The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church is honored to host of the neighborhood that I behold: a Cavafy Marathon as part of "Archive of Desire" A festival inspired by the poet C. P. Cavafy, presented by Onassis Foundation in New York. The festival is curated by composer Paola Prestini, Artistic Director of National Sawdust, and under the creative direction of Afroditi Panagiotakou, Onassis Foundation’s Director of Culture.
Titled by a line of text from Cavafy’s poem In The Same Space, this 5-hour celebration brings together readings by notable poets, writers, actors, activists, civic and community leaders and performances featuring music, dance and other interpretations.
Taking up the breadth of Cavafy’s work — his complex questions and reflections on nation, city, diaspora, queerness, time, history, and memory — the marathon enacts a many-voiced tapestry with urgent and enduring questions. How do our evolving communities respond to inherited and shifting mythologies? What modes and methods of authorship shape our sense of place, origin, and future?
National Sawdust and ONX Studio will be the primary hubs of "Archive of Desire". The Poetry Project, McNally Jackson Booksellers, Rockefeller Center, and Columbia University, among others, will also host festival activities. More information about "Archive of Desire" and the week's lineup of events is available at onassis.org
Born on April 29, 1863 in Alexandria, Egypt, where he died on the same day in 1933, Constantine Cavafy is the leading poet of the periphery, writing in Greek far from Greek lands. The body of his poetry includes the 154 poems of the “canon”, 37 “repudiated poems”, most of which are juvenilia written in romantic katharevousa, 75 “hidden” poems that were found finished in his papers, and 30 “unfinished” poems. His poems often feature historical figures or creations of the poet’s imagination, with frequent references to familiar or less familiar elements of Homeric, Hellenistic, and Byzantine years. Today his poetry comprises a discrete pole in Greek literature, and he enjoys a prominent place in world literature as well.