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, 28 July 2006

The Sound of the Police . . .

. . . so we begin our day on over at the lovely Paris Plage, comme ca:

. . . and it is going swimmingly, as in we find a tight spot, avec deckchair and plus de personnes who might like to join the library so our librarian est tres ‘appy, non? Mais then . . . being the law-abiding regulation upholder she is, she thinks it prescient to check with the Plage authorities that they are not going to kick her off the Seine beach. So la mademoiselle heads over to ask one of the men in blue. He tells us that he couldn’t possibly give us ‘accreditation’ and that we need to go ask at the blue box further down the Seine. Which we do. There, two men in blue also agree that they too cannot possibly give ‘accreditation’ and in fact we must ask Le Directeur de la Plage himself. Which we do. Although we have to get through two further security checks first before we meet the man himself and then finally . . . after explaining who and what we are . . . the answer is . . . ‘Ce n'est pas possible avoir une bibliotheque de poesie ici parce que il y a un autre bibliotheque’. Why of course, we can’t have two can we? Citizens might go crazy with reading too much or something . . . anyway, this is what we think . . . it rhymes aussi!

Anyway, our librarian aint put off that easy so we head on over to Luxembourg Gardens, that veritable Parisian Park of delights and set ourselves up on a bench . . . only to . . . you guessed it . . . find ourselves facing two more men in blue who tell us we cannot set up a free poetry library in the gardens, we can do it outside apparently, on the pavement next to the busy road, but certainly not in the park where people are chilling out reading and lolling around, almost, you might think, as if waiting for a poetry library to turn up and enlighten their day . . . but not today folks!

This Luxembourg Garden . . .

Aint got no soul for poetry neither . . .

Still, it wasn’t an entirely interdit day, as after we’d shaken off our police escort out of the gardens, we wandered past Berkeley Books and hopped on inside to ask for a tip on where we could set up. Turns out that the chick behind the counter was a bit of a poetry fan, so you know what we did . . . yep, our librarian whipped out her ‘Open’, ‘Office’ and ‘Library & Archive’ signs right there and then and did the tiniest library installation yet, of four poetry titles on the counter front. One new member bagged finally for jeudi! And that’s it for Paris boys and girls . . . we iz off to Barcelona . . . Hola chicas! Vamos!

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