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Bill Koch received a Ph.D. in American Studies from St. Louis University and is an adjunct professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Northern Iowa. He has been a Whitman re-enactor since 1997, appearing at various Civil War encampments in Iowa, and presenting his show “Walt Whitman Live!!” in numerous venues, including the Old State Capital in Springfield, Illinois. A portion of this show can be seen online at Mickle Street Review's website: http://micklestreet.rutgers.edu/1.mov.
Walt Whitman Live!!
In this one hour program, Walt Whitman, portrayed by Dr. Bill Koch, will highlight major poems from his poetry collection, Leaves of Grass. In addition, Whitman will pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln with a description of the nation’s obsequies and recitations of the Gettysburg Address and “O Captain, My Captain.”
Walt Whitman’s poetry of nature is highlighted. In this presentation, we see an older Whitman, as portrayed by Koch, hobbled by a stroke but finding strength from his contact with trees, babbling brooks, the prairie and the night sky. The show can be done with little technical support, although it can also be staged in theater-like settings.