"One of the best Spoken Word albums to pass across the desks
of discriminating ears at CD Baby in years. This is not your usual poetry album but none less than the classic, timeless gems of master poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, superbly performed with utmost sensitivity and nuance. The evocative, plaintive musical backdrop sets an emotional context of beauty, longing and mystery, appropriately and colorfully enhancing these moving, heartrending poems. You will be hanging on every word as these masterpieces are
not just read but relived and performed with the heart and soul of a genius. An incredibly beautiful listening experience."
- CD Baby
Layne Longfellow created Lecture Theatre, presenting keynote lectures throughout North America and abroad. Elected to the Speakers Hall of Fame in 1986, he is an innovator in using live and recorded music, humor, poetry, photographs, and video as context for academic theory and data as context for academic theory and data. His 1983 "Beyond Success" presentation was recently selected among the 12 best of the past 25 years; "The Mountain Waits," a CBC documentary of Longellow's mountaineering seminar for executives, was awarded the Gold Medal for Outdoor Films at the New York Festival of TV and Film.
He is the author of Imaginary Menagerie, a children's book, Visual Feast, a book of visual puns (both Chronicle Books), several Lecture Theatre audios and videos, and cocreator of "Body Talk" and "Feel Wheel," psychological games released by Psychology Today for professional use. His most recent written work, "The Language of Commerce Interprets Living Systems," is in Discourses in Search of Members (University Press of America, 2002). His early neuro-psychological research appeared in Science.
Dr. Longfellow received a B.A. (Ohio University) and Ph.D. (University of Michigan) in experimental psychology, with fellowships from the National Science and Woodrow Wilson Foundations; an NIMH Post-Doctoral Fellowship supported his two years of work with Dr. Carl Rogers. He served as Director of Executive Seminars at The Menninger Foundation, Academic Vice President of Prescott College, and on the faculty of Reed College. He is a board member of Friends of the Longfellow House in Cambridge, MA.
Dr. Longfellow also graduated from Jackson High School, Ohio, in the foothills of Appalachia. His great-great-grandfather Michael Longfellow migrated to southern Ohio from Maine, coincident with Henry Longfellow's leaving Maine for Harvard.
Dr. Longfellow created two editions of "Longfellow Reads Longfellow: Dreams That Cannot Die." The Standard Edition gives the full experience of the poems themselves. The readings and music, the printed texts of the poems, and Longfellow's biography are identical to the Illustrated Edition, but in conventional CD packaging. The graphic design on both editions is by Glenna Lang; recordings were done by John Etnier of Studio Dual, and the mixing and mastering by Jonathan Wyner of M-Works.
The Illustrated Edition is a celebration of the nineteenth-century bookmaker's art. Its visual elegance reflects the eloquence of the poetry.
Dr. Longfellow describes the illustrations in detail here:
"The illustrations reproduce steel engravings from my personal copies of his collected works of 1856 and 1885-the original texts of the poems are duplicated from the 1885 volume. The covers reproduce those of Samuel Longfellow's 1886 biography of Henry, issued in an edition of 300; I have number 94.
The remaining illustrations are portraits from the collection of the Longfellow National Historic Site. I think they present the humanness and the family life of Longfellow directly to the reader's heart. There are four portraits of Longfellow that mark your progress through the sections of the book and through his life.
In this edition, I've introduced each poem with a glimpse into Longfellow's world, through excerpts from his journals and diaries. His creativity is obvious when you see the experiences and images and anecdotes from his life that he then transformed into poems, into verse that lives on nearly two centuries later.
The sources that I used, both historical and contemporary, are in the bibliography. The book closes with a reproduction of HWL's signature. I wanted the Illustrated Edition to be as personal as the adaptations, and to reflect this immortal poet and fine human being both warmly and respectfully."