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PRESS CONTACT: Andrew Sherman |[email protected]| 212.415.5693

July 31, 2014 – New York, NY – “To begin at the beginning,” as Dylan Thomas once famously said on 92Y’s stage, some of the world’s best novelists, poets and playwrights are set to visit 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center in 2014-15.


The season kicks off with Ian McEwan on September 15, and it features rare appearances from The Remains of the Day author Kazuo Ishiguro, poet Jay Wright andpopular British mystery writer Ruth Rendell.  


We have Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers and Swells, a Vanity Fair 100th-birthday celebration, and even The Polar Express makes a stop in November, with children’s author Chris Van Allsburg.


Then there is Dylan Thomas himself. The legendary Welsh poet made his American debut at 92Y in 1950, and he premiered “Under Milk Wood” here in 1953. In honor of his centenary, the Poetry Center pays tribute with two programs: Dylan Thomas in AmericaA Centennial Exhibition (Oct. 26 – Dec. 4); and an on-stage event on Oct. 26, the eve of Thomas’s 100th birthday (details to come).


Saul Bellow, Eudora Welty and Langston Hughes are also the subjects of tribute events – featuring the likes of Jeffrey Eugenides, Martin Amis and Olympia Dukakis, among others. And Margaret Atwood is here in November to celebrate her75th birthday (with guests to be announced).


Other boldface names at 92Y’s Poetry Center this season include Richard Ford and Lorrie Moore (together) and Steven Millhauser, Marilynne Robinson, poet Rita Dove, and– for theater fans – Tony Kushner, Yasmina Reza and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.


For more information about readings and events, as well as Poetry Center Writing Program classes and seminars, visit www.92y.org/poetry.



2014/15: Reading Series & Literary Events

Monday, Sept. 15, 8 pm, From $28/$15 for ages 35 and under

Reading: Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan returns to 92Y’s Poetry Center this season with a new novel. The Children Act (Doubleday, Sept. 9) examines the intersection of faith, family and law through the story of a judge overseeing a difficult case involving parents who refuse treatment for their sick child.


Monday, Sept. 29, 8 pm, From $28/$15 for ages 35 and under

Discussion: Tennessee Williams—Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, with John Lahr and Tony Kushner

For Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams’ plays – A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menagerie – ushered in a “revolution” in American theater. But who was Williams the man? John Lahr, celebrated drama critic and New Yorker contributor, visits 92Y with his new Williams biography (Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, W.W. Norton, Sept. 22), and discusses it with playwright Tony Kushner.


Monday, Oct. 6, 8:15 pm, From $22/$15 for ages 35 and under

Reading: Marlon James & Laila Lalami

Lest we forget, the man who still reminds us that “Every little thing is gonna be alright,” Bob Marley, was once the target of an assassination attempt. Marlon James’s new novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings (Riverhead, Oct. 2), touches on that incident, and James reads from the book at 92Y. Laila Lalami’s new novel, The Moor’s Account (Pantheon, Sept. 9), centers on the first black explorer of America.


Monday, Oct. 20, 8 pm, From $28/$15 for ages 35 and under

Reading: Marilynne Robinson & Colm Tóibín   

Pulitzer Prize-winner Robinson returns to the town of Gilead, Iowa, in her new novel, Lila (FSG, Oct. 7). “There is the precision and lyrical power of her language, and the way it embodies a struggle—the fight to use the best words to describe both the visible and the invisible world,” wrote The New Yorker’s James Wood. Tóibín, author of Brooklyn, one of the 10 best historical novels (according to the UK’s The Observer), has a new book – Nora Webster (Scribner, Oct. 7).


Sunday, Oct. 26 through Thurs., Dec.4, Free

Dylan Thomas in America – A Centennial Exhibition

On February 23, 1950, Dylan Thomas took the stage at 92Y for his first reading in America. And in 1953, he premiered “Under Milk Wood” on that same stage. Opening on the eve of the centenary of Thomas’s birth, this exhibition gathers letters, photographs and ephemera from archives around the world to chronicle the poet’s trips to the United States between 1950 and his tragic death in 1953. A collaboration with Duggal Visual Solutions, this exhibition is supported with a major gift from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, as well as contributions from the British Council and Welsh government.


Sunday, Oct. 26, Free

Dylan Thomas at 100

Kicking off a week of Dylan Thomas at 100 festivities around New York, the Poetry Center hosts a tribute to the great Welsh poet on the stage where he made his American debut in 1950 and where he appeared in the premiere performance of “Under Milk Wood,” his famous “play for voices,” in 1953. Details to come. (To listen to a recording of the ’53 performance, click on the above link)


Monday, Nov. 3, 8:15 pm, From $15

Reading: Carolyn Forché & Robin Robertson

Political poet Forché, well-known for her collection The Country Between Us and the term “poetry of witness,” has a new book, In the Lateness of the World (Bloodaxe Books, April 30). Scottish poet’s Robin Robertson’s new book of poems is Sailing the Forest (FSG, Oct. 7). “He is instantly recognizable as a poet of vivid authority, commanding a surprised, accurate language of his own,” wrote the late W. S. Merwin.


Wednesday, Nov. 5, 8 pm, From $28/$15 for ages 35 and under

Reading: Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers, and Swells—A Vanity Fair Anthology Reading

With Graydon Carter and others

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Vanity Fair, editor Graydon Carter introduces an evening of readings from Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers, and Swells (Penguin Press, Oct. 30), a

new anthology that brings together the best writing of the magazine’s early years, from Dorothy Parker to Djuna Barnes, Noël Coward to  E. E. Cummings, P. G. Wodehouse to Langston

Hughes, Gertrude Stein to Carl Sandburg.


Sunday, Nov. 9, 11 am, From $35

Books & Bagels: The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Volume 3

With Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck

Editors Fehsenfeld and Overbeck make their third visit to the Poetry Center, with the publication of Volume 3 of The Letters of Samuel Beckett (Cambridge University Press), which spans the years 1957-65 and focuses on when he was striving to find a balance between the demands of his growing fame and his need for peace and silence. “The prospect of reading Beckett’s letters quickens the blood like none other’s,” wrote Tom Stoppard. “One must hope to stay alive until the fourth volume is safely delivered.” The Books & Bagels series features thought-provoking talks by leading biographers, critics and editors; a light brunch is included.


Tuesday, Nov. 11, 8 pm, From $28/$15 for ages 35 and under

Reading: Happy Birthday, Margaret Atwood!  

With Margaret Atwood and others

Novelist, poet, literary critic and environmental activist Atwood celebrates her 75th birthday at the Poetry Center; the evening features readings, performances and tributes – by Atwood and some of her fellow writer friends (to be announced). This event is underwritten by The Hite Foundation, Inc.


Saturday, Nov. 15, 12:30 pm, From $10

Children’s Reading: Chris Van Allsburg

Chris Van Allsburg has written some of the most beloved picture-books of our time – Jumanji, The Polar Express, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. His new book, about a pet-store hamster longing for freedom, is The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie (HMH Books, Nov. 4).


Sunday, Nov. 16, 12 pm, From $35/$15 for ages 35 and under

Books & Bagels: On Penelope Fitzgerald — With Hermione Lee

A look at the life and work of one of England’s finest 20th-century novelists by one of its most accomplished biographers. “In this brilliant and passionate biography, you find a haunting tale of blighted hope, personal tragedy and rare, late fulfillment,” wrote Robert McCrum. “Among the many pleasures of this sad life is the subtle and perceptive way in which Lee makes a creative connection between Fitzgerald’s 60-year incubation of her genius and the complex riches of her final years.”


Monday, Nov. 17, 8 pm, From $28/$15 for ages 35 and under

Reading: Ruth Rendell & Emma Donoghue

Rendell, who Patricia Cornwell called “the most brilliant mystery novelist of our time,” gives her a rare US. reading at 92Y. Her new novel, a thriller sparked by the discovery of bones in a tin box, is The Girl Next Door (Scribner, Nov. 4). “Her stories are a lesson in a human nature as capable of the most exotic love as it is of the cruelest murder,” said Cornwell. Emma Donoghue’s latest novel, a murder mystery set in nineteenth-century San Francisco, is Frog Music.


Thursday, Dec. 11, 8:15 pm, From $15

Reading: Mary Ruefle & Christian Wiman

Mary Ruefle’s latest collection of poetry is Trances of the Blast (Wave Books). “Her body of work is remarkable for its spiritual force, intelligence, stylistic virtuosity and adventurousness,” wrote Tony Hoagland. Christian Wiman’s new book of poems is Once in the West (FSG, Sept. 9). “His poetry and scholarship have a purifying urgency that is rare in this world,” wrote Marilynne Robinson. “This enables him to say new things in timeless language, so that the reader’s surprise and assent are one and the same.”


Saturday, Dec. 13, 12:30 pm, From $10

Children’s Reading: Gregory Maguire

Author of the popular Wicked series, Gregory Maguire has now conjured Egg and Spoon (Candlewick, Sept. 9), a dazzling fantasy about two girls’ adventures in tsarist Russia.


Wednesday, Dec. 17, 8:15 pm, From $29//$15 for ages 35 and under

Discussion: Can We Be Silent? Artists on Prejudice and Persecution

Author David Grossman, conductor/violinist Gidon Kremer and pianist András Schiff are all outspoken critics of social injustices in their birth countries. They discuss the responsibility of every politically-informed and engaged artist to speak out against prejudice and persecution.



Winter/Spring Events: Highlights

Feb. 9: Yasmina Reza, with her new novel, Happy are the Happy


Feb. 12: Richard Ford & Lorrie Moore


Feb. 23: The Letters of Langston Hughes


March 11: Eudora Welty’s Asphodel — a reading by Olympia Dukakis and others; in collaboration with the inaugural Welty Biennial, opening in Mississippi in April 2015


March 16: Alberto Manguel: First Reads


March 18: Kazuo Ishiguro & Caryl Phillips


April 2: Poet Jay Wright


April 20: Steven Millhauser & Mary Caponegro


April 30: The Tenth Muse with Rita Dove


May 21: Saul Bellow at 100, with Martin Amis, Jeffrey Eugenides, James Wood and others.


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About 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center

Founded in 1939, 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center is widely recognized as the nation’s premier presenter of literary programming, celebrating the voice of literature with an unrivaled dedication to writers and readers. Over the years it has presented some of the best-known fiction writers, playwrights and poets, including W. H. Auden, Saul Bellow, Elizabeth Bishop, Truman Capote, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, Vladimir Nabokov, Pablo Neruda, Harold Pinter, Philip Roth, Dylan Thomas and Tennessee Williams, among many others. The Poetry Center’s Writing Program features literary seminars, workshops in poetry, fiction and memoir, and master classes by well-known authors. The Poetry Center supports two outreach programs: The Poetry Center Schools Project, which serves New York City high-school students; and The Poetry Center/Union Settlement Adult-Literacy Outreach Project, which serves adults who are in the process of learning English.


About 92nd Street Y

Now celebrating its 140th Anniversary, 92nd Street Y is a world-class, nonprofit cultural and community center that fosters the mental, physical and spiritual health of people throughout their lives, offering: wide-ranging conversations with the world’s best minds; an outstanding range of programming in the performing, visual and literary arts; fitness and sports programs; and activities for children and families. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y annually; millions more participate in 92Y’s digital and online initiatives. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its Jewish heritage and welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit www.92Y.org.


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