The 2013 Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature featuring singer and songwriter Paul Simon will take place Sept. 22-24, the University announced yesterday. The event was originally scheduled for this February but was cancelled when Simon contracted the flu.
This year’s Ellmann Lectures will include two lectures from Simon, a musical performance and a conversation with U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.
Those who had originally purchased tickets for the February event will have to re-register to get tickets for the lectures in September. The series was highly anticipated for the Emory community, as tickets sold out in a record time after going on sale Dec. 3.
“Paul Simon and his office have been very gracious and helpful about everything, and personally, I’m just happy he’s going to be able to come and do [the Ellmann Lectures],” said Joseph Skibell, a professor of English and Creative Writing and director of lectures at Emory.
Former Emory English professor Ron Schuchard established the event in 1988 in honor of Ellmann, who served as the University’s first Robert W. Woodruff professor in the 1980s.
Public complimentary tickets will be available beginning Monday, Sept. 9 at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts or by phone. Tickets sales will not take place online. Members of the Emory community – students, faculty and staff – can also enter their names in a lottery for complimentary tickets starting on Monday, Aug. 26 through Saturday, Aug. 31, according to an April 4 University press release.
“People who are eligible for the lottery will find out before tickets are given away whether they have been chosen in the lottery,” Skibell specified. “It’s a way … to make sure those tickets are going to the Emory community. It gives Emory people a headstart.”
Skibell added that people who signed up for the February event have to re-register because “we just weren’t sure if everything would come together in the same way.” For example, he said, there was no guarantee that Collins would be able to attend and whether the same venues would be available.
Three of the events will take place in Glenn Memorial Auditorium in September, rather than two, and one will take place in Schwartz.
“It was an executive decision to just start from scratch,” Skibell said. “Because of Simon’s and Collin’s schedules, we weren’t certain what the new venue would look like or even when it would be … We weren’t really prepared for the crush of the giveaway for the Simon tickets.”
Specifically, the event will include a lecture titled “Sailing on an Endless Sea: My Life as a Songwriter” on Sunday, Sept. 22; the conversation with both Simon and Collins on Sept. 23; a lecture titled “View from Cloud: The Solitary Artist in a Collaborative Culture,” also on Sept. 23; and Simon’s performance on Sept. 24.
More information about tickets will be available at www.emory.edu/ellmann at a later date.
– By Jordan Friedman