PLU Open Mic featuring David Goldstein and Louis Armand
Review by Kate Noakes. Photographs by Sean Sinnerly.
This week was a bumper Open Mic. Not just one special guest, but two! As well as welcoming David Goldstein to our stage for the very first time, we were thrilled to welcome back one of our favourite writers from Prague, Louis Armand, who was introduced by editor of Equus Press, David Vichnar. Nice to know they think of us as their Paris home.
Moe kicked things off in serious and political mood on Custer’s Last Stand and The Day James Brown Died. Yann was sorry we were not on the list and Remi wanted to know our pseudonyms, while Johnny was occupied with choosing the thing to haunt in the ghost factory.
Tourism came in the form of three virgins: Sarah, who was getting golden after visiting Versailles, Liz, who gave us some of her Seven Images of Women, last heard at the Edinburgh Festival (her stage name is Someone’s Mum), and Barry’s Parisian love poems. Making a welcome return to our stage was part-time Parisian, Lisa Pasold and her properly cooked okra. Bob brought a little colour to Paris with a masterful reading of the opening of Ginsberg’s Howl, Ashley gave us some Dylan Thomas and ee cummings. and Donald took us to LA with his New World sequence.
Culture Rapide has some talented bar staff. In between pulling pints Thibault did some super French slamming and then it was all David Goldstein. He read from his new book of prose poems, neatly ducking the question as to what they were other than crafty sixteen line sonnet variants. His new book, Laws of Rest, is a great and gently witty read. Shame if you missed the chance to get it for a mere 5 euros.
And that was the end of the poetry, the rest of the night was all people who write to the end of the line. Louis Armand read from the London section of his great new novel, Cairo, involving the fabulously named character JobLard. Buy your copy immediately. Julian and Alice dramatised part of his new novel, Even the Red Heron, and Steve read from his novel about a cleaning obsessed father. There’s one thing to say about all this prose, its writers are very generous to your humble host and I went home with three new, signed books. Thanks guys.
Music from the swapping identities of Wild and the Fox and the girls who claims she can’t sing, Beatrice. We’d better call the whole thing off, until next week that is.
David B. Goldstein‘s poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies throughout North America, including The Paris Review, The Malahat Review, filling Station, CV2, Epoch, Harp & Altar, Jubilat, 6×6, and Octopus. His first chapbook, Been Raw Diction, was published by Dusie Press in 2006. As a literary critic, food writer, and translator, he has published on a wide range of subjects, including Shakespeare, contemporary poetry, translation, cannibalism, philosophies of food, and the politics of Martha Stewart. His first book of criticism, Eating and Ethics in Shakespeare’s England, is due out this fall. His translations from Italian poetry appear in The FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry, among other publications. Goldstein lives with his family in Toronto, Ontario where he is Associate Professor of English at York University. Laws of Rest is his first book of poetry.
Louis Armand is a Sydney-born writer & visual artist who has lived in Prague since 1994. He has worked as an editor, publisher, art consultant, curator; as a subtitles technician at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival; currently he lectures in the Philosophy Faculty of Charles University & is an editor of VLAK magazine. He has published five novels, Breakfast at Midnight (Equus, 2012), Clair Obscur (Equus, 2011),Menudo (Antigen, 2005), The Garden (Salt, 2001) and most recently Canicule (Equus, 2013). In addition, he is the author of seven collections of poetry–most recently, Letters from Ausland (Vagabond, 2011) & Synopticon (with John Kinsella; Litteraria, 2012)–& of a number of volumes of criticism, including Solicitations: Essays on Criticism & Culture (Litteraria, 2008). His poetry has appeared in the anthologies Thirty Australian Poets, The Best Australian Poems, Calyx: 30 Contemporary Australian Poets & The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry. In 1997 he received the Max Harris Prize (Adelaide) and in 2000 the Nassau Review Prize (New York). Louis Armand’s paintings have been exhibited at Art Prague, with solo shows at Galery ArtNatur, Gallerie Gambit, Hunger Gallery & Indigo Space. His screenplay for Clair Obscurwon honourable mention at the 2009 Alpe Adria Trieste International Film Festival. He is the founder of the Prague Micro-Festival.