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Interviews On Edgar Lee Masters As His Collection At ALPLM "Quadruples"

Edgar Lee Masters as a young man

When Edgar Lee Masters wrote Spoon River Anthology in the early 1900's, it started as a series of poems printed in succession. They were later put into a collection and to this day, the book is taught in classrooms around the country and lauded for its critical and cutting look into what rural life was really like in Mid-America.

For a long time, Masters called Petersburg, Illinois home and the house he lived in there is now a museum. Some other fun facts? He was a prolific writer as well as an attorney;  wrote more pleasant, nostalgic poems about his childhood in central Illinois as he neared the end of his life; and he wrote a historical novel on Abraham Lincoln that took a critical look at the president.

Earlier this week it was announced that a trove of manuscripts, letters and photographs had long remained in his Petersburg home, and they have now been donated to theAbraham Lincoln Presidential Museum & Library.

As you will find out in these two interviews, it was an original play (happening this weekend) that helped get the new collection to the museum. Listen to the play's director and ALPLM employee Phil Funkenbusch as well as Ian Hunt, who is the chief of acquisitions and research at the museum, talk more about it, and about the new additions:

Catherine Masters was also in Springfield this week for the induction of the materials that had belonged to her grandfather. She spoke with me about living with his legacy, and what she thinks he would want it to be for the greater world (hint: it has something to do with reading.) Tune in for that conversation:

Listen to the interview

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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