Salvador Espriu (1913-1985) was Catalan Spain’s leading contender for the Nobel Prize. Before the Spanish Civil War, he was a literary prodigy in fiction. When Franco came to power and banned the Catalan language from public use, Espriu turned almost exclusively to poetry and plays. As he struggled to preserve his censored language and culture, his work achieved a spare intensity and a bare-bones beauty, reminiscent of Beckett. Cyrus Cassells will read from his own translations and from Magda Bogin’s Selected Poems of Salvador Espriu.
This two-part workshop will explore the rewards and pitfalls of writing about family, using Louise Glück’s trenchant volume, Ararat, as a guide. Home is often the site of the keenest experiences of love and communion, and the source of the deepest wounding. How do poets reconcile this fact in their work? The first session will be a discussion of Ararat and key issues in writing about family, including truthtelling, self-censorship, family skeletons, and sentimentality. The second session will be devoted to student work.
April 9 - 11, 1999
This year, the Showcase provides a context for The People’s Poetry Gathering, a festival of over one hundred events celebrating our nation’s oral traditions. This ‘Woodstock for Words’ brings practitioners of a wide range of oral poetries––including cowboys, decimeros and griots––to explore the relationship between popular recitation traditions and contemporary poetry.