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, 17 April 2007

San Francisco Top-of-the-Library-Pops!

OK! So. You haven't heard from us in a few weeks not because A. we are lazy or B. we dropped our computer on the floor and it doesn't work anymore or C. a passing seagull pecked our fingers to shreds so typing four syllables takes about nine weeks, but because D. we've been locked in a dark room for rather too long, editing audio, editing video, writing code type assignations, chewing our cuticles, and inbetween allowing ourselves only to see the light of day (oh light! oh sun!) when we went out and about to install the library. Which. Ee Gads! We seem to have managed to do so many times in the last seven days that we've actually gone and broken another record. Ahem. The thing is, since we didn't post for a leetle while, you don't actually know about the first recooooooord breaaaaa-KER! Well. Better tell youse then.

Actually, if you are at-all-together-enough, you will have noticed this post's heading. Which kind of gives you a big FAT hint about the first record broken. Yes indeedy. San Francisco has officially nipped the arse of Norwich and Budapest and stormed into first place in our Top-of-the-Library-Pops Membership Chart. You actually achieved this, by no means small, feat, officially on March 29th at the Babble On reading series at DogEared books, where a chap called Hugh became SF member 35, clearing the Norwich-Budapest joint-34-members-winning-hurdle immediately. We know we'd promised to forehead stamp whoever no.35 was, but Hugh was such a nice chap, and a little bashful it seemed, so we thought launching a full librarian stamp swoop at him might not only discourage all other bodies in the building from signing up, but also, quite probably cause him to faint too. So we held off. We'll get one of you yet though. Anyhow. Babble On saw us score four new members by the end of the evening's event, then we skiphopjumped it on over to 16th & Mission street, where we actually secretly set up on the street and signed up one new member at around 11pm, just outside the BART station. The next day, of course, saw our highly irregularly regular slot at The Marsh, where we bagged 3 members;

this was then followed a week later with a Marsh repeat, another 3 members again signing up. Sunday 8th April saw us install the library and librarian over on Shotwell Street in someone's private house. One banned member for an offensive hairstyle; one minor library infraction on behalf of a dog; said banned member's re-admittance after petitioning the library; and a staggering nine members later,

. . . we legged it on out to another installation. Friday 13th April, and our Librarian is beginning to flag a little, but she still manages to fit in two installations in one day, busing it to 'The Sequoias' Residential Complex and signing up some of our favourite member-types: senior citizens, courtesy of the April San Francisco Browning Society's meeting.

7 new members, a cup of tea, and a delicious small cupcake later, we were off and on over to our regular Marsh slot where seven members also were forthcoming. That just left us with Sunday 15th April, where we finally got out of town a little and headed on over to Pegasus Books in downtown Berkeley. Where six new members got with the library programme.

So. That leaves just the adding up. Lemme see. . . Blimey.

San Francisco, you've now got . . . a total of . . .

73 frickin members! ROCK!

And the second record broken being: 29 of those Libraried-up lovelies joined all in one week.

You see. This is why we aint writ nuffin ere innit. We iz Librarian-nn-nn-in-in-ing-ggg. Aggh. Etc.

And why we leave you now with some pictures and recorded audio, as we still haven't quite recovered yet from those dark days in doors to function totally verballytastic. Yet.

The Mission murals alley

powered by higher beings

Outside a church door on a windy night. Recorded live outside the Unitarian Center Church, inbetween a poetry reading by David Shapiro & Joseph Lease on April 5 2007 in San Francisco, around 8pm

Our office sign at Pegasus Books

The Library installed at Pegasus Books

Library stamps

powered by SEAGULL

This seagull barking and squeezing a squeaky plastic buddha doll. Recorded live out on a roof of the 5th floor of the HUM building at SFSU around the 1st or 2nd week in April 2007

And . . . continuing our ever-popular item 'Weird crap left outside our house this week' in the last three weeks it has been. . .

This really is the crap left right outside our house, week in, week out. We normally find it walking back to open our front door after a hard day's night's library session. The Mission Rules! Bye!

Till next time boys and girls. Come Join Us!

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