The Itinerant Poetry Library

Since May 2006, The Itinerant Poetry Librarian has been travelling the world with a library of ‘Lost & Forgotten’ poetry, installing the library & librarian and archiving the sounds, poems and poetry of the cities, peoples and countries she meets. Welcome to the project's blog . . . Our Itinerant Poetry Librarian lives wherever her library is - come join the cause!

FAQs: • Yes we carry our entire life and the library with us as we go • Yes, it is quite heavy • No, we're not mad. As Charles Simic said, 'But what if poets are not crazy?' That's the spirit boyo!

We exist to: remind people of the importance of free public libraries...subvert mainstream channels of distribution...remind people that access to knowledge should be free and not dependent upon economic wealth hierarchies... show people that poetry/art can provide answers to questions we ask of life...experiment in existing outside of 'the market' – thereby, instead, investing in social capital, social innovation and community.

We aim to make life taste better. Word.

Where have we been . . . ?

(2006) Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Munich, Paris, Barcelona, London, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Norwich, York, Antwerp, (2007-2008) San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Leipzig, (2009) Ulm, Chemnitz, Rotterdam, Huntingdon, Callander, (2010) Cork, St. Andrews . . . Where'd you like us to go? Can you help? Get in touch!

What We Are Up To Right Now . . .


Friday, 14 July 2006

No Sleep, More Fun, Librarian inside has yet to see the Budapest Sun . . .

Budapest, although on this Hungarian keyboard, or just the way my brain currently sends signals to my tapping fingers . . . I keep writing Budabest. Maybe this ain’t that wrong. Budapest library members as of right now stand at a total of 20 highly intelligent and articulate souls who’ve joined up. Four more similarly sensibly choosy folk, and we’ll have broken the current reigning champion’s tenacious hold and knocked Prague into 2nd place . . . any takers? Join us! We’re not a society, we may have rules but they’re in your interest! (You are allowed to create your own books, teabags and other contents to add to our library, ref. ByeByeLaw 8; you are not allowed to supply us with your false teeth, ref. ByeByeLaw 3). We know you like rules, as yesterday two of you new, doe-eyed Library members (of the Hungarian variety, we might add) signed away your entire lifetime’s poetry rights by becoming members and then taking our ByeByeLaws extremely seriously. You requested permission to stand up when you had finished reading one of your first borrowed items from our library, just so that you could walk over to the library table and pick another choice poetry selection to browse. Then you requested permission to sit down with said item. We granted these requests obviously with our usual cool librarian demeanour and aplomb. Then your phone rang and you gave our librarian a harried, scared glance and requested permission to break your own silence and answer your own phone. It was at this point that we told you that under ByeByeLaw 16 we had already designated the small, 30cm squared portion of air to the left of said librarian as the only designated area of silence in the library and that where you were currently sitting was well within the regulation non-silent space. This confused you however, and you moved with phone (again, requesting first permission to stand) to the designated silent area we had just indicated. Whew. Being a strict librarian isn’t all that easy. So we decided that we could ignore your violation (ref. ByeByeLaw 2). Budapest Library member 18 consider yourself a lucky man. . .

In the meantime, apart from all this serious library business, we have also had a chance to do a couple of poetry readings, which went swimmingly, alongside fellow readers Chad Fairies and Chris Finks, one at the Budapest Bardroom and one at Treehugger Dan’s. The reading at Dan’s was a blast, it was also a hot, steamy vent of Budapest evening air which meant one sweaty librarian. We think it may be time to wash our wool suit . . . anyhoo . . . we also met up with rockin’ photo journalist Bianca at this gig, who took the following pictures, and has done a nice little write up on the whole shebang here . Thanks Bianca! You can also check out her full photo gallery of the gig here too. Bianca has also been doing some legwork on the alternative venues front, so we hope to enlighten you in the next few days about where we’ll be at with the library next week in Budabest. In the meantime, have some Budapest soundclips we have also been busy recording and check out these pix . . . Bye for now!

Chad Fairies reading at Treehugger Dan’s

Poet Dani Daniy whose interview will feature in our Budapest podcast coming soon . . .

Inside Treehugger Dan’s Store . . . how glad are we that we’ve been installed in an English language bookshop for a week! The books are on us kids!

Treehugger Dan and Chad swap literary notes

The Poetry Cubicle Library installed at Treehugger Dan’s

One steely librarian . . . dare you contravene her ByeByeLaws?!

Our librarian poet also read her poetry at Treehugger and went down a storm

Hungarian cake

How we close our library when we allow ourselves to get off work

The Cow Parade has also hit Hungary . . .

And finally . . . some Hungarian dudes play chess at a bus stop

Ever wondered what an accordion player underground in a Budapest metro sounds like?

Budapest National Railways . . . and in fact, how VERY British . . .

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