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.

A Simple Revolution: Lesbian Feminist Poet Judy Grahn

Judy Grahn Out in the Bay Interview

Marilyn interviews lesbian feminist pioneer, Judy Grahn, whose “Common Woman” poems inspired the early 70’s feminist movement. Her new book, “A Simple Revolution: The Making of an Activist Poet,” is part history, part memoir.
Marilyn’s 1982 NPR-funded series “By A Woman Writ” profiled Judy and her work. This show will feature audio from that program of actors performing her words.  Judy is now Co-Director of The Women’s Spirituality Program at Sofia
University.

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