The life and achievements of David G. Rattray, a poet and translator who was born and grew up in East Hampton, will be celebrated in Manhattan next week with a day and evening of readings, film, and visual art on the 20th anniversary of his death.
Mr. Rattray was the brother of Everett Rattray, the longtime editor and publisher of The East Hampton Star, and uncle to his son, David E. Rattray, the current editor.
Fluent in most Western languages as well as Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek, he was one of the early translators of the French poet and playwright Antonin Artaud. His works include “Opening the Eyelid,” published in 1990, and “How I Became One of the Invisible” (1992), wherein he traced the mystical and outlaw poetic tradition from ancient Greece to the 20th century. He has inspired writers and musicians such as Jim Fletcher, Betsy Sussler, and Thurston Moore, who described his work as providing “fantastic and calm stowaway information.”
On Friday, April 5, the Leo Koenig Gallery, 545 West 23rd Street, will host an evening of readings and a presentation of visual materials related to Mr. Rattray’s writings, beginning at 7 p.m. Those participating include Lynne Tillman, Nicole Eisenman, Vincent Fitzgerald and David E. Rattray, Dia Felix, Basil King and Martha King, Chris Kraus, Ms. Sussler, Mr. Fletcher, Liz Kotz, Kevin Cooney, Raymond Foye, Eileen Myles, and Thom Donovan.
The following day, at 2 p.m. at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, 131 East 10th Street, another series of readings will occur with Joanna Furhrman, Robbie Dewhurst, Ms. Myles, Gerrit Lansing, Susie Timmons, Garret Caples, John Godrey, Kim Lyons, Mr. Kraus, David Able, Ann Rower, Jesse Browner, George Quasha, M. Mark, and George Green.