Lisa Pasold

Learning from Paris

I'm spending the summer in Paris, soaking up inspiration for my Curious Minds Morning Speaker series, "Learning from Paris", presented by Hotdocs in Toronto this fall. I'll be discussing what we can learn from 1,000 years of Paris art, food, and revolution.

The series starts September 18, at the excellently-renovated Hotdocs cinema on Bloor--which gives me an excuse to include some brief clips from my favourite Paris films (including a few minutes of "Paris Blues", where Sidney Poitier & Paul Newman stroll through the great Belly of Paris, Les Halles, in 1961.) For more info or to sign up for "Learning from Paris", click here.


Poem Reel #4

This is the fourth video in my Poem Reel series: each short video is a friend reading work in the world. This is Virginie Poitrasson reading an extract from "Le pas-comme-si des choses", in Paris.

Virginie Poitrasson, born in 1975, is a French writer, performer and translator. Published works: Il faut toujours garder en tête une formule magique (éditions de l’Attente, 2012), Journal d’une disparition (Ink #1, 2010), Nous sommes des dispositifs (La camera verde, 2009), Tendre les liens (, 2009), Demi-valeurs (éditions de l’Attente, 2008), Série ombragée (Propos2 éditions, 2006), Épisodes de la lueur (L'Atelier du Hanneton, 2004). Translations: First figure, Michael Palmer, with Éric Suchère (José Corti, 2011), Slowly, Lyn Hejinian (Format Américain, 2006). 


Improbable Walks this month

I am so glad the weather is improving in northern France! The sun has been shining for days... which is always inspiring for outdoor storytelling. My improbable walks are creative explorations--a fictional invention that takes you into a story I've written especially for a particular neighbourhood.

On Monday, April 24th at 18h30, I'll be leading a story telling walk in French near the Opera Garnier.  We'll focus on one amazing moment in August, 1869. 

Exceptionally, this story is free by donation. Join me for a drink at the end of the walk.

And I'll be in Reims the last weekend of April, doing a one-time-only walk (also in French) in the amazingly historic city of champagne. For either of these walks, please send me an email if you're interested in joining me... 

Mes promenades, et ma pratique de narration, sont des expériences non-touristiques: On se déplace dans une rue, ou dans un lieu, et nous imaginons ensemble une histoire et une vie. Mon récit, "Une bouteille d'encre noire", est une fiction créé spécialement pour cette promenade. Après notre promenade, dans un café, autour d'un pot amicale, nous discuterons les vrais détails historiques.

Le 24 avril, avec "Une bouteille d'encre noire," on commence dans une nuit de 1869...


Poem Reel # 3 - "Radial" by Jennifer K Dick

This is the third video in my Poem Reel series: each short video is a poet friend reading work out in the world. This is "Radial" by Jennifer K. Dick. She is reading in Paris. 

Jennifer is originally from Iowa and now teaches in Mulhouse, France. She is the author of Fluorescence (University of Georgia Press, 2004), Retina/Rétine (Estepa Editions, France, 2005—artist book with images by Kate Van Houten, translations by Rémi Bouthonnier), Enclosures (BlazeVox ebook, 2007), Betwixt (Corrput Press chapbook, 2012), Tracery (Dusie Kollectif, 2012), Circuits (Corrupt Press, 2013), Conversion (Estepa editions, 2013) et No Title (Estepa Editions, 2015). She co-hosts the IVY Writers series in Paris. Jennifer keeps a personal blog at

Onwards to Belarus!

One hundred years since the Russian Revolution...

I'm curious if there will be centennial celebrations in Belarus. I'm just getting my paperwork set for a brief trip to Minsk & Mogilev. I'll be looking for a good coffeehouse, of course, if you have any recommendations? And I hear rumours of Armenian brandy there, too. Excellent! Ну, давайте выпьем!


APAP 2017

Planning... In January, I'm going to be at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters' conference in NYC. I'll be promoting '33 (a kabarett) - a show that's recently become very topical, since '33 is about choosing to speak out against repression.

More info here.


On the Silk Road, Kyrgyzstan

Travel Writing Workshop

Heather Stimmler-Hall & I are about to begin the October edition of the Travel Writing Workshop here in Paris...  and I am having a tremendous time going through all my favourite travel memoirs, guidebooks, and online travel writing. I used to think travel writing was frivolous, much as I enjoyed doing it. It's difficult not to feel a bit trite, arguing about which macaron au chocolat is really the best. But these days, I think there's a larger goal with this industry, most succinctly phrase by the great writer Maya Angelou:

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” - Maya Angelou

If travel writers can contribute to that goal, count me in. 

Poem Reel 2 - "Velocity" by Megan Burns

I'm working on this video project of Poem Reels - each short video is a poet friend reading work out in the world. This is "Velocity" by Megan Burns. She is reading in front of the building where her brother Dylan Burns shot himself in 2014. He was 29 years old. 


Megan has published three books of poetry; she is the publisher at Trembling Pillow Press. She is also the host of my favourite New Orleans reading series, Blood Jet. And she is the co-founder of the New Orleans Poetry Festival.


Writing every day

Off to Los Angeles for the WRITING AS A DAILY PRACTICE workshop that I'm hosting with Cecilia Woloch. Really looking forward to discussing journals, daily writing, and all kinds of literary ideas with a great group of people. And I'm hoping to squeeze in a visit to Venice Beach, to stroll along the shore and visit one of my favourite bookshops, Small World Books, on the boardwalk. (I imagine it will be warmer than it was in January, when I was last there!)

RSS feed