Rethabile Masilo is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, May 2nd! Monday’s Theme: PESTS

Photo by Sabine Dundure

Rethabile Masilo is a Mosotho poet who has lived in France for more than 30 years. He left his country, Lesotho, as a refugee in 1981, eventually ending up in the USA. He moved to France in 1987 where he has resided ever since.

Masilo has published four books of poetry as well as two poetry anthologies that he was editor of. In 2014 his poem ‘Swimming’, from his second book Waslap won the Dalro First Prize in poetry, as well as the Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry in South African periodicals a year later. The poem had first appeared in the magazine New Coin, Vol. 49 Number 1, in June 2013.

In 2016 Waslap was awarded The Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry. That same year he was invited to the 20th Poetry Africa Festival in Durban, where he also represented The World Poetry Movement. In June 2019 he was part of The International Poetry Festival of Medellin in Colombia, to whose 30th anniversary festival in 2020 he was also invited.

His books are ‘Things that are silent’ (Pindrop Press, 2012), ‘Waslap’ (The Onslaught Press, 2015), ‘Letter to country’ (Canopic Publishing, 2016), and ‘Qoaling’ (The Onslaught Press, 2018). He blogs at PRL ( and co-edits Canopic Jar ( with the writer Phil Rice.

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Jack Cooper is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, April 25th! Monday’s Theme: CURSES

photo by Guiseppe Velasco

John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper Cadet de la famille, child “Jackie,” as he was then known, first went lost on the farm where they once lived. Panic ensued — and, not improbably, curses — search for him everywhere, soon resolved, when, not lost at all, he was found some miles down the road that led to their idyllic world, wagon in hand, perfectly alone, head turning eagerly from side to side. The farm is gone, that family entirely perished, but he remains essentially as he was, bound on similar adventure. He is the creator of These Are Aphorithms (, author of Ten (Poets Wear Prada, 2012), Ten … more (Poets Wear Prada, 2016), and translator of Wax Women, with French texts of the original poems by Jean-Pierre Lemesle (International Art Office: Paris, 1985). His work has appeared widely, in print and online. “Slouching Toward Bushwick,” a collection of his Brooklyn poems, is forthcoming soon from Poets Wear Prada. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he is editor and co-publisher of Poets Wear Prada, a small press based in Hoboken, New Jersey. He lives in Paris.

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Sue Burge is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, April 18th! Monday’s Theme: SMOKE

Sue Burge is a freelance creative writing tutor, mentor and editor based in North Norfolk, UK.  Sue’s poems have been published in a wide range of journals and have also featured in themed anthologies on science fiction, modern Gothic, illness, Britishness, endangered birds, WWI and the ongoing pandemic.  In 2016 she received an Arts Council grant which enabled her to write a body of poetry in response to the cinematic and literary legacy of Paris, which resulted in her first collection, Lumière .   She has two collections out with Live Canon, In the Kingdom of Shadows and Confetti Dancers.  The latter features a sequence of poems in homage to the loss of a dancer friend to the AIDS pandemic in the 1980s.  The Saltwater Diaries  (Hedgehog Poetry Press) was published in 2020 and examines Sue’s ongoing relationship with the sea.  She is currently working on her next full collection which explores the world of the alter ego she left behind in Paris three decades ago.  Her collection of eco-poetry, watch it slowly fade, is forthcoming with Hedgehog Poetry Press. 

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Moonlit Brooks–Our Special Guests at SpokenWord Paris, April 11th! Monday’s Theme: Demons

Bio: Moonlit Brooks is a spoken word duo from Heidelberg, Germany. With Tanya Gautam as the poet and Dizzy Rodriguez on the keys, we combine poetry and piano to process and share our experiences as people and artists. Our work explores the beauty and brutality of the world to realize, time and again, that we’re all the same — breathing bodies living between pain and joy, madness and insecurity, kindness and curiosity. With lyrics that meditate on topics ranging from violence and racism to the soft animal habits of love and compassion, every performance is a unique conversation between the pianist, the poet and the audience

Instagram: @moonlitbrooks 



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Yann Rousselot is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, April 4th ! Monday’s Theme: April Fools

photo by Sabine Dundure

Yann Rousselot is a translator and writer living in Paris, originally from England, but also from Brittany, and more realistically from nowhere at all, being an expat-brat with serious issues of cultural schizophrenia. His childhood could be likened to falling down an escalator made up of 13 schools in 8 countries scattered across 3 different continents. Graduate of the Sorbonne (Language & Literature) and the University of London Institute in Paris (Translation), he is a regular spoken word performer at Au Chat Noir, Culture Rapide, and le Bordel de la Poésie; a fire-spinner; a gamer; and a book nerd with a palate for SF&F.

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Looking back at SpokenWord Paris in 2021

Photo by Sabine.

We were first back in the Chat Noir in July, then regularly every Monday from September. Before that we did some SpokenWords outside when the weather was good enough.

It was great to be back at the Black Cat and see old friends and hear some great poetry and stories.

Here’s hoping it’ll be possible through 2022!

Cheers all,

David Barnes (Organiser)

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1st SpokenWord of 2022

10th January

theme – Imaginary friends
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Kim Lane, Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, November 22nd–Monday’s Theme: Rituals

Kim Lane is a former National Poetry Slam champion (Team Asheville, NC,) author, marathoner, and gifted education advocate. Educated at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Duke University, she is a tenacious advocate for developing student voices and community outreach through the arts. As of 2018, Lane has also begun arts outreach with dementia patients in association with the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. Lane lives in central North Carolina, and runs from its mountains to its sea.

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Zoom link for tonight’s event Spoken Word Paris meets the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Zoom link to join this event tonight

Sunday 8pm Paris time / 2pm NYC

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Two Venues – One Mic. Sunday 14th November 8pm Paris time, 2pm NYC.

An exchange of poetry between poets an ocean apart – 8 poets in the Chat Noir, 8 poets in the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, linked and projected in sound and vision. Come to either venue to hear all 16 poets do their 4 minutes of intense condensed life lived and imagination dreamed… Or if you can’t make it to either venue physically, join us on Zoom. (Link will be posted closer to the time.)

8pm Paris time in the Chat Noir.

2pm NYC time in the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

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