Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Lorca- Poetry Slam Muse

Lorca is a major influence on my writing and I had the good fortune to spend a couple of months in Granada in 1998, the 100th anniversary of his birth. What a delight to read Dale Fuchs' article Chasing a Shadowy Imp, García Lorca’s Muse in the New York Times, about artists creating exhibits in Lorca's family home in Granada. Here is a quote from the article, "García Lorca displayed a postmodern distrust of the printed word, said Andrés Soria Olmedo, a professor of literature at the University of Granada. The poet exalted the spontaneity of a reading or a flamenco performance long before words like “happening” and “poetry slam” made it into made it into anyone’s vocabulary." For me it brought to mind a late night conversation with Regie Gibson talking about Lorca and Duende after a reading in Arkansas a few years ago. Lorca's essay Play and the Theory of Duende has been a major touch stone with many slam poets and I have used that essay and quotes from it in dozens of workshops on performing poetry. So its really that Lorca's exaltation of spontaneity in performance tilled the ground for Poetry Slam in direct way, influencing and informing poets like Gibson. Check out his performance of "The Word" in the previous post to get an earful of Duende. Meanwhile John Giorno who is also quoted in the article will be reading at the Bowery Poetry Club on Feb. 16th at 8pm- more about that later.