The Man Who Loves Rum

Badr knows his rums 2
There's the only picture evidence you need that Badr Benjelloun's tipple of choice is rum -- pure rum, navy rum, sweet rum, fragrant Yunnan rum, Cuban rum ("love, passion")... Captain Morgan's... it doesn't matter. The man will take your rum and sell it back, likely with a historical anecdote on the side.

Poetry Night In Beijing: Stephen Nashef

Poetry Night in Beijing - Stephen Nashef
Beginning today, we'll be posting, piecemeal, the entirety of our March 16 event Poetry Night in Beijing, co-hosted by Pathlight Magazine for the Bookworm Literary Festival. (A big shout-out to Patrick Lozada for filming.) Up first was physics teacher / poet Stephen Nashef, introduced by Pathlight poetry editor Canaan Morse.

How Funny And/Or Endearing Is This Picture?

Old people - book fair
I don't want people thinking I'm making fun of geriatrics. This photo is actually incredibly endearing, and only somewhat funny. It's via Xinhua to promote the 2014 Beijing Book Fair at Chaoyang Park, which kicked off yesterday and will last until April 20. May just be worth the visit.

Concerts, Fires, Bathroom Sex: An Oral History Of 4Corners

4corners
You've probably heard the rumors of 4corners's demise, but are they premature? "Forced renovations" is how owners Tavey Lin and Jun Trinh describe their popular bar/restaurant/livehouse's impending (temporary?) closure. What this means for the rest of us is two huge parties, today and tomorrow. To get a preview, I sat down with Tavey and Jun on Wednesday. In addition to looking ahead, they couldn't help reminiscing a bit about everything, from parties to concerts to bathroom sex.

Games And Death: A Rehearsal With Plus One Before The Beijing Improv Festival

Beijing Improv Festival - Plus One 4
Spring switches us from latent to active, and spring being the season of festivals in Beijing, it's one more reason to get up and busy (and stop marathoning shows on Sohu). Beginning next Tuesday, April 8, the six-day Beijing Improv Festival returns with shows and workshops featuring greater China's finest improv crews. Knowing almost nothing about the art, I spent time with the local bilingual group Plus One during one of their weekly Sunday rehearsals to get the scoop.

The Creamcast, Ep.13: Blogging China Panel At Bookworm Literary Festival

BJC The Creamcast logo 250x250
Blogging China was a March 18 Bookworm Literary Festival panel discussion moderated by Anthony Tao and featuring Jeremy Goldkorn (Danwei), Alec Ash (the Anthill), Mia Li (Sinosphere), and Tao Stein (WeChat: 石涛讲故事 / shitaojianggushi). In front of a full house, we talked about the characteristics of bloggers (journalists without credentials? writers without agents? mavens without business plans?), the purpose of blogs, particularly in relation with traditional media, censorship, curation / aggregation, Sina Weibo, and whether WeChat is the future of blogging -- among many other topics.

Tonight: “Poetry Night In Beijing” At The Bookworm, 8pm

Poetry Night in Beijing curators and readers 2
This is it: your final reminder that I'll be joined by three docents and five poets tonight at the Bookworm to celebrate poetry in Beijing. The event will feature Peter Behr, Stephen Nashef, Edward Ragg, Emily Stranger, and Yuan Yang (and Gower Campbell) reading selected works, as curated by Canaan Morse, Eleanor Goodman, and Helen Wing. (The curators and I will present a little something as well.) The festivities begin at 8 pm. Tickets are available at the door.

Meet The Readers Of Poetry Night In Beijing, This Sunday At The Bookworm

Top: Peter Behr, Stephen Nashef, Edward Ragg; Bottom: Emily Stranger, Yuan Yang
Last month we made an open call for poets to participate in a curated community event at the Bookworm Literary Festival, and the response was exceptional. Please consider this our official thank you to all who answered. The curators of Poetry Night in Beijing -- Canaan Morse, Helen Wing and Eleanor Goodman -- read nearly 200 poems before finally (painstakingly) choosing five writers whose works resonated with them in style and substance.

Banner Over Beijing Mall Counts “Time Since Losing Contact” With Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

Malaysia Flight MH370 clock
Those who live and work around Chaoyangmen in Beijing have noticed a recent addition to the neighborhood. Above the Burger King at U-Town Mall, a huge purple banner has been erected that reads, in Chinese, "Time Since Losing Contact," a reference to the number of hours that have passed since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

BJC Brings You The Cream Of Beijing’s Literary Festivals

Festival season Beijing featured image
"Festival Fever," declares the cover of relentlessly upbeat Time Out Beijing. Coming at the end of what might just be China’s worst week in recent history – starting with a massacre in Kunming and ending with 230 people, including 140 Chinese, seemingly disappearing into the Twilight Zone – it’s hard to share their enthusiasm.

At Least One Foreigner Stabbed Again In Sanlitun This Week

Sanlitun stabbing 2
Some breaking news here (in that it happened three days ago and we’ve only just learned about it): a foreign man has been hospitalized and another injured following a stabbing around Sanlitun Bar Street in the early morning of Tuesday, February 25. Information is scant. The news was first posted at 4:32 am by a man claiming to be an employee of the Village edition of Starbucks, and he sounded pretty shaken up about it.

Poetry Night In Beijing: A Conversation With Eleanor Goodman

Poetry Night in Beijing - Eleanor Goodman featured image
We're rapidly approaching the March 1 submission deadline for those interested in reading at Poetry Night in Beijing, a curated community event on March 16 that's part of the Bookworm Literary Festival. If you're wondering whether you should submit, please heed the advice of Eleanor Goodman, one of our curators: "Submit! There’s nothing lonelier than a poem sitting unread on a laptop or in a notebook."

Journalist Discovers Poverty, Humanity In China’s Backwater Regions

Face of poverty
Starting from the age of 10, Jiangnan Yiling, editor-in-chief of Size Outdoor magazine, traveled with his father to snowy mountains, harsh deserts, Buddhist shrines, and the Tibetan steppe. Last month, he spoke at UCCA about his travels and the inspiration for his charity projects. A visit to an elementary school in Yushu, Qinghai province changed his life in 2009.

Watch: “Naked Run” In Beijing Olympic Park Features Bare Chests, Gas Masks

Naked pigs run Beijing Olympic Park featured image
Heavy smog couldn't deter runners of the annual "naked pigs run" in Beijing's Olympic Park on Sunday. According to China Daily, more than 300 participants -- "only allowed to wear underwear" -- partook in the event. (Clearly some people wore more than underwear, but let's let that be neither here nor there.) Some wore gas masks, making for interesting photos:

Poetry Night In Beijing: An Interview With Helen Wing, Author Of “Archangel”

Poetry Night in Beijing thumbnail square
The event is live! Tickets for Poetry Night in Beijing on March 16 at the Bookworm Literary Festival are officially being sold at the Bookworm. Please let this be a reminder that we are still seeking submissions for those interested in participating in the event, i.e. reading in front of an audience. Along with Pathlight, our lovely event partners, we are accepting poems until March 1. Please see here for guidelines.