This info last updated January 5th 2020.
SpokenWord Paris is one pole of a nomadic tribe of people who love poetry, writing and song. A home for creatives and lost anglophones. We do an open mic night called SpokenWord every Monday at the Chat Noir and an allied writers’ workshop every Sunday. We do a literary journal called The Bastille and Tightrope Books published many of us in the book “Strangers in Paris.” Click on the blue stamp on the right to sign up to the mailing list.
Open mic/scène ouverte: Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive. Acoustic songs also welcome.
Poetry video clips on our instagram at spokenword_paris
A taste of Monday nights at the Chat Noir, by Victor. Listen or download here.
Every Monday except August. Come to the Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011. Métro Parmentier/Couronnes. Sign up at 8pm in the bar. Poetics start from 8.30pm underground. More info here. Paris’ biggest and longest-running English open mic night, started in 2006. All languages welcome. Free entry. Exit one euro.
Check next week’s theme here. Themes are a suggestion to inspire you but you don’t have to follow them. Indeed, many people don’t.
AWOL writers’ workshop
AWOL takes place every Sunday evening, 6.30pm – 8.30pm at the Chat Noir. 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011. Time sometimes varies so check AWOL’s facebook page. Free. Bring your writing or just come and listen and join in the discussion. Hosted by Bruce Sherfield, Simon Millward, Thibaut Narme and Camille Adnot. Friendly and insightful and afterwards you’re welcome to come for a drink. In a previous incarnation this ran for 10 years as The Other Writers Group and AWOL continues that group’s ethos of giving invaluable insightful feedback and providing a supportive space to hone your writing craft. Plus community among writers. Click here for a more detailed description.
Mary McColley is a writer and poet from Maine, currently studying history and languages in Paris. She studies in corners of various museums and wanders the streets at odd hours, as well as drawing and writing copiously. She worked at a lobster company in Maine and deeply loves the ocean. Mary is fascinated by languages and migrations. Find more of her work at https://troislapins.weebly.com/.
Lisa Ducasse is a spoken word artist, singer and songwriter from Mauritius now living in Paris. She released her first poetry collection, Midnight Sunburn, in April 2017, and her first EP, Louvoie, in September 2018. She writes in French and in English, her two native languages, and her work mostly stems from and builds around the – sometimes lived, sometimes imagined – life of a traveler and the various homes one finds through encounters, moments, and in places all around the world. Her songs recently caught the attention of French singer Zazie, for whom she opened at the Olympia in November 2019. Her second poetry collection, called House of Sometimes, is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2020.
photo credit–Frederick Petit
Richard Earls writes and performs poetry and songs on the UK and Paris spoken word circuit on subjects as diverse as love, war, family, death and desperation on the dance floor. A musician and songwriter for four decades, he was involved in the mid-80s UK jazz/pop scene (CBS LP Compilation, Get Wise and Virgin/Paladin release Pull Me UP). Following his conspicuous lack of success as a pop star, he moved to France to bring up his family with his wife, Deby. Years later, a chance encounter with a homeless GI, begging on Market Street, San Francisco provided what the French call a ‘déclic’ which resulted in a flood of poems and songs which would become his Older Wiser Harder collection. Richard is now a regular at venues such as The Poetry Cafe, Talking Rhythm, Rags and Tatters, Paris Lit Up, Spoken Word Paris, Rhyme and Reason, Listen Softly London and 1000 Monkeys. At Spoken Word Paris in January his set will include a reprise of his first epic poem, Mairead Aigneis, 21st Century Warrior Queen, which was received so warmly at Write Up! Speak Up! at the Wells Festival of Literature in October. He will also be performing work from his slim volume of poems, The Bonfire.
I have been writing poems since I was nine years old, starting with this first verse “The moon is so beautiful that, sometimes, we have conversations“. (One might say, I am an) Adept of raw, automatic writing and ever flirting with the immortal flowers of surrealism. The theater was my first experience onstage, slam my first playing field. I participated in several major national slams, whereupon… music very quickly came to claim me. I have been performing on stage since 2007 –whether alone or accompanied by musicians, performers, and acrobats. As I arrived in Paris, I wondered how to survive in a city so violent. Then, I met a girl at one of the slam venues who said this about me: ”Her response to concrete? words of concrete; her echo to horns? horns that honked back; her portrait of the mist? a gaseous gaze from behind misty glasses. I held back a dam of tears listening…Lurking behind those meanings were other meanings; behind those knives, other knives; by virtue of that field of flowers before us, a whole new field of flowers began sprouting in our hearts.” Monday evenings at the Downtown Café, helped me to better support my new life in France.
YAS Poète performeuse
Addison Bale is an artist from New York. His chapbook, SNAKESKINS, was published by Irrelevant Press in 2017. He has also published poems with Indolent Books Press, Wedgie Magazine in Paris, and the Pomeroy Poets Anthology. Most recently he completed a residency in poetry and art education in Bolivia and will be pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing in 2020. Outside of poetry, Addison works as a painter in Brooklyn.
Bill Moran is a performance poet and former medic from Houston, TX. He is a two-time Austin Poetry Slam Champion, and has an MFA Poetry degree from Louisiana State University. He has toured regularly since 2011, performing and teaching throughout the UK, Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the US. His work has been featured on Button Poetry (video), University of Hell Press, Alien Mouth, Pressure Gauge Press, and Phoebe. He currently lives and works in Houston as a teaching artist for Writers in the Schools, and his solo debut book ‘Oh God Get Out Get Out is now available through Write Bloody Publishing.
Fork Burke Born in Detroit Called by New Orleans Developed in New York Landed in Switzerland and Live in Paris in Spirit … Moving with and past the disruption of the agreements (writing) into a kind of constant word-speak (poet) I simultaneously want something and feel at one with it Currently – Cut-ups – Checklist 33 – In Constant Collaboration. Vision is vital – It is this that drives me as a Poet – I wanna know if the work belongs to this making- I wanna know if it is a weapon forming connections – A poet is plural.
is an archivist, teacher, and a slasher (editor/project manager/webmaster) for the small press Black Square Editions (www.blacksquareeditions.org
). She has a Master in Fine Arts from Columbia University and has read her poetry at venues in New Jersey, New York, Canada, England, Switzerland, Italy, France, and elsewhere. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. Her first collection of poetry Before During or After Rainstorms
was published in 2012. Current projects include a series of 125 poems based on the paintings and drawings of Paul Klee in the collection of the Rosengart Museum Luzern and the publication of 33 Checklist: Two
forthcoming in December by Edition Haus am Gern in Biel, Switzerland.
Daniel Wilner is a degenerate and a gentleman. Known as Uncle Lush he comprises one half of the Brooklyn based rap group Brotherz Grimm and has performed at NYC open mikes like the Nuyorican, Art of Lyrics, and End of the Weak, as well as Paris Lit Up. He is a slang aficionado, ill drunken master of freestyling, and overall pretty nice guy. His new solo project Lush Life will be released in 2020.
is an author and poet who has lived the last 20 years in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her blog Blackgirl on Mars was one of the first to write about Blackness, womanhood and expat living in Europe. Her recently published book “Decolonial Daughter: Letters from a Black Woman to her European Son” is a memoir in letters about the continued impact of European colonialism through the lens of Black motherhood in Europe and touches much on her Caribbean background and childhood in Brooklyn. She was a TEDX speaker last December.
Photo credit: Margarita Corporan