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Celebrating Federico García Lorca

Produced by Paul Holdengräber, director of LIVE from the NYPL, and the Fundación Federico García Lorca, a special installment of the Library’s series, celebrating Federico García Lorca’s life and legacy with readings and performances by John Giorno, Will Keen, Philip Levine, Christopher Maurer, Laura Garcia Lorca, Tracy K. Smith, Paul Muldoon, and Patti Smith.

Recorded June 4, 2013 and made available in partnership with the New York Public Library and Fundación Federico García Lorca with the support of Acción Cultural Española and la Caixa Foundation. Special thanks to the artists.

Track 1: Introduction to the program and Federico García Lorca's life and work by Paul Holdengräber, Director of Public Programs of Live From the New York Public Library.

Track 2: Phillip Levine, 2011-2012 US Poet Laureate, reads three poems. The first by Lorca's fellow Andalusian poet Rafael Alberti is called "the Coming Back of an Assassinated Poet"; the second is Federico García Lorca's poem "New York (Office and Denunciation)"; and the final is Levine's own poem "They Feed They Lion."

Track 3: Tracy K. Smith reads two poems from her book the When They called "the When They" and "Slow Burn." Paul Muldoon joins Tracy K. Smith and together they read Lorca's "Sleepwalking Ballad," "Compadre," "Sleepless City (Brooklyn Bridge Nocturne)." Paul Muldoon then reads his own translation of a Lorca poem entitled "Muerte (Death)" and an excerpt from Lorca's 1933 lecture "Play and Theory of the Duende."

Track 4: British actor Will Keen reads and performs part of Lorca's engaging and provocative lecture on the Duende called "Play and Theory of the Duende."

Track 5: American poet and performance artist John Giorno reads his own poem called "Thanks for Nothing."

Track 6: British actor Will Keen continues his performance of Lorca's lecture "Play and Theory of the Duende."

Track 7: Christopher Maurer, Lorca scholar, speaks about Lorca's year spent in New York City and the theme of return in Lorca's work. Maurer reads excerpts from Lorca's letters several of Lorca's poems in English translation including "Farewell," "An Evening Moon," "Evening Hours," and "Ode to Salvador Dali." Laura García Lorca, niece of Federico García Lorca, reads in the original Spanish the poems "Despedida," "La luna esta muerta muerta" "La primera estrella," and "Poema del Joven."

Track 8: Patti Smith reads Lorca's "Back from a Walk" and performs her song "Wing" accompanied by poet Oliver Ray. Patti Smith then reads Lorca's poem "Christmas on the Hudson" followed by a performance of her song "Beneath the Southern Cross."


New York Public Library


The New York Public Library's public programs of the Artist Dialogues Series, are recorded and shared with as part of a partnership coordinated by artist, curator, and senior librarian Arezoo Moseni.


Radio Lorca


Recordings from Lorca in New York: A Celebration, the largest festival in North America celebrating acclaimed Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca.