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Taking Poetic License In Paris

Last year, just about this time, the poets descended on Paris. Maybe you recall…?

Master instructor and published American poet, Cecilia Woloch, led the intensive Paris Poetry Workshop with a slew of popular contemporary poets by her side…among them: poet/memoirist Jeffrey Greene, poet/instructor/Pulitzer Prize nominee Kathleen Spivak and poet/novelist/photographer James Baker Hall.

It was in the midst of pending war in Iraq, but the poets came anyway, armed with their pens and their passions, listened intently to their masters’ words, learned, scribbled and read their “paroles” during World Poetry Days. They reveled in the open arms of Paris, wallowed in the spirit of their camaraderie and vowed to return to do it all over again.

So, it’s no surprise, they’re back. They’re doing it again this year, but in a slightly different fashion, so for all of you would-be poets, rejoice — this is your chance to improve your prose. For all you aficionados of rhythm and rhyme, come and listen and learn.

Kathleen Spivak, author of six books, published in over 300 magazines and anthologies, is a Fulbright professor, Pulitzer Prize nominee and Director of the Advanced Writing Workshop for professional writers, whose students have taken every prize (Yale, NEA, Pitt, Viking and Penguin), is back in town — with two one-day workshops titled “Creative Renewal — Write Your Head Off!” designed for wordsmiths to hone their craft.

Do one or both…Sunday, March 14th and April 4th, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., chez John O’Neilly, 80, rue Halle, near Métro Alésia in the 14th (then plan on continuing the professional discussions over lunch). The workshop is limited to 8, so call or or email Spivak Parler_Paris_Poetry to register. 55 Euros each (45 Euros when you register before March 7th).

Then, after last spring’s Paris Poetry Workshop which was such a ‘glorious experience in the City of Light’ (Cecilia Woloch’s words), so many asked to repeat it that Cecilia will once again be conducting a five-day workshop. Cecilia is the author of “Sacrifice,” “Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem” and her ‘latest’ book, “Late.” (I was overwhelmed to discover that one poem in “Late” is affectionatley titled “Forty-Three Rue de Saintonge” — my own address in Paris!)

The workshop takes place here in Paris (of course), May 4 – 9, 2004, with James Baker Hall, Jeffrey Greene, and other poets and writers who will share their personal and creative relationships with a select group of participants…(no more than 10) for the sake of intimacy and intensity. “This is a chance to see and experience, to absorb and be absorbed by, a side of Paris not readily accessible to the average tourist — an opportunity to spend five days in Paris as a poet among poets.”

I’m personally hosting a welcoming dinner in my Marais apartment on May 4th; the workshop will be held in Jeffrey Greene’s apartment in the heart of Literary Paris the following few days (the 6th arrondissement) and there will be a day trip by train to his Burgundy Presbytery (the subject of his memoirs in “French Spirits”) for a picnic and discussion of his life in France Saturday, May 8th.

Evening activities will include a reading by faculty at a Paris bookstore; a musical evening (classical or jazz); group dinners at authentic (and inexpensive) French restaurants and bistros; and a reading by participants at Paris Soirées.

The cost for the workshop is $700 and includes all workshop fees, the welcoming dinner/reception, and the train tickets and picnic in Rogny. The workshop is already more than half-filled, so contact Cecilia Woloch to reserve your place as soon as possible: Call in the U.S. 1-404-309-0108 or email: Woloch_Parler_Paris_Poetry

So, maybe you’re a poet and don’t yet know it?

A la prochaine…


Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. Discover what these wonderful writers (and others) have written by visiting our book pages at /parlerparis/books/index.html


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