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 . . .


Thursday, 1 March 2007

The Marsh Membership Drive . . .

Tuesday afternoon-slash-evening at The Marsh was initially discouraging. It was raining. Our Librarian, being the trooper she is, strode through the downpour, cape flying yet still intact if rather damp, and installed the library bang on time, well, 17:02 by our clock anyways, to the plethora of people hanging out in their cafe. This plethora was singular, initially declined our first invite to sign up, but then relented and told us we'd sold her on the concept but she wanted to finish her paperwork first. Fair enough. We left a membership card with her and went back to our desk. And waited. The only other constituent of the cafe, apart from said individual and our librarian, was Nicole, manning the cafe desk. It did seem she required some reading material so we signed her up, recommended a title, then . . . waited some more. Time passed. Our librarian designated herself and the immediate surrounding area silent (see Byebyelaws for details) and contemplated cheese while staring out the window. More time passed. She looked up. Suddenly there were people. It was the 6.30pm magic half hour. At one point we even had a queue: there was one person standing behind another! That's a whole two people! For us! Our librarian was so excited she nearly forgot to give one of the new members a free haiku. Oh the mayhem. Anyway, the upshot of our 2 hour installation at The Marsh (truly a breeding ground we might add) is . . .

Six new members! Love it.

And one of those fine signatories to our library even knew about Twitter and so is now able to track us by text! Yee-friggin-hah is what we say boys and girls.

In the meantime, if you missed us, or indeed, if you've signed up and need your next poetry dose, here's where to catch us next . . .

Friday March 2, 7 - 10pm we'll be back at marvellous The Marsh (see map and address previous post)


Sunday March 4th, from 1pm until we get bored and go home we'll be at Abandoned Planet Bookstore, which is at 518 Valencia Street (map).


Friday March 16th, 7 - 10pm, yes you guessed it, we'll be back at The Marsh. We are thinking that The Marsh may well be our first, official, regular venue. So we hope to keep popping up here time and again. In as much as we get 'regular' that is. This is all down to the wonderfulness of Nicole and Nicky. Thanks wonderfuls!

So people-yet-to-become-library-members, and those of you who've already joined the cause, we hope to see you soon!

In celebration of our current membership drive, here's a taster of what the library looks like in all the different cities it's so far made it to . . .

Our Vienna installation at Cafe Leopold in the Museumplatz

How we advertised at Cafe Metropole in Prague

Our library and librarian installed at Shakespeare & Sons, Paris

Our Barcelona installation

Our Berlin installation at The British Council Library, a library within a library - rock on!

Our librarian bagging your free membership haikus in Budapest

Michael Palin endorses our product in Budapest

Our Dresden installation where no-one tried to join at all, until we had closed. Typical.

And what we dream about at night . . .
Picture by Roadsidepictures aka Allen, as found on Flickr.

Indeed. Good night.

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