Plymouth / Brest writers’ Exchange – a view from across the Channel

Olivier Cousin

Following the blog by Pete Davey about this imminent event, over at CAN Towers we decided to ask some questions of the French contingent for the weekend. So we contacted Olivier Cousin – one of the writers coming over for the weeekend.

We asked him a handful of questions – here are his responses…

What is going on over the Plymouth /Brest twinning literary weekend that you are particularly looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to meeting fellow writers from Plymouth which is a city that – unfortunately I must confess – I mainly know so far as a threshold to the UK (hence my poem ‘To Plymouth, ever moving’ that I will read next weekend) and as a historical city.

Talking to artists should help me grasp the artistic features of the town.

Who is taking part from Brest? And why those people in particular?

Bep Sort

There are a musical band, Bep Sort, and three writers : Alain Le Beuze ( aged 58) who is mainly a poet, Hervé Bellec ( aged 61) who writes novels, short stories and chronicles; and me ( aged 44), a short story, novel and poem writer. Coincidentally we’re all three of us, teachers and not born in Brest – where we’ve been living for a while.

Alain Le Beuze & Herve Bellec

I can’t tell you why these people in particular… only that we’ve kindly been invited by Brest twinning staff to represent Brest as one small part of its writing community.

Why do you think this is happening on this scale this year?

I really don’t know – since I only learnt about PlymLit16  a few months ago.

How do you think this will benefit the cultural / literary and arts scene in Brest and its relationship with Plymouth?

All cross-country literary events benefit culture and literature in both countries. In our case (that of two comparable cities-ports) it will help creators – and people at large – see how different and how near they are in their aspirations and outlook on life both here in Brest and there in Plymouth.

Do you think there will be an expansion of these events over the next few years? Is that your hope?

I’ll tell you when this one is over ! Anyway, it’s always a good thing to show and to link…

Are you hoping for a similar event in Brest soon?

I guess it will happen in Brest too, with writers from Plymouth. But the main thing is to set up an event which would allow sufficient exposure of Plymouth writers; for the moment there is no literary festival such as PlymLit in Brest. Maybe we’ll steal ideas from you when we’re in Plymouth…


Get information on the weekend by clicking this link


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