Will Strangmeyer to Guest at SpokenWord Paris September 2nd–Monday’s Theme: Regret

24068273_159956174620991_7932180844709268514_nWilliam Walrond Strangmeyer was born in Roanoke, Virginia, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and Brofus, New Jersey, where he went to Rutgers University, starting out as a classics major, changing to musicology and finishing​with an abnormal psychology, all of which he declined to follow up or to​ practice. He has worked in many different fields of endeavor, including​ amusement parks, banks, book stores, cinema, door-to-door sales, restaurants,​ retail sales, taxi driving, telephone sales, warehouses, theater and as a tour guide​ and was also co-editor of Upstairs at Duroc, a literary review, blowing his​ chances at working-class hero status. A forty-two-year resident of Paris, he now​ earns his living as an English language trainer and translator.​ He is the author of several volumes of poetry (all slim), his other principal​interests being various forms of boxing, bull fighting and old music. He is​ Archon of Paris for the Moorish Orthodox Church and a member of various​ other organizations embracing a few essential beliefs and having even fewer​ doctrines.​ He has read all over Paris over the years and in NY and Florida.​ His main influences are science fiction, doo-wop music and a mis-spent youth,​along with the usual Eliot, Pound, Wallace Stevens, Poe, Catullus, Larkin, Elroy,​ Doctor Seuss, Beaudelaire and also Emmylou Harris, Roy Jones Jr., Leonard​ Cohen, Feodor Emilianenko, Bartok and Roy Orbison.​ His motto this year is, “Keep a straight face,” but sometimes he forgets.

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Diana Norma Szokolyai & Dennis Shafer to Guest at SpokenWord Paris July 22nd–Monday’s Theme: Spy

photo by Gil Selinger_with Diana NormaDiana Norma Szokolyai is an author, educator, interdisciplinary artist and artistic director. Her books are CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing(edited anthology), Parallel Sparrows(poetry + photography), Roses in the Snow (poetry + photography), and Blue Beard, Remixed (poetry + short story + art). Her poetry was shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Prize and received honorable mention in the 87thAnnual Writer’s Digest Competition (2018). She also performs her poetry with music and her collaboration with Project 5 a.m., “Space Mothlight,” hit #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015 and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. She is Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, where she leads writing retreats, and Co-Director of Chagall Performance Art Collaborative. She holds an Ed. M in Arts in Education from Harvard University and an M.A. in French from the University of Connecticut.

Dennis Shafer is a saxophonist, director, and live-composer based in Boston and New York City.  His playing has been reviewed as “brilliant” by The Boston Globe, and he has engagements around the world soloist, educator, and live-composer. He conducts and directs Boston University Saxophone Ensemble, Chagall Performance Art Collaborative, and Brooklyn Soundpainting Ensemble. ChagallPAC produces work with poetry, music, visual art, and movement works each year. Dennis Shafer is composing work this year with dancers and sound-bath artists, producing and composing an album of sounds from singing bowls to accompany yoga classes and sound-bath meditations.

The Chagall Performance Art Collaborative (Chagall PAC) is a community of artists committed to collaborating across disciplines and exploring the ways we experience art. We believe art is never the same in any given moment, but rather evolving and continually being shaped by the imaginations of those who come into contact with it.  We create performances that involve audience participation and expand to the newest reaches of contemporary performance art.

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Skye Jackson to Guest at SpokenWord Paris July 15th–Monday’s Theme: Race

Skye JacksonSKYE JACKSON was born and raised in New Orleans. She holds an English degree from LSU and a degree in law from Mississippi College School of Law. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop where she serves as Associate Poetry Editor of Bayou Magazine. Her work has appeared in the Delta Literary Journal and Thought Catalog. Her chapbook A Faster Grave is forthcoming in May 2019 from Antenna Press.

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AWOL writers’ workshop moves to the Chat Noir for the summer.

The time stays the same – every Sunday at 6.30pm-8.30pm. Running throughout the summer.

The Chat Noir is of course where we do SpokenWord on Mondays. It’s at 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011. Métro Parmentier (line 3) or Couronnes (line 2).

AWOL remains free and a fantastic place to get supportive, challenging feedback on your writing and hang out with other writers.

Hosts now include the poet Camille Adnot. Alternating with Thibaut Narme, Bruce Sherfield and Simon Millward.

Check it out.

David Barnes

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Ben Aleshire to Guest at SpokenWord Paris July 8th–Monday’s Theme: Summer

Benjamin Aleshire, poet for hireBENJAMIN ALESHIRE is based in New Orleans, and travels the world as a poet-for-hire, composing poems for strangers on a manual typewriter in the street. His work has appeared recently in Iowa Review, Boston Review, El Mundo (Spain), NEON (Germany), Havana Times (Cuba) and on SinoVision TV (China). His artist-book of visual poems, Currency, is now in its second edition, and he recently released an audio-chapbook of poems with sound collage. Ben serves as assistant poetry editor to the Green Mountains Review, and has received awards from the Vermont Arts Council, the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, and the University of New Orleans.


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Jack Cooper to Guest at SpokenWord Paris July 1st–Monday’s Theme: Frustration

Paris 21 January 2019 (2)John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper comes from New York. Currently alive and living in Paris, he has — not necessarily in the following order — been a puppet (entirely in self-defense), a sometime pauper, always wanted to be a pirate, been frequently a pawn (though, for the most part, unwillingly), abdicated even the thought of ever becoming king, and is now settled in the one constant role left to him and endured throughout — a poet. He is the creator of These Are Aphorithms (https://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. 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.


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Sophia Lucia to Guest at SpokenWord Paris June 24th–Monday’s Theme: Internet

IMG_1841Sophia Lucia is an artist from Chicago, IL, USA. She received a BA in Performing Arts at University of Illinois at Chicago and is currently studying théâtre at Cours Florent in Paris. Sophia has been writing ever since she was a child- poetry, short stories, songs, pros, etc. Throughout high school and University she worked (as a waitress, naturally, and,) as a stage actress, performing in classical and contemporary plays throughout Chicago. For the past couple years, she has been mostly interested in performing her own materials. Chiefly, she creates from her stream of consciousness. Making sense of it, or not. She believes that art is alive, and in turn, a performance can never arrive same way twice. It is a collaboration with the space, the audience, the ambiance, the day of the week, what she had for breakfast that morning… The culmination of her creations is entitled, Freak Show Cabaret! (w/ free samples). Next Monday, Sophia Lucia Presents: iNtErNeT – un petit goût du Freak Show Cabaret. For more details, please attend the party!  Everyone is always invited. #dontmissthismeal

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Miss Yankey guest poet at SpokenWord 17th June. Theme: Travelling blind


Miss Yankey is a British/Ghanaian writer and performance poet, International Slam Champion, founder of Poetry Prescribed, co-host and resident poet at The Chocolate Poetry Club, open mic host at Mind Over Matter, and member of the FLO Poets.

As a writer, Miss Yankey has completed commissions for clients ranging from The Historic Royal Palaces to designer fashion brands; technology giants, charity organisations, and travel companies.

As a performance poet, Miss Yankey has captured the attention of audiences at the Royal Albert Hall, Trafalgar Square, the Tate Modern Gallery, the BBC, the Tower of London, Althorp Literary Festival, and the Lambeth Country Show; to name but a few.

Miss Yankey has been shortlisted twice as a finalist for national poetry competition ‘Poetry Rivals’, and was nominated and shortlisted for the ‘Spoken Word Artist of The Year 2018’ at the Saboteur Awards.

Miss Yankey captivates her audiences with her honest and heartfelt poetry, often speaking up on behalf of the oppressed and silenced. She began writing poetry as a child and carried her love of writing into adulthood. Upon learning more about the therapeutic benefits of poetry and creative writing, Miss Yankey founded Poetry Prescribed in 2017, with the primary aim of improving people’s mental health and well being.

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Cecilia Woloch to Share the Guest-Spot with The Ellipses Condition (Pearlann Porter and John Lambert) at SpokenWord Paris June 10th! Monday’s Theme: Roots

ceciliawoloch-may2018-croppedCecilia Woloch is the author of six collections of poems and a novel. She is an NEA Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar, and the recipient of numerous other awards, including a Pushcart Prize and inclusion in the Best American Poetry series. The text of her second book, Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem, has been the basis for multi-lingual, multi-media performances across the U.S. and Europe. Born in Pennsylvania and raised in rural Kentucky, she has traveled the world as a teacher and writer.

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Pearlann Porter & John Lambert to Share the Guest-Spot with Poet Cecilia Woloch at SpokenWord Paris June10th–Monday’s Theme: Roots

IMG_8822The Ellipses Condition is the partnered creativity of American artists Pearlann Porter and John Lambert, sharing a commitment to the authentic translation of their inner thoughts and emotions into dance, music and words. Their improvisitions blur the dynamics between movement, musicality and poetry, embodying the philosophy of jazz as a verb lived in every aspect of being. Collaboratively they cultivate new audio/physical relationships, lending living bodies to intangible conversations.  Porter has been the Founding Artistic Director of The Pillow Project and a professor of improvisational dance at Point Park University for the past thirteen years.  Lambert has been a professional musician and performing poet in New Orleans and Pittsburgh for over a decade. Together they co-curate and direct The Space Upstairs as lead Resident Artists with a combined 25+ years of experience both locally and internationally creating spontaneous performances, installations and intensive improvisational studies.
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