The French Connection: Lit Mags and Literary Resources In or About France
By Elise Blanchard
Voulez-vous lire avec moi ce soir?
French culture has always been of fascination to American writers. From Ralph Ellison to F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Baldwin to Henry James, there is no shortage of American writers who have found a happy resting place abroad. If you are French, an English-speaking Francophile, or planning a trip to Paris sometime soon, the following list of French-culture lit mags and English-friendly literary resources in Paris should help you find your way. Amusez-vous!
Lit mags related to France or published there:
CERISE PRESS is an international online journal based in the United States and France, builds cross-cultural bridges by featuring artists and writers in English and translations, with an emphasis on French and Francophone works. Co-founded by Sally Molini, Karen Rigby, and Fiona Sze-Lorrainin 2009, Cerise Press hopes to serve as a gathering force where imagination, insight, and conversation express the evolving and shifting forms of human experience. Cerise Press is open year-round to submissions in photography, art, fiction, and poetry, including translations in French, Chinese, and Spanish.
HER ROYAL MAJESTY is a literary and arts review curated by a collection of writers and artists living in Paris. The magazine creates a space for a new generation of international artists to express itself in a tightly curated issue focused around a particular theme. The publication was founded in Halifax in 2008 and has grown from a zine designed to serve the local community into an international literary arts magazine. Submissions from all are welcome. We publish all realms of creative work including short fiction, poetry, paintings, photographs, drawings, collages, recipes and the like. We publish creative non-fiction and essays if the theme is relevant and the writing elegant.
Issue.ZERO is an upstart literary magazine created as an offshoot of the Anglo writing scene in Paris—a platform for poetry, satire, flash fiction, novel excerpts, and short and serialized stories. Our three-person editorial staff is eclectic, to say the least, so our tastes run wide and deep. For your best chance at being pulled from the pile and printed on our pages, choose examples of your work that are sharp, tight, as strong as whiskey, darkly visionary, caustically witty, perhaps even tormented to the point of being tormenting, since, above all, they should be moving and unclichéd.
MGVERSION2.0 was first known as Mauvaise graine - a British based, French literature magazine published from 1996 to 2000. It stopped for a while and started again on line in 2002 with some new authors found here and there on the web and older ones from the paper era. Then, in 2005, a new section opened. It was dedicated to poems in English translated into French. 2008 saw a new face for this only English language side, a genuine literature ezine publishing not only poems but stories and music too. 2009 is the year of a merger between both sides of the magazine. Welcome on board.
Speak your English-language piece(s) in Paris:
SPOKENWORD PARIS. Running since 2006, SpokenWord Paris is the biggest English open mic spoken word night in Paris. Started by me, David Barnes, and for the last few years hosted by myself and Alberto Rigetinni every Monday. SpokenWord Paris is down to earth, it has no pretensions - its head is too crammed with shooting stars. It moves to a beatnik rhythm - everyone is free to express themselves. Chacun a son mot à dire. It is not a slam night - Our audience are drunk and receptive but they don't vote you through to the next round. SpokenWord Paris has a foot in all the great cities of the world. And at least one in London, New York and Glasgow and 2 in Paris. It's performance poetry, story-telling, stand-up, monologue, a song or something else. An original text or a classic read well. C'est lire vivant. It's cabaret. It's acoustic songs. Stand up comedy. 5 minute plays...There's only one rule - make the words come alive.
POETS LIVE will oﬀer an eclectic range of English-language poetry, all styles and tastes, instream and outstream, from the anglophonie, from outside the anglophonie. We want poets visiting Paris to read, we want poets living in Paris to read. Our goal is to explore the breadth of modern anglophonic poetry. We won’t charge people to come and hear the poets, and we won’t pay the poets to read. Instead, we want you, the audience, to buy the poets’ books. This permits you fresh access to great poetry long aﬅer memory has leﬅ the night’s performance hazy. This beneﬁts the poets themselves, of course, directly and tangibly. But this also helps that third essential element of poetic progress, the publishers and editors, the team critics, the honers, the developers, the distributors of good and new poetics. So come, hear, buy the books. Our readings, held one Tuesday a month, are kindly hosted by the Carr’s Pub & Restaurant, 1 rue du Mont-Thabor, Metro Tuileries. We’re not paying the bar for the space, so we respectfully ask each audience member to buy a drink.
Other resources for American writers in Paris:
PARIS WRITERS WORKSHOP is committed to providing top-level instruction in master classes taught by well-known, published Writers-in-Residence. The PWW has established an international reputation for excellence and for creating a supportive community that respects diverse voices. Both new and established writers are welcome. The Paris Writers' Workshop is a special event organized by WICE, a non-profit association serving the anglophone community of Paris. Founded in 1978, WICE continues to offer innovative, educational courses and programs to its members.
WICE is one of the oldest Anglophone organizations in Paris. For more than 33 years, the non-profit association has been offering cultural and educational programs to the international and expat community in Paris. Day-to-day operations are supported by a dedicated group of volunteers, diverse in age and nationality.
AMERICAN LIBRARY IN PARIS. Established in 1920 as a private non-profit association, the American Library in Paris has grown to become the largest English-language lending library onthe European continent. Open to all, the Library serves as a center for literature, learning, culture, and community.
Elise Blanchard is an intern at The Review Review and a student at Wesleyan College. She is originally from Aix-en-Provence, France.