On Saturday, November 23, Poets House, in partnership with City Lore and NY’OC Trobadors, hosts a landmark symposium celebrating and bringing the riches of southern French poetry and culture to the American public. The symposium gathers international and local poets, artists, scholars, and performers to share the fascinating history of the region and bring to life the songs of troubadours past and present in the endangered lenga d’òc (Occitan language). Chef and foodie favorite Ariane Daguin, owner of gourmet purveyor D’Artagnan, will host a reservation-only Gascon Buffet with a short historic overview of Occitan cuisine and cooking demonstration. The evening will culminate in a music and poetry performance featuring accomplished bicontinental artists Joan Francés Tisnèr (project director), Jakes Aymonino, Domenja Lekuona, Pierre Joris, and Nicole Peyrafitte. Other presenters include New York University scholars Deborah Kapchan, Sarah Kay and Richard Sieburth, and director of Fondacion Occitània Alem Surre-Garcia.
The 11th century trobadors and trobairitz of Occitania, a region spanning the entire southern half of France (Bearn, Languedoc, Auvergne, Limousin, Provence) and encompassing the Occitan Valleys in the Italian Alps and the Aran Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees, have long inspired American poets, most notably Ezra Pound, with their lyrical, secular, and often subversive verse-commentary on the culture, politics, and love affairs of their time. Mythologized as wandering mystics, these professional poets set the stage for everything from poetic forms like the cantata and sestina to the passionate and carefully-wrought works of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan to Top 40 love songs. The Trobadors symposium celebrates and bears witness to a millennium of Occitan culture and influence around the globe.
Opening Remarks: Richard Sieburth 2:00–3:30 PM: Topologies of Occitan Language & Culture
Languages & their Territories with Nicole Peyrafitte, Domenja Lekuona, Alem Surre-Garcia; Occitan & the Orient with Deborah Kapchan; Participatory Introduction to Occitan Language & Songs with Joan Francés Tisnèr
4:00–5:30 PM Occitan Literature Through the Ages:
Troubadour Poetry: The Classical Moment with Richard Sieburth; Occitan Literature: The Middle Ages with Sarah Kay; Occitan Poetry: The 20th Century & Beyond with Pierre Joris & Alem Surre-Garcia
5:30–7:00 PM: Gascon Dinner with Ariane Daguin and D’Artagnan (Space is limited: Reservations Required)
Buffet Gascon offered by gourmet purveyor D’Artagnan, with short historic overview of Occitan food and cooking demonstration by Ariane Daguin and Nicole Peyrafitte. Gascony is a region in Occitania known for its “sweetness of life” and is home to foie gras and Armagnac brandy.
Dinner admission (includes evening performance): $25 per person. Reservations REQUIRED! please contact Joe Fritsch at (212) 431-7920 x 2832 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
7:00–9:00 PM: NY’OC Trobadors Multimedia Performance
Journey through a millennium of Occitan culture in music, images, and bilingual poetry. With Joan Francés Tisnèr, Jakes Aymonino, Domenja Lekuona, Pierre Joris, and Nicole Peyrafitte.
EVENT SPONSORED BY: Poets House & City Lore
D’artagnan, Région Aquitaine, Cirdoc, InÒc, DRAC, CG64, Ville de Pau Produceurs: Lo NAu (Occitania), Ta’wil Productions (USA)
André Spears & Anne Rosen, Margo & Anthony Viscusi, Jason Wise, anonymous
The picture above was taken on September 28-29 at The Taste of France where I had the pleasure of MC’ing the main stage for the entire weekend. The event took place at Bryant Park in NYC & one of my favorite moment was to be on stage with my occitan acolytes: Ariane Daguin (d’Artagnan) & Pierre Landet (Executive chef at Chez Felix, in NYC). Here is Ariane showing an aiguillette de canard, or the little tenderloin part found on top of the magret de canard that you’ll never find on your plate because it’s the cook who always eats it!
Voilà, we can move on to the next events & that will be a reading at The Shed Space in Brooklyn on Thursday — & Friday we are off to our old stomping ground in Southern California for two weeks! Check out details below .
After a great summer filled with many exciting events (see sidebar for links & pix) voilà our fall schedule. We are hoping to see many of you here or there! Keep in touch.— Pierre & Nicole
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 September Manhattan, NY
Nicole Peyrafitte will be the MC at Taste of France. Yes! Come to France by subway! Come to Bryant Park this weekend, the French are taking over! Many cooking demos, music & even diplomacy since The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, has been announced!
Thursday October 10 8:00PM Brooklyn, NY
Nicole Peyrafitte reading at The Shed Space with Kimberly Lyons & Nada Gordon
366 6th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY.
Tuesday October 15 3:00 – 7:00PM Los Angeles, CA
Pierre Joris talk & reading at USC Dornsife Department of English
Ide Memorial Common Room, THH 420
3501 Trousdale Parkway
Taper Hall of Humanities 404 -University Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354
Wednesday October 16 7:30PM Los Angeles, CA
Pierre Joris poetry reading at Otis College of Arts & Design
Ahmanson Hall Forum
9045 Lincoln Blvd L.A. 90045
Saturday October 26 4:00-6:00 PM Brooklyn, NY
Pierre Joris reads at “Come Together: Surviving Sandy” Dedalus Foundation & Brooklyn Rail Reading
Industry City (Sunset Park, Brooklyn)
Thursday 7 & Friday 8 November Brussels, Belgium
Keynote lecture & reading by Pierre Joris; poetry reading & performance by Nicole Peyrafitte.
Moving Back and Forth between Poetry and / as Translation: Nomadic Travels and Travails with Alice Notley and Pierre Joris Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Saturday November 23 2:00 – 9:00PM Manhattan, NY
A Symposium on Occitan Poetry, Lectures, Gascon Dinner & NY’OC Trobadors Performance, with Jakes Aymonino, Pierre Joris, Deborah Kapchan, Sarah Kay, Domenja Lekuona, Nicole Peyrafitte, Richard Sieburth, Alem Surre-Garcia, Joan Francés Tisnèr. Full brochure here Poets House, 10 River Terrace (at Murray Street), NYC 10282.
Our spring was busy & rich with a great tour of the UK. You can find videos & pix on my facebook page, Pierre Joris’ blog & more links below. We are now almost ready to embark on a long summer transhumance filled with many exciting stages — see short & longer term dates below. Meanwhile, let me fill you in on our publications.Bi-Valve : Vulvic Space I Vulvic Knowledge — which includes a cd, texts &17 colors plates of my paintings & digital photographs — is OUT! The recording features Michael Bisio on bass & we had a jolly good time recording it at FastSpeaking music w/ Ambrose Bye. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result & koudos to Lori Anderson-Moseman (Stockport Flats), who not only made it beautiful but was ever so supportive thru out the process. Get your copy while they last: here.
Also out, Pierre’s Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj —for which I designed the cover— is just out from Chax press, you can get it here, & in case you had missed the announcement: Poem for the Millennium Four: The University of California Book of North African Literature is also out and available here.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: July 19-27 Poetry Festival in Sète, France NP: Voix Vives de Méditerranée en Méditerranée Daily performances throughout the festival. See detailed program here
July 29-August 5 Gascony
NP & PJ: Artists in Residence in Gascony for the NY’OC Trobadors project.
NY’OC Trobadors, is a collaboration between artists based in France and New York. Save the date — Saturday November 23rd 2013 — for a full day on/of Occitan culture that will bring the riches of southern France’s troubadour tradition to the American public. This unique gathering of bi-continental poets, musicians, singers & translators will present panels, a fully staged bilingual (Occitan-English) multimedia performance and talks about the bilingual anthology of Occitan poetry we are working on. Texts, poems & song lyrics spanning the 11th century to the present will be presented. This event will be at Poets Houseco-sponsored by City Lore & d’Artagnan. We still need funds to make this event possible. City Lore is taking donations here)
August 5-31 Bourg d’Oueil(our Pyrenean base)
NP: Continuing work on a series of paintings & writings specific to the location
PJ: This is the first summer in 10 years he has no deadlines so he will write new work!
& together we will start editing our documentary project on poet Gerrit Lansing.
September 1-15 Paris September 5th: NP & PJ Feature readers at Paris Lit Up series more readings TBA
October 10-22 Southern California Tour: Los Angeles:
October 16th : PJ reading at Otis
October 17th: PJ Round table on Translation at USD
November 6-9 Brussels- Belgium University of Brussels Symposium on Alice Notley & Pierre Joris.
Details TBA – Readings by both PJ & NP
Celebrating the second inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama, requires some festive foods. Our menu might not be as lavish as the Inaugural Luncheon but I am not about to loose focus from our low glycemic diet.
No, we didn’t start the day with dessert, as the heading picture might suggest, but by a healthy juice inspired by Dr. Ali’s breakfast protocole. Juicing is now part of our daily routine & due to a low glycemic diet I rarely include fruits; but today being a festive day I included a red grapefruit —25 on GI scale when banana scores 45 & watermelon 76— accompanied by bok choy, celery, parsley, fresh turmeric & ginger roots, dandelions. And after our 5K walk the Tasty Pearl Barley Pabulum hit the spot:
1 cup of cooked barley
1/4 green apple
cinnamon, roasted pumpkin seeds
moisten with home made almond milk. Almond Milk:
Don’t get put off by homemade almond milk, it is actually quite simple & will serve two purpose here. To make the milk, soak 1/2 lb of organic almond in filtered water overnight. In the morning pour out the water, rinse almonds until the water runs clear. Add 1 quart of filtered water to the almond then process one ladle full of almonds & water at a time into the top of the juicer —I use a Vert VRT350 Juice & I am pretty happy with it. Reserve in bottle and save in the fridge. I do save the meal that comes out on the other side. I dry it and use for many other recipe.
Garlic Roasted Turkey Breast with Organic NYS Red Merlot Beans
Preheat the oven to 320°. Grate 2 cloves of garlic, add olive oil, salt & pepper. Rub this paste thoroughly all over the turkey breast. Put a ramequin of water into the oven; it will keep the meat moist. Roast the turkey breast in the oven until thermometer reaches 160°.
To mirror the many New York State items on the Inaugural Luncheon I cooked NYS Red Merlot beans —available at the Park Slope foodcoop. These wonderful beans have a thin skin, are creamy though stay firm throughout.
1/2 lb of Org. NYS Merlot beans (or other red bean) soaked over night, then brought to a boil in fresh water once and let sit for one hour before using in stew (for some reason I think it makes them more digestible).
1 onion finely chopped, goldened in the pan with olive oil
2 ribs celery
Lightly toast pumpkin & cumin seeds in a cast iron pan, then grind in a coffee grinder — I have one that I use only for spices —& add to the beans .
Add 1 seeded jalapeño pepper & 2 cloves of chopped garlic
Salt & Pepper
Bring to a gentle boil, turn it down & let simmer for 2/3 hours.
Lemon Cheesecake Mousse with Coconut Almond cookies
The cookies are essentiel to make this tart, festive, deconstructed Low Glycemic cheesecake work. The custard: Ben’s Cream cheese
Warm the juice of 2 lemon (Meyer if possible) in a pan
add 1/2 packet plain gelatine
Stevia to taste
Blend cream cheese, juice w/ melted gelatin/ stevia
1 1/2 cup of almond meal —saved form several batches of making almond milk
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
Stevia to taste.
Mix, make the paste in a roll. Cut & bake at 300° for about 25 minutes .
And while watching —& dancing to— the Presidential Inauguration Ball, we had Pierre’s delicious Belgium endive salad with Humbolt Fog goat creamy cheese & walnuts, dressed with a light mustard & olive oil vinaigrette. And to finish on a sweet note we had a small serving of goat cheese yogurt with fresh ginger, walnut, stevia & a few blueberries. Now, if we did our calculation right it looks like our glycemic load for the day is about 52 —under 55 considered low. But please correct me if I am wrong, I am still in training!
I am getting the hang of cooking low glycemic index meals —more on that coming up, since it will be the focus of my cooking for a few months. The menu featured today is my best so far. It happens to be vegetarian but I can assure you that it will satisfy even the staunchest meat eater. The delicate flavors & the filling qualities provide total satisfaction.
Sauté 1/2 onion finely chopped in organic Olive Oil
add the following chopped vegetables:
2 celery ribs w/ tops
1 red bell pepper
2 Jerusalem artichokes
1 cup of shitake mushrooms
2 cloves of grated garlic
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 1/2 cup of soaked & pre-cooked chickpeas (soaked over night, boiled once and let sit for one hour before use in stew)
If you have read the previous post you know that I have beautiful turmeric from Hawaï. This coleslaw recipe is a low glycemic slaw variation that work quite beautifully with the Fragrant Chickpea Veggie & Shitake Stew. It is only slightly different than the one featured in Passion Cabbage.
Finely chopped green cabbage/onion/celery/fennel bulb/ cilantro/ Dressing:
Fresh grated ginger / turmeric /1 clove of garlic
juice of 1 Mayer lemon
mostly sesame oil
a little olive oil
Tamarind Tofu Pudding with Minty Blueberry Purée
Finally a tofu pudding that is really good! I have been trying for months & at last here is one worth sharing. First I made tamarind paste with wet seedless (not totally!) tamarind. Tamarind doesn’t have a super low glycemic index but first, little is used & second, it is supposed to be very good for the liver. The process is a little tedious but worth the effort since it can be used in many other dishes —e.i: simply add to goat milk yogurt, morning cereals or to make the famous Pad Thai.
Tamarind paste process:
Soak one 14oz package in equal amount of warm water. Let it sit for a few hours. Once rehydrated work it with your hands to remove veins & seeds. Blend in food processor until smooth; keep in a glass jar in the fridge. For our purpose you will need only one or two tablespoons.
Put the desired amount of tamarind in a small pan, add a little water, heat to medium heat & add 1/2 package of plain gelatine; let it sit.
Meanwhile, in the food processor add:
1 package of organic silken tofu (1lb)
1 sunlime juice (this is a new kind of lemon that appeared at the ParkSlope foodcoop, if you don’t find it mix lemon & lime juice . The sunlime looks and tastes like an hybrid of the 2)
Freshly ground cinnamon & nutmeg
Few drops of stevia (careful — too much gives it a terrible taste)
Add the tamarind mixture to the tofu mixture and blend thoroughly.
Pour in glass ramequin & let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Serve with fresh blueberry mint puree (blend fresh blueberry & fresh mint in food processor, strain and pour over the set pudding)
NP with Most Fabulous CA Conrad at The Poetry Project New Year’s day
We are done with 2012, alors: WELCOME 2013!
Like every year Pierre (Joris) & I celebrated the first day amongst poets, musicians & friends at The Poetry Project. I flipped many crêpes in the Parish Hall & they were gone FAST. If you were not there &/or missed the crêpes, my family crêpes recipe is here& you can watch our short performances below.
We are entering January full speed:
January 4 & 5: I will be in the studio with Michael Bisio, to record the CD that will be included in my upcoming book Bi-Valve : Vulvic Space/Vulvic Knowledge (Stockport Flats Press).
It seems to me that the most à propos food to take in on this solstice night is : Theobroma cacao—”food of the gods.”
I don’t know if the Mayans got their calendar from the Olmecs too, but it looks like they got they got the Kakawa, that ischocolate, from Olmec.
“The Maya derived a lot of their high culture from the Olmec,” said Coe, also professor emeritus of anthropology at Yale. “Even the word ‘cacao’ is not a native Maya word—it’s Olmec.” The Olmec lived in the southern Gulf of Mexico between 1500 and 500 B.C., and their influence extended to Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Costa Rica, and El Salvador.
“The new find is hard chemical evidence that the Mayans were drinking chocolate in 500 B.C.,” said Coe, suggesting that people were cultivating the cacao tree long before the Maya civilization, which flourished in southern Mexico, the Yucatán, and the highlands of Belize between 500 B.C. and A.D. 1500. source
& this is how I made our heavenly solstice Xocalatl —the original hot chocolate in Aztec culture:
1/2 bar of organic 80% cacao
1 cup of home made almond milk
1 tbsp arrowroot
Raw agave nectar to taste
1 cup of whole milk
Melt cocoa with almond milk, add arrowroot & bring to a boil & whisk. It will thicken, add the milk, bring to a boil again. Whisk again. Strain and serve.
Happy Solstice everyone!
Here are some videos of our gig on Saturday September 15th. I had a magnificent time diving whole-heartedly into impro-land with master double bassists Michael Bisio & Ken Filiano. They had set high standards with a very inspiring first set. After the break we did three pieces with my visuals:
We closed with PINKONOCLASTIC, a piece that literally whisks to emulsion: icons, politics & La Vie en Rose. To help us reflect on these complicated issues, we had the great honor to have the magnificent Grande Dame piano improvisor Connie Crothers joining us. Then we hung out most pleasurably eating the mean black bean chili, the corn bread, the pescajos & the stage -vanilla flavored- whipped cream (see video 3). Truly “thank you” for playing, for being there — & also thank you Pierre Joris for filming & Françoise Bevy for the still photos!