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, 20 March 2007

Old Ladies + Poetry + Tea = We Are Happy

So. Apart from sitting inside for about 24 consecutive hours in order to access/edit/upload our digital audio files from the last 2 weeks, as only a good librarian should, we've also been out and about with the library with highly irregular regularity. We are officially it seems the resident Itinerant Poetry Librarian at The Marsh Theatre cafe, every Friday from 7 - 10pm*. We heart The Marsh. Except on March 9th 2007 when this occurred...

However, March 16th saw . . .

. . . which brings San Francisco membership to a current total of 29 library members and counting. Ooh. So near Budapest and Norwich, currently topping the library membership chart with 34 a piece. See you next Friday then for a potential free library membership showdown . . . we have no idea what happens when I mean if you win. Er, since you'll already have free library membership, how about the 34th member gets a free poem, and blimey, the 35th member, which would make San Francisco fully top-of-the-library-pops, gets a, er, free library stamp on the forehead? This would mean you are really library hardcore and really want San Francisco to come top. Any takers? I didn't think so. Well, we'll see . . .

Don't forget the address! Or sign up to follow the library with Twitter and we'll send you an SMS or web/IM reminder nearer the time! Yeah! It's that easy to track us down. The Marsh Theatre cafe, 1062 Valencia Street (between 21st & 22nd), San Francisco. Here's a map.

So. Audio. First up was a delightful invitation to attend the San Francisco Browning Society meeting and annual Dramatic Monologue Poetry Awards ceremony. This took place at a retirement home. As is the usual we often tend to get maps drawn for us, or a one sentence directional spiel. We got lucky. We got a drawn map, comme ca:

What with a map and the promise of old ladies, we could not resist, since poetry + old ladies + tea = our librarian's dream. No, really. Just ask Age Concern, Norwich, which has given us the privilege of visiting several old ladies for several years (when we were decidedly less itinerant, it has to be said). We used to get a new one every now and then because as tends to happen with old ladies (and we bracket our good librarian herself who will one day enter this realm) they er, decline in health . . . er. Where were we . . . oh yes. The San Francisco Browning Society . . .

. . . . which, incidentally, is in rude health, and currently celebrating its 105th year of existence. Excellent. We'd write you a wonderful introduction to the group and its beginnings right here, as it's a fascinating story, involving the year 1900, a stroll in Golden Gate park, two ladies named Mrs B. F. Norris and Mrs J. M. Goeway, and a small volume of Poems by one Robert Browning, but their current President, and the first ever dude to land the job, gives a very good rendition himself, so we'll let the society speak for themselves. Here you go:

powered by Browning Motion
An introduction to the San Francisco Browning Society, including a reading of the winning poem in their annual Dramatic Monologue Awards 2007

From one world, to another, 16th & Mission is probably slightly less salubrious environs than your average Browning Society meeting, but these guys are consistently pulling punches in the world of poetry, street corners, and giving it yer all. We've been befriended by the 16th & Mission crew, so here's a round-up of their latest talent in action:

Double Bass at The Bart station, March 15th 2007

powered by Double Bass on 16th & Mission

powered by Guinevere on 16th & Mission
It's Guinevere, March 8th 2007

powered by 16th & Mission
Bonny & EK Keith, March 8th 2007

powered by 16th & Mission
Carson (words) & Cody (beatbox flute), March 8th 2007

powered by Xandra on 16th & Mission
It's Xandra (if that's how you spell it), March 15th 2007

And finally. We went for a walk. Without our library, It was quite nice.

In Golden Gate Park . . .

with Golden Gate park blossoms . . .

Then on the way to Ocean Beach we came across some sounds and found we could not resist a little more audio action, even on a day-off . . .

powered by Golden Gate Jazz
We walk towards sound

powered by Golden Gate Jazz
Then away from it . . .

And finally make it Ocean Beach.

And made a video just for you guys. Aww. Shucks. Amazing what crap you can do with a camera phone eh?

Which reminds us. While couchsurfing in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne back in ooh, October or possibly September last year, we came across the following awesome live sound/fire art performance by an Australian duo, one of whom was definitely called Paul, although this is obviously not Paul in action (in the film we captured). They were accompanied by a dude called Stuart, who seemed to have helped set up the sound activation part of the project, but basically, this film does it no justice whatsoever as it was amazing to see the fire, the dance, and hear the sound being 'tripped' by the fire movements. It all took place at the Buddle Art Centre, in Wallsend.

And finally finally. To continue our 'weird things left outside our house' theme. Last time it was a large rolled up carpet. Now this. Gotta love the Mission.

*unless we A. get a social life or B. someone offers to feed us, preferably not in that order please note

No comments: