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PLU Open Mic featuring The Other Black Girl Collective & Danez Smith

Posted on 20 Jul 2016 in PLU Open Mic | 0 comments

PLU’s open mic on July 21 rocked its socks off, thanks to our buzzing brilliant crowd and finger-clicking good featured performers The Other Black Girl Collective and Danez Smith! As tradition has recently had it, your host asked/demanded that PLU Secretary General Ed be the first sacrifice to the stage. Virgin Kemi was an absolute pro with her jazz-inspired poetry, James was the first of many a musician to our stage that night, followed by the smallest guitar your host has ever – no it wasn’t a ukulele – wielded by Hannaka. Helen, one of the editors of the PLU magazine, cooked up a storm in prison, and Katie from Australia sang us through sunset. Colin needs a light for his window, Alice introduced us to some Miss Marple poetry, and Shannon exposed her mark of Cain. Danez Smith came on as...

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PLU Open Mic featuring Dr. Monique Wells

Posted on 10 Jul 2016 in PLU Open Mic | 0 comments

(ERK) It’s impossible not to think of Nice when it comes to doing the write up for July 14. While we watched Paris’ sky break into multi-colored lights, Nice la Belle was being driven into darkness. I wish English had a better word than “sorry”. If you have a language that says it better, let me know.    PLU Open Mic July 14 René aka “Smarty Author Jerkface” had a serious case of STN (sexually transmitted narcissism), Ed hit the waves of a quarter-life crisis, and virgin Sojourner responded to the shooting of Michael Brown. Pierre also got through his first experience on the PLU stage, and Maysan was relieved she hadn’t tried to kill herself…that day. Ryan is also experiencing an identity crisis – he can’t stand looking in the mirror (which is not a form of contraception btw) – and Ben...

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PLU Open Mic featuring Break a Leg

Posted on 27 Jun 2016 in PLU Open Mic | 0 comments

What fun, what laughs, what joy was had last Thursday, as we hosted readers, singers, musicians and, of course, our featured performers Break a Leg! Emily and René did some stage stealing/warming before inviting the talented troupe onstage for their three sketches. Henri and Carey started by trying to reignite the old flames despite distractions… Then – quick, get the kids out – we learned how internet dating can go horribly wrong with Damian and Julie…yikes… and (how crushingly ironic this one seems now) Nick and Damian finished with a good old British moan about “Some People”. Break over, Brexit as yet not even a wave on the horizon, our euphoria was catching. Jason jumped on bus 26 and was suddenly illuminated by love and the tinkling of goat bells in Brittany. Moe was picking at his bones, and...

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PLU Open Mic featuring Rebecca Seiferle

Posted on 31 May 2016 in PLU Open Mic | 0 comments

Rebecca Seiferle brought beautiful poetry to a very crowded Culture Rapide on June 2nd, where enough performers answered the open mic call that a third round had to be opened and quickly filled up. Round One Kamel and Karim opened the evening in round one with a song “Marie” that blended English and French lyrics, about lonely guy/life/street/girl/city/dreams and a new life beginning for Marie Vanille. Clare read a meta poem “If I had to write a poem read aloud/To a small crowd”, then a second poem about being the best that one can be, about leaving the confinement of closed doors. Ash sang an original song about a guy who fell from the moon, beating his guitar percussively while strumming the chords, a magical one-man band performance. Brittany recited a highly rhythmic poem “I’m not soulless/I’m not without love”,...

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French Poetry Grand Slam on Thursday May 26

Posted on 23 May 2016 in PLU Slam Poetry | 0 comments

No PLU Open Mic this week. Instead, all week-long, Culture Rapide will play host to the French Poetry Grand Slam!...

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PLU Open Mic featuring Scott Harris

Posted on 16 May 2016 in PLU Open Mic | 0 comments

It was an absolute pleasure to host documentary filmmaker Scott Harris at last week’s PLU Open Mic! It seemed there was a lot of love, reflection, backdrops and mic drops  in the room this evening, from soundtracks and breakups to AOL messaging… Rrrrrround ONE Fellow host René sang us into the start of the evening with the heart-crushing I’ll soon be part of your soundtrack for not looking back, then accompanying Mallory on Elliot Smith’s “Behind the Bars”. Jason Stoneking was all hot and cold: 2am and shivering/The two of us were warmer together than we could be alone (“Stranger than the Weather”). Lara found a way to make weddings interesting with her pre-ceremony Truth or Dare suggestions, Steve met Sass McGrass from “Other Lives for the Desert” and drove towards the cherry horizon with her in his truck. Alison had a colour-idea chicken and...

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PLU Open Mic featuring Mallory Guinee

Posted on 2 May 2016 in PLU Open Mic | 0 comments

PLU Open Mic packed Culture Rapide with talent and passion last Thursday, featuring Mallory Guinee’s intricately layered indie rock harp and voice interpretations. Round 1 started with Sue reading two poems inspired by films set in Paris. There was a depiction of Juliette Binoche’s character from Blue, swimming in Pontoise and doing all the things that normal people do, and the other about Kirsten Dunst’s character in Marie Antoinette, which had been written while sipping a jug of chocolat onctueux under a stained glass dome. Yaël wondered if evolution hadn’t gone maybe a little too far in perfecting the human capacity for anxiety, or as he called it, his ‘Frankenstein’. Claire read poems in English for a change, wishing to connect with the largely anglo audience. She warmed up with a poem by James Elroy Flecker before diving into...

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PLU Open Mic featuring Ciat Conlin

Posted on 26 Apr 2016 in PLU Open Mic | 0 comments

Last Thursday PLU Open Mic packed the house with over 25 performers, the burning ukulele of Ciat Conlin and a spacecake-fueled freestyle rap battle until 2 a.m. It all started in Round 1 with the homecoming of L’Insassisable and his guitarist, Karim, rapping in French over an English-language chorus. René followed and played an original BobDylanesque song which provoked Ed to take off his shirt: #ToplessThursdays is now officially a thing. Krystin saved us from all the testosterone with an experimental poem Will (you), supported by Nick‘s excellent rendition of John Dunne’s The Apparition. Finally, a jet lagged James Jewell blew some Wasted guitar riffs, sprinkled with harmonica. Our featured guest, Ciat Conlin, did, among other things, this: Round Two An absolutely amazing performance by Ambjörn reading Charlie Chaplin’s Dictator’s Speech and Daniel playing flamenco opened the second part of the...

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PLU Open Mic featuring Mary Noonan

Posted on 18 Apr 2016 in PLU Open Mic | 0 comments

April 21 saw us welcome writer and professor Mary Noonan into the PLU fold! Here’s what we merry and mischievous monkeys got up to… Mallory serenaded us with a scrumptious old American toon, followed by Thomas who’d pulled a sickie from work, and used it to write a delicious poem of gold and grey. VIRGIN Matthew, a friend and colleague of our featured reader, picked out his pieces in The Poetry Review (bravo!!) “Frogman” and “The Red Helicopter”. Ryan, wait, no it wasn’t Ryan…No-one tried to find a wife in Putingrad, and Amruta sought poems in the metro, then went beautifully corporeal on us with her piece on menstruation. René tried to make #ToplessThursday a thing again (funny how he doesn’t do that when he hosts) and read a completely innocent piece on dogs and ex film stars. Lara had to intervene between a friend and...

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PLU multimedia workshop – Alessandra Trevisan

Posted on 12 Apr 2016 in News, PLU Open Mic, Workshop | 0 comments

PLU multi media workshop – Alessandra Trevisan 16/01/16 ferabam in oculis Latinos poetas, apud quos ferventer rerum naturam meus visus legabat. Cor ardet qualis scientia siderea personam novam induescat. Before my eyes lie those Latin poets, in whose works my mind reads keenly of the nature of things; my heart burns like when starry knowledge brings about a new personality. Back in January – this reviewer has only just woken up from the winter sleep – PLU had the pleasure of receiving Alessandra Trevisan from Venice, Italy, to watch her experimental performance of words, music and a whole lot of looping. As is the case with the Mini Writing Residency (MWR), Alessandra then led a workshop at Berkeley Books, by Odéon, where she unveiled and deconstructed more of her Art. Before coming to a description of this Art, though,...

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