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PLU Open Mic featuring Pansy Maurer-Alvarez

PLU Open Mic featuring Pansy Maurer-Alvarez

Paris Lit Up celebrated Thanksgiving with a delicious dinner of performances, complete with sacrificial virgins and flamenco flautists.

In search of a poetic hors d’oeuvre, Emily and Mary Jo Bang went down the rabbit hole, only to find that curious cat Remi clutching a stack of Belleville Park Pages.

Our starter was a scrumptious trout and a light coq au vin, prepared soigneusement by Kate Madame la Présidente Noakes. Some fine Italian wine, aka Bea, took us to the moon with Thomas Steinbeck and love. Bob said his farewells en français and English, but we’ll still be keeping an eager eye on his blog,, for his return date.

rester ici,
à Paris
toute ma vie

Then it was time for the virgins. Photographer of the evening Beth “put your name in sacred script” and was a wonderful waitress, Tyler had an Ode to David Foster Wallace, and, despite his social anxiety, Chris served up a lovely kelp.

Is memory like this solid or fluid?

Our main course, Pansy Maurer-Alvarez pleased even the most refined palette with her mushrooms (don’t wash them, rub instead,) caterpillars and Jane Birkin’s – former – hair. We’re looking forward to her collection In a Form of Suspension in 2014.

Water is a dance with a long tradition


Glasses refilled, stomachs digesting, we returned to our tables and found that the Spanish had invaded. Mauro, Jésus and Antonio had our epicurean feet tapping to their tango. More music was needed, so Jan sang us a beautiful cover of Sam Smith.

For dessert, Megan was honey-sweet despite her distaste for bees, Beth went down the stairs but still couldn’t find it, and Rose – another PLU first-timer – had a sonnet of subtle things for our taste buds.

Our after-dinner mints came in the form of Tyler, by memory, and Flora floored us with a requiem. Speaking of requiems, Bob sang his last one with the help of Westside Story. Kate poured us a cup of the best coffee we’d ever tasted, before we took a last shot of flamenco with the boys from La Milonga.

Moral of the story? Always talk to strangers outside Culture Rapide on a Thursday.

Happy Thanksgiving, and see you next week!


Pansy Maurer-Alvarez was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Pennsylvania;  she did her literary studies at universities in the US, Spain and Switzerland and now lives in Paris.  Her poetry has appeared in several anthologies and numerous magazines across Europe and the US and has been translated into French, German and Spanish. Her collections are: Dolores:  The Alpine Years and When the Body Says It’s Leaving (both from Hanging Loose Press, Brooklyn); Lovers Eternally Nearing (Editions Thomas Howeg, Zürich) and Ant-small and Amorous (corrupt press, Paris)She is a contributing editor for the British magazine, Tears in the Fence, and she curates the Poets Live reading series in Paris.  Her new collection, In a Form of Suspension, will appear in 2014.

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