Event: The Harry Ransom Center hosts free public programs.
When: Various dates throughout April
Background: All events are free and open to the public. Please note that the Ransom Center’s Charles Nelson Prothro Theater has limited seating. Line forms upon arrival of the first person, and doors open 30 minutes in advance.
Poetry on the Plaza: “Spring into Love”
Wednesday, April 7, at noon
The Ransom Center presents the Poetry on the Plaza event “Spring into Love.” Readers present poems that celebrate spring, a time of renewal, of optimism, of romance, when all is fresh and new and bluebonnets are in bloom.
Readers include British writer Iain Sinclair, whose archive resides at the Ransom Center; Tom Cable, English professor at The University of Texas at Austin; and author Prudence Mackintosh, adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Austin and frequent contributor to Texas Monthly.
Thursday, April 8, at 7 p.m.
British writer Iain Sinclair, whose archive resides at the Ransom Center, reads from “London Orbital.” The reading will be followed by a conversation between Sinclair and author Michael Moorcock, audience questions and a book signing. This program will be webcast live.
“London Orbital” is Sinclair’s “compulsively detouring account of walking and writing across one small patch of ground over 40 years.” Walking around the “acoustic footprints” of the M25 orbital motorway, the ring road that encloses London, was Sinclair’s method of discovering where the sprawling city gave up the ghost, and where the uncertain future was carrying us.
Screening of “Peter Matthiessen: No Boundaries”
Monday, April 12, at 7 p.m.
The Ransom Center screens “Peter Matthiessen: No Boundaries,” a documentary film about the National Book Award-winning writer and environmental activist, written and directed by Jeffrey Sewald. Matthiessen’s archive resides at the Ransom Center. Sewald will introduce the film.
In this intimate glimpse of celebrated writer, activist and Buddhist priest Matthiessen (author of “The Snow Leopard”), Sewald explores the influences that have colored the author’s life, work and beliefs. Interviews with Matthiessen and book excerpts and anecdotes from son Alex Mathiessen, novelist Jim Harrison, author Thomas McGuane and others create a dynamic portrait of this writer. Glenn Close narrates.
Tuesday, April 20, at 7 p.m.
Writer Angella M. Nazarian reads from “Life as a Visitor,” her account of fleeing Iran with her family and life as an immigrant caught between two cultures. A book signing follows. This program will be webcast live.
Forced to flee to the United States at age 11 after the violent Iranian Revolution of 1979, Nazarian talks about her journey from past to present, from the exotic to the familiar and from a country’s political struggle to her own inner struggle in search of home, family and a sense of belonging.
Nazarian is a professor of psychology and facilitates adult personal development workshops. She is an avid traveler, photographer and art enthusiast and has integrated these passions into her writing and her contributions to the Huffington Post and other publications.
This program is co-sponsored by the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.
Poetry on the Plaza: “Water, Air, Earth and Fire”
Wednesday, April 21, at noon
The Ransom Center presents the Poetry on the Plaza event “Water, Air, Earth and Fire.”
Tuesday, April 27, at 7 p.m.
Booker Prize-winning author of “Oscar and Lucinda” and “True History of the Kelly Gang,” Peter Carey reads from his new novel, “Parrot and Olivier in America.” A book signing follows. This program will be webcast live.
“Parrot and Olivier in America” is an inventive reimagining of Alexis de Tocqueville’s famous journey, evoking the Old World colliding with the New. Olivier is an aristocrat, one of an endangered species born in France just after the Revolution. Parrot, the son of an itinerant English printer and twice Olivier’s age, always wanted to be an artist but has ended up a servant. With their story, Carey explores the adventure of American democracy in theory, in practice and as an ongoing argument.
“Another Glorious Day” with Kenneth Brown
Thursday, April 29, at 7 p.m.
Playwright Kenneth Brown, whose archive resides at the Ransom Center, introduces a screening of the documentary film “Another Glorious Day.” The film explores the history, context and performances of the Living Theatre’s European tour of his play, “The Brig” (1963). A question-and-answer session follows.
The film is centered on a 2008 revival of “The Brig,” the inflammatory 1963 play that exposed the harsh realities inside a U.S. Marine prison. This documentary by Karin Kaper and Dirk Szuszies puts former Marine Kenneth H. Brown’s drama into historical perspective–and makes a case for its ongoing relevance–through powerful scenes from the recent production in Berlin and illuminating interviews with directors of the play, revival cast members and the playwright himself.
High-resolution press images relating to all events are available.