Streams

Peter Sis on The Conference of the Birds

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Celebrated children's book author and illustrator Peter Sis talks about creating his first book for adults, an adaptation of the classic 12th-century Sufi epic poem, The Conference of the Birds. His adaptation tells the story of an epic flight of birds in search of the true king, Simorgh.

Original artwork from Peter Sis’s The Conference of the Birds is on exhibit (and for sale) at Mary Ryan Gallery, 527 West 26th Street.

From Conference of the Birds, by Peter Sis, published by Penguin Press
From Conference of the Birds, by Peter Sis, published by Penguin Press
From Conference of the Birds, by Peter Sis, published by Penguin Press
From Conference of the Birds, by Peter Sis, published by Penguin Press
From Conference of the Birds, by Peter Sis, published by Penguin Press
From Conference of the Birds, by Peter Sis, published by Penguin Press
From Conference of the Birds, by Peter Sis, published by Penguin Press
From Conference of the Birds, by Peter Sis, published by Penguin Press

Guests:

Peter Sis
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Comments [5]

In the early 1980's, I produced a play using the Conference of the Birds. The show was taped at Montclair State college, and performed at small venues in Manhattan. We performed it for Shiek Mustafa, a Sufi Turkish leader at a mosque in downtown NYC ( the building had been a fire house and had also been used by Walt Whitman). To illustrate the stages of man, I had actors, masked actors, rod puppets, hand puppets, and shadow puppets. To me the story is a classic " Wizard of Oz" journey play.

Nov. 03 2011 01:27 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Is this spoilery pun 1 of the few that translate universally? Or is it a visual pun? Were there any problems making it understood in a different language?

Nov. 03 2011 01:17 PM
Barry Blitstein from NYC

I saw Peter Brook's Conference of the Birds at LaMama, not BAM, which presented Brook's Mahabarata.

Nov. 03 2011 01:15 PM
Joe B from Brooklyn

This is very exciting. I love Peter's work and have meant to read "The Conference of the Birds" ever since hearing the great jazz bassist Dave Holland's album inspired by it. (Not sure if I'm supposed to link anything here so I will just recommend going to youtube and searching "Conference of the Birds Dave Holland" to hear the title track.)

Nov. 03 2011 01:14 PM
kdan from In a Tree, warbling

For another artistic take on this poem, see the Dave Holland album, with Holland on bass, Anthony Braxton and Sam Rivers on various reeds, and Barry Altschul on percussion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conference_of_the_Birds_%28Dave_Holland_album%29

Nov. 03 2011 01:11 PM

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