Very excited and honoured to be part of the British section at ZEBRA poetry film festival www.haus-fuer-poesie.org in Berlin this year (5–8 December), with co-director of Liberated Words, Lucy English, and Helen Dewbery and Chaucer Cameron of Poetry Film Live. We are each choosing our own selection of recent UK poetry films to showcase in the State of the Art section, with introductory presentations. Adele Myers, Helen, Chaucer and I are also part of the Colloquium on Poetry Film – The Eye of the Poem, discussing workshops, and how students make poetry films.
Lucy English, alongside Simon Barraclough, Ifor ap Glyn, and Roseanne Watt will be reading / reciting / standing up in the very enticing Stiff Upper Verse section on Saturday night hosted by Lucy Jones. Other British attendees are noted artists/poetry filmmakers Roxana Vilk, Alastair Cook and Tim Webb (who won the very first ZEBRA) and new and talented artist Rebecca Hilton (as featured at Liberated Words this summer). All this and a rich selection of German films to digest – in a very multinational gathering, with no doubt some familiar faces. ZEBRA is something like the atomic clock of the poetry film world – we all keep time by it.
Very pleased to say my film Mr Sky with poetry by Lucy (English) has been selected for Ó bhéal poetry film competition as part of Indie Cork (6 – 13 October) a festival of independent film and music. Fingers crossed on getting to Ireland to watch the screening. Congratulations to everyone who entered and those selected.
Looking forward to presenting a reading and poetry film Paper River, Knotted River at MIX 2019 next Tuesday and hearing the great speakers – especially keynote Thomas Zandegiacomo del Bel. This event is close to my heart and always will be. The film will also be screened in the selected British films throughout the event.
Tree– Discovering Identity Through the Geopoetics of Ancestral Place
I have been researching my family history for the last twenty-five years, whilst developing its current digital form since 2014. Paper River, Knotted River is a chapter including research, field notes, poetry and poetry film from Tree (see main projects), a geopoetic and mythopoetic haibun ‘novel’ centred on different aspects of my family’s connection to the land and place through time. It is divided into time periods and different countries. Each film has a commissioned composer chosen especially for that subject. In this case, the evocative soundscape is by Jeffrey Boehm.
In terms of experiential storytelling, researching family history is not only about discovering unknown facts but place itself; to actually visit sites, and touch and experience them; in my case writing, photographing, sketching and filming. When I trained as a (paid!) arts journalist I would select, photograph and write about artists in their own environment. Also, in this particular chapter I have the chance to bring the personal side of ‘public’ history to the fore; showing how human characteristics and circumstance, (often unknown to historians) lie behind historical facts.
A big thank you to Norrie for the stimulating and deeply meaningful discussions on the environment through poetry, geology, art and much more, at the dramatic Victorian retreat of Wiston Lodge.
Really looking forward to The Scottish Centre for Geopoetics Conference June 14-16th at Wiston Lodge in Biggar, Scotland. Beautiful wooded location, much music, poetry (come and see Helen Moore), and deep connection with the landscape.
I will be premiering an excerpt ‘Paper River’ from my ancestral poetry film novel project Tree, created from 25 years of research. Tree focuses on the land and uncovering my family’s occupations across time. Paper River centres on events at my great grandfather’s paper mill on the River Culm in Devon during the First World War, alongside the site in the present day. It includes a poetry film; a read extract of documented facts and prose poetry.
This year’s event is titled: Expressing the Earth in the Year of Indigenous Languages and the
the inspiring programme is here: http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/geopoetics-conference-2019/ https://www.facebook.com/ScottishGeopoetics/
and see posts by Norrie at https://www.facebook.com/norman.bissell.writer.
See the latest edition of Lapidus Journal for some valuable insights, including Janet Lees' informative article on poetry film and wellbeing. Thanks also Janet for selecting Butterflies Haven workshop with Helen Moore and Howard Vause. A great team to inspire anyone.