University News

Celebrating 400 Years of the Bard of Avon: Shakespeare's Sonnets to be Read April 22

April 6, 2009

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MACOMB, IL -- In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the complete sonnets of William Shakespeare, Western Illinois University's English and journalism department and University Libraries are sponsoring a reading of the Bard of Avon's poetic masterpieces 12 noon–2 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 at the east entrance of the Leslie F. Malpass Library.

All 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets will be read in succession—from the opening lines of Sonnet I, "From fairest creatures we desire increase," all the way to the conclusion of Sonnet CLIV, "Love's fire heats water, water cools not love."

Members of the University and local community will read the sonnets. Individuals interested in reading a particular sonnet (if it has not already been requested) should contact Chris Morrow, assistant professor in the English and journalism department, at (309) 298-1633 or A list of Shakespeare's sonnets is available online at; sonnets that have already been requested are presented with struck-through text.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for 12 noon–2 p.m., Friday, April 24 at the east entrance of the Leslie F. Malpass Library.

Contact Morrow for more information at (309) 298-1633 or

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing