Paul Muldoon's "Against the Grain" featuring Jorie Graham, Colm Toibin, and Laurie Anderson
In association with London Review of Books
6:30pm doors • 7:30pm show
NationalSawdust+ presents the second installment of the new literary-music series by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon. The event features award-winning writers Jorie Graham, whose poetry “addresses the most urgent philosophical and political issues of the time” (The New York Times) and has garnered her a MacArthur Fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize; Colm Toibin, the acclaimed novelist, playwright, journalist, critic, and poet; and trailblazing artist Laurie Anderson, author of the recent book All the Things I Lost in the Flood, who will perform. Presented in association with London Review of Books, Against the Grain is dedicated to making art that is equal to the contrariness and complexity of our moment. (The series continues on May 23.)
NationalSawdust+ is a lively performance and conversation series in which luminaries from across disciplines share their passion for music and explore ideas, 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.
Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, most recently Sea Change (Ecco, 2008), Never (2002), Swarm (2000), and The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
About her work, James Longenbach wrote in the New York Times: "For 30 years Jorie Graham has engaged the whole human contraption — intellectual, global, domestic, apocalyptic — rather than the narrow emotional slice of it most often reserved for poems. She thinks of the poet not as a recorder but as a constructor of experience.
Her many honors include a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
She has taught at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University. She served as a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets from 1997 to 2003.
He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and a contributing editor at the London Review of Books. He is currently Mellon Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia and Chancellor of Liverpool University. He is President of Listowel Writers Week and a member of the Board of Druid Theatre.
A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.
Since that time, Anderson has gone on to create large-scale theatrical works which combine a variety of media—music, video, storytelling, projected imagery, sculpture—in which she is an electrifying performer. As a visual artist, her work has been shown at the Guggenheim Museum, SoHo; as well as extensively in Europe, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She has also released seven albums for Warner Brothers, including Big Science, featuring the song “O Superman,” which rose to number 2 on the British pop charts. In 1999, she staged Songs and Stories From Moby Dick, an interpretation of Herman Melville’s 1851 novel. Her recent book, All the Things I Lost in the Flood, was published in 2018 by Rizzoli Electa. She lives and works in New York City.
Photo of Paul Muldoon by Gary Doak