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Ivy Writers – Eleni Sikelianos, Vanessa Place, Marc Perrin

Ivy Writers – Eleni Sikelianos, Vanessa Place, Marc Perrin

Paris Lit Up was lurking at the back of the room with a terrible camera at the bilingual poetry evening Ivy Writers this week featuring Eleni Sikelianos, Vanessa Place and Marc Perrin. Eleni, currently in residence at Paris 8, brought along her translator for some interesting dual-readings, then read from an as-yet untitled collection that she is close to finishing. The question and nature of happiness was a running motif throughout her pieces.

“This is the poem that will tell you how to live”

Vanessa Place is, as Dazed called her “the super cynical dark overlord of the poetry world,” from her unsettling smooth cadence to her calculated pacing across the stage. She read us one long piece, a suicide note, that had everybody in the audience transfixed.

“When you kick the bucket you bucket list dies with you”

Mark Perrin provided the Francophone element to the evening, with excerpts from his Spinoza in China, an ode to love and love-making

“ils s’enlacent, ils s’embrassent, ils se projettent sur le lit et là c’est bataille, nudité, pistons, jeu, joie et jouissances et tutti quanti”

More about the readers under these terrible photos…


Vanessa Place is the author of eight books, a performer, lawyer, publisher, art critic and translator who the Boston Review called “the spokesperson for the new cynical avant-garde,” the Huffington Post characterized her work as “ethically odious,” and Dazed called her “the super cynical dark overlord of the poetry world,” while philosopher and critic Avital Ronell said she is “a leading voice in contemporary thought.” Vanessa Place was the first poet to perform as part of the Whitney Biennial; a content advisory was posted. Other exhibition work has appeared at MAK Center/Schindler House; Denver Museum of Contemporary Art; the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art; The Power Plant, Toronto; the Broad Museum, East Lansing; and Cage 83 Gallery, New York. Selected recent performance venues include Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art; Andre Bely Center, St. Petersburg, Russia; Kunstverein, Cologne; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Frye Art Museum, Seattle; the Sorbonne; and De Young Museum, San Francisco. Recent books includeBoycott; Statement of Facts; Notes on Conceptualisms, co-authored with Robert Fitterman, and her translation of Guantanamo, by French poet Frank Smith. Place also works as a critic and criminal defense attorney, and is CEO of VanessaPlace Inc, the world’s first poetry corporation. Place is currently in Paris as part of an exchange with Nanterre University.
Performer, author, editor and translator, Marc Perrin was born in Clermont-Ferrand in 1968. He completed his film studies at Paris 8 before devoting himself to writing texts on the borders of poetry, theater and travel-log. He currently resides in Nantes where he has been developing a kind of work combining writing and improvisational readings, at times alone and at others in collaboration with other artists—in particular Marie Bouts, Benoit Cancoin, Soizic Lebrat, and Vincent Tholomé. He has also collaborated on writing theater work with Perrine Mornay.Perrin’s publications include Vers en chant neuf (Ce qui secret / La rue blanche / Olibrius, 2008), Avoir lieu (Dernier Télégramme, 2010). He also has work in numerous literary reviews, such as Aka, Ce qui secret, Chimères, Coaltar, Dixit, Du nerf, Gare Maritime, La tête et les cornes, La vie manifeste, LGO, Libr-Critique, Multitudes, Nioques, Ouste,, and 22MdP. He founded the review Ce qui secret in 2009 and continues as coordinator of projects []. In 2015, Ce qui secretwill lance a new series of publications based on Capitalisme et Schizophrénie by Deleuze and Guattari. Perrin’s current writing project is called Spinoza in China : A first book from this project will be appearing in French in early 2015, with éditions Dernier Télégramme.
Eleni Sikelianos is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently The Loving Detail of the Living & the Dead, and two hybrid memoirs/essays (The Book of Jon, City Lights, and You Animal Machine, CoffeeHouse). Three books have come out in France: Le Livre de Jon (trans. Christophe Claro, Actes Sud; Le Poeme Californie et De L’histoire, de la vision, trans. Béatrice Trotignon, Greges), with two more on the way. Sikelianos has taught poetry in public schools, homeless shelters, and prisons, and collaborated with musicians (Philip Glass, Sandra Wong, etc.), filmmakers (Ed Bowes) and visual artists (Peter Cole, Mel Chin, etc.). She is on guest faculty for the Naropa Summer Writing Program, and for L’Ecole de Littérature in France and Morocco; she teaches at the University of Denver, and is currently poet in residence for L’Université de Paris 8.

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