June 6, 2016
Singer/songwriter Iris DeMent has something special: She has collaborated with Emmylou Harris, John Prine and Steve Earle, and was invited by Merle Haggard to join his touring band. She brings her graceful vocals and poignant melodies to West Chester University on Saturday, June 11, in the intimate setting of the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre (capacity 375).
DeMent's concert is open to the public (tickets are still available); it closes the 21st West Chester University Poetry Conference (conference registration is not required).
She has collected many Grammy nominations and reviewers including NPR and The Boston Globe have praised her songwriting and vocals, The Guardian even calling DeMent "one of the finest singer-songwriters in America."
On The Trackless Woods, her 2015 album, DeMent found inspiration in the poetry of Anna Akhmatova, a Russian who wrote during the tumult of the Bolshevik Revolution, World War I, World War II and Stalin. Dement notes on her website: "Her whole adult working life was marked by this constant struggle to do her work in the face of [all that]. … She often lived in poverty and out of other people's homes, never owned a place of her own. She wasn't some elevated star figure exempted from suffering, she was right there in it. All of her poetry came out of that. … You can hear all that sorrow and that burden in [her poems] but there's always a lightness, a transcendence somehow, a sense of victory over all that inhumanity that she was living with every day of her life."
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and are available online or at the door. Adler Theatre is on West Chester's campus at 817 South High Street, West Chester, PA 19383.