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, 21 August 2008

Worldwide Membership Hits 800 Mark...

... so T.I.P.L. celebrates 5lowershop stylee ...

As per traditional NthHundred Valued Patron of the Library award, VPL number 800 had his hand shaken by TIPL right here in Amsterdam [whereas VPL number 700 had his hand shaken in San see where we are going with this...]

VPL #800 was also awarded a special, not-yet-on-the-loose handwritten haiku:

One day your frog prince
or princess will come along
Meanwhile, hold your breath.

* * * In Other News * * *

"Barry Fitton cooks the best Indian food in Amsterdam" - Eddie Woods

"Her voice had the throaty, indignant lilt of a Dutchwoman" - John le Carré

Come Join Before We Travel On - Amsterdam!
Leipzig! We arrive forthwith, hold steady chaps!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Where's the Library in Amsterdam?

First up we're at Boekie Woekie, the artist-run bookstore for books by artists in Amsterdam. Its bookstore & gallery are open daily from 12 to 6 pm, and we'll be at Boekie Woekie on Wednesday 20th August 2008 from 12 noon until 5pm, T.I.P.L. and Library in tow!

They're at: Berenstraat 16, 1016 GH Amsterdam, and you can call 'em: 31 (0)20 6390507 or email or just turn right up in person:

View Larger Map

Meanwhile, Thursday August 21st 2008 from 1-6pm will see us at Perdu

"Stichting Perdu is a literary foundation interested in new developments within the field of prose and poetry, in avant-garde forms of literature of the 20st Century and in crossovers between literature and other art forms. We mainly focus on certain aspects of literature that remain under exposed within the mainstream literary scene.

Every Friday night Perdu organises her 'Avonden' (evenings): custom made literary programs striving for discussion. On every other night the theatre might host some other kind of performance. On top of that Perdu also is a small publishing company that publishes certain specialised titles. The poetry bookshop, adjacent to the theatre, offers a wide variety of different kinds of poetry."

Perdu is at: Kloveniersburgwal 86, 1012 CZ Amsterdam, and you can call 'em: 020 627 6295 or even send 'em an email.

View Larger Map

Friday 22nd August 2008 from 12 noon until 5pm sees us return to Sterre der Zee, courtesy of the wonderful Jan. Get yerself to: 43 Nicolaas Beetsstraat, Amsterdam...

Grotere kaart weergeven

And finally, courtesy of Barry Fitton's bookstall at the TenKartMarkt, we'll be donning Librarian gear & grabbing our Poem Repository to provide you with a Saturday menu of poems-to-go. Catch us there on Saturday 23rd August 2008 from 12 noon until 4pm!

You can find the Market here:

View Larger Map

Membership cards at the ready Amsterdam! To the Library and beyond, tally-ho chaps!

T.I.P.L. is ready: Are you?

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Dorpsjuweel 2008: Sounds of The Netherlands

In between installing our Library & Librarian, we try to keep agoin'on our Digital Audio Archive project: recording the sounds of the cities, countries & people we meet. We just met [again] the wonderful Ruigoord community [Amsterdam] in the Netherlands, and have been helping run Ruigoord Radio. We're not sure if there is live a stream up yet, so we've whacked up some of the audio we've been recording [see links to stream below] via The Internet Archive, so you can listen to it almost as soon as we have done gone recorded it! Enjoy!

"The artists enclave Ruigoord has now been flourishing as a cultural freeport for exactly 35 years. For so many years there has been a big summer festival on the fields surrounding the village inspired by the Amsterdam Balloon Company, the Landjuweel. But now around Ruigoord the march of industry draws ever closer and it’s time to give a new twist to the festival. So we have a whole new concept in mind: the Landjuweel comes to the village! This year the Juweel (meeting) will take place in the heart of the village and that in itself is an alchemical transformation."

Ken Parsons and [some of] the Bucket Boys [stream], recorded live on Saturday afternoon, 16th August 2008 at Dorpsjuweel Festival, Ruigoord, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Taking a Walk Around the Sounds of the Site [stream]: Saturday afternoon at Dorpsjuweel, Ruigoord, 16 August 2008.

The Low Budgetarians [stream]: reggae dub live set, Saturday evening at Dorpsjuweel, Ruigoord, 16 August 2008.

The Bucket Boys [stream]: live set & mini-interview, Saturday afternoon at Dorpsjuweel, Ruigoord, 16 August 2008.

The Library returns to Amsterdam [proper] and re-opens next week: as long as we survive the festival weekend intact [it's already midnight and we've still gotta lotta recording to go!]

Wednesday, 13 August 2008



1. Librarian on radio, tonight [wed 13 aug 2008], 9-10pm
(Amsterdam, The Netherlands time)

Live on DFM Radio Television International

Click here for live stream

Yes, we're kickin' it into touch!

First up, as we meander on over to Leipzig, is the Dutch Library Experience! Amsterdam VPLs get yer membership cards at the ready, all you other Valued Non Patrons of the Library: Come Join Before We Travel On!

We're at:

The wonderful Jan's Sterre de Zee bookshop at 43 Nicolaas Beetsstraat, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Thursday 14 Aug 2008, 1-6pm.

Grotere kaart weergeven

We arrived, Librarian and two giant library bags in tow, YESTERDAY. So, we're happy to report that we've been able to stick to one of our credos:

"Need a free public library of 'lost & forgotten' poetry?"
Within 24hrs of arrival the good citizens of Amsterdam are in luck!