Paris Lit Up Open Mic – featuring James Jewell
Paris Lit Up welcomed Poetry Day with an international flourish. From Korea to Italy via France and the UK, not forgetting the US of course, Culture Rapide played host to voices from around the world.
There was James L, who read us a Korean piece, and also his own translation into English. With the maxim “Don’t speak to strangers” in mind, Emily chatted up Portuguese José who just happened to have some of his own poetry to hand.
Proud Pennsylvanian James Jewell, our featured poet, has spent much of the last two years living in Paris. Here, he has been inspired by writers and poets, from Shakespeare and Co. and Poets Live, to build a body of poetry and short ﬁction. Tonight read us snippets of new work as well as poems from his just-published Ships Made of Fake Fur, proving that he really does perform better after cognac. Friend Joddo* brought the banter, and some mild heckling.
Adding to the percentage of published writers in the room, songwriter, poet, translator and lecturer Kerry Featherstone showed off his cookery skills with the perfect poetry recipe (after all, you should never drink on empty semantics.) The second round saw him with the audience in the palm of his hand as he showed his more serious side – holding the room in contemplative silence, a particular challenge ce soir-là.
Marie-Jean found herself unexpectedly performing alongside Kerry for a bilingual reading, and towards the end of the night gave us some entertaining picnic fiction with brittle bones.
Kate added to the literary feast with some great new pieces, Emily and David shared their love of Yeats and flowers, Abhay had found us on MeetUp, and Bea knows she has to come back next week to finish her story (there’s a baby, she teased us.)
Much to no-one’s disappointment (with the exception of Jason Mc Gimsey) there was no nudity, although we all knew that Kerry wouldn’t have put up too much resistance.
Quotation of the evening
How to quell a heckler: “You look like a mix between Jim Morrison and Frodo Baggins” – KF