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 . . .


Monday, 5 June 2006

Greetings from Ruigoord . . .

Wow! This is a VERY quick post to just exclaim our TOTAL and UTTER amazement at the beautiful landscape and atmosphere of Ruigoord. It‘s a small artist colony, a half hour bus journey outside of Amsterdam, which was squatted in the 1970s and reclaimed. It was originally an island, then had huge amounts of sand dumped around it to turn it into the industrial wasteland that it has been rescued from (and just about remains rescued from) today. There is a huge Starbucks factory, plus oil containers and chemical plants that surround it . . . while the village itself, or rather, community, exists in this state of artistry: by that I mean . . . well, there is a 19th Century church with vast stained glass windows that is the fulcrum of the camp and performances: it is also the bar and contains three original confessional boxes which have been turned into lavatories. Once again the Dutch excel themselves! People live in houses surrounding the church, on a few acres of grassland that has been cultivated and maintained. There are chickens wandering around. People riding horses. People riding motorbikes. A circus tent. There was a guy [Ed. We‘ve since found out he is called the Pyromancer poet] reading from a towering wooden pulpit, holding a flaming torch, who proceeded to perform a poetry set in-between fire-breathing, setting himself on fire and commanding the audience. That was just one of the shows I caught last night. I also managed to interview Erwin - the AntiStress Poet from Antwerp, as well as 2 Dutch poets, and record some electronic Balkan folk, plus some really loud frogs, hot frogs, one of the Dutch poets reckoned! I will be editing this audio and posting up our first podcast in the next few days, before dipping my toes into the Berlin poetry scene. But basically, after Ruigoord, I think the rest of Europe might have rather a lot of catching up to do! There is only one word to describe the Poetry Festival at Ruigoord . . . awesome!

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