Culture, Imagination and Performance in American Poetry

Landscapes, cityscapes, and mindscapes of American Poetry since the 1950’s will be seen in relation to the Black Mountain poets, the Beats, San Francisco poets, New York School, and Ethnopoetics, among other influences. Issues including identity, ethnicity, imagination, creativity, and performance will be explored, with screenings of videos to facilitate discussion.

Passwords: Jerry Ward on Sterling Plumpp

The many books of Chicago poet Sterling Plumpp (born in 1940), including Portable Soul and Horn Man, fuse blues and jazz rhythms with poetic vision to speak of Black lives, here and abroad.

Passwords programs are made possible, in part, by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Reading Dorothy Parker and Stevie Smith

Two New Yorker editors explore the poetry of these legendary writers and discuss it in relation to the poetry of our time and its time.

Drawing a New Circle: Outside the Frame

Our second in a series of collaborations with NYC galleries, museums, and alternative spaces begins with an exhibit tour of Outside the Frame: Performance and the Object with the Snug Harbor Cultural Center's visual arts director Olivia Georgia. Over 50 artists will be presented through interactive and performative sculpture, installations, puppets, scores, and other work. Live performance excerpts will be given by process-oriented, multi-disciplinary Art Attack and by William Pope.L—rapping and preaching a piece of his agit-poetic lecture Eracism.

Workshop from Hell: Dante's Inferno with Robert Pinsky

Get an early start to summer in NYC with a short walk through this classic poem about a journey through Hell, in its brilliant translation by Robert Pinsky (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994).

Poetry: A Banquet

Escort students to feast at the buffet of sounds, images, and feelings and they will be encouraged to come back for seconds. Geared for teachers—however, open to everyone—this workshop will give participants hands-on advice and material to create positive poetry experiences for young readers.

Passwords: Edmund Keeley on Cavafy and Seferis

Known for his focus on history, political ironies, and homosexual themes, C.P. Cavafy (1863-1933) is the most important Greek poet of this century. George Seferis (1900-1971) is second-and Greece's first Nobel laureate of any kind, who wrote with stylistic purity free from embellishment. A world-renowned scholar of Greek poetry, Edmund Keeley is former professor of English and Creative Writing at Princeton University, and a recent president of P.E.N.

The Jazz-Poetry Connection with Barry Wallenstein

Programs of 1950’s as well as contemporary collaborations will be heard and discussed, including the work of Langston Hughes with Charlie Parker, and Amiri Baraka and Jayne Cortez with their bands. Participants are encouraged to bring and perform their own work.

Poems from Paintings with F.D. Reeve

A seminar-workshop surveying the history of poems connected with art and including a discussion of participants’ own work on the subject (gallery trip will be suggested).

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