Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Shorts '14 Blog Hop: Amy Rubinate, Cassandra Campbell, and Kathe Mazur, Sonnets 2, 4, and 6 from Renascence & Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay

June is Audiobook Month, and to celebrate, a group of more than 40 professional narrators has teamed with Going Public and Tantor Media by offering Summer Shorts ‘14, an audio collection of poetry, short stories and essays. All sales proceeds from the collection go to ProLiteracy, a national literacy outreach and advocacy organization.

All month you can visit Going Public and various blogs to hear 1-2 stories stream for free on their release day. You can purchase the whole collection at Tantor Media and you’ll receive 20 additional tracks while supporting a great cause.

Summer Shorts '14 is focusing on poetry this week, and I'm thrilled to be hosting a 2-day feature on Edna St. Vincent Millay. Yesterday I introduced you to Kathe Mazur and shared her performance of "An Ancient Gesture".

Today, Kathe is back, along with Cassandra Campbell and Amy Rubinate. It's such an honor for me to host this ultra-talented group of narrators at Lakeside Musing, and even more exciting to have them reading sonnets by a favorite poet.

One of the reasons I love poetry is for its ability to elicit such deep, personal responses from readers and listeners. I became interested in the work of Edna St. Vincent Millay, in particular, about five years ago when I discovered the marker pictured below on top of Mt. Battie. The view looking down on Camden, Maine was surely a source of inspiration for Millay's early work.

I asked the narrators to share thoughts on Millay's poetry.

Amy Rubinate:
I have always appreciated Millay's Sonnet 2, "Time Does Not Bring Relief; You All Have Lied," for its simple honesty and raw, searing lament. I first discovered it in high school, a time when heightened emotions were my daily diet, and it felt true and immediate. Years later, a step removed, the poem still strikes me with the same intensity. Almost a century after its publication, it still has the intimate quality of a woman sharing her sorrow directly with the reader, and in that way seems very modern. I was so pleased to be able to perform this poem!
Kathe Mazur:
I was working in a summer stock theatre at 15 when one of the actresses there, Ingrid Sonnichsen, took me under her wing.  She gave me The Collected Works of Edna St. Vincent Millay, and its that dog-eared and Post-It covered copy that I am still reading today. I devoured it. Millay's writing cut right to the heart of of me. The size of her appetite for life and for feelings, for love and loss, and her wit, brilliance and accessibility made her the perfect writer for me to be curling up with, and as my life went on, that never changed. But my understanding of the poems deepens as I understand more about love and loss. What a woman, what a writer. 
Sonnets 2, 4, and 6 from Renascence & Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay performed by Amy Rubinate, Cassandra Campbell, and Kathe Mazur


Amy Rubinate has narrated over 140 audiobooks, and has won multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her books have been selected as Booklist's Top 10 Historical Fiction and Booklist Editor's Choice Media 2012. She has a degree in oral interpretation of literature and has won state and national awards for poetry reading. A voice actor and singer for over a decade, Amy has narrated many interactive children's books and provided voices for toys and video games. Her one-woman cabaret shows have been performed in New York and San Francisco. Her work has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and reviewed in the New York Times.

Cassandra Campbell has recorded and directed over 400 audiobooks. A ten-time Audie Award nominee, she has won twice: for non-fiction in 2011 for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and as one of four readers of The Help, which won both best fiction and best Audio book in 2010. She has been named a best voice by AudioFile Magazine for the past four years, as a voice of the year for both Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal in 2009 and 2010. She has received nearly two-dozen AudioFile Earphone's Awards and many starred reviews. In addition to her voice over work in both audio books and commercials, she continues to work as a theatre director and actor: This summer she will direct As You Like It for the Independent Shakespeare Company in Los Angeles.

K├Ąthe Mazur ( pronounced "Kay-ta"),is best known on television for the role of DDA Andrea Hobbs that she plays on both The Closer and it's hit spin-off, Major Crimes. She has recorded over 100 audiobooks, including the multi-award winning Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain, and The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, and the works of Nora Ephron, Tess Gerritsen and Jacquelyn Mitchard, among many others. She also has the distinction of having recorded both Hillary Clinton's and Anne Coulter's books in the same month. She has won multiple Earphone awards, is an Audie nominee and been on all sorts of great Best Books lists. She will appear soon on American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood, and has worked extensively as an actress in film, theater and television, including The Mentalist, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Criminal Minds; Suspect Behavior, ER, and Monk. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

by Nancy Milford

by Erika Robuck

Stay on top of daily releases by following the Complete Blog Hop Schedule at Going Public.

Yesterday's stops:
Kathe Mazur - An Ancient Gesture by Edna St. Vincent Millay at Lakeside Musing
John Lee - The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats at The Literate Housewife

Also today:
Colleen Marlo - How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning at AudioGals

Katherine Kellgren - Father William by Lewis Carroll at Overreader
Carrington MacDuffie - Al's Boy by Carrington MacDuffie at Beth Fish Reads


  1. WOW, those sonnets are cutting - esp #2, the passion! I'm going to have to do a lot more Edna St Vincent Milay reading, clearly.

    1. So glad you liked them. And they are.

    2. Melanie - Isn't Millay wonderful? And these performances make the sonnets even more powerful. I love dipping into The Collected Poems from time to time, and can highly recommend the biography, too.

  2. Millay is the only poet whose work has really grabbed me. I need to go back and reread some of her works thought I quote "Her candle burns at both ends" quite frequently. I have Savage Beauty but for some reason have yet to read it and now I'm curious about Fallen Beauty. Thanks for remind me of her!

  3. Katherine - There are not many poets I love, but Millay is one of them! Savage Beauty is a fascinating biography... I need to make time for Fallen Beauty, too.


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