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]