He has been a man of extraordinary influence on both my political and personal work.

Leonard Cohen

Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca (1898–1936) was a Spanish poet and dramatist. He attended the University of Granada, the University of Madrid (where he studied law), and Columbia University. In 1936, at the young age of thirty-eight, Lorca was killed by fascist rebels.

cover image of the book Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca

Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca is admired the world over for the lyricism, immediacy, and beauty of his poetry. The superb translators of this collection — Stephen Spender, Langston Hughes, Ben Belitt, William Jay Smith, and W. S. Merwin — have produced English versions that catch the spirit and intensity of the originals. Presented bilingually, this is a selection of Lorca’s very best.

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cover image of the book In Search of Duende

In Search of Duende

The notion of “duende” became a cornerstone of Federico García Lorca’s poetics over the course of his career. In his lecture “Play and Theory of the Duende,” he says, “there are no maps nor disciplines to help us find the duende. We only know that he burns the blood like a poultice of broken glass, that he exhausts, that he rejects all the sweet geometry we have learned…” The duende is portrayed by Lorca as a demonic earth spirit embodying irrationality, earthiness, and a heightened awareness of death. In Search of Duende gathers Lorca’s writings about the duende and about three art forms most susceptible to it: dance, music, and the bullfight. A full bilingual sampling of Lorca’s poetry is also included, with special attention to poems arising from traditional Spanish verse forms. The result is an excellent introduction to Lorca’s poetry and prose for American readers.

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cover image of the book In The Green Morning

In The Green Morning

In The Green Morning: Memories of Federico, Francisco García Lorca tells of the charmed childhood he, his sisters, and his older brother, the Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca, spent in the “quiet, very fragrant” Andalusian village of Fuente Vaqueros. Digressions into family history enable us to see Federico, the son of a well-off landowning family with a tradition of literacy, poetry-writing, and musical accomplishment—as the culmination of a particular family type his brother describes as “happy, spontaneous, and instinctive.” The Lorca family eventually moved to Granada, where both brothers attended university. However, real education took place at the vividly described deliberations of the “Back Corner” group of the Granadan avant-garde.

As the “green morning” of childhood came to an end with Federico’s first poetic successes, the brothers’ lives diverged; Francisco’s account ends with Federico’s departure for Madrid. Francisco became a distinguished professor of Spanish at Columbia University, and the second half of this volume includes ten of his lectures on his brother’s work—discussions which draw upon his personal knowledge of the gradual gestations of the plays and his recollections of rehearsals where Federico was a skilled director.

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cover image of the book Selected Letters

Selected Letters

This first English-language edition of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Selected Letters presents an intimate autobiographical record of the Spanish poet from the age of twenty to a month before his death at the hands of Franco’s forces in 1936. “I was born for my friends," Lorca wrote to Melchor Fernández Almagro in 1926, and these letters reveal the personality his friends found so magical. (“A happiness, a brilliance…” Pablo Neruda called him.) Lorca was by turns sympathetic, generous, demanding, whimsical, insecure, and always lyrical. Over the nineteen years covered in this selection, he maintained a correspondence with his closest friends, particularly his childhood companion Melchor Fernández Almagro and his fellow poet Jorge Guillén, and wrote in concentrated bursts to many others. He could be playful with Salvador Dali’s younger sister Ana Maria; deferential to composer Manuel de Falla; lively and descriptive with his family; and exasperating to Barcelona critic Sebastian Gasch as he poured out literary plans and solicited favors, ever impassioned but good-natured. With their frequent enclosures of poems and scenes from plays, the letters also chronicle Lorca’s growth as an artist, from self-doubting romantic dilettante to confident, internationally respected playwright and poet. Begun at Columbia University under the aegis of Lorca’s brother, Francisco Garcia Lorca, the translation and selection of these letters has been made by David Gershator, poet, teacher, and co-founder of the Downtown Poets Co-op. Dr. Gershator has also provided an informative biographical introduction.

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cover image of the book The Public And Play Without A Title

The Public And Play Without A Title

Federico Garcia Lorca called The Public “the best thing I’ve written for the theater.” Yet, he acknowledged, “this is for the theater years from now.” Now, half a century later, The Public and another of Lorca’s most daring works, Play without a Title, are available in English translation for the first time. Surrealism, folk theater, poetry, vivid costumes, black humor––in the The Public, dramatic traditions are ransacked to develop themes as timely in the 1980s as they were taboo when Lorca was writing: if Romeo were a man of thirty and Juliet a boy of fifteen, would their passion be any less authentic? No, says a young observer of the play within the play, “I who climb the mountain twice each day and, when I finish studying, tend an enormous herd of bulls that I’ve got to struggle with and overpower at every instant, I don’t have time to think about whether Juliet’s a man or a woman or a child, but only to observe that I like her with such a joyous desire.” In both The Public and Play without a Title, the player himself is of as much consequence as the role he plays. The fierce, stark Play without a Title, with its cast of Author, Prompter, Stagehand in the wings, and hecklers in the gallery, clearly heralds developments in today’s avant-garde theater. It also reflects the violence of the times in which it was written. As Carlos Bauer notes in his introduction, neither of the plays in this volume was complete in 1936, when Lorca was assassinated by Franco’s forces. Still, both have here the unity and grace of finished tours de force.

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cover image of the book The Cricket Sings

The Cricket Sings

A special aspect of Federico Garcia Lorca’s personality was the ease with which he made friends with children and the delight he took in entertaining them. In addition to the little puppet shows he created for his sisters and their friends and for the children of other writers, he wrote many little poems as well as words set to folk tunes that are still read and sung by Spanish children today and which, in their rarity and charm, are just the right size for anyone of any age.

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cover image of the book Deep Song And Other Prose

Deep Song And Other Prose

A collection of prose writing and lectures from the great Spanish poet.

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cover image of the book Five Plays

Five Plays

Federico García Lorca’s position as one of the few geniuses of the modern theatre was firmly established in the English-speaking world with his Three Tragedies. Here, with an introduction by the dramatist’s brother, Francisco García Lorca, are five of his “comedies,” in the authorized translations, extensively revised to reflect recent Lorca scholarship and to convey the sparkle, freshness, and magic of the original Spanish.

The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife tells of a young beauty married to an old man, a theme that often concerned Lorca. The resolution for the earnest shoemaker, who leaves home and comes back disguised as a puppeteer, is lighthearted, but there is underlying pathos.

The Love of Don Perlimplin is again about a girl who weds someone much older, this time a bookish, 18th-century gentleman, who seeks an original but sardonic way out of the situation.

According to Lorca himself, “Doña Rosita is the outer gentleness and inner scorching of a girl in Granada who, little by little, turns into that grotesque and moving thing — an old maid in Spain.”

The two other comedies, published here in book form in English for the first time, are The Billy-Club _Puppets _— a guignol-type farce with delicate wit; and The Butterfly’s Evil Spell, an “insect comedy” about a beetle-poet who aspires to be a butterfly.

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cover image of the book Three Tragedies

Three Tragedies

Here in the authorized translation by James Graham-Lujan and Richard L. O’Connell, with an illuminating biographical introduction by the poet’s brother, Francisco García Lorca, are three tragic dramas by the great modern Spanish poet and playwright which have caught the imagination and won the critical acclaim of the literate world:

Blood Wedding: Concerned with love that cannot become marriage among the primitive hill people of Castile, this is a play of the workings of tremendous passions and tribal ritual toward an inescapable tragic end.

Yerma: According to Edwin Honig, author of a biography on Lorca, “The whole tragic burden of Yerma is measured by the deepening of her struggle with the problem of frustrated motherhood.”

The House of Bernarda Alba: Again about “women whom love moves to tragedy," Bernarda Alba tells of the repression of five daughters by a domineering mother, of how their natural spirits circumvented her but bring violence and death.

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He has been a man of extraordinary influence on both my political and personal work.

Leonard Cohen

What Lorca wrote in his short life made it impossible to imagine the poetry not only of Spain and the Spanish language everywhere but of the whole Western world, since then, without him.

W.S. Merwin

Spain’s great poet and playwright is being rediscovered.

The New York Times

What a poet! I have never seen grace and genius, a winged heart and a crystalline waterfall, come together in anyone else as they did in him. Federico García Lorca was the extravagant ‘duende,’ his was a magnetic joyfulness that generated a test for life in his heart and radiated it like a planet.

Pablo Neruda

Spain’s great poet and playwright is being rediscovered.

New York Times
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