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 . . .


Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Itinerancy (cont.)

York. City of walls, tea shops, bridges, cobblestones, and, er, not much in the way of local news, it appears from the ‘hot off the press’ sign our librarian caught on her way to her latest library installation. . .

. . . Which was a racecourse. With wonderful signs reminding Gentlemen they are required to wear a shirt and tie in the Enclosures. If only everything was as smartly enclosed eh? Anyway. Being billed as the 'uber strict' itinerant poetry librarian in the programme, we thought it best to rise, or perhaps, more likely, fall to the challenge . . . thus not only did the YLAFestival find us banning on the spot one new member for an offensive hairstyle (as well as telling over half the other new members they had borderline offensive hairstyles, which strictly speaking, even if we’d had the chance to not actually be strict, they really were borderline), we also refused membership to 2 likely souls on the grounds of not enough immediate enthusiasm, and were similarly rude to another new member who wanted to swap her free haiku for another one. Static on a stall on the Friday, Saturday saw us fully itineranted and carting around our new mini wheel-able poetry trolley, plus miniature suitcase with ‘OFFICE’ sign stuck on the front. We also affixed ‘LIBRARY & ARCHIVE’ and ‘OPEN/CLOSED’ signs to the front of our librarian suit and generally itineranted around the racecourse convention centre with portable poetry trolley looking mean, stern and, well, thoroughly strict. It seemed to work. Especially when wearing a 'CLOSED' sign on your person and smoking a fag outside, which meant we appeared so intimidating and strict that it seemed people did not even dare talk to us, let alone try and sign up. So. Job done. In the strictest sense of course. End of day’s takings? Well. It seems, even when we turn down members we are still fighting them off. A total of twenty-eight new members signed up in two days: it may well be a record membership uptake in terms of timescale, but it aint quite enough to take the total membership crown. It does mean however, that York storms into joint second place with Prague in the library membership stakes. Blimey. Didn’t see that one coming. But then again, you can’t always anyway, can you?

York Library Members. Well done chaps and chapesses.

This weekend was also a speedy affair for our librarian as she had to travel 500 miles in 24 hours, equalling a median librarian speed of 20.83 recurring miles per hour between Saturday 19.40 hundred hours and Sunday same time. We left York, spent the night in Brixton then had an afternoon in Norwich broadcasting librarian radio then made it back to Brixton for bedtime. All in day’s work for the Itinerant One. Oh yes. Things seems less visible when one travels at the speed of librarian light anyhow.

We will soon be itineranted in London. We promised the Circle Line tube and we keep our promises, stay tuned for details. In the meantime, here is some visual stuff (especially for Kelly):

There are newts in Brixton in October

Norwich. Friendly place. Or . . . how to get rid of a city in one go . . .

Peterborough newsagents. Friendly place East Anglia.

Norwich has a church for every week. That be at least 52 last time I counted

In St. John Maddermarket church in Norwich . . .

. . . Our ByeByeLaws are currently concealed

They have nice tombs there too

Most of all about Norfolk though, we love the sky

No comments: