Flamenco of Soil

LORCA for the VEGA

In late April 2014, while Retreat Director Gerry Shikatani was making preparations for the autumn gathering of Lorca's Granada Writers' Retreat, the fundamental roots of Lorca's art, inspiration and the person were manifest in a spectacular event: LORCA for the VEGA. With the countryside that Lorca so loved, those farming villages Fuente Vaqueros and Valderrubio of his homes and his inspiration under threat of wide development, a popular campaign has united residents of the city, province and all Spain to defend this heritage. Among them- award-winning renowned Granada poet Luis Garcia Montero, Laura Garcia-Lorca, and singers such as the legendary Paco Ibanez, rock icon Miguel Rios and superstar of today's flamenco Estrella Morente with Granada's star-studdded Morente Family (of the late Enrique Morente, one of the two most important influences of flamenco in the last decades) who now perform renditions of Leonard Cohen as did their father). All performed in an evening dedicated to the writing of their beloved poet. It was held to a capacity audience in the huge Palacio de Congreso of Granada.

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After the show, it was time for local Alhambra lager, Rioja and sherry wine, plates of requisite exquisite iberico cured ham, olives and roasted peppers. Bar La Mancha would still be open at that very late hour suggested Shikatani. A few headed there - and the Morente Clan had, it seems, the same idea. Here, Gerry Shikatani is with Estrella Morente and to her right Laura Garcia-Lorca.

A lovely intimate exchange between the two women palpably conjured up the spirits of Federico Garcia Lorca and Enrique Morente - the reality of poetry and flamenco inextricably tied to local land - the Vega. The Lorca Family and the Morente Family, Laura would explain, have been close for many years. It was clearly evident.

huerta de san vicente

Our Retreat Writers (2012) in front of the Huerta de San Vicente House Museum (Granada) of the Lorca Family with local poet and our guide Marta Badia (2nd from left). The Huerta has played host to events by among others, Paul Auster, Patti Smith, David Byrne, Chavela Vargas, Lou Reed - some of the artists Fedrico Garcia Lorca inspired.

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