After their readings, the two writers were interviewed by Mark Singer, and today’s video features an excerpt from that conversation, which ranges from the origins of their recent work to how they’ve influenced each other over the years.
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.
Interested in hearing more about the song, we got in touch with Kenny Karen (seen in the photo at left), who not only is the composer/lyricist of “The 92nd Street Y,” but also the one singing. Turns out, he was a resident of 92Y Residence from September 1961 until March 1962, a time reflected in the song’s lyrics. Kenny recounted his time here at 92Y:
If memory serves me correctly I spent more time at the cafeteria than any other area of the building. My closest friend at the time was a Lower East Side resident, an old Camp Monroe buddy, Sheldon Silver, who for the past fifteen or sixteen years has served as Speaker of the New York State Assembly. We’re still in touch.
The Seed of Abraham, set in 1967, centers around three young people who fight for their dreams in the Bronx. “But when war breaks out in Israel, their loyalties are tested when they are forced to choose between themselves, their families or a higher power.” The musical has five showings at the Bleecker Street Theater in Manhattan, on August 14, 17, 19, 23 and 25.
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We want to include as many people as possible at our events, whether present at 92nd Street Y or otherwise. One way we try do that is by soliciting questions from our online audience. We’re currently doing so with Thane Rosenbaum, Jeremy Ben-Ami and Jimmy Webb.
So click the links above and leave your questions for our panelists in the comments of the 92Y Blog. And stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page, where we will soon begin soliciting questions for upcoming events featuring Diana Balmori, Calvin Klein, and more.