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PEN World Voices Lit Crawl / The Literary Mews
Mysticism and Mastery in Middle Eastern Poetry

Friday, May 5, 8:00 p.m.

Deutsches Haus at NYU

As part of our Literary Mews, and the PEN World Voices Festival Lit Crawl, Deutsches Haus at NYU presents “Mysticism and Mastery in Middle Eastern Poetry,” a conversation between former MacArthur fellow, polymath translator and poet Peter Cole and Rumi biographer Brad Gooch, on timeless and timely Middle Eastern poetry and mysticism. The conversation will be moderated by Eric Banks, director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU.
Peter Cole has published several books of poems, and many volumes of translations from Hebrew and Arabic, both medieval and modern. Cole has received numerous honors for his work, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature; in 2007, he was named a MacArthur Fellow. Cole divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven.

Brad Gooch is the author of Smash Cut: A Memoir of Howard & Art & the ’70s & the ’80s and Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor. His previous books include City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O’Hara, the short-story collection Jailbait and Other Stories, and the poetry collection The Daily News. He teaches at William Paterson University and lives in New York City.

Eric Banks is the director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU. Formerly a senior editor of Artforum and editor in chief of Bookforum, Banks has contributed to a range of publications, including the New York Times Book Review, the Financial Times, Slate, the Wall Street Journal, Aperture, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He has also served as an editorial consultant on numerous visual arts catalogues and collections of artists writings, including the catalogue raisonne of Ellsworth Kelly.

Lit Crawl NYC brings literature to the streets via readings, discussions, and dozens of events full of readers, writers, and all-around literary merriment. Since 2015, Lit Crawl NYC has been jointly produced by Litquake and PEN America, an organization dedicated to defending free expression, supporting persecuted writers, and promoting literary culture. Please click here for the full schedule.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend this event, please send an email to As space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event to ensure you get a good seat. Thank you!