Celebrating Federico García Lorca

Tue. Jun 4, 2013 at 7:00pm EDT
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Celebrating Federico García Lorca

To coincide with The New York Public Library's exhibition “Back Tomorrow: Federico García Lorca / Poet in New York,” this special installment of LIVE from the NYPL celebrates Lorca's life and legacy with performances and readings. Participants include John Giorno, Will Keen and Maria Fernandez Ache, Philip Levine, Christopher Maurer, Paul Muldoon, Patti Smith, and Tracy K. Smith.

Written while Federico García Lorca was a student at Columbia University in 1929-30, Poet in New York is arguably one of the poet’s most important works, and a powerful testament to New York City as seen through the eyes of one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. The book was published posthumously in 1940, but the manuscript mysteriously disappeared, lost to scholars for decades.

The Fundación Federico García Lorca in Madrid and The New York Public Library exhibit it now for the first time, together with drawings, photographs, letters, and mementos. Join LIVE for a celebration of this homecoming.

John Giorno was born in New York and graduated from Columbia University in 1958. Four years later, he met Andy Warhol, who became an important influence for Giorno's developments on poetry, performance and recordings. He was the “star” of Warhol’s film Sleep. He has collaborated with William Burroughs, John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Mapplethorpe, Rirkirt Tirvanija, Pierre Huyge, Elizabeth Peyton, and Ugo Rondinone, who is his partner. He is the author of ten books, including You Got to Burn to Shine, Cancer in My Left Ball, Grasping at Emptiness, Suicide Sutra; and has produced 59 LPs, CDs, tapes cassettes, videopaks and DVDs for Giorno Poetry Systems. He founded the AIDS Treatment Project and has an important force in the development of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

Will Keen has worked for many years as an actor on the London stage, playing leading roles at the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Royal Court, Almeida Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Barbican, as well as numerous West End theatres. Along the way, he's worked with many of the most respected theatre-makers in the UK – Trevor Nunn, Peter Hall, Richard Eyre, Declan Donnellan, Phyllida Lloyd, Howard Davies, Thea Sharrock, Lindsay Posner, Tom Stoppard, Terry Johnson, etc. In 2011, he played the title role in Cheek by Jowl's production of Macbeth at BAM in New York. He will next be seen in London this autumn at the Almeida Theatre in Ibsen’s Ghosts, under the direction of Richard Eyre.

María Fernández Ache has worked in the theatre in almost every possible area; as playwright, actress, designer, producer, and director. As well as her own original plays, she has translated and written versions of work from French, English and Italian into Spanish. Most recently she has translated and directed Traición (Betrayal) by Harold Pinter for the Teatro Español in Madrid, and translated and co-directed Hamlet with Will Keen, again for the Español. For the last thirteen years she’s worked extensively both in Spain and England.

Philip Levine "is a large, ironic Whitman of the industrial heartland" who, according to Edward Hirsch in the New York Times Book Review, should be considered "one of [America's]...quintessentially urban poets." He was born in 1928 to Russian-Jewish immigrants, in Detroit, a city that inspired much of his writing. The author of twenty collections of poetry, including the most recent, News Of The World (Knopf, 2009), the 1995 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Simple Truth, and What Work Is, which won the National Book Award in 1991. Levine is known as the poet of the working class, and he remains dedicated to writing poetry "for people for whom there is no poetry.” He was the eighteenth United States Poet Laureate for 2011-2012.

Paul Muldoon was born in 1951 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and educated in Armagh and at the Queen's University of Belfast. From 1973 to 1986 he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is now Howard G.B. Clark ’21 Professor at Princeton University and Founding Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. In 2007 he was appointed poetry editor of The New Yorker. Muldoon's main collections of poetry are New Weather (1973), Mules (1977), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting The British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), The Annals of Chile (1994), Hay (1998), Poems 1968-1998 (2001), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Horse Latitudes (2006) and Maggot (2010).

A writer, performer, and artist, Patti Smith has recorded twelve albums, exhibited her drawings, and published many books, including Coral Sea, Witt, Babel, Auguries of Innocence, and Just Kids, which last year won the National Book Award. Smith lives in New York City.

Tracy K. Smith is the author of three books of poetry. Her most recent collection, Life on Mars (Graywolf, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. The collection draws on sources as disparate as Arthur C. Clarke and David Bowie, and is in part an elegiac tribute to her late father, an engineer who worked on the Hubble Telescope. Duende (2007) won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body's Question (2003) was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award in 2004 and a Whiting Award in 2005.

This event and exhibition is part of LORCA IN NEW YORK: A CELEBRATION (April 5-July 21, 2013), the largest-ever festival in North America celebrating the work of acclaimed Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. Presented by Fundación Federico García Lorca with support from Acción Cultural Española with more than two dozen events throughout Manhattan, the festival marks the first time in more than 25 years that the city pays tribute to Lorca on a grand scale. For a complete schedule of events, visit: lorcanyc.com

This exhibition is organized jointly by the Fundación Federico García Lorca, The New York Public Library, and Acción Cultural Española with the support of ”la Caixa” Foundation.

Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Celeste Bartos, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos Exhibitions Fund, and Jonathan Altman.
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Celeste Bartos Forum The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018
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