high line poetry music

CULTURE SHOCK: Paolo Javier & David Mason, Susie Ibarra & Yusef Komunyakaa, Brad Gooch

Date & Time

Last event was Saturday, April 23, 2016


The Seating Steps on the High Line at West 22nd Street

Immerse yourself in a singular synthesis of poetry and music, with collaborations between artists Paolo Javier & David Mason, Susie Ibarra & Yusef Komunyakaa, and Brad Gooch. Curated by Paolo Javier, this fusion of poetry, autobiography, jazz, and radiophonic dance music summons the present and future pasts of American Empire and the Unreal City in this unique poetry experience.

In the event of rain or inclement weather, this program will be rescheduled to Saturday, April 30, same time.

Paolo Javier is the former Queens Poet Laureate (2010-14) and author of four full-length collections of poetry, including Court of the Dragon (Nightboat Books 2015), which Publisher's Weekly called "a linguistic time machine." His collaboration with electronic artist Listening Center (aka David Mason) will appear as a limited-edition book/cassette, Ur'lyeh/Aklopolis, published by Flugschriften in spring 2016.

David Mason creates music under the name Listening Center. He finds inspiration in obscure soundtracks, ephemeral music, and eccentric recordings. Relying mainly on analogue synthesis, tape manipulation, and percussion, he has released three albums to date – Example One (2012), Cycles/Other Phenomena (2014), and Aural Assignments (2016) – in addition to two Ghost Box 7" singles, "Projections" (2013) and "Other Voices 02" (2014).

Susie Ibarra is known for her innovative style and cultural dialogue as a composer, improviser, percussionist, and humanitarian. She is interested in the intersection of tradition and the avant-garde and how this informs and inspires interdisciplinary art, education, and public service. Ibarra creates live and immersive music that explores rhythm, Indigenous practices, and interaction with the natural world.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa's recent works include Testimony: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (Wesleyan University Press, 2013), The Chameleon Couch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), and Emperor of Water Clocks (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015). He teaches at New York University.

Brad Gooch is the author of Smash Cut: A Memoir of Howard & Art & the 70s & the 80s (Harper, 2015) and Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor (Little, Brown, 2009), which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a New York Times bestseller. A Guggenheim fellow, he has received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, and a Furthermore grant from the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

Culture Shock is generously supported by Adam Norbury & R. Martin Chavez.
Public Programs on the High Line are supported by Altman Foundation. These programs are supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.