I’m still in Paris France, visiting friends and taking in all the sight of this beautiful city. This week I made a rendez-vous with Mary Duncan, a very interesting person on the Paris writing scene. We met at Shakespeare and Company, the famous book store across the street from Notre Dame Cathedral. We went from there to a nearby café to discuss my writing career in Paris many years ago and the present-day writing milieu as represented by Mary.
I took my friend Kenneth McCoy with me. Ken came to Paris to stay 45 days and has ended up spending 45 years. He is originally from Oklahoma. He helped me establish The Paris English Theatre many years ago. He made a great third to our get together. He had a demi (a draft beer), I had a coffee and Mary surprised us by having a Coke Float. The waiter didn’t know this famous American drink so Mary ordered a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a tall glass, a straw and a Coke. After we got our drinks, we settled into a great round of discussions.
Mary is the founder and director of the Paris Writers Group. She is a native Californian and has lived in Paris since 2000. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, the author of Henry Miller is Under My Bed, owns an archive of original Henry Miller materials and is on the Advisory Board of the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. An early patron of the Shakespeare and Company Literary Festival in Paris and the founder of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Moscow, she created the Paris Writers Group in 2008. She is currently writing a book about a street in Paris where several French literary figures lived and worked.
Her writing group consists of 25 published writers. They meet monthly where each person has exactly 3 minutes to bring up a subject or discuss a topic concerning agents, writing, contacts, or their writing thoughts. The group does not read and critique work. They are a mutual benefit society so to speak and provide information. The Paris Writers Group issues blogs by their various members. Mary’s specialty is terrorism such as in Belfast, Ireland, in the 70s.
Mary is a very interesting person and I think she and her group are a strong presence on the Paris Literary Scene. My best to her. I really enjoyed hearing about her many activities and especially about her Paris Writers Group. You can visit her site at this link, Mary Duncan. Go there and you’ll find out a lot about the present-day writing scene in Paris and Mary Duncan.
Cheers to her and her group!