literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature

LRB Presents: Paul Muldoon's Against the Grain

Cheers to 40 years of the London Review of Books at an evening of poetry, music and collaboration.

As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, the London Review of Books brings Against the Grain, the acclaimed literary-music series it presents in partnership with NationalSawdust+ in Brooklyn, over to the UK for the first time.

Curated by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, Against the Grain pairs writers with musicians to discuss and create art that is equal to the contrariness and complexity of our moment.

Joining Muldoon is the Canadian poet and translator Anne Carson, the American composer Nico Muhly, who wrote about his working methods in the LRB last year, and the writer and singer Amit Chaudhuri, for readings, conversation, contemporary music and one-night-only collaboration.

Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet and professor of poetry, as well as an editor, critic, playwright, lyricist and translator. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 13 major collections of poetry, served as Professor of Poetry at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004 and as poetry editor of The New Yorker from 2007 to 2017, and has taught at Princeton University since 1987.

Anne Carson was born in Canada and has been a professor of Classics for over 30 years. Her awards and honours include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations. Carson’s work spans celebrated translations of classical writers such as Sappho and Euripides, poems, essays, libretti, prose criticism, and verse novels that often cross genres.

Carson’s Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse and The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos and radically experimental works such as her most recent project Float, which is composed of 22 individual chapbooks, have sealed her reputation as one of the most expansive and formally innovative poets of recent times.

Nico Muhly is an American composer and sought-after collaborator whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and others, he has written more than 80 works for the concert stage, including the opera , which premiered at the English National Opera in 2017 and was staged by the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2018.

Muhly is a frequent collaborator with choreographer Benjamin Millepied and, as an arranger, has paired with Sufjan Stevens, Antony and the Johnsons and others. He is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums, Speaks Volumes and Mothertongue.

Amit Chaudhuri is the author of seven novels, the latest of which is Friend of My Youth. He is also an essayist, poet, musician, and composer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Awards for his fiction include the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and the Indian government's Sahitya Akademi Award. In 2013, he was awarded the first Infosys Prize in the Humanities for outstanding contribution to literary studies. In 2017, the government of West Bengal awarded him the Sangeet Samman for his contribution to Indian classical music. He is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia.

In 2004, he conceptualised a project in experimental music called This Is Not Fusion. His second CD, Found Music, was an Editor’s Choice of 2010. He has been a featured artist on flagship culture programmes on television and radio in the UK, including BBC2’s Review Show, Radio 3’s Late Junction and Radio 4’s Loose Ends. His version of ‘Summertime’ was featured on the BBC4 television documentary, Gershwin’s Summertime: the Song that Conquered the World.

Dates & times

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Queen Elizabeth Hall


£15 - £20
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
£15, £20


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Age recommendation
For ages 16+

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