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Celia Dropkins: Bent Like a Question Mark
July 30, 2018 , 3:30 pm
Although Yiddish poet Celia Dropkin’s first published her work in 1917 and died in 1956, she wrote about desire and violence in a way that feels shockingly contemporary. And she is currently receiving renewed interest from contemporary artists and musicians, as well as queer performers and theorists.
YIVO’s artists-in-residence for the month of July, the “Book of J” duo — The Sway Machinery’s Jeremiah Lockwood and guitarist and vocalist Jewlia Eisenberg, founder of the Balkan funk-punk band Charming Hostess — are setting Dropkin’s revolutionary poems to their own provocative compositions. Drawing from musical materials they have uncovered at YIVO, the two fuse American psalmody, Yiddish folklore and Jewish liturgy to explore the intersection of religion and radical politics.