Kitka sings Sophia Parnok, “Russia’s Sappho”

Kitka Banks 619x352 credit Myles Boisen
Uncovering censored lesbian poetry from Russia’s Silver Age. As Russia continues its anti-gay crackdown, Oakland-based women’s chorus Kitka performs “I will remember everything,” a world premiere of a cappella music that gives voice to poems by Sophia Parnok, a censored lesbian poet from Russia’s Silver Age a century ago.  Some call Parnok “Russia’s Sappho.” Out in the Bay‘s Eric Jansen and Nora Elmeligy stopped by Kitka’s rehearsal Monday night to capture some of the sumptuous music being prepared for the June 20-22 premiere, and to speak with Kitka director and singer Shira Cion and composer Eric Banks, who translated Parnok’s poems and set them to music, about their inspiration for this concert.  Broadcast: 7pm PDT Thursday, June 12, on kalw.org + 91.7 FM SF Bay Area. [photo: Myles Boisen]
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“I will remember everything” will be performed Friday June 20 and Sunday June 22 in San Francisco and Saturday June 21 in Oakland.
Details and ticket info at www.kitka.org. From Kitka’s website:
I will remember everything is a timely new  work that gives voice to the long-censored love poems of “Russia’s Sappho,” Sophia Parnok. Award-winning composer, conductor, translator, linguist, vocalist, and ethnomusicologist Eric Banks has set 28 of Parnok’s poems in sumptuous and intimate musical settings that create a chronological lyric biography of a courageous and fascinating woman who lived during extraordinarily oppressive times.

Lesbian Pulp Fiction, 21st Century Style

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San Francisco author, film editor and critic Monica Nolan just completed the fourth book in her saucy Lesbian Career Girl series. With titles like “Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary,” “Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher” and “Maxie Mainwaring, Lesbian Dilletante,” they’re spoofs of 1950s and ‘60s career primers for high school girls, and humorous homages to lesbian pulp fiction of the same era – often-maligned literature that helped build the gay rights movement. Join Nolan with Out in the Bay host Eric Jansen as they read selections from her racy fiction — including a sneak peek from her yet-to-be-released “Dolly Dingle, Lesbian Landlady” —  and discuss how historically-set novels and film document the changes in societal norms and LGBT rights over the years. (Broadcast live April 3, 2014)

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Learn more about Monica Nolan and her books at her website, www.MonicaNolan.com

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