Posted on:Tuesday 8th April, 2014
The poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine famously ran away together to London in 1872 where they lived for some time at No 8 Royal College Street in Camden (then Great College Street). Their famous journey is now, 143 years later, serving as the inspiration for another departure. The Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation, created in 2011 to take advantage of the gift of No 8 in the current owner's Will, is embarking on its own journey to use the poets and their cultural legacy as the inspiration for a new arts organisation, promoting engagement with the arts and broadening horizons through cultural exchange.
It is exciting to have a website which is designed to promote awareness of the R&V Foundation and its work. This website already features some rich video and audio content, and should provide a great 'shop window' for the Foundation and its work, which during 2015 and beyond will include events, cross-arts collaborations, educational work, commissions, and artists' exchanges and residencies. I would like to say a special word of thanks to the talented artist Herve Constant, a long-time friend of No 8, who has allowed us to use his paintings, inspired by Rimbaud, Verlaine and their poetry, throughout the website. This has given the website just the bright and contemporary look and feel we wanted, and beautifully reflects the style and approach being adopted by the new arts organisation.
On a personal note, I was proud to announce my appointment as Chief Executive of the Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation from April 2014. I have been involved with the project for quite a few years, but I am now be able to give it all the time and attention that it deserves. The hope is that the Foundation will be able to create a European-style 'poetry house' at No 8 Royal College Street, but also that it will be able to use the names of Rimbaud and Verlaine to set in motion a wide range of creative, educational and artistic activities. The poets may then serve as a means of introducing new generations to poetry and other arts and to an appreciation of the amazing history of Franco-British cultural exchange. Rimbaud and Verlaine are about to embark on another journey!
CEO of the Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation
7 January 2015.