Duende: Artistic Inspiration in the Presence of Death

ONE TUESDAY, 6:30 - 8 P.M. OCTOBER 24 | BRAZOS BOOKSTORE, 2421 BISSONNET Limited Enrollment


Edward Hirsch will take as a starting point a lecture on the Dionysian spirit of art that Federico Garcia Lorca delivered in Buenos Aires in 1933: "Juego y teoria del duende" ("Play and Theory of the Duende"). Lorca uses the word duende in a special Andalusian sense, as a term for the obscure power and penetrating inspiration of art. He described it, quoting Goethe on Paganini, as "a mysterious power which everyone senses and no philosopher explains." For him, the concept of duende was associated with the spirit of earth, with visible anquish, irrational desire, demonic enthusiasm, and a fascination with death. Duende, then, refers to artistic inspiration in the presence of death.

Edward Hirsch is the author of five books of poetry. His most recent work, How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry, explores the place of poetry in the human spirit. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Prix de Rome, a National Book Critics Circle Award, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and a MacArthur Fellowship (1998). He teaches poetry in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston, where he is a John and Rebecca Moores Scholar.



Fall 2018 brochures are being delivered! 

Registration is now open. You may register online, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. 


The interest list for the fall and spring study tours is also now open. If you are interested in traveling with the Houston Seminar to Natchez in the fall of 2018 or Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy.


Please note a date in the Mid-term Elections course has changed from that published in the brochure. The course will meet the first two Mondays, October 29 and November 5 as planned, but will meet Tuesday, November 13 instead of Monday, November 12. 


Have a great summer. We look forward to seeing you this fall!


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.