Jeanine Baude

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Poet and critic Jeanine Baude was born October 18, 1946, in Eyguières, in the Bouches du Rhône department. Having earned a post-graduate diploma in contemporary literature at the University of Aix-en-Provence, she worked for the human resources department of a private enterprise for 21 years. She currently lives and works in Paris, in the heart of the Latin Quarter.

Jeanine Baude has published over 30 books, essays, stories, and volumes of poetry, including Le Chant de Manhattan (The Song of Manhattan), published in 2006 by Seghers, a work that was praised by European critics, and which has been translated into German, English, Spanish and Slovakian, and New York Is New York, published in April 2006 in time for the Salon du Livre (the Paris book fair). She was a member of an advisory committee for the literary review Sud from 1992 to 1997 and is currently on the editorial board of the review L’Arbre à paroles (Word Tree). She has also collaborated with numerous European and international reviews.

Jeanine Baude was the recipient of the 1993 Antonin Artaud Prize for C’était un paysage (Rougerie, 1992).

The following lines, to be read along with her biography, set a tone that is closer to the world in which she lives: Origianlly from Alpilles, she’s trudged her way along the rocky roads of the east, then heading westward, first from Saint-Rémy de Provence and Cassis to the High Tatras in Slovakia to Brittany’s Pointe der Pern, from the Atlantic ile of Ouessant to the ile of Manhattan, on the sea swell of poetry’s inner journey. She likes to say, “I write with my body, I walk with my mind,” and “My crime is writing,” to explore, as I do, indefinable fields.

As part of Printemps des Poètes, a huge event in France organized at the initiative of the Ministry of Culture, and which has occurred annually since 1998, the General Delegation of the Alliance Française proposes a United States tour for a poet of renown: Jeanine Baude

Possible formats for the author appearances


Two options for the appearances have been selected by the organizer:

  • Option One would have Jeanine Baude reading a selection of her poems, followed by an open discussion with the audience, which would be a free exchange of ideas on poetry in general as well as discussing, in particular, one’s own experience with poetry. (excerpts of : Le Chant de Manhattan ; Ile Corps Océan ; New York is New York ; Venise Venezia Venessia ; C’est un Tango ; Incarnat Désir ; Océan ; Un bleu d’équinoxe ; C’était un paysage (Prix Antonin Artaud).


  • Option Two would also include a discussion with the audience, opening up the floor for comments, but this time with a structured discussion involving her two most recent works:


LE CHANT DE MANHATTAN (The Song of Manhattan), or Le Chant of the Immigrant (The Immigrant’s Song)

NEW YORK IS NEW YORK , or La Passante de Broadway (The Woman Walking Along on Broadway)


< edifice. whole foundation all, it center very at they’re Minimal, Mineral, They’re salt. and sand sides. all on water walls by surrounded gulf a bottom lies that circuit run who hurry, big minuscule men, strange stalactites, megaliths desert steel, glass its with is city this forest “Strange>

Men and stones confront each other here with an audacity and rage like none other. They are both indistinguishable from the outrageous, provocative, savage, and surreal destiny of this city which until September 11, 2001, seemed indestructible.

A city and an island. It’s important not to forget this essential geographic fact. Manhattan is an island, and a small one at that, as Céline could have written. Fifty-seven square kilometers, that’s three times smaller than Ile d’Oléron (175 square kilometers), almost two times smaller than Belle-Ile en mer (90 spuare kilometers) or Ré (85 square kilometers). There’s that which surprises and has us better understand the power of the elements, the powers that rest side by side, confront each other, and deploy themselves. From infinity to the infinitesimally small, New York, Manhattan, land of every contradiction. The impossible becomes possible here. On this small-ish island, on this cargo dock, 1,518,000 residents can be counted as of today. Could you imagine three million people living on Oléron, two million on Belle-Ile, 300,000 on Ouessant instead of 16,000, 4,000 and 800? That gives us a clear and precise idea of the scale of New York, of its architectural pride, its verticality.

An Algonquin, a man standing, an upright stone, it all starts (...)

2002: The publisher Editions Tertium asked me to do a book on New York, a travel log. Would I consider it? Let’s see, several thousand books already published on New York, thousands more to come. It’s true that I had already done one on Venice and the problem was pretty much the same. So I’ll do it, I decide. 2003: I leave for New York. I sketch out plans for a play I’m still writing, a 144-page collection of poems: Le Chant de Manhattan, published by Seghers in 2006, and given the support of the Printemps des Poètes and the activity fund of the SACEM (a cultural organization which supports music and the arts). Then I finally settled down to do the book I was asked to do. I wove together all the strands of my writing, left the door open to poetry (my special place), realizing that that can all be done in at a fever pitch. The book, New York Is New York came out in April 2006 (in time for the Salon du Livre).

I’m proposing a book talk with lively discussion and passage readings from among the following titles :

- The Song of the Immigrant, the sweat of men, the sweat of stones,

- Ellis Island,

- The Babel of languages, colors, odors, the melting pot, the sidewalk journeys,

- New York today, after September 11, 2001, and I cite with no hesitation whatsoever . . . in this regard (not my own lines but . . .) a poem of premonition by Walt Whitman:

Long, too long, O land, Traveling roads all even and peaceful, you learn’d from joys and propriety only; But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish¾advancing, grappling with direst fate, and recoiling not; And now to conceive, and show to the world, what your children en-masse really are; (For who except myself has yet conceiv’d what your children en-masse really are?) (Poésie Gallimard, traduction française de Jacques Darras)


- New York and France, francophone writers and culture (and there are a lot in New York from Maryse Condé to Edouard Glissant) considered from the angle of the France that lies beyond the «hexagon» of its European borders: Léopold Sedar Senghor and his magnificent homage to the city, Blaise Cendrars and Les Pâques...(Easter in New York)., new poets who have sung of New York... But also the close ties between the writers of the Beat Generation and France (from Kerouac to Ginsberg), the Living Theater and the Festival of Avignon, painting, dance (during the German occupation of France), the French goodies of the Village, of Brooklyn, etc…

Conclusions and readings, and then lively discussion.”

Jeanine Baude

  • Un récital consistant en une lecture de ses poèmes, d’une durée de soixante minutes, peut être également demandé à Jeanine Baude


To access the webpage dedicated to Jeanine Baude on the web site of the Printemps des Poètes , click here.


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Related Sites

  • Fondation Alliance Française
  • Alliance Française de Paris
  • Cultural Services of the French Embassy
  • Federation of Alliance Française USA

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