28 October 2005

A house of poetry for Cantebury

Michael Curtis is a UK poet and the manager of the Words Unbound project, which has put forward a proposal to establish a 'maison de poèsie' for Cantebury ...

The Guardian reports:

"Poets need more than just a screen and a pen. They need to socialise, share ideas and gossip. Poetry needs a physical place in which to thrive as well as mental space" == Curtis hopes to gather support for the idea of a permanent building for poets and their work which would have an all-year-round programme of performances and workshops, based on the French idea of 'maisons de poèsie': 'houses of poetry' that exist throughout France and have spread across the French-speaking world, from Quebec to Morocco. The facilities within each maison vary, but generally encompass a performance space, a publishing or printing house, a library and information resource for poets and researchers and a cafe or bar. Some also boast residential accommodation to put up visiting poets or house a poet-in-residence.

The most ambitious maison de poèsie to date is the Passa Porta in Brussels. Opened in October 2004, it is housed in an elegant building close to the centre of the city, and at its heart is what it calls its "literary platform" on which writers from Belgium and further afield discuss their work. There are also writing workshops and masterclasses, a new and secondhand bookshop and a "flat of character" for a foreign author in residence. The Passa Porta typifies the ethos of the maison de poèsie in that it aims to bridge cultural divides by bringing both French and Flemish speakers together.

More at: http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1601594,00.html

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