The world’s oldest story is re-imagined in this powerful drama by Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa, conceived and dramaturged by Chad Gracia.
The play was published by Wesleyan University Press, featured in the Fall 2005 issue of Callaloo as well as on NPR and in a fascinating documentary made for PBS. The piece was presented in Chicago, New Orleans, and New York (starring Academy Award winner Estelle Parsons).
Contact Chad Gracia for information on production rights in the US and abroad.
World Premier: May 2nd – June 2nd, 2013
Yusef Komunyakaa is the author of twelve collections of poetry, including Dien Cai Dau (Wesleyan, 1988), a collection of poems chronicling his experiences in Vietnam, and Neon Vernacular (Wesleyan, 1994). Komunyakaa has co-edited two volumes, Jazz Poetry Anthology and Insomnia of Fire. His prose writings are collected in Blue Notes: Essays, Interviews, Commentaries.
Komunyakaa won the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Prize for Neon Vernacular, as well as Creative Writing Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Thomas Forcade Award, the William Faulkner Prize, the Levinson Prize from Poetry Magazine, the Hanes Poetry Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 1999 and was awarded the Shelley Memorial Prize by the Poetry Society of America.
Born in the rural community of Bogalusa, Louisiana , Komunyakaa graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado in 1975, after having received a bronze star for his service as a journalist in the Vietnam War. He completed his Masters degree in 1978 at Colorado State University, and earned an MFA from The University of California at Irvine in 1980. He has taught at Indiana State University, Washington University, University of California at Berkeley, and the University of New Orleans, and is currently a professor at New York University.
The image above (top) of Gilgamesh mourning Enkidu is by Ludmila Zeman.
Gracia and Komunyakaa appear in the documentary Invitation to World Literature, in the inaugural episode on Gilgamesh.
Gilgamesh can be found at Amazon.
A “radio play” version of Gilgamesh is available here.