Fragments of the Star-Spangled Banner


Green Kill, Kingston, NY


Poet Michael Ruby enchants poems and fragments from The Star-Spangled Banner in this operatic exploration spanning the fifteen years from 9/11 to Trump’s election on 11/9. Legendary rock bassist Abby Travis improvises to the poems and the shape of the time period itself. A video collage by Sam Truitt backdrops what Francis Scott Key promises will be an intense intermedia collision with one of America’s leading national symbols.


About Michael, Abby & Sam

Photo: Susan Brennan

Michael Ruby is the author of seven poetry books, including Compulsive Words (BlazeVOX, 2010), American Songbook (Ugly Duckling, 2013), The Mouth of the Bay (BlazeVOX, 2019) and The Star-Spangled Banner (Station Hill, 2020). His trilogy in prose and poetry, Memories, Dreams and Inner Voices (Station Hill, 2012), includes ebooks Fleeting Memories (Ugly Duckling, 2008) and Inner Voices Heard Before Sleep (Argotist Online, 2011). His other ebooks are Close Your Eyes (Argotist, 2018) and Titles & First Lines (Mudlark, 2018). He co-edited Bernadette Mayer’s early books, Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words (Station Hill, 2015), and Mayer’s and Lewis Warsh’s collaboration Piece of Cake (Station Hill, 2020). He has been living in Gallatin, N.Y., during the pandemic and works as an editor at The Wall Street Journal.

Photo: Kathy Flynn

Called “your Favorite L.A. Rock Musician’s Favorite Bass Player” (LA Weekly), Abby Travis has played bass and sang with The Go-Go’s, Cher, The Eagles of Death Metal, Masters of Reality, Beck, Elastica, The Bangles, Farflung, earthlings?, KMFDM, and a ton of other acts. She has four critically acclaimed (Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, AP) full length solo releases: The Abby Travis Foundation, Cutthroat Standards & Black Pop, Glittermouth, and IV. Her current project Sumo Princess features Ms Travis and drummer Gene Trautmann (Queens of the Stoneage, Eagles of Death Metal, Mark Lanegan) playing brutalist art core. Travis’ post bass stylings feature heavily effected signal, chaos and improvisation. In 2018 Sumo Princess released two 7” singles “You Will Break/ Sumo Princess” and “Star Spangled Banner/ Tinsel Man.” In 2019 Sumo Princess released their first full length “When an Electric Storm” on Ruined Vibes and toured domestically supporting The Meat Puppets. Travis has also appeared in motion pictures as an actress, self and performer and composer. (See IMDB) / / Twitter: @TheAbbyTravis  / IG: @AbbyTravis /

Sam Truitt was born in Washington, DC, and raised there and in Tokyo, Japan.  He is the author of the ten works in the Vertical Elegies series, among others in print and other media, including most recently Tokyoatoto. Among other recognitions, he is the recipient of numerous Fund for Poetry awards, a Contemporary Poetry Award from the University of Georgia, and a Howard Fellowship. The producer and a co-host of the podcast Baffling Combustions and Director of Station Hill Press, he lives in Woodstock, NY. For more, visit: