Poetry News

Lorca's Poet In New York Manuscript Goes on Display

By Harriet Staff


Lately, we've been reporting on old poems resurfacing, whether censored, tucked away, or seemingly lost for good. Federico García Lorca's manuscript of Poet in New York falls in the latter category, as The Independent reports:

On 12 July 12, 1936, Spain’s most translated poet and playwright, Federico García Lorca, left the manuscript of one of his key works, Poet In New York, on the desk of his editor José Bergamín in Madrid with a handwritten note on top: “Back Tomorrow”.

But tomorrow never came. Instead of returning Lorca – part of the ‘Generation of ’27’, an avant-garde artists collective that included his friends Salvador Dali and film-maker Luis Bunuel – went home to Granada, where he was murdered five weeks later by General Franco’s death-squads as Spain tore itself apart in its three-year Civil War.

As for the Poet in New York manuscript, it was taken first to Paris then to central America by Bergamín as he and other Republicans went on the run from Franco. But shortly after an initial dual print run in 1940, the manuscript disappeared, with disputes lasting for decades over the accuracy of ensuing published versions.

Now, for the first time, those doubts should evaporate when the 96-page manuscript – located in 2003 when it was sold at Christies to the Federico García Lorca Foundation for £120,000 by an unemployed Mexican actress – finally goes on public view.

And now you can see the manuscript yourself as "part of the largest-ever North American exhibition of García Lorca’s work, held in New York’s Public Library." The exhibition will also contain drawings, photographs, mementos from Lorca's six months spent in New York from 1929-1930. The exhibition starts on April 5th, so if you're in New York, don't miss it!

Originally Published: March 27th, 2013