GIANT NIGHT: In.On.Or About the Premises: A Celebration of the Work of Paul Blackburn – Panel at the Center for Humanities

Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative is partnering with us to kick off our 50th Anniversary with a panel and discussion on the life and works of Paul Blackburn: poet, translator, and foundational figure of the Lower East Side poetry scene. A roundtable moderated by Poetry Project Director Stacy Szymaszek will follow short talks by Marcella Durand, George Economou, David Henderson, Basil King, Carolee Schneemann, Simon Smith, and Robert Vas Dias on topics such as: his politics, his translations of Provençal troubadour verse and Julio Cortázar, and the role of the poet in shaping the city.

This panel will be followed by a reception to celebrate Paul Blackburn, the Poetry Project’s 50th Anniversary, and the publication of Lost & Found Series VI featuring work by Gregory Corso, Judy Grahn, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, and Ted Joans.

A limited-edition broadside of a Paul Blackburn poem paired with a Basil King drawing, designed by Edwin Torres to commemorate In.On.Or About the Premises: A Celebration of Paul Blackburn and the 50th Anniversary of The Poetry Project in collaboration with Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative will be available.

FREE and open to the public.

Photo courtesy of Carolee Schneemann – Schneemann and Blackburn at a Be In, Central Park, 1968

Thought of as the pre-spirit of The Poetry Project, Paul Blackburn gave the first reading here on September 22, 1966. His poetry, translations, and organization and recording of early downtown readings, exerted a steady and widespread influence across a wide range of aesthetic practices. In his lifetime Blackburn published thirteen books of original poetry as well as five major works of translation. Twelve other books were published posthumously. The Collected Poems of Paul Blackburn (1985) and The Selected Poems of Paul Blackburn (1989) are both available from Persea Books, and a reprint of Proensa: An Anthology of Troubadour Poetry, is due out from New York Review Books in 2016.