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 . . .


Tuesday, 4 July 2006

How to fall asleep in your own library in Vienna

First up, we need to tell you WHERE the hell we are in Vienna. The Library is installed at Cafe Leopold, 7 Museumplatz 1, Vienna, from 2pm - 6pm on Tuesday July 4th. We then hop over to Cafe Wuk, 59 Wahringer Strasse, Vienna, from 2pm - 8pm on Wednesday July 5th and then we are back for a later-day shift at Leopold on Thursday July 5th from 2pm - 10pm or until we give up and go back to our lovely couch surfing host Christina to pack ready for Budapest the next day. Today’s library session was enlivened by being woken with a sharp tap to the head from our own pencil. Yes, it seems we had fallen asleep in our own library, not in contravention of our own ByeByeLaws. . .

. . . we hasten to add, since they state that you must be caught falling asleep, and since we were unable to actually catch ourselves in this act - we tried but everytime we thought we might have fallen we realised that as we were consciously aware that we had nearly slept that technically we were not asleep - it didn’t quite count. However, a Viennese chap, desperate to sign up as a library member, was brave enough to pick a pencil from our table and give us a quick tap on the head. Which did the trick. We woke up. We signed him up. So, well done that man. He then proceeded to enjoy some English Love Poems, one of the titles in our collection, and came back to ask how one became a library officer, as it appeared he had quite thoroughly perused the ByeByeLaws and noted that minerals, vegetables etc. could become such bodies. We told him that the Library Authority got to designate such bodies with Official Authority, and that today that body with such authority was the librarian in front of him. Tomorrow we were thinking of designating our new addition to the library, a C. K. Williams title, as the official authority but we hadn’t made our minds up yet. He said he would come back tomorrow to Cafe Wuk to try his luck as he really wanted to have some authority. If he does, we shall point him in the direction of the ByeByeLaw that states we can ban anyone we deem unnecessary from the library. Roll on Vienna . . . in the meantime, in case you haven’t been able to make it down to where we are to borrow our books, or you are thinking of joining but are not sure what we have, take a look . . .

Shade by Charles Bernstein, 1978

Dada Lama by B. P. Nichol, 1968

Citizen 32 magazine edited by Jackie Hagan, 2006

Blatt Magazine Issue I: Vol. I, 2006

Concentrate edited by Michael Butterworth, 1968

Validate & Travel by Gabi Bila-Gunther, no date

Detik-detik Indonesia by Martin Jankowski, 2005

Square One edited by Barry MacSweeney, 1977

Come What You Wished For by Ramona Herdman, 2003

Krak by Jeff Nuttall, 1975

Signs by Peter Middleton, 1983

Another Royal Wedding Souvenir edited by Christopher Weir & Milford Harrison, 1975

Other titles we are touring include: Will Walker’s Very Gruntled Footbook, no date; The Biro is Mightier Than the Pen by TheNoiseThatWeMade, no date; Hommage an die Dichtung Europas, 2006; Short Time (4 or 5 New Poems by Philip Sharpe), 1969; Love by Pablo Neruda, 1995; Every Celebration by Alex Allison, 1967; Girl in Red and Other Poems by Vicki Feaver, 2003; The Heart of the Ancient Balcony (for Parvin) by Glyn Pursglove, 1977; after Rainer Maria Rilke - Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes & five poems from Sonnets To Orpheus translated by Estill Pollock, 2002; Greatest Hits by Lisa D'Onofrio, 2004; Casual Flares by Tony Langham, 1971; And All Livings Things Their Children by Dan Georgakas, no date; Codestones of Venice by Paula Claire, 1978; The Best Bloody Job in the World by Lawrence Bradby, 2002.

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