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, 31 July 2007

"Just be careful out here cos they some dirty ass pigs"*

Another day another diaphanous Library date . . . we've been Reading Frenzy and IPRC'n it all week, which we've got to admit was a bit of a slow, Portland summer slide into lazy, hazy wandering aimlessness. Or so it appeared on the Library Members' front, which saw us sign up in either singly or mildly double, to put it mildly, numbers, those of you able to shuffle in and out of our myriad locations. Shuffle being the operative word in that sentence, we'll add, since it seems that July is THE month of Portland placidity, the heat seeming to take it out of even the most adventurous of you, so that when you manage to venture forth, it's at a supine, slack-jawed rate, which at times has worried our Librarian to the point of carrying a kerchief with her to mop up any slack-jawed drool that might land on her library books.
Saturday saw what is technically our last 'official' Portland Library installation, at the wonderfully welcoming In Other Words bookshop and women's resource centre - where as soon as we walked in the door (we walk not shuffle, despite the heat, as when our Librarian has a library to install she gets her power-walk on as she just can't help it!) we were offered tea and lemon biscuits.

Boy do we love free food. Mmm-mm-mm.

Where were we?

Oh yeah. In Other Words.

So we walk in the door, lay out our library, chalk board a sign up, like so:

. . . . and start signing you up. And eating biscuits . . . six members later, an extremely pleasant afternoon whiled-away by the Librarian in the company of cool-ass magazines, zines, comic books and the like, courtesy of In Other Words, and it was time to close up, bringing our current Portland total to:

. . . which, now we take a look at our Library Statistic spreadsheet is a RECORD for the most new members in one month. Bravo Portland!

So. We're still here, but in secret, so may set up some un-official Library installations in our last few days before we head on over to Seattle where we'll be providing our Library & the service of the Librarian for the good folks there! On y va or avast!

In the meantime, here are some visual aids to the peachy Portland time we been a'havin':

The Copper Canyon Press poetry book exhibition on the top floor of Portland's Central Library branch

Dr Rick Marinelli gets with the Portland Library programme

We do love a book drop!

As per our ByeByeLaws, we did designate an area of silence in our Library during one of our installations in a Portland person's home, hee hee . . .

A Portland scenic shot

A message left on a Portlander's car

*Heard by our Librarian while sitting in In Other Words on Saturday. Spoken by one man to another wearing a large rucksack, walking down Killingsworth. Our Librarian did try and wave through the window while murmuring 'here's a dirty ass pig boys, over here!' but unfortunately by then they were out of earshot.

And finally, thanks to Burke for walking round with us for hours, despite nearly experiencing hypoglucemia, and showing us some Portland sights, as well as humouring us in our search for some Portland sounds, of which, two are here for your aural enjoyment . . .

The Sound of the Willamette Lapping South-East Portland

The Sound of the Hum On the Hawthorne Bridge

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Glad you love it babe! YOu know you do!

Received your message. Gonna call ya later tater!
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