The New Yorker Festival

This year’s Wells Fargo New Yorker Festival draws a grab bag of celebs-e-tweed you can pay to rub shoulders with: Jhumpa Lahiri, Zadie Smith, Richard Dawkins, Behnaz Sarafpour and Sasha Frere-Jones. And they’re not alone: Mikhail Baryshnikov, the Roots, yadda yadda. It’s like they swiped the Sex and the City item numbers and invited with abandon.

In a highbrow bow, a gesture of noblesse oblige, the magazine not only ran a feature on the Three Stooges this week, they invited the South Park brats to the fest. But of course the Jhumpa-Zadie axis is sold out. How now, brown cow?

The Aug. 29th issue also ran an excellent Vijay Seshadri poem, ‘Family Happiness.’ Seshadri is an English professor who may have been one of the original 2nd genners, with both a pukka American accent and an incongruous shock of gray hair. He read another poem I dig at the SAJA fest; he’s got a radio voice and a knack for lines of astringent tenderness within the clutches of marriage.

Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, in 1954 and came to America at the age of five. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio… and has lived in many parts of the country, including the Pacific Northwest, where he spent five years working in the fishing and logging industries, and New York’s Upper West Side, where he was a sometime graduate student in Columbia’s Ph.D. program in Middle Eastern Languages and Literature… He currently teaches poetry and nonfiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. [Link]

New Yorker Festival, Sep. 23-25, 2005, Manhattan, various locations

9 thoughts on “The New Yorker Festival

  1. (fingers planted in ears, stomping)I am NOT jealous of New Yorkers, I am NOT jealous of New Yorkers.

    The Roots? Sasha Frere-Jones? It’s just not fair.

  2. Seshadri is an English professor who may have been one of the original 2nd genners

    2nd genner ??

    Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, in 1954

    Shouldn’t it be a 1.something genner or soemthing :) ..for the sake of all those inconsequential arguments ppl put up. ..I think these definitions ought to be put up in the FAQ.

  3. O’ya,

    Seshadri is almost like a 1.9 generationer, raised in the U.S. from a very young age. He makes it a point to differentiate himself from expatriate writers like Agha Shahid Ali.

    One of my favorite Seshadri poems is The Disappearances. The New Yorker printed it on a full page in their first issue after 9/11, a position of honor.

    Also nice is “The Long Meadow,” which might appeal to you, Manish, for the reference to Brooklyn:

    That dog bears a slight resemblance to my dog, a skinny, restless, needy, overprotective mutt, who was rescued from a crack house by Suzanne. On weekends, and when I can shake free during the week, I take her to the Long Meadow, in Prospect Park, where dogs are allowed off the leash in the early morning. She’s gray-muzzled and old now, but you can’t tell that by the way she runs.
  4. Also nice is “The Long Meadow,” which might appeal to you, Manish, for the reference to Brooklyn:

    Pfffft! That’s my side of Brooklyn Amardeep. And Betty Smith would agree. Manish hangs upside-down in his converted-warehouse loft. ;)

  5. Thanks, all, for the links to new pieces to read. Much appreciated.

    Manish hangs upside-down in his converted-warehouse loft. ;)

    Part bat-blogger, part-pajamahedeen. You heard it from Cicatrix first ;)

  6. Part bat-blogger, part-pajamahedeen. You heard it from Cicatrix first ;)

    now I really wish I’d I read Ayn Rand. So very many uber-fledermaus comments… and I can’t take a single one to its fullest potential. (sigh) ;)