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.



Upcoming is Spring 2018! 

West Side Story: Leonard Bernstein at 100
Two Wednesdays, March 21 and 28, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Private residence directions to subscribers
A few seats available


Farming Wonders in Richmond, Texas
Saturday, March 24
Details to subscribers
A few seats available


What's on Lisa Falkenberg's Mind
Tuesday, March 27, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, 77004


Gorbachev: His Life and Times
Monday, April 16, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | The Junior League, 1811 Briar Oaks Ln, 77027
Co-sponsored with World Affairs Council of Houston


Behind the Pages: A Conversation with William Middleton 
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:00 P.M.


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.