Commemorate the 65th anniversary of Babi Yar (the 1941 Jewish Massacre in Kiev) with a reading by the poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko and the world premiere of Dimitri Shostakovich's two-piano version of Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar, performed with an all-male chorus and bass soloist, transcribed especially for the Museum from Shostakovich's original manuscript. With Misha & Cipa Dichter, piano; Valentin Peytchinov, bass soloist; and Patrick Gardner, conductor
"The poem comes in the form of a blessing -'like rapture breaking on the mind,'" wrote the late Stanley Kunitz in the introduction to Passing Through. When Kunitz died May 14, 2006, at 100, he left a legacy of creative endurance and an impassioned commitment to the preservation of poetry. The life and work of Poets House co-founder Stanley Kunitz will be celebrated through poems and stories, photographs, and rare archival recordings.
A prim and proper representative of the avant-garde. A private, single woman who lived with her mother, counted many (misbehaving) great writers as her friends, and famously influenced the course of American letters. A modest person who saluted boldness. A city-dweller who was a close observer of animals. An artist who embraced science. A punctilious failure at punctuation. A writer of prose that sounded like poetry and of poetry that sounded like prose. A woman writer revered by male writers in her lifetime, when women were often dismissed (at least until they were properly dead).
Paul Muldoon gives a close reading of Robert Frost's "Directive", a poem that seems capable of standing at the end of almost every trail in the rest of Frost's own work, but also of helping a reader find a way through the densities of 20th, perhaps even 21st, century poetry.
Anna Akhmatova, sometimes called 'the poet who buried Stalin' was a writer who pursued her work under extreme conditions of state oppression. She has come to represent the persistence of poetic conscience in the twentieth century. This lecture will look more closely at Akhmatova's poems, from her early love lyrics to her final masterpiece Poem Without a Hero, and we will listen to some recordings of Akhmatova's beautiful rhythmic recitations of her work.