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Ivy Writers – Gwenn le Metayer, Kate Noakes, Frederic Benhaim

Ivy Writers – Gwenn le Metayer, Kate Noakes, Frederic Benhaim

Review by Helen Cusack O’Keeffe.

Ivy Writers was hosted by the lovely Grace Teshima of Montmartre and featured Poet/Chanteuse Gwenn Lemétayer, followed by Poets Kate Noakes and Frédéric Benhaim.

Lemétayer opened with a long poem on the subject of la vie quotidienne, painting the fabric of city existence as a backdrop to the niceties of the individual and the family. The piece is published along with others in Les Réfusés. Lemétayer also closed the evening with a few songs.

Noakes presented some new work from her new, piratically titled collection: I-Spy And Shanty. Musings on her grandfather’s medals, herds of San Francisco bison, and married life. Lucid, at times Heaneyesque, and whimsical in the details.

Benhaim took on a tour of the shops, the windows mostly, but didn’t forget the animals and ex-socialist berets of Montmartre: le concert d’animaux captifs… chats, chiens, poisons… Prends-moi! Aimes-moi! Then we had some more shopping but in the South-West this time, featuring a duck-cadaver emporium and cupcakes with la coiffure d’une princesse.
Gwenn Le Métayer - Américain NB 4Actress, singer and dancer, Gwenn Le Métayer has been writing a kind of poetry in prose, sometimes short story, othertimes seried sagas which she publishes in French on her blog  ( A few of these texts have appeared in the literary magazine Les Refusés. Gwenn is currently working on a retranscription of Ingmar Bergman’s film, The Silence, that she is writing as she watches it, quasi-simultaneously. Her primary mode of expression at the moment is also musical. She is the voice of Regularscope (
Kate Noakes is a poet, short fiction writer, novelist and elected member of the Welsh Academy. Her published poetry collections include: Ocean to Interior, Mighty Erudite, 2007. The Wall MendersTwo Rivers Press, 2009. Cape Town, Eyewear Publishing, 2012.  I-spy and Shanty, corrupt press, 2014. Her work has also been widely published in magazines such as Poetry Wales, Mslexia, Planet, The North, Poetry Ireland Review, Envoi, The SHOp, Magma, The Wolf and Poetry Salzburg Review, and in the UK national press. She has  performed at venues as diverse as The Troubadour, Glastonbury Festival, the Poetry Society, Nottingham Poetry Festival and Henley Literature Festival, as well as many of the Paris reading series. She co-founded Paris Lit Up, a not for profit literature organization in the City of Lights within whose structure she co-edits Paris Lit Up Magazine, co-hosts both the weekly and monthly Paris Lit Up Writing Workshops and co-host the weekly Paris Lit Up Open Mic. Details on the different Paris Lit Up projects can be found at Further information and details on Kate Noakes’ books and writing projects can be found on her This reading is to celebrate the recent publication of her Corrupt Press book, I-spy and Shanty.
974849_10153899388330374_1904894818_aFrédéric Benhaim lives in France but grew up between France and the United States, and has been deeply influenced by both cultures. He writes numerous blogs, in particular one that he founded last year where, every week, he tells the story of an imaginary shop (the theme changes from week to week—and it is in French: In 2013 the stories were adapted for the stage in a theatre production starring Virginia Galvan at Le Passage Vers les Etoiles (Père Lachaise, Paris). Les commerces was also featured by a cultural magazine in Paris (Profondeur de Champs), which also published a story from the blog. Frederic writes in both languages and has also published short stories and non-fiction.
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