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, 29 June 2006

How to find . . . a bed . . . a Slovenian poet . . . an American word whore . . . and a boat in Prague . . .

We think it is Wednesday. We are not entirely sure, as for certain that full dandelion head we found in the forest in Prague has worked its full effects, and we no longer have any need for the concept of time. Or maybe it no longer has any need for us. We’re not sure. One thing we are sure of, however, is that an American dude called Eric who lives in a place called the boat saved our ass, bed-wise. Monday and Tuesday saw the poetry library installed at Cafe Metropole, where the fantastic Robert, owner extraordinaire also fed and drinked us. This helped a lot, and meant that we were able to pursue the herculean library task, that only a really officious and dedicated librarian would be able to, of running the library from noon til midnight, viciously stamping people’s library cards and telling them that under Bye Bye Law 20 of The Poetry Cubicle Library Bye Bye Laws (based, we hasten to add, on the original 1964 UK Libraries & Museums Act Bye Laws and obviously amended for our own purposes) they were not allowed to spit on us. Other Bye Bye laws include the Library Authority being able to ban people from the library who have an offensive haircut, and the fining of one poem if members return a book late. . . In the meantime, Tuesday was our best day yet in Prague, a total of 12 whole new members were signed up and reminded they could not spit on the Librarian and had their hairstyles perused for signs of offensiveness. All but one English chap passed this last test easily. Before setting up on Tuesday morning however, we had the harrowing task of finding a bed for Tuesday night. Yes, we had nowhere to stay, let alone leave the library in a safe space. Luckily, the power of email came to the rescue and Eric got in touch. So, we hot-footed it - in the er not very quick but temperature-wise sense, as after the walk in the Prague forest we had an allergic reaction to mosquito bites and currently STILL have a huge swollen left foot and right calf - round to his place to dump the rest of our essential travelling crap (expresso maker anyone? Goose feather stuffed booties? Poetry Library? Washing line and clothes pegs? Yes, obviously you need all these things as a travelling itinerant poetry librarian!) Eric took a while to let us in. Not because he didn’t want to, but because he fell out of his five storey window and landed on a car and is thus on crutches. Which kinda sucks if you live at the top of a five storey building with 107 stairs (look who counted them today when carting the damn poetry library down them on our way to install ourselves at Shakespeare & Sons) . . . and no lift. Anyway, thanks for the bed dude! And thanks to Shakes and sons where we joined two new members to the library today, and met our first Slovenian poet, who is coming back to talk to us tomorrow. So, more from us soon about all of this, and then Vienna on Friday. We also haven’t forgotten our podcasts, we just do not have a lot of internet access at the moment. But we are stopping in Vienna for a whole week and will have more time to do audio work. In the meantime, library installation calls...we are off to Eric’s with the library to install it there for tonight, and join his word whore friends in another game of Boggle. Hooray for Prague! Current Library Members as at 20.16 PM Wednesday 28th June: 51. Yee and Hah.

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