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This report is taken from PN Review 29, Volume 9 Number 3, January - February 1983.

Letter from Paris Stephen Romer
July 1982
The fifth festival franco-anglais de poésie, which took place here over three days in late April, gives rise to some speculation. That it happened at all is remarkable, and it would be more correct to talk of a festival franco-canadien: the British Council contributed what it could in such unpropitious times, but the festival was hosted by the Canadian Cultural Centre, and took place in its elegant tall-windowed rooms overlooking the Place des Invalides. Great credit must go to the co-ordinator, Jacques Rancourt, a French Canadian poet resident in Paris, and to Lindy Henny, who founded the festival five years ago. Some twenty-five poets attended, half of them French, and the other half English, Canadian and American. The English-speaking contingent (les Anglo-Saxons, as the French are so fond of collectivising us) consisted, among others, of Ron Butlin, Lindy Henny, Jeffrey Wainwright and your correspondent, from England; Doug Jones, Loren McGrail and Fraser Sutherland, from Canada; Suzanne Jacob and William Margolis, from the United States; Jean-Jacques Celly, Jacques Darras, Emmanuel Hocquard, Jean Joubert and Jean Rousselot, from France. It was a real tohu-bobu . . .

Three days, then, of poets working together on a fairly punishing programme of translation workshops with bi-lingual public readings every evening. Meanwhile, each activity was monitored-even 'poets at meat', which entailed being filmed, and having a microphone dangled between mouth and mouthful, a situation to which one was obliged to respond with some verbal quip or incoherent choking. The showmen managed ...

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