To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.
Truman Capote (via davidkendall)
Perhaps this will be music to your ears: Truman Capote reading Breakfast At Tiffany’s at 92Y in April 1963.
“I had hardly begun to read
I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can’t
you can’t you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don’t write”
—W. S. Merwin from “Berryman”
Upon the publication of his Collected Poems by the Library of America, Merwin is making a rare New York appearance and will be coming out on stage at the 92Y Poetry Center any minute. (8 pm!) We’ll be live tweeting. Merwin will be interviewed by J. D. McClatchy and also read from his work.
Julia Guez, Eileen Myles, Raena Shirali, Timothy Donnelly, Erika L Sanchez and Catherine Blauvelt, at the 2013 “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Contest Reading at 92Y on Mon, May 6.
Congratulations to winners Julia Guez, Raena Shirali, Erika L Sanchez and Catherine Blauvelt. Beer for the evening lovingly provided by The Brooklyn Brewery.
(Photos by Nancy Crampton)
From the 92Y Poetry Center Archive: W. S. Merwin and John Ashbery
“The two most distinctive and influential voices by which American poetry has spoken in the last twenty years.” That is how J. D. McClatchy introduced an evening of readings by W. S. Merwin and John Ashbery here at 92Y on November 21, 1983—the first such occasion on which the two poets shared a stage. “Each has his own special slant of vision, his own richness of language,” McClatchy went on to say.
Merwin opens with “After a Storm”—a poem that deals both with the evening’s ostensible theme (autobiographical poetry) and McClatchy’s earlier reference “to the program which some of us saw last night and that was an understatement of what we all expect.” He was referring to “The Day After”—an ABC-television film about the consequences of nuclear war—that aired on Sunday, November 20, and was viewed by more than 100 million Americans.
Sam Waterston, Charlotte Rampling and Robie Porter in James Salter’s lost film, “Three” (1969).
Susan Sontag introduced James Salter at a 92Y reading in 1997 with “If he can be described as a writer’s writer, then I think it’s just as true to say he’s a reader’s writer; that is, he’s a writer who particularly rewards those for whom reading is an intense pleasure and something that is a bit of an addiction. I myself put James Salter among the very few North American writers all of whose work I want to read and whose as yet unpublished books I wait for impatiently.”
Salter returns to 92Y on Monday night (Apr 29) with Richard Ford.
From the Poetry Center Archive: James Salter—A Great American Writer
James Salter makes his long-awaited return to 92Y on Monday night (Apr 29), reading from his new novel, All That Is, and sharing the stage with Richard Ford, who has said that “Salter writes American sentences better than anybody writing today.”
In anticipation, we’ve uploaded a 1997 recording of Salter reading from his memoir Burning the Days. He was introduced by Susan Sontag, who echoed Ford’s sentiment.
James Salter is 87. He’s written his first novel in 30 years – and The New Yorker wonders whether he’s finally about to become a “Famous Writer.”
Salter gives the only NYC reading of his new book at 92Y on Apr 29.
The New Yorker piece got us thinking. Are there other writers who should be household names, but aren’t? Let us know below. We’ll do a round up of your answers in a later post. And we’ll randomly select one entry and award them two tickets to the reading!
What other writers do you think should be famously known, but aren’t?
Poetry at 100: An Anniversary Reading - Live Webcast
Watch live online tonight at 8:15 pm ET as Poetry magazine celebrates its centenary with readings from The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years by Frank Bidart, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Don Share, Atsuro Riley, Christian Wiman and Charles Wright at 92Y.
If you’re in New York and want to attend, there are still some tickets available.
Next month “a major literary event” takes place, writes The New York Times:
“…nearly seven decades after Willa Cather’s death in 1947, the doors of her interior life will be thrown open with the publication of ‘The Selected Letters of Willa Cather,’ an anthology of 566 of the roughly 3,000 letters that turned out to have survived, scattered in some 75 archives.”
The letters do not yield steamy intimate detail. But they do make clear that Cather’s primary emotional attachments were to women, while also laying to rest what the volume’s editors, in interviews, called a persistent urban legend: that of the fanatically secretive author eager to erase any record of shameful desire.
The books editors, Janis Stout and Andrew Jewell, will discuss the anthology, and the decision to publish the letters, at 92Y on Apr 28.
The video above is the full event from 2009 where he reads and speaks with philosopher K. Anthony Appiah about his experience growing up in Nigeria, Nigerian literature, education and cultural politics.