Donna Brook, Dick Lourie & Elizabeth Swados


Donna Brook was born in Buffalo in 1944 and began to publish her poems in 1968.  While she was getting an MA in English at Wayne State University, Red Hanrahan Press published her first book of poems, A History of the Afghan. Hanging Loose Press published her second book, Notes on Space/Time. After two stints as a Poet-in-the-Schools, she moved to Brooklyn in 1979, began teaching middle school, and published two more books: What Being Responsible Means to Me and A More Human Face, both with Hanging Loose.  She has written a history of the English language for children (The Journey of English, Clarion), and won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and a New York State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.

Dick Lourie is a poet and blues saxophone player whose most recent book of poems, If the Delta Was the Sea (Hanging Loose 2009), is the product of both professions. Focusing on Clarksdale, a small city in the Mississippi Delta, this collection draws on oral histories and interviews Lourie conducted with Clarksdale residents, as they tell of their own lives, the town’s history, and racial relations today, along with Lourie’s experiences playing blues with local musicians in the city’s juke joints and annual festivals. If the Delta Was the Sea is Lourie’s seventh book of poetry. His previous works include Ghost Radio (1998), Anima (1980), and Stumbling (1973). Dick Lourie’s readings feature a lively blend of music and poetry, interweaving the spoken word with music recorded by his blues band and live performance on his sax.

Perhaps best known for her Broadway and international hit Runaways, Elizabeth Swados has composed, written, and directed for over 30 years. Some of her works include the Obie Award winning Trilogy at La Mama, Alice at the Palace with Meryl Streep at the New York Shakespeare Theater Festival and Groundhog, which was optioned by Milos Forman for a film. Her work has been performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, at La MaMa, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, and locations all over the world. She has also composed highly acclaimed dance scores for well-known choreographers in the US, Europe and South America. Swados has published novels, non-fiction books, children’s books and poetry to great acclaim, and received the Ken Award for her book My Depression. Her first book of poetry, The One and Only Human Galaxy, has just been published by Hanging Loose Press.