In association with London Review of Books
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Paul Muldoon‘s Against the Grain, presented by NationalSawdust+ with London Review of Books, returns with the bold voices of American poet, teacher, and activist Carolyn Forché and Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov, joined by the pioneering collective, The Knights.
Wedding the personal and the political, Forché has witnessed and put into poetry some of the most devastating events of twentieth-century world history. “At their best, Forché’s poems have the immediacy of war correspondence, postcards from the volcano of twentieth-century barbarism,” observed Katha Pollitt. Forché is joined by Kurkov, the writer of screenplays and critically acclaimed and popular novels, including Death and the Penguin, which have been translated into more than 30 languages. Now based in Kiev, he worked for some time as a journalist, did military service as a prison warden at Odessa, then became a film cameraman – experiences that fuel his darkly satirical, insightful work.
The Knights is dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. Driven by an open-minded spirit of camaraderie and exploration, the collective inspires listeners with programs that encompass their roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery.
Now in its second season, Paul Muldoon’s literary-music series, presented in association with London Review of Books, features pairings of cutting-edge poets, prose fiction writers, multi-media practitioners, mirth-merchants, political commentators, and musical performers — all of them dedicated to making art that is equal to the contrariness and complexity of our moment. Each edition of Against the Grain, curated by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet, includes collaborative work and a one-on-one conversation on a provocative topic. The first season featured artists such as Laurie Anderson, Jennifer Egan, Min-Jin Lee, Tracy K. Smith, and Sō Percussion.
NationalSawdust+ is a lively performance and conversation series in which luminaries from across disciplines share their passion for music and explore ideas and issues, making surprising connections. Curated by Elena Park, the series taps artists and thinkers from theater, film and visual art, literature, science and beyond, to create insightful programs that reflect their own interests. Whether through live performances, conversations, or readings, each program has its own alchemy, engaging the audience in new and unexpected ways. Often topical, and always imaginative, NationalSawdust+ is an ideal space for those with curiosity, adventure, and vision.