Lorca in the news

Federico García Lorca, the man who wouldn’t run away
Few contemporary film buffs have watched [Indian director] Govind Nihalani’s Rukmavati Ki Haveli (1991). An unusual tragedy adapted from Spanish poet, artist and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca’s (1898 –1936) The House of Bernarda Alba, the film didn’t do well commercially. But the source material is so powerful that perhaps it’s time to revisit it as a fitting tribute to Lorca himself in this, the year of his 125th birth anniversary. Born on June 5 1898, Lorca, whose work continues to be read, appreciated and performed across the world, was murdered in 1936. His remains have never been located. It was a tragic end to a brilliant life… [13 July 2023, full article]

Yerma is a hymn to hope and power that asks questions about traditional (and modern) female roles
Yerma, written by Australian theatre artist Simon Stone and based on Federico García Lorca’s 1934 play, focuses on the fixation of one woman (Sarah Gadon, playing an unnamed character) on conceiving with her partner, John (Daren A. Herbert). Originally presented at London’s Young Vic Theatre in 2016, the production opened at New York’s Park Avenue Armory in 2020. The Coal Mine is considerably smaller than either of those venues, but what the Toronto production loses in real estate it gains in a visceral immediacy complementing Stone’s rhythmic, emotional script… [11 February 2023, full article]

Loco for Lorca: UK theatre fuels passion for Spanish
“That Lorca is completely bonkers,” says the actress in Spanish, prompting laughter from a group of British teenagers at London’s Cervantes Theatre. Artistic director Paula Paz, who co-founded the theatre with the actor and director Jorge de Juan, said Spanish poet Federico García Lorca is a firm favourite with audiences in the UK. From an unassuming corner of south London, the venue is helping to drive a growing interest in Spanish, which is now the most-studied foreign language in the UK. The theatre, built from scratch in a former garage under railway arches, opened in 2016 with Lorca’s 1933 tragedy Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding). One of the highlights of its forthcoming season is a seven-week run of his last play from 1936, La Casa de Bernada Alba (The House of Bernada Alba)… [12 December 2022, full article]

Spain exhumes body of general linked to García Lorca’s execution
Spain exhumed on Thursday the body of a Francoist general who is believed to have ordered the execution of the poet Federico García Lorca in 1936 at the start of the Spanish civil war. Church authorities, acting on orders from the leftist government, removed the body of Gonzalo Queipo de Llano, who commanded the Nationalists’ Southern Army in 1936-37, from the Macarena basilica in Seville in the early hours of Thursday…No written records of García Lorca’s execution remain, but Ian Gibson, author of a biography of Queipo de Llano, cites a telephone operator who said Queipo personally ordered the firing squad to give the poet “coffee, lots of coffee” – a codeword for the execution. García Lorca was an internationally renowned poet and playwright whose works include the play Blood Wedding, Gypsy Ballads and Poet in New York. [3 November 2022, full article]

Review: Ainadamar by Scottish Opera @ Theatre Royal Glasgow
“What a sad day it was in Granada; the stones began to cry…” Thus begins Scottish Opera’s new production of Osvaldo Golijov and David Henry Hwang’s Ainadamar: a visual and auditory spectacle created through music, poetry, and dance. The opera is centred around the life and work of playwright and poet Federico García Lorca, who, aged 38, was executed during the Spanish Civil War at the hands of the Falange, for his liberal socialist views and open homosexuality. The site of his execution is thought to be a natural spring flowing in the hills above Granada, known as Ainadamar, meaning ‘Fountain of Tears’. The opera’s plot flows seamlessly between the past and present. In 1960s Uruguay, actress Margarita Xirgu, Lorca’s muse, has fled Spain and dedicated her life to keeping Lorca’s words alive by performing in his play Mariana Pineda for the rest of her career… [2 November 2022, full article]

This Hispanic Heritage Month, here are 13 Columbians you should know
Federico García Lorca is one of Spain’s greatest literary figures and, after Miguel de Cervantes, perhaps the most widely recognized Spanish writer in the English-speaking world, writes Columbia 250. You may not know that the poet and playwright was once a Columbia General Studies student, attending in 1929. As Columbia 250 notes, he left Columbia after the summer session, but his 1929–30 American sojourn inspired a book of poetry, Poet in New York, that was published posthumously… [9 September 2022, full article]

86 years ago Federico García Lorca was assassinated ‘for being a socialist and homosexual’
The death of Federico García Lorca lives on as the injustice that it has always been. His assassination at the hands of Francoist forces during the Spanish Civil War on August 18, 1936 is still synonymous with intolerance and fascism… [18 August 2022, full article]

Acclaimed poet Knuts Skujenieks passes away
Latvia has lost one of its most distinctive and powerful literary voices with news of the death of poet Knuts Skujenieks, LTV’s news department has confirmed…According to the Latvian Literature platform, “Knuts Skujenieks is regarded as one of the most prominent authors, an idol of many writers and translators of his own and following generations, as well as a key intellectual figure. He is responsible for bringing many of the world classics to the attention of Latvian readership through translations, for instance, works of Walt Whitman, Federico García Lorca, Aleksandar “Aco” Šopov, Tomas Tranströmer, and many other significant authors, but his greatest achievement may be the lifelong and strong commitment to translating poetry of different ethnic groups, nations, cultures, and promoting traditions of folk songs from all around the world.” [25 July 2022, full article]

Selfie-taking tourist at Madrid’s Reina Sofía Museum rips off part of artwork
An Italian tourist at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid damaged an artwork last week when she tripped while trying to take a selfie with the work. Alberto Sánchez’s ballet set for La romería de los cornudos (The Pilgrimage of Cuckolds), 1933, was reportedly torn in one part by the tourist who fell on the work, according to the Spanish newspaper ABC. As she fell, she grabbed hold of the piece and ripped part of its wallpaper. The Pilgrimage of Cuckolds was originally created as a set for the eponymous one-act ballet written by Federico García Lorca and Cipriano Rivas Cherif. Its protagonist is a man who tries to seduce a married women who is on a religious pilgrimage with her husband in the hope of getting pregnant. [6 June 2022, full article]

Two theatre friends dive beneath the surface in The House of Bernarda Alba
For years now, Soheil Parsa has known that he would direct “The House of Bernarda Alba,” by Spanish playwright Federico García Lorca. And he knew that when he directed it, Beatriz Pizano would be at the centre of the show: “I cannot do it without Bea,” he said. Pizano plays the title role: a domineering matriarch who essentially puts her five adult daughters under house arrest after the death of her husband…Parsa says that the script, translated by David Johnston, is deceptively simple. “The surface doesn’t take you anywhere. It means nothing. People sitting and talking and complaining,” he said. The key is in the subtext: “There is something happening underneath that we need to discover.”…“He’s not afraid of big passions,” said Pizano of Lorca. “You don’t have to apologize for your emotions.” [7 April 2022, full article]

Spanish sonata
Singer Minu Bakshi presented legendary Spanish poet, Federico García Lorca’s compositions at Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav for the Embassy of Spain. The singer rendered 10 Spanish songs that were composed by the legendary poet almost a 100 years before. The standing ovation that she received from a hall packed with celebrities, dignitaries, Ambassadors of the Latin American diplomatic community and art enthusiasts, has marked this concert as a successful event in Indo-Spanish cultural programs…”The ease and perfection with which she (Bakshi) presented the songs are amazing. She has created an extraordinary fusion in her presentation of the songs keeping the flamenco flavour alive yet giving it that Indian touch, making this a cultural sangam of both Spain and India,” said H E José Maria Ridao, Ambassador of Spain in India. [1 March 2022, full article]

George Crumb, prolific avant-garde composer, dies at 92
Crumb, who spent 30 years teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, won a Pulitzer Prize for Music for his piece Echoes of Time and the River in 1967 and a Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition for his piece Star-Child in 2011…He based several of his compositions and other projects on the writing of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, including his 1970 song cycle Ancient Voices of Children. In a 1992 interview at the George Crumb Festival in Boulder, Colorado, the composer admitted he was never sure how those specific pieces would be received. “I once many years ago had a letter from Lorca’s brother who said he liked my settings of Lorca’s poetry,” he said. [6 February 2022, full article]

An interview with Amanda Gorman, the inaugural poet who dreams of writing novels
When did you start reading poetry? What books made you fall in love with poetry?
I actually started writing poetry before I started reading it, mostly because at the time poetry wasn’t something that was taught robustly in my classrooms. Around middle school a writing mentor introduced me to the writing of Sonia Sanchez, and gave me a book of her new and selected poems, Shake Loose My Skin. I fell in love with it and reread it every day. After that I got my hands on a copy of Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of African American Poetry, and I just had this feeling of: Oh, these are my people.
Which poets continue to inspire you in your work?
That’s like asking me about the air I breathe. Just a handful are Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Federico García Lorca, Rainer Maria Rilke, Octavia E. Butler and Maya Angelou. [9 December 2021, full article]

Pride at the Cultural Office of the Spanish Embassy
Capital Pride’s Paint the Town Colorful with Pride arrives at the Spanish Embassy [Washington, DC]. Go before July 1 to see Los Angeles-based artist London Kaye’s crocheted mural, made by members of Kaye’s art collective, called Love Across America, and the LGBT community, displaying a portrait of Spanish writer Federico García Lorca along with an enduring quote about love and independence from his play “Mariana Pineda.” The 10-foot long mural is displayed at the entrance of the building, the quote visible to passersby: “On the flag of freedom, I embroidered the greatest love of my life.” Through July 1. Free. [17 June 2021, full article]

Music theatre and open-air performances coming to the Rialto [Cyprus] in June
June 5’s performance seeks to portray the great Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, whose work finds fertile ground in the Greek intellectual world since the quests of the Spanish poet are intrinsically related to innovation and secularism in post-war Greece. The starting point was Blood Wedding, staged by Karolos Koun Theatro Technis in 1948. Romancero Gitano then followed with music composed by Theodorakis, based on an adaptation by Odysseas Elytis (1967). Having at the epicentre the works Blood Wedding, adapted for voice, guitar and cello, as well as Romancero Gitano, adapted for guitar and voice, both presented for the first time in this form in Cyprus, the event pays tribute to one of the world’s most beloved and sung poets. Several other selected songs based on Lorca’s poetry, composed by renowned artists, will also be presented… [29 May 2021, full article]

The Phoenix Theatre will celebrate artists and theatre with Origins Theatre Festival in June
The Phoenix Theatre [Philadelphia] is ready to debut a new online festival that will showcase theatre as one universal language. “The concept of Origins came up from the need to unify theatre around the world,” said Andrés Gallardo Bustillo, Phoenix Theatre Associate Artistic Director. “There’s nothing more exhilarating than going to the theatre and seeing a play in a language you don’t speak, and understanding everything that’s happening because, in the end, theatre is a universal language.” Friday and Saturday will conclude with the show Bodas de Sangre/Blood Wedding by Federico García Lorca, one night in Spanish and the other in English with a translation by Gallardo Bustillo… [24 May 2021, full article]

Never forgotten: Exhumations to finally close chapter on Civil War tragedy in Spain’s Granada
The victims from Granada include teachers, labourers, dressmakers and political activists – men and women who fell foul of dictator Franco’s bloodletting during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The graves are just 800 metres from where archaeologists unsuccessfully searched for the remains of writer Federico García Lorca, who was infamously buried along with a teacher and two bullfighters, Francisco Galadi and Joaquin Arcollas… [25 April 2021, full article]

Poetic justice: Author’s verse gives a long-ago time and place a tribute filled with heart and soul
There’s a special place in Nasario García’s memory – and his heart – for New Mexico’s Río Puerco Valley. It’s where the 85-year-old García grew up. And many of his beloved children’s stories are set there…What prompted him to write this book of poetry? The initial prompt goes back decades, after García had received a B.A. and an M.A. at the University of New Mexico. He and his wife went to Spain where García did a year of doctoral work at the University of Granada. “Granada was sort of a hot bed of (famed writer Federico) García Lorca and the city vibrated with his poetry; it was simple yet complicated. The language reminded me of the (Spanish) my elders spoke. There was that affinity and poetic inspiration of Lorca, and other poets later on,” García said in a phone interview from his Santa Fe home. [13 March 2021, full article]

Finding duende: Leonard Cohen and Federico García Lorca
…Cohen, at the age of fifteen, was moved by the surrealism and magic of the Andalusian poet, an influence that would remain with him for the rest of his life, even naming his daughter “Lorca.” This lorquiano influence is most palpable in “Take this Waltz,” a song from the 1988 I’m Your Man album and a translation from Lorca’s “Pequeño vals vienés” (Little Viennese Waltz), which took him more than 100 hours to translate. This translation is an overt act of tribute and yet, more generally, once you read Lorca and Cohen side-by-side, the Spanish poet’s pervasion in the very fabric of his poetry and song-writing is undeniable. [12 March 2021, full article]

NYPL celebrates the five boroughs with list of 125 books about NYC
As it wraps up its 125th anniversary year, the New York Public Library is paying tribute to the city it has called home for over a century. On Thursday, the library released “125 NYC Books We Love,” a list of titles recommended for adults, kids, and teens that celebrate the five boroughs…For adult readers, highlights of the list include Jazz by Toni Morrison, A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes, Here is New York by E.B. White, East 100th Street by Bruce Davidson, and Poet in New York by Federico García Lorca. [3 December 2020, full article]

LA Opera launches Digital Shorts series with The Five Moons of Lorca
LA Opera has announced that the new Digital Shorts series will launch with The Five Moons of Lorca (Las cinco lunas de Lorca) by composer Gabriela Lena Frank and librettist Nilo Cruz, streaming online from December 11 through 25. Part of the LA Opera On Now platform of digital programming, Digital Shorts pairs today’s most in-demand composers with visual artists. To date, ten new works have been commissioned for the series. The first of them, The Five Moons of Lorca, is a newly commissioned revision of a 2016 piece by Ms. Frank and Mr. Cruz about the assassination of poet Federico García Lorca at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. The Five Moons of Lorca conveys the beauty of García Lorca’s life as well as its tragic end, while serving as a commentary for the dangers of political and cultural intolerance…Presented free of charge, the stream will be available for two weeks only, beginning at 11am PT on December 11 and running through December 25. For details, visit LAOpera.org/Lorca. [3 December 2020, full article]

Mezzo-Soprano Carla Canales to Release Genre-Busting Debut Album, Duende
Mexican-American mezzo-soprano Carla Canales will release her experimental debut album entitled Duende on October 9. The album drop coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month and will be available on all major streaming platforms. The album’s title and inspiration come from renowned Spanish poet Federico García Lorca’s interpretation of the word duende to signify the human struggle to find life’s meaning through art…Five of Duende’s tracks are Spanish folksongs arranged for piano and voice by García Lorca. Also included are compositions of her own. These she refers to as “interludes” — pieces created from journal entries and other personal writing that she likens to recitativo, with the García Lorca folksongs akin to arias. All of it comes together to create a genre-busting experimental album following in the footsteps of such artists as Radiohead and Björk. [19 September 2020, full article]

Route 138: Real, imagined, and non-existent
In the year 1933, the P.E.N. Club in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentine, had decided to honour two poets, the Chilean Pablo Neruda and the Spaniard Federico Garcia Lorca, and they in turn decided to resurrect a third, Ruben Dario, the Argentinian who was also a Nicaraguan, a Chilean and a Spaniard. Neruda described how they went about it in the following manner. ‘We had prepared a talk al alimon. You probably don’t know what that means, and neither did I. Federico, who always had some invention or idea up his sleeve, explained: “Two bullfighters can fight the same bull at the same time, using only one cape between them. This is one of the most perilous feats in bullfighting. That’s why it is so seldom seen. Not more than twice or three times in a century, and it can be done only by two bullfighters who are brothers, or at least blood relations. This is called fighting a bull al alimon.”’ And that’s how they did it… [4 August 2020, full article]

Spain to release funds for mass grave exhumations
For the first time since 2011, the government of Spain has announced new grants for historical memory projects, which include the exhumation of bodies from mass graves dating back to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)…One of the best-known cases is the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca, who was executed at the beginning of the war in Granada. There are still more than 1,200 mass graves left to open in Spain. [30 July 2020, full article]

The poetic embassy: What happened when four poets from Franco’s Spain took their show on the road
The four poets saw their trip as good-hearted cultural diplomacy, a handshake across an ocean, while the many detractors they would encounter during four eventful months abroad saw only the invasive political propaganda of a foreign dictatorship. The success of the trip, much like a poem, was also open to interpretation…And yet it was another assassination, carried out more than a decade earlier in dramatically different circumstances, that truly defined the trip—the murder of the poet Federico García Lorca. [18 March 2020, full article by Aaron Shulman, author of The Age of Disenchantments: The Epic Story of Spain’s Most Notorious Literary Family and the Long Shadow of the Spanish Civil War (New York: Ecco, 2019)]

The real story behind SS Winnipeg that helped Spanish immigrants flee the Spanish Civil War in 1939
The latest and final installment of ‘Cable Girls’ aka ‘Las Chicas del Cable’ is set in the months after the end of the Spanish Civil War, after which the Franco regime aka Francoist dictatorship headed by General Francisco Franco began…Here’s an even more interesting fact: poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda helped arrange the ship after he noticed many Spanish Republicans had fled in exile to France where they were detained in squalid camps in miserable conditions. Neruda had strongly supported the Republic when he was stationed in Madrid, Spain when the Civil War broke out in 1936. Radicalized by the war and the murder of his friend Federico Garcia Lorca, he became a communist and would later become a leader of the Chilean Communist Party…[3 July 2020, full article]

Pablo Neruda

Expat Historian Ian Gibson lends weight to new push for search for Spain’s famous murdered poet, Federico García Lorca
He is the most famous murdered poet in history. Yet, the mystery of where Federico Garcia Lorca’s body was buried has continued for over half a century. Now investigators may, once again, kick start the search for him, based on a bone found in a park near Granada in 1986. The celebrated Blood Wedding writer was killed by fascists at the beginning of the Spanish civil war, in August, 1936. The homosexual scribe was seized at his home in Granada and later shot alongside three fellow Republicans and dumped in a yet-to-be-identified communal grave. Now the granddaughter of one of those killed—teacher Dioscoro Galinda—has filed an official request to a Granada court to reopen the investigation into their whereabouts…[8 January 2020, full article]

Song of Experience: Noche Flamenco gets deeper with age
Soledad Barrio has a way of entering the stage like an animal circling her prey. She is a flamenco dancer, so her back is arched in a majestic serpentine curve, her arms and hands an ornamental filigree…One of flamenco’s touchstones, embraced by Noche Flamenca, is the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca, who was executed in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War. In the twenties, he set out to reclaim the ancient origins of flamenco’s “deep song.” He did not invent the idea of duende—a kind of demonic spirit that could possess a musician or a dancer—but he was among the first to attach it to flamenco. Duende, he wrote, is like a muse or an angel, except that it is an emissary of “black sounds,” with “wings of rusty knives,” which “smashes styles” and “leans on human pain with no consolation.” Barrio grew up in Madrid, amid stories of her family’s suffering during the Civil War—her grandfather was imprisoned by the Franco regime—and it was Carlos Saura’s 1981 dance film based on Lorca’s “Blood Wedding” that inspired her to dance professionally…[6 January 2020, full article]

‘I’ve always maintained that the Irish are basically Spanish’ – Ian Gibson
‘If God continues to help me and one day I become really famous, half the celebrity will be due to Granada.” So said the poet Federico García Lorca in 1929, as his literary star was on its meteoric rise. Ian Gibson, the Dublin-born biographer of Lorca, might have been tempted to repeat those words during his own career, given how closely associated he is with both Granada and Lorca, its most celebrated son. Now, the Andalusian city is acknowledging the work of the 80-year-old Irish writer, awarding him the Granada Gold Medal of Merit. For over 50 years, Gibson has explored the lives and championed the work of some of Spain’s most extraordinary artists and intellectuals. In the process he has also shone a light on the country’s fraught relationship with its own past…[8 December 2019, full article]

Alfre Woodard reflects on her first Oscar nomination and her career so far

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
A: My second play ever — I was a junior in high school — I became a believer in Federico García Lorca. I started reading more about how he was living under fascism in Spain and his persecution. I keep one of his poems at the top of every script I have, with my grubby turkey bacon stains on it. “The poem, the song, the picture, is only water drawn from the well of the people, and it should be given back to them in a cup of beauty so that they may drink — and in drinking understand themselves.” That focuses me and puts my feet firmly on the ground.
…[5 December 2019, full article]

American happiness is plummeting. Could a few words change that?
…With the help of far-flung strangers on the internet, [researcher Tim Lomas] has since mined 140 languages to come up with a whopping 1,200 words. Each has its own unique shades of meaning not fully captured in English translation. He argues that engaging with these “untranslatable” terms can help us imagine, and ultimately experience, more types of well-being…Duende is Spanish for a heightened state of passionate emotion that you experience through art, especially dance. The poet Federico García Lorca said having duende is “not a question of skill, but of a style that’s truly alive: meaning, it’s in the veins … it burns the blood like powdered glass, it exhausts, it rejects all the sweet geometry we understand”…[20 November 2019, full article]

New York City Master Chorale season begins with A Procession Winding Around Me
The first New York City Master Chorale (NYCMC) concert of the 2019-2020 season, A Procession Winding Around Me, will be held on Saturday, November 16, at St. Peter’s Chelsea. The concert features three rarely heard works for guitar and chorus, with poetry by two of history’s most-beloved poets – Federico García Lorca and Walt Whitman – and will open with an anonymous Renaissance text set to music by Catalan composer Mateo Flecha. The choir will be joined by Giacomo Baldelli on guitar…[4 November 2019, full article]

Lorca in Vermont: The Untold Story
WHEN Spanish poet Federico García Lorca and American student Philip Cummings first met and became lovers in Madrid in July 1928, they had no idea that their brief liaison would evolve into an intimate relationship that spanned two continents and almost three years. Despite their disparate backgrounds and ages (Lorca was thirty, Cummings 21), they had much in common: both were charming extroverts who shared a love of music, literature, and all things Spanish. But while Cummings had just begun composing verses, Lorca was already Spain’s best-known young poet, destined to achieve lasting international fame for his much-loved poems and plays…[1 November 2019, full article]

Penn’s Annenberg Center celebrates Pulitzer winner George Crumb for his 90th birthday
…Also during his doctoral years at the University of Michigan, Crumb discovered the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), beginning an unlikely but hugely fruitful beyond-the-grave collaboration. Lorca’s contemporaries and contacts were both earthy (composer Manuel de Falla) and surreal (filmmaker Luis Buñuel and painter Salvador Dali) — qualities that were quite in step with the American avant-garde of the 1960s and ‘70s. The Crumb/Lorca fusion will be most apparent at the festival in Madrigals, Book I-IV, performed Oct. 10, which has many of the Crumb tropes: exclamatory, extravagant vocal settings; percussion that’s searing, glistening, and rumbling in the distance; foreboding silences; whistling that seems to wander in space…[3 October 2019, full article]

History of the Roma community to be taught in Spanish schools
…The guiding document published by the Department of Education of Castilla and León presented didactic units on Roma history and culture for the different educational levels. For early childhood education, it’s suggested they learn about “different family realities as a cultural and personal enrichment”. While in primary school, they strive to teach children Roma languages — the caló and the Romani — their influence in Spanish, certain notions on society, as well as Roma art and literature. In secondary school, it’s suggested they learn about Roma history in Europe: from their arrival to Spain around 1415 to the Roma holocaust during WWII. It also covers one of the darkest episodes of modern Spanish history: the Great Roma Round-up — a raid approved by King Ferdinand VI of Spain in 1749 in which all Roma communities in Spain were arrested and put in labour camps. The course will also explore the influence of Roma culture in Spanish cultural references such as the literature of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca or the art of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí…[17 September 2019, full article]

‘Loco Por Lorca’ featuring poets Theo Dorgan and Keith Payne with musicians Cormac Juan Breatnach (whistles), Jaime Muñoz (diatonic accordion, wooden flutes, clarinet, pipe and tabor), Carlos Beceiro (bouzouki and guitar) & Cormac De Barra (harp)
Eighty three years after his death, on the 19th August 1936, Federico García Lorca, known as the National Poet of Spain, continues to fascinate people from all over the world. The internationally renowned playwright and collector of Spanish folk and flamenco songs was much influenced by an early translation of J. M. Synge’s ‘Riders to the Sea’. And across the seas, Lorca still reaches deep into our hearts. One of the first poets to tune Federico’s distinctly Andalusian music into English was Michael Hartnett and so, with poetry and music in mind, ‘Loca Por Lorca’ honours these two great poets with new translations into English by Keith Payne and into Irish by Theo Dorgan, together with new musical compositions and Spanish folk music from Cormac Juan Breatnach, Jaime Muñoz, Carlos Beceiro and Cormac de Barra. The concert will take place Saturday, 19 October 2019…[19 July 2019, full article]

With Provocation & Compassion, Pedro Almodóvar Brought A Whole New World Of Cinema To Spain
“In terms of dramatic creativity there are three Spanish icons,” says academic and critic Maria Delgado. “Miguel de Cervantes, Federico García Lorca and Pedro Almodóvar.” But while Cervantes has been dead for over 400 years, and Lorca over 80, at the age of 79, the filmmaker from La Mancha continues to represent his homeland at the highest level, as this year he returned to the Cannes Competition with his 22nd feature film Pain and Glory, the semi-autobiographical tale of a director in decline (played by Antonio Banderas), ruminating on his life choices…[17 May 2019, full article]

Time to Bury the Dead: An Interview with Ian Gibson
The Spanish Civil War came to an end on April 1, 1939, only days after Francisco Franco’s Nationalist troops entered Madrid. By the time the capital fell, following a long siege, the war’s body count had reached nearly half a million. About 150,000 of those deaths directly owed to the Francoite terror; a further 20,000 Republican prisoners would be executed in the immediate wake of the Nationalists’ victory. Thousands more died in concentration camps across the country or in refugee camps over the border in southern France…While Franco organized the bloodbath, on the other side of the political divide this monstrous legacy is also embodied by the poet Federico García Lorca, killed at the beginning of the Civil War. In the words of journalist Antonio Maestre, Lorca “was left to rot in an unmarked pit in the hills outside Granada after his assassination by Falangists.” Lorca’s work, his life and tragic death have been a major focus of the Irish writer Ian Gibson’s career. A vocal critic of the Spanish right’s treatment of Franco’s dictatorship and its painful legacy, Gibson has been at the forefront of efforts to locate and exhume modern Spain’s most celebrated poet…[1 April 2019, full article]

The Poet Family Who Were Icons of Spanish Nationalism
“The Poet Tells the Truth” is a famous poem by Federico García Lorca, but what if the poet doesn’t? What kind of poetry can you write if everything about you is a lie? That’s the question at the heart of The Age of Disenchantments, Aaron Shulman’s intriguing narrative of literary ambition and family dysfunction — betrayal, drug addiction and madness — that begins during the Spanish Civil War and continues into this century… [29 March 2019, full article]

The Morgan Celebrates Walt Whitman’s Poetry and Life in an Exhibition this summer
In celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth, the Morgan Library & Museum exhibits the work of the beloved American poet. In a notebook in 1859, Whitman wrote, “Comrades! I am the bard of Democracy,” and over his 73 years (1819-1892) he made good on that claim. As he bore witness to the rise of New York City, the Civil War and other major transformations in American life, Whitman tried to reconcile the famous contradictions of this country through his inclusivity and his prolific body of work. The author of one of the most celebrated texts of American literature—Leaves of Grass (1855)—came from humble origins in Long Island and Brooklyn but eventually earned a global audience that has never stopped growing…Also on view are documents by famous writers influenced by Whitman, such as Oscar Wilde, Hart Crane, Federico García Lorca, Langston Hughes, and Allen Ginsberg. Whitman’s broad-minded positions on social issues of his day made him a symbol for progressive political and civil rights movements in modern times. The uninhibited sensuality of his poetry and his pioneering contributions to gay literature have been an inspiration to the LGBTQ community as well… [21 March 2019, full article]

Mexican Songstress Magos Herrera Shows ‘Beauty Is a Political Act’
In this climate, titling any artwork Dreamers signals politics. Fittingly, politics is the main undercurrent of the album Magos Herrera released last year with chamber musicians Brooklyn Rider. Their collaboration, Dreamers, draws on musical and literary works from across Ibero-America, and everything sampled is, in some way, connected to themes of state violence and resistance. The musicians—who will perform tomorrow at Williamsburg’s National Sawdust—call these the album’s “connecting thread.” Dreamers is an amalgam of musical genres and countries of origin. Herrera’s jazz vocals meet the instrumentals of a string quartet; classic Chilean folk songs bump up against brand-new musical compositions, set to the words of Mexican poets and Argentinian political dissidents. Federico García Lorca, the beloved poet and playwright who was executed during the Spanish Civil War, also makes a politically charged appearance on the album… [13 March 2019, full article]

Lorca Year kicks off in Madrid for poet’s 100th anniversary
The city government of Madrid is paying tribute to poet Federico García Lorca with an initiative called “Lorca Year”, to mark the 100th anniversary of the poet’s arrival at the city’s Residencia de Estudiantes in 1919…The Residencia was an intellectual greenhouse of the generation of 1927, a temple of creation of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza (The Free Educational Institution), where Lorca would start his training and career as a writer. In the Residencia, the poet met people who were fundamental in inspiring him, his work, and his life, such as Salvador Dalí, Luis Bunuel, and Pepin Bello. The City of Madrid’s “Lorca Year” is a cycle of theatre performances, concerts, exhibitions and an international conference on the author of “La Casa de Barnarda Alba”, a century after his arrival in the capital… [11 January 2019, full article]

House that inspired one of Lorca’s most famous works opened to public
The dark reality behind the play The House of Bernarda Alba haunted Federico García Lorca for years before he turned it into literature. It was a story that the poet had stumbled upon during his youth and was to turn into one of Spanish literature’s most memorable works years later. In fact, it wasn’t until Lorca was asked by actress Margarita Xirgú to write the role of someone wicked for her that he turned the memory of Frasquita Alba and her daughters into a masterpiece. The House of Bernarda Alba tells the story of Frasquita Alba, her daughters, her servants and José Benavides – known as Pepe, the Roman, in the play – who is married to one of the daughters and marries another years later… [27 December 2018, full article]

Rosalía is flamenco’s rule-defying renegade
On a blistering summer day in 1922, thousands made their way to the palatial Alhambra fortress in Spain’s Andalusian region of Granada. They took their seats in the expansive Plaza de los Aljibes and, before a sweeping view of the caves of Sacromonte, watched a parade of singers compete in the first-ever Concurso de Cante Jondo—a competition spearheaded by the poet Federico García Lorca and the composer Manuel de Falla. It was an event that cracked expressions of flamenco open, as vocalists from all over the country showcased their rawest and most ardent renditions of the folkloric tradition… [27 November 2018, full article]


The 10 best plays and musicals of 2018
6. Yerma. Billie Piper’s blistering performance as a woman who goes mad and destroys her perfect life because she can’t get pregnant dazzled London, then rocked New York City audiences to the core. Performed in a glass box at the Park Avenue Armory, which has become a home for some of New York’s most challenging theater, the harrowing adaptation of a 1934 play by Federico García Lorca leaves audiences speechless. [20 November 2018, full article]


Retracing the footsteps of Lorca, Granada’s most celebrated poet, during his centenary year
There’s a reason why Lorca’s name has gone down in history as one of Spain’s best poets. The genius behind great literary classics like La Casa de Bernarda Alba and Bodas de Sangre constructed unforgettably descriptive, avant-garde works that still resonate with readers today. It’s 100 years since Lorca published his first work, Impresiones y Paisajes, his only prose contribution. More than a diary of his travels, the book is a social commentary on politics and aesthetics. This year would also have been the poet’s 120th birthday, which has given the town of Granada two reasons to declare 2018 the Year of Lorca… [19 August 2018, full article]

Overlooked no more: Margarita Xirgu, theater radical who staged Lorca’s plays
When Margarita Xirgu met Federico García Lorca in the summer of 1926 at a bar in Madrid, he was a fledgling playwright and a questionable investment for most producers. But Xirgu, a Catalan actress and director who was also a lesbian and a political radical, was known for her willingness to take risks. She accepted the challenge, and staged Lorca’s “Mariana Pineda” in Barcelona the next year, with costumes by the artist Salvador Dalí. The play was a hit, and it cemented a friendship between Lorca and Xirgu, who became instrumental in staging and exporting his work in the early years of the 20th century. Lorca went on to become one of Spain’s most admired writers… [16 May 2018, full article]

‘I think the Irish are Spaniards who got lost’
Ian Gibson has spent the last four decades living and working in Spain, so it’s rather ironic that as he sits down in a bar in central Madrid with The Irish Times, the icy drizzle outside is more reminiscent of his native Dublin than his adopted home. A few days earlier, the writer had attended an event in the capital which highlighted the cultural ties that bind Spain and Ireland: Loco por Lorca (Crazy about Lorca), a celebration of the 120th anniversary of the birth of poet Federico García Lorca, with funding from the Arts Council of Ireland, support from the Irish Embassy and performances by Spanish and Irish musicians. “I think the Irish are Spaniards who got lost,” Gibson told one Spanish newspaper recently and he roars with laughter as he is reminded of the quote, even though he stands by it… [14 May 2018, full article]

Billie Piper is the talk of New York theater with her bruising performance in Yerma
As Her, the beating heart of Simon Stone’s Yerma, now onstage at New York’s Park Avenue Armory, the British actress Billie Piper is slaying critics and audiences with her harrowing portrait of a brash London editor undone by her inability to conceive a child. Piper is giving the performance of the theater season in her New York stage debut, reprising the role that won her a record number of British acting awards when the play was staged in London in 2016. (The New York Times called it “one of those performances that leave you bruised, breathless, and grateful for an experience you wouldn’t have missed for the world.”) When Piper signed on to do Yerma (which means “barren” in Spanish), she assumed it was for Federico García Lorca’s original 1934 tragedy about a farmer’s wife in a rural Spanish village. Instead, Stone had the cast talk about their lives and wrote new pages nightly based on the conversations. “I was secretly pleased when they said that it would be updated and I wouldn’t be singing about the oxen,” quipped Piper… [4 April 2018, full article]

Penquin Books launches 1£ Modern Classics range in diversity push
Penguin Books is launching a new series of “modern classics” featuring authors including Martin Luther King Jr that will cost just £1 each. The publisher, well known for its popular Penguin Classics range, has produced the Modern Classics series to introduce readers to a “diverse range of 20th Century writers who broke the rules, created new means of expression and made their voices heard against the odds”…Other “radical voices” in the Penguin Modern series include the cult literary figure Kathy Acker, who self published the story New York City in 1979, Shirley Jackson, the gothic writer marginalised and undermined by the literary establishment in the mid-20th Century, and Federico García Lorca, who was executed for his political beliefs by Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War… [2 February 2018, full article]

The Poet-Historian
Federico García Lorca has often been criticized for exoticizing marginalized groups, but this translation finds new depth in his handling of race. In Poet in Spain, a new volume of translations of Federico García Lorca’s poetry by Sarah Arvio, we see a wide-ranging exhibition of Lorca’s curiosity about marginalized groups—from his fascination with 14th-century Persian poetry in The Tamarit Divan to his idealization of Andalusia’s Romani history in Gypsy Ballads. “I think that being from Granada inclines me toward a sympathetic understanding of persecuted peoples. Of gypsies, of blacks, of Jews, …of Moors, which we all carry inside,” he said in an interview in 1931. [29 November 2017, full article]

Remembering Leonard Cohen: Biographer Sylvie Simmons on Montreal’s Beloved Poet
…On the moment Cohen became a musician: “He was walking down the street one day and there was a bookshop with a rack outside of used books. He found the collected works of the Spanish poet, Federico García Lorca, and opened it at a passage (which he later recited to me by heart). What he said happened is that he heard music — the little hairs stood up on his arms and neck as he heard the music of the synagogue. And I asked him, ‘Did you mean that this was a spiritual experience, a religious experience?’ He said ‘It was just music.’ This very dignified, beautiful minor key music would come to his mind. It was almost like the Big Bang of Leonard because he was 15 years old when this happened and that was the same year he bought his first acoustic guitar…[12 November 2017, full article]

The University of Granada launches MOOC on the work of Federico García Lorca
The UGR is set to launch its MOOC on the life and work of the Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca on 13 November 2017. This free, open online course is available in English and Spanish and will be delivered by the University of Granada. The UGR is offering a comprehensive, direct learning experience to all those interested in the work of García Lorca. It has been devised to provide all the rigour and depth one would expect from a university course, with all modules designed and structured by a team comprising lecturers from the Department of Spanish Literature at the UGR, together with renowned international experts on Lorca. The content covers his output as both poet and playwright, set in the general context of the literary and cultural period in which he produced his work…[11 November 2017, full article]

‘Poet in Spain’ Offers New Translations of Lorca’s Soulful Work
The poet and playwright Federico García Lorca is, after Cervantes, the most commanding figure in Spain’s literature. He died young, executed at 38 by nationalist forces at the start of the Spanish Civil War. This early death has rendered him a permanent political and cultural object of desire…The poet and translator Sarah Arvio is here now with “Poet in Spain,” a new translation of Lorca’s poems into English. It is the first major undertaking of its kind since “Collected Poems: A Bilingual Edition” (1991), the work of several translators and edited by Christopher Maurer… [30 October 2017, full article]

Chasing the Spirit of a Fractured Spain through García Lorca
To search for García Lorca’s Andalusia is to chase fragments of poetry and loss. He was silenced more than 81 years ago at 38 — murdered in the summer of 1936 by a paramilitary death squad at the outset of the Spanish Civil War for his anti-fascist sentiments and homosexuality. His burial site in an anonymous mass grave somewhere in fields outside Granada remains a mystery. But his powerful voice is still one that binds this nation as it struggles with tensions between the Catalan independence movement and the Spanish state, which threatened to remove the region’s separatist government and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid… [24 October 2017, full article]

Faculty films “Bones of Contention” and “Thy Father’s Chair” premiere in NYC
“Bones of Contention,” a documentary by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Andrea Weiss, premieres Saturday, Oct. 21 at Cinépolis Chelsea. This is one of latest releases by faculty in The City College of New York’s Department of Media and Communication Arts. The film focuses on the brutal Franco dictatorship, during whose reign up to 120,000 opponents of fascism were buried in unmarked graves all over Spain. A 2014 Fulbright Scholars award funded Weiss’ research. Legendary poet and playwright Federico Garcia-Lorca came to symbolize those that disappeared, and is called “the first LGBT victim of the Franco regime.” Weiss examines the men and women who recall Spain’s homophobic past and seek to exhume it by finding these remains.  It opens theatrically in Spain on Nov. 10, and is playing in festivals in St. Petersburg and Moscow in mid-November… [20 October 2017, full article]

Trump’s War on Knowledge
…In front of numerous dignitaries and emboldened by a mob of nationalist youth and legionnaires, Franco’s friend and mentor General José Millán Astray desecrated that temple of learning with six words: ¡Abajo la inteligencia! ¡Viva la muerte! (“Down with intelligence! Long live death!”) That phrase—so paradoxical, so absurd, so idiotic—would have been laughable had it not occurred in a Europe where Nazis were burning libraries and, along with their Italian allies, pushing innumerable artists, scientists, and writers into exile. In Spain, those words resonated no less ominously. Only weeks earlier, Federico García Lorca, one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language, a poet and playwright who had deployed the many angels of intelligence, had been executed in Granada by a nationalist death squad. Many more intellectuals were assassinated in the years that followed, along with peasants, workers, and students who had learned under the Republic to think and speak for themselves… [12 October 2017, full article]

The Secret to Stopping Facism
“Fascism is the future refusing to be born,” British politician and social justice warrior Aneurin Bevan once said. Kryptonite for fascism may just be the committed artist — particularly the one who performs in front of a live audience and who does so with a sense of humor…Federico García Lorca was an artist particularly hated by fascists for his brilliant poetry and plays. He hated them back: “Politics is the ugliest, most disagreeable thing I know,” Lorca told a group of students in 1932, years before he would have to choose sides in the Spanish Civil War. Lorca was no politician: “I am an anarchist, communist, libertarian, Catholic, traditionalist, and a monarchist,” he said cheekily, trying to stay a moving target, yet able to laugh at an unsmiling foe for trying to force him in a box… [20 September 2017, full article]

Exploring the World Federico García Lorca Left Behind
Desde mi cuarto /oigo el surtidor
From my room /I hear the fountain
I always thought that Federico Garcia Lorca wrote these lines at his Granada home, the family’s summer house at the city’s edge. One reason why I thought so is the poem’s title: Granada y 1850 (Granada and 1850). The sense of heavy foreboding that hangs over this short, haiku-like poem is the other, more important reason…Today, one does not hear the fountain from the Huerta de San Vicente (Garden of Saint Vincent), as the house has always been called. [2 September 2017, full article]

Arts Season Preview Spotlight: Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca, one of Spain’s most revered writers, lived a life that was steeped in tragedy and ended in mystery. He was born 1898, near Granada, and in the Roaring ’20s he palled around with the likes of Salvador Dalí. A poet and playwright, his fame spread as he wrote his greatest works: “Blood Wedding,” “Yerma” and “The House of Bernarda Alba.” García Lorca’s plays challenged the role of women in Spanish culture, criticized the country’s class system and generally rebelled against society’s constraints…Central Florida theatergoers will have the chance to see his most famous work interpreted twice this season. “The House of Bernarda Alba” is a look at love and honor. In the story, a domineering mother controls the fortunes of her five daughters after the death of her husband. García Lorca uses his all-female play to examine the consequences of isolation, conformity and repression. [2 September 2017, full article]

Will Spain’s ‘disappeared’ find justice in Argentina?
It was a moonless night in the countryside outside Granada, Spain in 1936. A coded execution order came down: “Give him coffee, lots of coffee!” Antonio Benavides, part of an irregular volunteer firing squad, obliged. “I gave that fat-head a shot in the head,” he reportedly boasted later. This is one account of the death of the famed Spanish poet and playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca. There are many others. After all these years, the circumstances surrounding Lorca’s death and the whereabouts of his remains continue to be one of the great mysteries of Spain’s recent history. But after 81 long years can – will – the truth finally emerge? In response to a request by the Spanish Association for the Recuperation of Historical Memory (ARHM), an Argentinian judge, Maria Servini de Cubria, agreed to investigate the death of Lorca in August 2016. [30 August 2017, full article]

36 hours in Granada, Spain
Like Agra, India, and the Taj Mahal, the Andalusian city of Granada in southern Spain is so well known for a single monument — the Alhambra, a walled fortress housing magnificent 13th- to 15th-century Moorish palaces and gardens — that the city itself is sometimes overlooked. With more than two million visitors descending on the Alhambra, a Unesco World Heritage site, every year, the city’s tourism industry had settled into a somewhat formulaic routine of shuttling visitors in and out of the city in about 24 hours. But recently some other ancient structures have been restored, and the region’s distinctive gastronomy has come into its own. The city that was home to the poet Federico García Lorca, the painter José Guerrero and the composer Manuel de Falla has deep cultural roots, but now a new crop of small foundations and independent exhibition spaces has revived its arty buzz. Let the Alhambra wait a bit while getting seduced by the city that has grown up around it. [10 August 2017, full article]


Can poetry stop a highway? Wielding words in the battle over Roe 8
Can poetry stop a highway? On the face of it you wouldn’t think so. But this idea is being put to the test in Perth’s southern suburbs in the protest movement that has sprung up suddenly and forcefully against Roe 8…[James] Quinton’s poem Hope Road pastiches Federico García Lorca’s famous surrealist poem City that Does not Sleep (Ciudad sin sueño) written in 1930, Garcia Lorca’s poem takes the form of an incantatory warning — “Be careful! Be careful! Be careful!” —that repeatedly insists that no one ever sleeps, and someone always watches…The conceit in García Lorca’s poem that links the “open eyes” with “bitter wounds” is taken up in Quinton’s poem. Here it is the “wounds” to the land created by the bulldozers, linked to the eyes of the protesters determined to witness an event that the road builders would prefer to have kept hidden. [10 January 2017, full article]


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