Win Harms to Guest at SpokenWord Paris May 27th–Monday’s Theme: Night

image1Win Harms is a poet who thought that meant she could drink herself to death in Paris. Instead, she is the rebel-in-chief of an underground press, Rough Night Press and edits Rx Magazine. Originally from somewhere in the middle of nowhere, USA, she moved to a French town where she heard Sylvia Plath lived. She then followed her heart to Amsterdam, where she is the mistress of mayhem of the underground poetry scene hosting readings and performing rebel acts of light. Win used to sell her Ritalin to cheerleaders and has been a decade without an address. She published a few books of teen angst poetry that now she doesn’t care for and she is often misidentified as a feminist. Let her guide you through the rough night of the soul.



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Henrik Aeshna/Eros en Feu to Guest at SpokenWord Paris May 20th–Monday’s Theme: May Madness

HENRIK-AESHNA DIOR (1)Henrik Aeshna/Eros en Feu is a multimedia artist, poet, polyglot translator living in Paris. He is the founder and editor of Paris Poets, Tsunami Gang (wild art & poetry magazine) and Paris Surréaliste, the nomad poet/fire thief of the Great Wild Night of language where the Verb is born from an exploding star. Poet of wine-stained journals and nuits blanches sewn with orgasms and silences, unsent letters to dawn. Notebooks streaked with apocalypstick and graffiti, seismic shifts, unknown voices, violent tattoos, purple scars. Scars as proverbs. Wandering poet of rock gigs and jazz joints. Beach bum and dandy poet of cafés and parks, hotel rooms, opium dens and cul-de-sacs, endless plateaux and madhouses (where “modern plague doctors transform Ayahuasca visionaries into Abilify zombies and wind-up turtle men”). Electric poet of dreams and violated innocence, plastic prophets and digital alienation. Shaman-poet of chaos and Amour Fou. Imagine a hypnotic assemblage of Isadora Duncan or Vaslav Nijinsky dancing slow-motion to the Sex Pistols while the ghost of Tyler Durden, such as a Loa in trance, convulses around speaking in tongues and drawing symbolic veves on the ground, reciting the language of the birds, unveiling « the secret of flowers and floods ». Incandescent poetry, visceral and hallucinating. Henrik Aeshna’s presence is an invitation to insurrection, – resurrection of Magic & Wonder from the hypocrisy-reality show of our time. A daily war which often grinds down and reduces the artist (the sublime creator or Sacred Clown from faraway tribes and shores) to a cornered cardboard scourge, a ‘knocked out philosopher’ (lo-fi and off-key) bleeding a philosophy torn to pieces – the scream of the dragonfly: a last liberating laughter, a cicada’s last cry; – and that is their tragedy, their beauty, their contradiction, their truth, their challenge. Nevermind!

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Adeena Karasick to Guest at SpokenWord Paris May 13th–Monday’s Theme: Language

East VillageAdeena Karasick is a New York based Canadian poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist and the author of ten books of poetry and poetics. Her Kabbalistically inflected, urban, Jewish feminist mashups have been described as “electricity in language” (Nicole Brossard), “proto-ecstatic jet-propulsive word torsion” (George Quasha), noted for their “cross-fertilization of punning and knowing, theatre and theory” (Charles Bernstein) “a twined virtuosity of mind and ear which leaves the reader deliciously lost in Karasick’s signature ‘syllabic labyrinth’” (Craig Dworkin); “one long dithyramb of desire, a seven-veiled dance of seduction that celebrates the tangles, convolutions, and ecstacies of unbridled sexuality… demonstrating how desire flows through language, an unstoppable flood of allusion (both literary and pop-cultural), word-play, and extravagant and outrageous sound-work.” (Mark Scroggins). Most recently is Checking In (Talonbooks, 2018) and Salomé: Woman of Valor (University of Padova Press, Italy, 2017), the libretto for her Spoken Word opera co-created with Grammy award winning composer, Sir Frank London. She teaches Literature and Critical Theory for the Humanities and Media Studies Dept. at Pratt Institute, is Poetry Editor for Explorations in Media Ecology, 2018 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award recipient and winner of the 2016 Voce Donna Italia award for her contributions to feminist thinking and 2018 winner of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. The “Adeena Karasick Archive” is established at Special Collections, Simon Fraser University. She is presently on a European performance tour — with stops in Dublin, Padova, Forli, Menton, London, Paris and Venice at the Biennale.

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Anika Love to Guest at SpokenWord Paris May 6th–Monday’s Theme: Liberation

IMG-2594Anika Love’s irruptive love-and-sorrows are channeled into visual and literary art which expose the unseen. Anika liberates the self from barring constructions of normalcy through her subversion of “proper” formulas. The expressionistic nature of her work is the unleashed burst of the—formerly—repressed voice. Drawing inspiration from the self possessed beauty of Nikki Giovanni—“I cannot be comprehended except by my permission”—Anika’s work is a raw reclamation of the self. Her poems rebel against the confines of social expectation as they unapologetically echo the aches, rages, and wants of the other, the objectified, and the unheard. Anika is currently studying at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan where she is painstakingly creating  against the grain!


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Erin Byrne to Guest at SpokenWord April 22nd–Monday’s Theme: Illuminations

spoken word nov 2015Erin Byrne is the author of Wings: Gifts of Art, Life, and Travel in France, editor of Vignettes & Postcards from Paris and Vignettes & Postcards from Morocco, and writer of The Storykeeper  film.  Erin’s travel essays, poetry, fiction and screenplays have won awards including Grand Prize Solas Awards for Travel Story of the Year, the  Foreword Indies Book of the Year, an Accolade Award for film, and the Pinnacle Achievement Award.  She has taught writing at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris, at Book Passage Bookstore, and on Deep Travel trips, and is host of the LitWings event series at Book Passage and in Paris which features writers, photographers, and filmmakers. Erin is Collaborating Curator in Travel Writing and Photography for The Creative Process Exhibition, which was launched at the Sorbonne and travels to the world’s leading universities.  She is on the board of advisors of LitCamp, a juried writers’ conference held annually at Esalen Institute, Big Sur.  Her screenplay, Siesta, is in pre-production in Spain, and she is working on a novel set in the Paris Ritz during the occupation, Illuminations.

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Steve Dalachinsky to guest at SpokenWord Paris April 15th–Monday’s Theme: Ecology

56306757_582135692286489_855491617744748544_nPoet/collagist STEVE DALACHINSKY was born in Brooklyn in1946. His book “The Final Nite” (Ugly Duckling Presse – 2006) won the PEN Oakland National Book Award. His latest cds are “The Fallout of Dreams” with Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach (Roguart 2014), “ec(H)o-system” with the French art-rock group, the Snobs (Bambalam 2015) and “Pretty in the Morning with the Snobs” (Bisou Records – 2019). He is a 2014 recipient of a Chevalier D’ le Ordre des Artes et Lettres. His recent books include “The Invisible Ray” (Overpass Press – 2016) with artwork by Shalom Neuman, “Frozen Heatwave”, a collaboration with Yuko Otomo (Luna Bissonte Prods 2017) and Black Magic (New Feral Press 2017) and The Chicken Whisperer (Positive Manets – 2018). His newest book “where night and day become one – the french poems” (great weather for MEDIA 2018) received a 2019 IBPA award in poetry.

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A reading from Baldwin’s ‘Little Man, Little Man’ by Tejan Karefa and Aisha Karefa-Smart

A double feature this Monday at SpokenWord. As well as the great spoken word poet Bonafide Rojas, we are happy to welcome James Baldwin’s niece and nephew to SpokenWord on 8th April, where they will read from Baldwin’s ‘Little Man, Little Man’, written by Baldwin for Tejan when he was little. A big thanks to Camille Rich of The Link for arranging this!

Here’s some words about the book from Baldwin himself.

Tejan Karefa is a writer, photographer and media artist living and working in Paris since 2008, while making jumps from Washington D.C. He has captured street images in D.C., Paris, New York City, Bahia, Brazil and Southern Morocco. Some of these photos appeared in his debut photo exhibit entitled ‘Frontieres’. Tejan has traversed the Paris HIPHOP and Jazz performance scene as a guest vocalist with Paris-based artists and bands including David Linx, Ben L’Oncle Soul, Panam Panic, JDQ (Julien Daian Quintet) and the Urban Groove Unit. Tejan’s foreword opens the newly re-released ‘Little Man, Little Man’ by James Baldwin, originally published in 1977. He has participated on panel discussions and readings in New York and Paris to give voice to the “book of code” he cherished as a childhood gift from ‘Uncle Jimmy’.

Aisha Karefa-Smart is an author, educator and public speaker. Her childhood home in New York City was a congregation space for African-American writers, artists and musicians. Her uncle, the late James Baldwin, often returned home from the South of France to New York where he hosted all night “jam sessions” with literary greats such as Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. Influenced by her exposure to such artistic, and cultural, and political discourse, she chose to study and perform as a member of Dr. Glory Van Scott’s Children’s Theater, The Harlem Theater Company and The Falcons Dance Troupe in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Aisha has presented and facilitated panel discussions examining the work of her late uncle and his re-emergence into the nation’s political and racial discourse.

Thanks to The Red Wheelbarrow bookshop who are bringing copies of ‘Little Man, Little Man’ to sell at the event.

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Bonafide Rojas to Guest at SpokenWord Paris April 8th–Monday’s Theme: Mourning


BWRojasBonafide Rojas is the author of four collections of poetry: Notes On The Return To The Island (2017), Renovatio (2014), When The City Sleeps (2012) & Pelo Bueno (2004). He’s appeared on Def Poetry Jam & has been published in numerous anthologies & journals. He’s in the band The Mona Passage & has performed at: Lincoln Center, The Brooklyn Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, Bowery Ballroom, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, Rotterdam Arts Center, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Latinale Berlin, Festival Kerouac Vigo & Festival De La Palabra. He currently lives in New York City.

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Chris Ames to guest at SpokenWord on 1st April, theme FOOL

Chris Ames has lived in France for 27 years, but the past 10 have been a second youth due to divorce, homelessness, and travel to the four corners of the earth. He has published six books of short stories and poetry, in Japan, Poland and France, and in 2017 won a nonfiction prize in America for “An American (homeless) in Paris,” which is available online. This month will see publication of a bilingual book of prose-poetry entitled “Exile: The Pleasure is Ours” concerning his travels in Russia, and on May 7th will be the guest author at the American Library in Paris, to talk about his book on homelessness and its unforeseen benefits. Please welcome Chris back to Paris. He is arriving April 1st from winter in Myanmar.

SpokenWord theme – FOOL (as in noun or verb)

Upcoming themes in April
Apr 8th — Mourning
Apr 15th — Ecology
Apr 22nd — Illuminations
Apr 29th — Exit

Cheers all,
David Barnes

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Robert Isaf to guest at SpokenWord Monday 25th March

Robert Isaf is an award-winning poet and journalist from Atlanta. He has performed across Europe and the United States, and has recently relocated to East Germany, where he is working with the medieval Aramaic poetry of Gregory Barhebraeus and on a collection of essays concerning identity and memory off the beaten path. This is his first time performing in Paris.

SpokenWord theme: WISDOM

Cheers all,
David Barnes

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