Reading Music 8/24 Pays Tribute to Raymond Carver

August 18, 2016 | Adult Services

Albany Public Library’s popular Reading Music series returns with “Signals: Songs from Raymond Carver” featuring music by local songwriter Michael Eck and a reading by journalist Paul Grondahl. The program will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at 7 pm in the Local History Room of the Washington Ave. Branch at 161 Washington Ave.

Part music performance, part book discussion, this event is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into Carver’s short stories and poems while learning about the songwriting process.

Eck, who has crafted songs for several other Reading Music programs, suggested a full evening of songs prompted by Carver selections like “So Much Water So Close to Home,” “Gazebo,” and “Chef’s House” because, coming of age in the literary scene of the 1980s, “Carver was a core presence.”

“The starkness of his work…was monumental. The shape of his poetry, the ability to put so much context into a single sentence and the immediate access to the darker emotions, these were all profound influences on the way I approached songwriting then and now,” Eck said.

Eck, who has written a whole album’s worth of Carver songs, will be joined at the event by Grondahl, who will read from the Carver catalog and speak about the author.

Carver, who died in 1988 at the age of 50, was known for his realistic writings about the working poor, which mirrored his own upbringing in the Pacific Northwest. His short story collections include Will You Please Be Quiet, Please (1976), Cathedral (1984), and Where I’m Calling From (1988). Carver’s poetry collections include At Night the Salmon Move (1976), Where Water Comes Together with Other Water (1985), and Ultramarine (1986). 

Stephanie Simon

Stephanie Simon is manager of APL's Communication and Creative Services Department, which provides content and information for the library's website, social media, publications, videos, podcasts, and other outlets. Stephanie also manages APL's public relations and marketing efforts.