Lately I've talked more about "society" than "literature" here, but in fact in Carboneras we do more literature than social agitation. Spurred on by actor-playwright Antonio Rodríguez Menéndez, 30 or more people in town have joined his "Fahrenheit 451/Personas Libro" project, learning texts (all in Spanish) and delivering them before audiences with voice and gesture. It's great fun, and I think we're all getting better. So far, my texts have been by Neruda, Juan Gelman, and Heberto Padilla, and from the other participants I've become acquainted with a dozen other poets and prose writers. This Saturday our group will be part of a festival celebrating cultural diversity in Almería (capital of the province), where I'll be doing another piece by Gelman: Medidas.
And now, as an offshoot of that Spanish-language project, some of the English-speakers in town have formed our own "Book Person" club. Our aim is to meet once a month (the last Friday), each of us with a new text prepared (memorized and rehearsed) to present. Tomorrow will be our 3rd gathering. Here are some of the pieces performed last month (presenter in parentheses):
The Owl and the Pussycat, by Edward Lear (sung, beautifully, by Jeanne Durban Taylor)
The book has been man's greatest triumph, by Louis L'Amour (Pamela Ravander)
Daffodils, by William Wordsworth (Hazel Jones)
Death in Leamington, by John Betjeman (John Taylor)
Loveliest of trees, by A. E. Housman (David Jones)
Frustration, by Dorothy Parker (Susana Torre)
The Makers, by Howard Nemerov (Geoffrey Fox)
Photo, Inma Caparrós: Larry, Jeanne and Hazel listen as David Jones interprets A. E. Housman's “Loveliest of Trees”.