Just published on the New York Times online (link here):
“The Henry Miller Memorial Library, a nonprofit bookstore and arts center in Big Sur, Calif., where the novelist lived between 1940 and 1962, is sending envoys east to assert Miller’s presence – in spirit, anyway (he died in 1980) – in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, where he spent nearly a decade. The library’s Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge Festival, which opens on May 12 and runs for a week, will include an exhibition, readings, panel discussions, comedy and musical performances.
A likely highlight – a festival closing concert by Philip Glass and Van Dyke Parks and Friends at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on May 19 – may be only tenuously related to Miller and his work. But most of the events celebrate Miller’s blend of enterprising artistry and social engagement in one way or another.
The heart of the festival is a pop-up bookstore at the City Reliquary, a vest-pocket museum where some of Miller’s manuscripts, letters, watercolors and first editions will be on display (and where his books, as well as posters and relevant films, will be on sale) for the full run of the series.
At the Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge Staff Party, which is open to the public, on May 14 at the City Reliquary, Phillip de Gruy, a singer-songwriter, will perform, and Tim Youd, a visual artist who has based several works on Miller’s writings, will show a new piece based on “Tropic of Cancer.” On May 15, Peter Stampfel, Zach Brock, Al Rose and the Bushwick Gospel Singers will offer a concert of music inspired by Miller at Spike Hill.
The program also includes a panel discussion, “Henry Miller: Libertine, Communard,” on May 16 at Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers; an evening of short films form the Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series and the Brooklyn Short Film Festival, at Videology, on May 17; and “Tropic of Laughter,” an improvisatory performance by the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater at the Knitting Factory on May 18.