Ed Pavlic, poet, professor of English literature and former Union College faculty member, spoke Tuesday April 29 from 5 to 6:20 pm in Arts 215. His subject was the illustrious African-American writer James Baldwin. The title of this multi-media presentation was “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?: Music & Film in James Baldwin’s Transnational Early 70s.”
Covering issues of sexuality, race, artistic creation, civil rights and political activism, Pavlic traced James Baldwin’s dizzying trajectory of creative collaborations from Hollywood to Turkey to France to New York City, integrating, among other things, From Another Place (1973), a 13-minute documentary made by Turkish photographer-filmmaker Sedat Pakay during Baldwin’s stay in Turkey; thoughts on Baldwin’s screenplay for Malcolm X (completed while Baldwin was in France) with the music of Aretha Franklin; and readings & audio clips from The Hallelujah Chorus, Baldwin’s musical-dramatic collaboration with Ray Charles, which they performed at Carnegie Hall in 1973.
This event was sponsored by Film Studies with generous support from Africana Studies, WGS, MLL, Political Science, American Studies, English, and Multicultural Affairs.
Ed Pavlić’s next book will be Who Can Afford to Improvise? Music, Lyric, and James Baldwin’s Political Aesthetic. His most recent books are Visiting Hours at the Color Line (2013), But Here Are Small Clear Refractions (2009) and Winners Have Yet to be Announced: A Song for Donny Hathaway (2008). Others include Paraph of Bone & Other Kinds of Blue (2001), Crossroads Modernism (2002) and Labors Lost Left Unfinished (2006). His prizes include the National Poetry Series Open Competition, The American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize (judged by Adrienne Rich), the Writer of the Year Award from the Georgia Writer’s Association and the Darwin Turner Memorial Award from African American Review. He is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia in Athens.