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Robert Frost Exploring Theory Through Poetry

Go back in time with the Humanities ND series, "Chautauqua & Chat: Notable Americans," featuring chautauqua performer John Dennis Anderson as Robert Frost.

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Time & Location





Chautauqua & Chat online event with chautauqua performer John Dennis Anderson as Robert Frost

Event to be shown virtually but attendees will watch as a group in Touchmark's Chapel. Attendees have the opportunity to ask questions of both the historical character and the scholar after the performance.

March 28, 2024

2:00pm - 3:30pm

When Robert Frost recited one of his poems at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961, he became the public face and voice of American poetry. Born in 1874, he lived in and wrote about New England, winning the Pulitzer Prize for poetry a record-breaking four times for New Hampshire (1924), Collected Poems (1931), A Further Range (1937), and A Witness Tree (1943). He travelled widely, teaching and reciting his poems at colleges. “It may look on the surface as if I’m saying just one thing,” Frost warned, “but I’m really talking contraries. I’m tricky like that.”

In this Chautauqua performance, Frost explores his theory of “the sound of sense” in his poetry as he reads and discusses some of his best-known poems, including “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” “The Road Not Taken,” “Birches,” “Mending Wall,” and “Fire and Ice.”

Scholar Bio:

John Dennis Anderson, a native of Waco, Texas, now living on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, is a performance studies scholar and Professor Emeritus in Communication Studies at Emerson College in Boston. Anderson has received grants to develop Chautauqua performances as the authors Henry James, William Faulkner, Washington Irving, Lynn Riggs, Ernest Hemingway, Marshall McLuhan, and Christopher Isherwood. His independently developed Chautauqua characters include Robert Frost, Louis Bromfield, and Henry Beston. Anderson was a faculty member for the Chautauqua Training Institute of Humanities North Dakota in 2022-2023. He teaches for the Open University of Wellfleet in Massachusetts, and he serves on their Board and is a trustee of the Helltown Players. His website is

HND Value Statement

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota. However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally. Therefore, our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University. To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

Humanities North Dakota classes and events are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities

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