Alberto de Lacerda

Alberto de Lacerda

The Poets House presents:

Insolent Grace: An Exhibition on the Transatlantic Life of Alberto de Lacerda, an exhibition of the archive of Alberto de Lacerda (1928-2007), one of Portugal’s most admired poets and a charismatic figure who earned the affection of such writers as John Ashbery, Edith Sitwell, Robert Duncan, Marianne Moore, Anne Sexton, Octavio Paz and such artists as David Hockney, Sonia Delaunay, Alan Davie, Vieira da Silva and Paula Rego.

Insolent Grace, which has been curated by Luís Amorim de Sousa, will be on view at Poets House through Saturday, June 18.

In its continuing effort to present compelling visual arts exhibitions that also support its poetic endeavors, Poets House will unveil treasures from the archive of de Lacerda, including paintings, prints, collages, first-edition books inscribed to the poet, handwritten correspondence, inscribed original typescripts of poems and drawings and photographs that reveal the intimate friendships de Lacerda formed with some of the reigning international figures of art and literature of his time.

Alberto de Lacerda left Lisbon in 1951 as a 23-year-old up-and-coming poet who had already developed a notable literary reputation. For the rest of his life he made his home alternately in the United States and England, though he would also befriend writers and artists from Portugal including Paula Rego, Júlio Pomar and Artur Cruzeiro Seixas and other regions of the world, such as the Spanish poet Jorge Guillén and Hungarian artist Árpád Szenes. He was also a meticulous archivist of the poems and art work he received as gifts.
Poets House is a national poetry library and literary center that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry. Poets House – through its poetry resources and literary events – documents the wealth and diversity of modern poetry and stimulates public dialogue on issues of poetry in culture. Founded in 1985 by poet Stanley Kunitz and arts administrator Elizabeth Kray, the over-50,000-volume library has created a home for all who read and write poetry. In the summer of 2009, Poets House moved to its permanent home at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City and opened to the public on September 25, 2009. Now in its new home on the banks of the Hudson River and preparing for its 25th anniversary of public programming next year, Poets House is brimming with readers, writers, children’s class trips and program audiences.