“The Buzzard & The Peacock”
Thursday, January 11, from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine:
An Evening of Poetry, Music and Dance
(January 4, 2018 – New York, NY) The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in collaboration with creative director Elizabeth Howard, celebrates the legacy of poet, essayist, and educator Ned O’Gorman with a staged reading of his poem “The Buzzard and the Peacock,” incorporating dance and music on Thursday, January 11, from 7:00 – 8:00 PM at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street), Manhattan.
The reading and performance imagines a collaboration between composer Lucia Dlugoszewski and Ned O’Gorman. The evening also showcases the innovations of modern dance pioneer Erick Hawkins and the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, under the direction of Katherine Duke, through two dances based on O’Gorman’s work.
In 1967, Lucia Dlugoszewski, a composer and inventor of musical instruments, created a piece inspired by Ned O’Gorman’s poem “The Buzzard & the Peacock.” Discovered in O’Gorman’s archives by Elizabeth Howard, Dlugoszewski’s composition is included in the exhibition Ned O’Gorman: through a poet’s lens, on view through January 2018 at the Lauinger Library, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
The Cathedral has been deeply engaged with world literature for decades, most visibly through its American Poets Corner. Each year, a major American author is inducted into its ranks, joining luminaries like Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, and James Baldwin. In addition to the annual induction service in November, the Poets Corner is also the jumping-off point for readings, talks, and performances throughout the year.
About Ned O’Gorman
Ned O’Gorman (1929 -2014) was an author, poet, educator and advocate for the oppressed. In 1958, he was awarded the Lamont Poetry Award and later received two Guggenheim Fellowships for his poetry. In 1966, he began working in Harlem and founded two schools: the Children’s Storefront and the Ricardo O’Gorman Garden and Center for Resources in the Humanities, created to bring “a pedagogy of the varied humanist breadth and seriousness” to children who were denied such a pedagogy in the public schools. His wide circle of friends included poets and writers, artists, composers, musicians and dancers.
About Lucia Dlugoszewski
Lucia Dlugoszewski (1926- 2000) is considered one of the most inventive American composers of the 20th century. She explored definitions of sound instrumentation and approached her work as both musician and poet. She was the first woman to win the Koussevitzky International Recording Award for “Fire Fragile Flight” (1980) and was commissioned by Pierre Boulez and the New York Philharmonic for the work “Abyss and Caress.” She composed works for films by Jonas Mekas, and was championed by poets Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery, as well as by painters Robert Motherwell and Ad Reinhardt.
About Erick Hawkins
Erick Hawkins (1909-1994) was one of the key pioneers of modern dance. His career began when he studied at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet. After performing and choreographing works for Ballet Caravan (later to become New York City Ballet) Hawkins became Martha Graham’s first male dancer, creating a number of celebrated roles. In 1951, Hawkins opened his own school of dance and formed his own dance company. He worked with contemporary painters, sculptors, and designers, including Isamu Noguchi, Louise Bourgeois, Helen Frankenthaler, Stanley Boxer and Ralph Lee.
About Elizabeth Howard
Elizabeth Howard is an author and journalist. Her books include: Ned O’Gorman: A Glance Back, a book she edited (Easton Studio Press, 2015), A Day with Bonefish Joe (David R. Godine, 2015), and Queen Anne’s Lace and Wild Blackberry Pie (Thornwillow Press, 2011).
About The Cathedral
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. It is chartered as a house of prayer for all people and a unifying center of intellectual light and leadership. People from many faiths and communities worship together in services held more than 30 times a week; the soup kitchen serves roughly 25,000 meals annually; social service outreach has an increasingly varied roster of programs; the distinguished Cathedral School prepares young students to be future leaders; Adults and Children in Trust, the renowned preschool, afterschool and summer program, offers diverse educational and nurturing experiences; the outstanding Textile Conservation Lab preserves world treasures; concerts, exhibitions, performances and civic gatherings allow conversation, celebration, reflection and remembrance—such is the joyfully busy life of this beloved and venerated Cathedral.
About the American Poets Corner
Poets, fiction writers, essayists, and dramatists: the American Poets Corner memorializes the literature of our nation in all its surprise, wit and beauty. The Poets Corner, beloved by visitors, has earned respect for its choices of inductees, and for the high quality of its Electors and Poets in Residence, which include 17 U.S. Poets Laureate and winners of every literary prize an American writer can aspire to, including the Nobel. Every spring, the Poet in Residence invites each Elector to nominate a writer deceased for at least 25 years. Since 2000, one writer has been inducted each year.