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, 19 July 2007

Portland Library Love!

So. Our Portland Library Programme continues to be a resounding success, and in fact, is so super popular that our poor Librarian has been out and about installing the library so much that A. she's not seen that much of Portland; B. she's been too exhausted to post any further witty verbiage to the Library blog and C. she dun gone run outta Library cards folks. Still. Not bad downsides to an otherwise ecstatic Library run. After our first week of running round locating venues, people, sounds and a vague sense of geographical orientation, we came up trumps with our first library offerings: the IPRC (Independent Publishing Resource Center) and Reading Frenzy (an Independent Press Emporium) have been great homes for the library and saw us notch up new members galore and ensure that our librarian had some awesome reading material to ingest from their respective fabulous text collections, inbetween signing up members, acquisitioning new materials to the Library Collection, and beginning to conduct our first ever User Response Survey. Freeskool Portland, a community education project, where you can learn or teach pretty much any useful skills you may want: "Connecting people from all walks of life to freely share their knowledge and skills" ('Education Without the Institution') also gave us an opportunity to provide access to the Library to some other folks. The FreeSkool people and both the IPRC and Reading Frenzy are not only homes from home for our Library & Librarian, they also provide a real sense of Portland's artistic community, and a glimpse into the creativity of the people living and working here. The IPRC runs zine camp for kids, has a cool printing space with photocopier, pens, paper, letterpress, typewriters and all manner of printing resources for people to come and use (and membership is very reasonable) while Reading Frenzy provides a great venue to distribute and sell the zines, books, pamphlets and independent magazines that come out of these creative mavens' heads. We say: Portland Rules! And what with the OCAC and a huge community of book artists and bike lovers, this place is brimfulla bootiful folks who know how to be inspired, inspire others and yep, make life that leetle bit tastier, which is what we're all about too. A match made in handprinted-text-heaven you might say . . . and here's the proof of the pudding, so to speak:

The Library & Librarian @ Reading Frenzy

Followed by signing up members in Colonel Summers Park, courtesy of the FreeSkool Portland Potluck Sunday

After outside we went indoors: The New American Art Union . . .

. . . where we installed the Library courtesy of The Spare Room Reading Series

Swiflty followed by a Library installation . . .

. . . in some Portland people's own home!

At this point we stopped to pontificate on the Portland Sky . . .

. . . Had a nostalgic moment of 'Laundry Days in the Mission', in pre-Portland San Francisco Life of the Librarian

. . . while our Portland couchsurfing hosts reminded us Not To Let The Cat Out

By which time it appears to be the third week in July, and thus only ten days or so of Portland Library Action Left before we provide our free travelling library of 'lost & forgotten' poetry for the good citizens of Seattle (Washington) and Vancouver (Canada) as we amble on in to August. . . Come Join Before We Travel On Folks, thaswhattawesay.

With thanks to Simone, Mattias, Ariana & Jeffrey for images, homes, food and hardcooooooore library action (you know you love it Simone!)

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