Jillian Montilla is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris June 13th! Monday’s Theme: ROOM

Up until two weeks ago, Jillian Montilla (elle/she/her) was a part-time poet and a full-time master’s student in human rights at the Paris School of International Affairs. She’s still a part-time poet, but now she’s just unemployed. In 2020, Jill was named the U.N. Women Spoken Word Youth Poet. Partaking in the age-old tradition of poetry and activism, she has taught workshops on spoken word to migrant women’s groups and performed her poetry for the United Nations and international feminist organizations. Her poetry and essays, which unpack her Filipinx-American identity, have been published in textbooks and independent youth journals and magazines.

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Xoai David is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris June 6th! Monday’s Theme: PLANE

photo by Sabine Dundure

Xoài Elda David (pronounced s-why) is a Third Culture Kid who grew up in eight different countries. She studied Graphisme at LISAA applied arts school and Book Design at Ecole Estienne. Xoài has published several poems and short stories, and performed as well as hosted at International House of Poets Shanghai (IHOP) and Spoken Word Paris. Her radio play ‘One Way Ticket’ was performed by Moving Parts Theatre Group. As a co-founder of Organisation to Decolonise International Schools (ODIS), she hosts webinars, writes articles and manages social media. She and her father were once on the front page of the Jawa Pos (Java Post) Indonesian newspaper. Mother of frogs and freelance designer, Xoài is taking a gap year to finish her novel and save up for a Masters in scientific illustration.

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Adeena Karasick is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris May 30th! Monday’s Theme: HEAVEN

Adeena Karasick, Ph.D, is a New York based poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist and the author of 12 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); “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 Massaging the Medium7 Pechakuchas, (The Institute of General Semantics Press:  Language in Action, Checking In (Talonbooks, 2018) and Salomé: Woman of Valor (University of Padova Press, Italy, 2017), the libretto for her Spoken Word opera; Salomé: Woman of Valor CD, (NuJu Records, 2020), and Salomé Birangona, translation into Bengali (Boibhashik Prokashoni Press, Kolkata, 2020). Karasick teaches Literature and Critical Theory for the Humanities and Media Studies Dept. at Pratt Institute, is Poetry Editor for Explorations in Media Ecology, Associate International Editor of New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication, 2021 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award recipient and winner of the Voce Donna Italia award for her contributions to feminist thinking. The “Adeena Karasick Archive” is established at Special Collections, Simon Fraser University. 

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Bruce Edward Sherfield is Our Special Guest Playwright with Actors, Rufo Quintavalle and Tori Johnson May 23rd! Monday’s Theme: MISCHIEVOUS

Bruce Edward Sherfield is (in my own words) a brilliant writer, director, actor, voice-over artist, artist and good guy. Most recently known for Detroit: Become Human (2018), Coldhearts: A Poetical (Part One) (2020)  and Black Box (2021), he also co-runs AWOL WRITERS– The Invisible Paris Workshop where he guides, instructs and inspires.  In his own words ””Bruce Edward Sherfield. Unidentified Flying Artist. Faking Over the World. One Mind at a Time. Paris.” We are honored and very pleased to invite Bruce to present to us one of his theatre pieces–Countricide: Dancing in the Purple.(Dramatic reading by Rufo Quintavalle and Tori Johnson)

Rufo Quintavalle was born in London in 1978, studied at Oxford and the University of Iowa and now lives in Paris. He is the author of ten books of poetry, the most recent of which, Shelf, is a line-by-line rewrite of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”. His earlier collection, Weather Derivatives, is currently being translated into French and Portuguese. Rufo has taught creative writing at NYU Paris and for many years ran the reading series, “Poets Live”. Rufo is also an actor with experience working in theatre, film and television. He plays the role of Hadrian Bunch in Coldhearts: a poetical, an experimental project mixing poetry and film.Coldhearts is directed by Bruce Edward Sherfield and features many members of the Paris poetry scene. You can currently see Rufo at the cinema in the film Les passagers de la nuit, directed by Mikhaël Hers and starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Emmanuelle Béart. 

https://www.saggingmeniscus.com/catalog/shelf/ https://imdb.me/rufoquintavalle https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_17TtAvrEetDf5rsrhtP0Q https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCcTTdB9KNcU6–oy9hLbDA

Tori Johnson is an artist who has worked primarily in Sacramento, Minneapolis, and London. She has recently moved to Paris, France in 2021 to pursue acting, directing, and creating!She has always had a passion for creating spaces– spaces that are bold, exciting, unique, open, inclusive, and connected. She started her journey being a part of amazing spaces as an actor at Guthrie’s BFA Actor Training Program and the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Education Program in London. Then she found a love for creating inventive spaces for the actor to do their best work in directing both theatre and film. Fortunate enough to experience the joys of creating energized spaces in the classroom as a founding member and Program Director of the Northern California School of the Arts, she continued to create spaces for actors, students, teachers, and other creators. www.norcalsota.org  www.exploratori.me

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Richard Krawiec is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, May 16th! Monday’s Theme: MISTAKES

Richard Krawiec is an award-winning writer in both the U.S. and France. His French novels, Paria, Vulnerables, Dandy, and most recently Les Paralysés, were published  by Tusitala Editions.They have received rave reviews from, among other places, Rolling Stone and L’Obs. In the States, Krawiec’s work has gained attention from the New York Times, Publishers Weekly Recommended List, Village Voice Real Life Rock Top Ten, L.A. Times and elsewhere. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net multiple times.

He has also published two novels, a story collection, three plays, and three books of poetry in the U.S., most recently Women Who Loved Me Despite. His investigative feature articles have won regional and national awards. His literary awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and twice from the North Carolina Arts Council.  Individual stories and poems appear in Drunken Boat, Shenandoah, Sou’wester, Levure littéraire, Dublin Review, Chautauqua Literary Journal, and elsewhere.

His writing is often described as focusing on the lives of the underclass, and is informed by his personal  experiences.  He grew up in the depressed, working class city of Brockton, Massachusetts, and his many jobs include assembly line worker, dishwasher, newspaper delivery person, truck driver, fast food and short order cook, cabbie, waiter and teacher. He has taught writing to children and adults in homeless shelters, women’s shelters, prisons (including Death Row), literacy classes, refugee resettlement collaboratives, programs that help survivors of sexual assault, drug recovery programs, housing projects and at other community sites. Krawiec designed the curriculum for, and taught for over two decades, the Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Fiction Writing online courses for UNC-Chapel Hill, winning their Excellence in Teaching Award for his efforts. He teaches Fiction, Poetry, Playwriting, Memoir and Hybrid Writing classes through a variety of community arts venues.

He is the founder of Jacar Press, a Community Active Press that supports progressive groups and individuals. Jacar publishes a diverse assortment of poetry books and also runs an internationally-focused online magazine, One.

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Lisa Pasold is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, May 9th! Monday’s Theme: PERFUME

Photo by Sabine Dundure

Originally from Montreal, Lisa Pasold is the author of 5 books of fiction and poetry;  Toronto’s Lemonhound Magazine says of her most recent book, The Riparian: “A spectacular agglomeration of the dank and murky, the dark and forsaken, poetry and prose, taking the reader through tragedy, loss, and transformation grounded in locations along the sodden New Orleans riverbank.” Lisa’s work has appeared in magazines such as The Atlanta Review, The Los Angeles Review, New American Writing and Billboardwww.lisapasold.com

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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 (https://poems.rethabile-masilo.net) and co-edits Canopic Jar (canopicpublishing.com) 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 (http://aphorithms.blogspot.com), 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 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCfyJVm8mag-HS0AiVyWf5g 


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