT DATE: 04/14/2005
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes
The Library of Congress presented an evening concert and a dramatic reading of Walt Whitman's historic lecture on the "Death of Lincoln." Daniel Mark Epstein, author of "Lincoln and Whitman: Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington" (Ballantine Books, 2004), offered a complete reading of Whitman's tribute to the assassinated president. Whitman first delivered the "Death of Lincoln" lecture at Steck Hall in New York on April 14, 1879, to reflect upon the meaning of Lincoln's death to an American nation pressed to reunite and heal from the wounds of the Civil War. In keeping with the outline of Whitman's original 19th century lecture program that began with a musical performance, Epstein's lecture was preceded by a short concert of musical selections performed by members of the Air Force Band, in a brass quintet with tenor solo and piano. The lecture includes an account of the tragic events at Ford's Theatre and a reading of poetry, including Whitman's popular tribute to Lincoln, "O Captain, My Captain."
Speaker Biography: Daniel Mark Epstein was born in Washington, D.C., and studied English at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio (B.A. 1970). His poetry has earned him numerous awards and fellowships, notably the NEA Poetry Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Prix de Rome and the Robert Frost Prize. His work has been anthologized in several collections of essays and poetry. He is also a translator and biographer. His works also include "What Lips My Lips Have Kissed: The Loves and Love Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay," "Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson" and "Nat King Cole."