Interviewer vs. Interviewer

Interviewer vs. Interviewer
( Click on picture to view) Elizabeth Lund--Host of Poetic Lines interviews Host of Poet to Poet-- Doug Holder

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Sept 11, 2012 Jim Vrabel -- Playwright/Performer-Homage to Henry: A Dramatization of John Berryman’s The Dream Songs

            Jim Vrabel is a local historian and the author of When In Boston: A Timeline & Almanac (Northeastern University Press).  He is co-author of John Paul II: A Personal Portrait of the Pope and the Man (St. Martin’s Press).

            A long-time neighborhood activist and former city official in Boston, he now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

            Jim attended the Graduate School of English at the University of Iowa, which is where he first encountered John Berryman’s Dream Songs.  After expecting others to do it, he composed Homage to Henry: A Dramatization of John Berryman’s The Dream Songs, an 80-minute one-man play by taking some 90 of the most brilliant and autobiographical of the songs - in whole or in part - re-ordering them  and adding a very few lines of connecting text. 

            The play received a staged reading at the Charlestown Working Theater, and has been performed for the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers at Boston University and at the Oberon Theater as a benefit for the Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Cambridge.

            Paul Mariani, Berryman’s biographer and a poet himself, calls Homage to Henry “a sad and very human story, as stark in its way as anything in Samuel Beckett.”

            Jim is looking for additional opportunities to perform the play and can be contacted at