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Friday, February 03, 2012
From the Poetry Center Archive: Clare Cavanagh on Wisława Szymborska

In honor of Polish poet Wisława Szymborska, who died on Wednesday, 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center offers this tribute—a discussion of her work by Clare Cavanagh, her award-winning translator, on March 20, 2011 at 92Y. This clip also features a reading of the poem “Identification” in both English and Polish.


You can download the mp3 here.

“I remember being at a conference in Poland with American and Polish poets,” Cavanagh recalled, “and somebody talked about Szymborska—one of the very well-known American poets (fortunately I don’t remember his name anymore)—as being a straight-speaker, and I just felt like slapping him. She’s the opposite of a straight-speaker. She’s a master of voice, and she listens to so many kinds of voices and creates the illusion of straight-speech while challenging what straight-speech even is.”

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012
From the Poetry Center Archive: Discovering Mark Strand

Mark Strand’s first appearance at 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center took place back in April of 1965, when he was one of four winners (Robert David Cohen, Jim Harrison and Nancy Sullivan were the others) of that year’s “Discovery” poetry contest, which the Poetry Center continues to oversee to this day. That night, Strand was introduced by Robert Hazel, who praised his poems for “their urgency, released by forms unusually fanciful, unusually skillful. Grace and decorum are valuable qualities here, in their creation of dramatic effects involving a very considerable ironic wit. Best of all, it seems to me, is this poet’s dramatic insight—insinuating and mysterious and with a kind of ardent searching that is very important.”


Today’s featured recording is the entirety of Strand’s reading from that evening. You can download the MP3 here.

Mark Strand returns to 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center on January 30, for a reading with Susan Stewart. Stewart is making her Poetry Center debut, but Strand has been appearing here regularly for more than forty years—for readings with Borges, Paz and Brodsky (to name just a few), as well as Tributes to Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens and Zbigniew Herbert. 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011
From the Poetry Center Archive: Four Irish Poets: More Than A Bit Of Craic


Today’s guest post on poetry readings at 92nd Street Y is by poet Erica Wright, author of Instructions for Killing the Jackal, poetry editor at Guernica Magazine and writing instructor at 92YTribeca. Wright visited the Unterberg Poetry Center on Monday, October 31, for Four Irish Poets, an evening of readings by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Leontia Flynn, Caitriona O’Reilly and Rita Ann Higgins. Today’s featured recording is of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin. You can download the MP3 here.

Below are Wright’s thoughts on the program.

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Friday, December 02, 2011
92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive: The Letters of Samuel Beckett

Upon the publication, in 2009, of the first volume of the Letters of Samuel Beckett, editors Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck visited 92Y to speak about the influence of music on his art. In anticipation of the editors’ return visit on December 18 (the second volume is just published), here is an audio recording of their earlier presentation.

Volume II covers the years 1941-1956, and in a preview of their upcoming talk, Fehsenfeld and Overbeck write: “After World War II, Beckett is a changed man: his work shifts from the parameters of self to the wider boundaries of all humanity. Watt is written in the early forties out of the absurd and often impossible situations imposed by the war. Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable are forged from isolation and loss. Waiting for Godot offers a stark reminder of the responsibility of survival—’was I sleeping when the others suffered?’

“From 1946, Beckett begins to write in French. He writes plays and becomes involved in their production. In letters to friends, publishers, actors, translators, interpreters and critics, we witness Beckett honing his aesthetic—particularly through the incomparably intense series of letters to George Duthuit. From 1941 to 1956, Beckett’s work emerges from virtual obscurity to achieve international recognition and Beckett must learn to protect his work and writing life from the encroachments of literary renown.”

To purchase tickets to the event, which takes place as part of the Unterberg Poetry Center’s Books and Bagels series, please click here.

In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings, please click here.

You can also download the MP3.

Subscribe with iTunes

Subscribe with iTunes or add our podcast feed to your RSS news reader and have future 92nd Street Y podcasts delivered automatically.

Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

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Posted in Humanities Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 3:29pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Thursday, June 23, 2011
92Y Podcast From Poetry Center Archive: Edith Grossman On “The Most Difficult Poem In The World”

Last March, translators Edith Grossman and Clare Cavanagh discussed the tricks of their trade as part of our Books & Bagels series. Toward the end of the conversation, each of them offered an example of recent work, and Grossman read from “a book she is more excited about than any other book she has ever translated”: Luis de Góngora’s long poem “Soledades” (“The Solitudes”).

Next week, in celebration of Góngora’s 450th birthday, Grossman’s version of “Soledades” will finally be published. To mark the occasion, we’d like to share some of her thoughts with you in the podcast above. You can pre-order the book on Amazon.

Here, too, are the poem’s opening lines, in both Spanish and English, so you can follow along.

Era del año la estación florida
en que el mentido robador de Europa
—media luna las armas de su frente,
y el Sol todos los rayos de su pelo—,
    luciente honor del cielo,
en campos de zafiro pace estrellas;

It was the flowering season of the year
when Europa’s false-hearted abductor
—a half moon the weapons on his brow,
the Sun’s rays all the strands of his hair—
    oh bright glory of heaven,
grazes on stars in fields of sapphire blue;

In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings, please click here.

You can also download the MP3. [15.9 MB]

Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

Subscribe with iTunes Subscribe with iTunes or add our podcast feed to your RSS news reader and have future 92nd Street Y podcasts delivered automatically.

» Follow 92Y Poetry on Facebook and Twitter. Join our eNews




Posted in The Arts Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 11:59am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Wednesday, June 22, 2011
92Y Podcast: Elena Bonner on Russia and the Republics in the Post Cold War Era

Elena Bonner, human rights activist in the former Soviet Union and widow of Nobel Prize-winning nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov, died in Boston on June 18 at 88. The New York Times writes:

Though Sakharov was better known, Ms. Bonner became a force in her own right, waging a tireless campaign to improve the lives of her people long after her husband’s death in 1989.

It is a role she accepted out of necessity, she would say. A pediatrician by training, whose family suffered greatly during the Stalinist purges, Ms. Bonner longed for a simpler life.

[...]

Strong-jawed, bespectacled and austere in dress, Ms. Bonner was something of a symbol of dignified protest within the Soviet Union. Half-Jewish, she was a target of anti-Semitism.

On April 12, 1994 at 92Y, Bonner sat down with James F. Hoge Jr. to discuss, with the use of a translator, Russia and the Republics in the Post Cold War Era. In this audio clip, she shares a humorous story about the scarcity of socks after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

You can also download the MP3. [7 MB]
Subscribe with iTunes Subscribe with iTunes or add our podcast feed to your RSS news reader and have future 92nd Street Y podcasts delivered automatically.




Posted in Humanities Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 12:51pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Thursday, June 16, 2011
92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive: Charles Dickens’ Shakespeare

Last April, distinguished biographer Michael Slater delivered a talk in our Books & Bagels series on Charles Dickens’ love of Shakespeare.

Dickens hailed Shakespeare as the “great master who knew everything,” and considered himself a devoted, lifelong follower, “tracking out his footsteps at the scarcely-worth-mentioning little distance of a few millions of leagues behind.” Quotes from Shakespeare’s plays pervade Dickens’ novels, with Macbeth and Hamlet topping the list.

Today’s featured recording is Professor Slater’s comedic reading of the scene from Chapter 31 of Great Expectations when Pip and Herbert see Mr. Wopsle in a rundown production of Hamlet.

In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings, please click here.

You can also download the MP3. [11.6 MB]

Related: The Guardian reviews Slater’s book, Charles Dicken.

Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

» Follow 92Y Poetry on Facebook and Twitter. Join our eNews




Posted in The Arts Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 11:43am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Monday, June 13, 2011
92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive: Thornton Wilder on Emily Dickinson

In November and December of 1950, playwright Thornton Wilder delivered the famed Norton Lectures at Harvard University. He focused on Dickinson, Melville, Whitman, Poe and Thoreau, and later said it was because “they all describe America at the moment she was taking her place in world culture, and they showed the dangers of her situation.”

In January of 1951, Wilder made his first appearance at the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center, once more talking about Emily Dickinson, only this time “in light of certain ideas of Gertrude Stein,” his close friend who had died a few years earlier. Wilder confesses that he does not know if Stein ever actually read Dickinson, yet offers his speculations nonetheless.


But before doing so, he asks for the audience’s indulgence as he re-imagines the writing life of the reclusive Dickinson, and today’s featured recording comes from that portion of the lecture, which includes Wilder’s renderings of some of her poems: “The Wind Took Up the Northern Things,” Troubled About Many Things,” “Wild Nights” and “They Put Us Far Apart.”

In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to other recordings, please click here.

You can also download the MP3. [16.6 MB]

[Right-click and select “Save Target As:” or equivalent to download.]

Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

» Follow 92Y Poetry on Facebook and Twitter. Join our eNews




Posted in The Arts Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 1:42pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Thursday, May 26, 2011
The Poetry Center Archive: Tony Kushner: I Want More Life

[UPDATE: Apologies, we are having technical difficulties with the audio file. Looking to correct the problem now. FIXED!]

Tony Kushner’s new play, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, just opened at The Public Theater. To celebrate, we’d like to share an archival recording of the playwright reading at the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center.

In this excerpt from his 1995 appearance, Kushner reads a scene from his play A Bright Room Called Day; a poem against drama critics (“A Song For Playwrights in Self-Defense”); and a scene from Perestroika, the second part of Angels in America.

In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For more information about the rest of the upcoming season, please click here. And for access to other recordings from the Poetry Center archive—including a conversation with the creators of Gatz, which ran at The Public last fall—please click here.

Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

You can also download the MP3. [13.7 MB]

[Right-click and select “Save Target As:” or equivalent to download.]

» Follow 92Y Poetry on imageFacebook and imageTwitter. Join our imageeNews




Posted in The Arts Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 3:04pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



Monday, April 18, 2011
92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive: James Earl Jones reads Walt Whitman

Continuing our celebration of National Poetry Month, today we present James Earl Jones reading passages from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” in 1973 at 92nd Street Y.

Coming up next at 92Y Poetry on April 27 is Revolutionaries in the Middle East with Rula Jebreal, Ghassan Salamé, Abdelkader Benali and others, part of the Pen World Voices Festival.

Previously:

  • 92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive Adrienne Rich: What Kind of Times Are These?
  • 92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive: Leonard Cohen In 1966
  • Bei Dao Reads From “The Rose Of Time”

    In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For more information about the rest of the upcoming season, please click here. And for access to other recordings from the Poetry Center archive, please click here.

    Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

    You can also download the MP3. [18 MB]

    [Right-click and select “Save Target As:” or equivalent to download.]

    » Follow 92Y Poetry on imageFacebook and imageTwitter. Join our imageeNews




  • Posted in The Arts Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 11:06am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



    Tuesday, April 12, 2011
    From the Poetry Center Archive: Adrienne Rich: What Kind of Times Are These?

    We’re celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing audio or video from the 92Y archive each week this month. Today’s podcast features Adrienne Rich at 92nd Street Y on October 14, 1991.

    “I believe,” she began, “that poetry is one of our great human resources, and often a strangely wasted resource, like so many others in the United States. At a time when extremely sophisticated tactics are being employed to disinform and demoralize us as a people, I believe that poetry speaks not from a separate sphere but in a different voice.”

    Stay tuned to the 92Y Blog for other readings featuring James Earl Jones and Lucille Clifton.

    Coming up next at 92Y Poetry on April 27 is Revolutionaries in the Middle East with Rula Jebreal, Ghassan Salamé, Abdelkader Benali and others, part of the Pen World Voices Festival.

    Previously:

  • 92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive: Leonard Cohen In 1966
  • Bei Dao Reads From “The Rose Of Time”

    In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to these recordings, please click here. To look at the rest of the season’s live readings, please click here.

    Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

    You can also download the MP3. [2 MB]
    [Right-click and select “Save Target As:” or equivalent to download.]

    » Follow 92Y Poetry on imageFacebook and imageTwitter. Join our imageeNews




  • Posted in The Arts Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 11:10am | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



    Monday, April 04, 2011
    92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive: Leonard Cohen In 1966

    As noted Friday, we’re celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing audio or video from the 92Y archive, each Monday of the month. The video podcast above features Leonard Cohen reading here on February 14, 1966. He read several poems and performed one song that would become an all-time classic. In the excerpt above, Cohen reads two poems—“For E.J.P” and “You Have the Lovers”—and performs “The Stranger Song,” which became popular in 1967 with the release of Cohen’s debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen

    Stay tuned for more recordings featuring Adrienne Rich, James Earl Jones and Lucille Clifton, one each Monday this month.

    Alice Notley visits 92Y Poetry on April 7 to read from her new collection, Culture of One. Tickets are just $10 for those 35 and under.

    You can also download the MP3. [16 MB]

    [Right-click and select “Save Target As:” or equivalent to download.]

    Previously:

  • Bei Dao Reads From “The Rose Of Time”
  • 92Y Video: Paul Muldoon Reads From Maggot

    In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to these recordings, please click here. To look at the rest of the season’s live readings, please click here.

    Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

    » Follow 92Y Poetry on imageFacebook and imageTwitter. Join our imageeNews




  • Posted in The Arts Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 1:16pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



    Saturday, March 26, 2011
    92Y Podcast: Geraldine Ferraro on The Future of Women in Politics

    We are saddened by the news that Geraldine Ferraro, former congresswoman and pioneering figure in American politics as the first woman to be nominated vice-presidential candidate by a major party, lost her battle with cancer today. As Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said, “Geraldine Ferraro challenged us, inspired us, and broke every boundary laid before her. We celebrate her memory today.”

    This is her talk at 92nd Street Y in February 1991 on “The Future of Women in Politics.” It’s as powerful now as it was then.

    You can also download the MP3. [25 MB]
    [Right-click and select "Save Target As:" or equivalent to download.]

    Subscribe with iTunes Subscribe with iTunes or add our podcast feed to your RSS news reader and have future 92nd Street Y podcasts delivered automatically.




    Posted in Humanities Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 12:44pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



    Thursday, March 24, 2011
    92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

    Today is author, artist and Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 92nd birthday. What better way to celebrate than with a reading of his at 92nd Street Y? This one is from April 2007, when he previewed selections from Poetry as Insurgent Art and was introduced by Marie Ponsot. Upper East Side Informer’s Girl About Town attended and wrote:

    In his baseball cap and wire rim glasses—red frames, mind you—Lawrence Ferlinghetti read his poems in a wispy, near whisper of a voice to a sold-out crowd at the Y last night. His adoring fans hooted and hollered as he took to the podium. If you saw him there with his gentle, glowing eyes and ways you’d have been hooting, too.

    Ah, a living poet. There was just something in the way the first poet laureate out of San Francisco moved about the stage. He carried his poems in a large manila envelope. And when it grew time to read, he pulled out the sheets of paper and held them near to his eyes. He ruffled them for a while. Waited on a pregnant pause or two. And, read. His poems were funny. And, political.

    In an ongoing effort to share with our readers some of the great literary moments which the Poetry Center has presented across the decades, this blog has begun to feature regular postings of archival recordings. For access to these recordings, please click here. To look at the rest of the season’s live readings, please click here.

    Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

    You can also download the MP3. [20 MB]
    [Right-click and select "Save Target As:" or equivalent to download.]

    Subscribe with iTunes Subscribe with iTunes or add our podcast feed to your RSS news reader and have future 92nd Street Y podcasts delivered automatically.

    » Follow 92Y Poetry on imageFacebook and imageTwitter. Join our imageeNews




    Posted in The Arts Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 3:58pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



    Wednesday, February 16, 2011
    92Y Podcast: From the Poetry Center Archive: Rita Dove—"Our Situation Is Intolerable”

    “So what if we were born up a creek and knocked flat with the paddle, if we ain't got a pot to piss in and nowhere to put it if we did? Our situation is intolerable, but what's worse is to sit here and do nothing. O yes. O mercy on our souls.” Those are the words of the silver-tongued poet Rita Dove, who visited the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center in May, 1999 to read from her collection On the Bus with Rosa Parks.

    The above passage comes from a poem titled “Our Situation is Intolerable” – and it’s one of a few that Dove read that night at 92Y.

    In observance of Black History Month, we’d like to share with our readers the chance to hear not only the beautiful words of Rita Dove (words that channel Parks herself, while bringing you back to a seminal moment in U.S. history) but also recordings of readings by other great black writers. Those readings – including James Earl Jones (reading the poetry of Walt Whitman!) Chinua Achebe, Jamaica Kincaid, Derek Walcott, Lucille Clifton, Terrance Hayes and Yusef Komunyakaa – can be found at 92Y Poetry Center’s Virtual Poetry Center.

    Unterberg Poetry Center webcasts and access to our archive are made possible in part by the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

    You can also download the MP3. [8 MB]
    [Right-click and select "Save Target As:" or equivalent to download.]

    Subscribe with iTunes Subscribe with iTunes or add our podcast feed to your RSS news reader and have future 92nd Street Y podcasts delivered automatically.

    » Follow 92Y Poetry on imageFacebook and imageTwitter. Join our imageeNews




    Posted in Humanities Podcasts All topics of 92nd Street Y at 12:24pm | Link to this item | Email this item to a friend. Email This to a Friend |



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