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Nicholas Adamski as Tennessee Pink

Character Biography

What little we know of Tennessee Pink we have pieced together, from bathroom walls, American folk songs, and the names he shouts in the rare moments of fitful sleep he suffers in the night. And from his poems, which mention the darkness of days in caves and crumbling houses, the exhaust of men and ancient machines, Crimean lips and the shipwrecks he has scavenged. We often think he is uncomfortable on land or above it. He would be more at home with a shovel in his hand or a tiller, but he is ours for now, perhaps by some spell or great debt, he is held here. He will read to you but be wary. Tennessee has traveled in many directions and knows where much is hidden, he is at ease in the darkness and will be happiest to find you there, going along with him, toward some perfect wound, enclosed in a tiny, imperceptible blossom, making pain.

Professional bio

Nicholas Adamski is the Chief Creative Officer of The Poetry Society of New York, and he co-founded The Poetry Brothel, The New York City Poetry Festival, and The Typewriter Project. Adamski studied Creative Writing and Political Science at Butler University, earned an MFA in poetry from The New School, and authored Inside me a whale is taking shape, a handmade poetry chapbook published by Brothel Books in 2009. His work has been featured on Best American Poetry. 

WORK SAMPLE

Virginia

You were already grown when I decided to love
Virginia. Oh the hills, the hills, the hills.
You were already gone when I decided to love
Virginia, her chestnut hair, falling in thick, slow curls, past her curved shoulders
onto her sloped breasts, Oh dominion, old
sovereignty, Virginia, what have you done to me?
 
Oh Shenandoah, Blue Ridge, oh girl, 
deep earth, heavy, hidden mountains, take that shape
Virginia, goose in flight, take me away tonight, 
Mother, the land beneath our bodies is sacred, earth black, 
bright mountain, Chesapeake, this love
 
Enters me like tall ships into that harbor, Virginia, 
I’ve crossed these oceans for you, revolutionary, I’ve crossed
borders, I’m falling again through the old oak forests, through the
tulip poplar, the mountain laurel, the milkweed, I have come to you
again, from land and sea, I’m encircling you Virginia, take me.