We recently learned that Wallace Stevens's Hartford, Connecticut, home has been sold and its new owners plan to use it as a private residence. While we're pleased that the home won't fall into disrepair, we're sad that the property will not be available as a historic site for lovers of Stevens's poetry to enjoy.
Now, news come to us that Alison Johnson (Wallace Stevens: A Dual Life as Poet and Insurance Executive) is making a documentary about Stevens, one that, in addition to the basic biographical information, will include footage of his home at 118 Westerly Terrace and his office at The Hartford (formerly the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company), and footage of his furniture and paintings. Johnson is working with Richard Startzman of Santa Fe, who films the Santa Fe Opera and with whom she has worked on other projects.
Their plan is to place the finished film on YouTube so that people all over the world will have a chance to learn more about Stevens, take a virtual tour of his house and office, and view the paintings that gave him such pleasure.
Finishing this documentary will require additional funds. If you click on the link here, you can easily make a contribution toward this worthy project.
You can watch a trailer here or follow this link:
Alison Johnson has enlisted prominent Stevens's scholars and poets to contribute commentary on Stevens' life and poetry and to read poems and excerpts from letters. Paul Mariani, an award-winning poet and author of several important biographies (and whose biography of Stevens will be published by Simon & Schuster in the summer of 2015), will read several Stevens poems and will also read passages from letters in which Stevens discusses the paintings he has received from Paris. Glen MacLeod, author of two important books about the relationship between Wallace Stevens and the world of art, will discuss this important aspect of Stevens's creativity. John Serio, who edited The Wallace Stevens Journal for almost three decades and has edited Wallace Stevens: Selected Letters and The Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens, will also appear in the film.
Thank you Alison Johnson for spearheading this important initiative!