Friends of the Library speaker series

To host Robert Richardson and Lincoln Perry

As part of their ongoing speaker series this season, the Friends of the Key West Library will be welcoming two highly respected winter residents to the podium at the Key West Theater, 512 Eaton St. Monday, February 1, at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free. Doors open at 5:30.

Robert Richardson is a noted literary biographer. Lincoln Perry is a renowned painter and sculptor whose work has been shown in galleries across the country

The two have recently collaborated on a project to be published later this year focused on The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a series of quatrains by Persian poet Omar Khayyam in the 13th century. Largely unknown to Western readers until translated by Edward FitzGerald in 1859, it has become the single most published volume of verse in human history, translated into over 50 languages.

Their project includes both a new edition of The Rubaiyat, prefaced with an essay by Richardson and approximately 40 illustrations by Perry, as well a dual biography by Richardson of both Khayyam and FitzGerald.

Richardson says what strikes him most about The Rubaiyat is the way the works of an ancient Persian poet, translated by a 19th Century Bohemian, bring out not the differences between cultures, but the commonalities. Richardson calls it a ‘Silk Road of the mind.’

Perry says the challenge was creating images that were true to the original work but resonated across such different times.

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