It’s true. Just ask the internet. Google: get laid in Budapest, and see what you get…

Google results for August 28, 2007

We’re extremely proud of this fact as it provides one more great reason for coming out to the next Bardroom, which we’re expecting to have in early October. So get started on that Writer’s Block right now in anticipation of your big open mike gig.

Oh, and by the way, if you google: sexy Budapest

…we also come up, but like 109th. So we gotta work on that.

You shoulda been there

August 23, 2007

As promised, a few post-act teasers from the August 15th Bardroom show in Budapest for those folks who couldn’t make it because, say, they’re still not part of the Bardroom mailing list (about which they should write to events AT bardroom DOT com).

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Above, Heather Hartley, our lithe Parisian guest reader receiving one of the Bardroom’s fabulous quiz prizes.

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Marissa Beahm stepped up to the open mike to enchant us with her poetry.

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Travis Jeppesen visited us from Berlin to read from his newest book…

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… and THIS was the book he was reading from.

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As usual, venue, bar service, writing implements, organiser-and-reader-exclusive bottled booze was courtesy of Nyitott Műhely.

Of course, this is not a comprehensive directory of every performer who graced us that night and of all the zanyness you rightfully expect from the Bardroom. Such readers as Dani Dányi, Gábor Mándy and Patrick (Masters of Ceremonies Jeff and Steve screwed up; please contact us with your proper name).

But there you go; if you don’t want to miss out, be there next time!

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If you were there, share your group experiences in the comments.

The Budapest Bardroom is now in its seventh year. That’s quite a bit of literature, poetry and song, and a lot of memories with old friends.

At our August 15 event, Gabor Mandy (pictured) walked up to us with a CD full of memories – photos he had taken over the years at various Bardroom events. We decided to share these photos with all of you at Flickr. Here’s the link:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/bardroom/

We’ll be using this space to archive photos from each event. We’ve already uploaded the photos from our last event, held on August 15.

If any of you would like to share your old photos, you can do that through Flickr, or contact us directly (events AT bardroom DOT com).

Heather Hartley is the Paris Editor for Tin House Magazine out of New York and has been based in Paris for the past four years–writing articles, poems and conducting interviews. Her literary essays and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in the anthologies Food & Booze: A Tin House Literary Feast and The World Within: Writers Talk Ambition, Angst, Aesthetics, Bones, . . Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Post Road, Forklift Ohio, Mississippi Review, Tin House, Calyx, Kalliope, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. Her poetry manuscript Knock Knock was a finalist in the 2007 National Poetry Series.

Heather will appear at the next meeting of the Bardroom, scheduled for August 15th.

Heather Hartley1. What was your first (poem / piece of writing), and how bad was it?

“‘The Splur’ was the first poem that I remember writing–I was 8 or 9 years old. I typed it out on my mother’s fancy medicinal-green typewriter. The Splur is a bird // that likes to fly high. // Would you like to be a bird? //I would like to be The Splur. // (This is direct paraphrasing.) This was also my first experience with that grown-up, mysterious, sexy machinery of a typewriter. In the end, I think that the typewriter may have fared better than the poem, although The Splur was finally published: in my Snoopy Scrap Book, page 1.”

2. What word best describes the writer scene in your town: lame, poser, hip, upandcoming, hibernating?

“Honestly, all of the above apply. I would also add that the writer scene in Paris is exciting, filled with franglais, and beyond that very multi-lingual. There’s just about one of everything for everyone–from readings, to workshops, to gathering literary groups, little salons, poets, readers, poetasters, critics, quacks, bookstores galore, support groups, hidden corners, beggars, cafes, crazies, and more…depending on the season and the part of the city.”

3. What’s the last thing you read that made your hair stand up on end?

“Boris Vian’s L’ecume des jours (Foam of the Daze). (See short explanation below.)”

4. What’s the last piece of literature that made you cry?

“Boris Vian’s L’ecume des jours (Foam of the Daze). I can only urge reading Foam of the Daze for the double experiences of your hair standing up on end and crying–though not necessarily in that order…and maybe both emotions happening simultaneously.”

5. Does poetry matter anymore?

“Given the words of Calvin Trillin about the shelf life of the modern hardback writer [replace with poet/playwright/et al] being somewhere between the milk and the yoghurt, I would say that the shelf life of poetry is somewhere between the milk and the yoghurt left out on the counter over an August weekend during a heatwave. Add to that the general rise of lactose-intolerant consumers, and you could come to the conclusion that poetry doesn’t matter in the least–that it’s not even in the fridge.

“But it is in that small cusp of time, I think, before the milk sours or the yoghurt becomes frighteningly lumpy–forgotten or thrown out–that the essential and beautiful in poetry is evident and crucial. That poetry matters. As ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ so go forth and drink your milk quickly, but drink from the entire glass and savor every bit of it. Bring it to the Budapest Bardroom to share with others. Yes, poetry matters.”

Travis Jeppesen is the author of two books, Victims and Poems I Wrote While Watching TV. He lives in Berlin and Prague, where he edits the literary magazine BLATT. Travis will appear at the next meeting of the Bardroom, scheduled for August 15th.

Travis Jeppesen 1. Are you currently working on anything, and why’s it taking so long?

“Many things. Editing Aleš Mustar’s C(o)urt Interpretations, which will be the next BLATT Book; reading entries for the first BLATT Books novel contest; dabbling with a couple of novels. I guess my main creative project at the moment is the compilation of a large book of prose fragments, or indeterminate prose, or prose poetry – however you want to call it. It’s basically a catalogue of my formless, largely unpublished daily endeavor over the last decade or so, and is currently several hundred pages in length.

“Why is it all taking so long? Believe it or not, some of us have to work for a living!”

2. Do you actually have moments of inspiration or is writing just a process of slogging day in and day out?

“Well, I don’t remember my dreams very often, but whenever I do, they usually disturb me to the extent that I feel it necessary to investigate them through my writing. And so they weave their way into it, or, in the case of a novel I’ve been working on on-again/off-again for the last year, the dream itself becomes the novel.

“Otherwise, I think it’s about 50/50. I write every day regardless of inspiration, but there are moments when I feel more compelled to do so than others. I also think that if you understand your process well enough, it is possible to create those conditions that trigger inspiration. For me, that can be as simple as overdosing on caffeine.”

3. Please define irony.

“Oh fuck.”

4. What word best describes the writer scene in your town: lame, poser, hip, up-and-coming, hibernating?

“One of the reasons why I moved away from Prague is because I didn’t want to be part of any ‘scene.’ In Berlin, I enjoy total anonymity. I suppose there is a scene here, but I keep my distance. In fact, I don’t have close associates in Berlin who are writers. My best friends here are a graphic designer, a rock star, and a drag queen. The only person from the expat literary scene I really hang around with is Gaby Bila-Gunther, who curates the FUEL reading series. Her events are always fun. She is interviewed in the latest issue of BLATT, by the way.

“Despite all that, I really do miss Prague. There is a strong chance I’ll move back there some day. You know, I basically grew up there. That’s not an experience that leaves you very easily.

“But right now, I enjoy experiencing Prague as a visitor. Whenever I go there, it’s like a prolonged party, I go out every single night. It’s a town that encourages irresponsibility. In Berlin, I never go out, I’m too busy working all the time.”

5. Did you ever get laid because of something you wrote?

“I think my writing probably has the opposite effect. They’re turned on when they meet me, then they read my writing and I never hear from them again.”

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