Au Chat Noir

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La cave du Chat Noir
11th arrondissement

A slice of Anglo-American literary culture in the heart of Parmentier, Au Chat Noir (not to be confused with the Montmartre cabaret of almost the same name) is known by all the budding poets of the area, but few outsiders. The reason: its thriving, if ill-publicised, spoken-word nights. Head into the basement on a Monday evening (from 8.30pm) and you’ll find an eclectic bunch of beatniks, actors and would-be rappers taking it in turns to perform some kind of spoken text to the audience – and never for over five minutes at a time.

If most participants speak in English, then this only reflects the relative popularity of this kind of event in the UK and US, and other languages are by no means forbidden. In fact, aside from the time limit there are no rules whatsoever. It’s this spirit of ‘anything goes’ that marks Au Chat Noir out from the hordes of trendy, faintly unwelcoming bars that surround it, and that may well convert you into one of the bar’s many faithful regulars. Gigs and poetry workshops are also on the programme.

Venue name: Au Chat Noir
Address: 76 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud

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