Poetry Festival

1oth Spring of the Poets festival is 8th March to 1st April.
Programme here, in French.


Report from 13th Feb at the Bistrot des Artistes

Opened with Mask of Anarchy (Shelley, natch) and John Cooper Clarke's Teenage Werewolf, both read by me. Maxime read his own work - powerful and moving, very heartfelt ('A love that moves mountains' + 'Broken mirror'). His book is sold at Shakespeare & Company ('Mother, listen to me, I want to die' under the pen name Franz Mortephile). Get it before he moves to St Petersberg!
Thomas rather cheerfully told us 'Your ex-lover is dead.'
Didier read and sang, accompanying himself on guitar, really rather beautifully. French folk songs or chanson (I assume?) - 'le coeur gros' by HUGUES AUFFRAY.
Xander entranced everyone with his essay about masturbation. Heheh, it was about much more than that, friendship and childhood's first plunge into puberty. Even though it was very long it kept everyone engrossed and was probably one of the things people most remember about the night. You can read the essay at Nervous Breakdown http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/alexander_maksik/2007/10/gizzards-jennif.html
It's called 'Gizzards, Jennifer Downes and the First Semen.'
Tara read an except from 'About Face' by Caroline Berguall.
Neil Uzzell read his latest job application letter (any chance of a copy for the site Neil?) as well as borrowing Alixandra's guitar to sing.
Loads of other people read, including Sergio who ended up going down on his knees.
And finally Alixandra sang 'Jack O'Lantern' and other beautiful things.

I asked people to write comments on post-it notes and put 'em in the top hat. We got the following:

  • Xander is David Sedaris on Viagra. (Oh I mean steroids.) So talented. Do you have a blog? A website? A fan club??
  • Maxime read his last poem like it was lived.
  • Alixandra is hauntingly talented... and we get to say we knew her.
  • Xander you describe masturbation & prepubescent kisses in the closet more lovelily than I assumed was possible. Fantastic story & writing.
  • I dance alone to make my children laugh.
  • Chicken yonder - delicious but very far away.

What next?

Next Spoken Word is at the Ogre a Plumes on the 27th February. (9pm, 49/51 rue Jean Piere Timbaud, metro Parmentier.) And the theme is Sympathy for the Devil.

Interpret that how you like, there's certainly plenty of classic literature you could read. The Devil's a far more interesting character than God, who generally was rather a brat in the Old Testament.

As usual, off-topic poems, stories, essays, letters, songs and music all welcome.

The Bistrot d'Artistes is closing its cellar for renovation in March (I found out yesterday!) so we're currently looking for a new venue for that month. Any ideas?

Report from last time!

Slightly strange night, I thought. Took a while to settle down and get going. Although the songs at the start were a good way to kick off - 3 arrangements of Liam's songs including Winter Frozen. Later Alixandra and Stefanie did 2 songs (Black Crows; The better for it) and the evening finished at 1 a.m. In between we had such stuff as Whispered Gifts from Conor. Bestiario by Neruda & Chairman Mao by E.J.Thribb read by Liliana. Later she did her own stuff. Miranda did her poems fish, steps, and shipwreck. Conrad read his Waves and 1492 which links nicely to Stefanos' long but very funny story Exploring the New World. Neil also had a great new piece which we have a recording of and will try and put up on the site, if he agrees. Daniel was Mercutio from Romeo & Juliet. And Bruce brought his blistering slam poetry. And and and...And Sergio! did all kinds of stuff, including divulging what the meaning of life is.

Next week we're back & the theme is Masks - interpret as loosely as you like.
21h00 underground at Le Bistrot des Artistes, 6, rue des anglais
Métro Maubert-Mutualité ou Saint Michel
Happy hour finishes at 9 so come early!