Notes on "Blue Wine"

April 27, 2017

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John Hollander
Saul Steinberg

John Hollander was visiting Saul Steinberg at his studio when he noticed some wine bottles, with home made labels by Steinberg, filled with a blue liquid.  It caused him to write a poem which is a sort of set of variations on the idea of blue wine.  My setting was written for the actress Tammy Grimes.   I can’t remember the exact particulars, but she was involved with a project (which in the end didn’t materialize) which was supposed to set up a sort of repertory theater company in Boston consisting of fancy famous actors, mostly from New York.   Ms. Grimes was doing a sort of outreach program under their auspices, and did my piece on that program.   I have since performed it with a number of people, including Phyllis Curtin and the Bishop of Edinburgh.  I also recorded it with John Hollander several years ago.