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.
Looking forward to seeing all the presentations and workshops at the Saboteur Awards Festival on May 18th, and taking part in a panel discussion on collaboration and The Book of Hours https://thebookofhours.org/ with poet Lucy English and Helen Dewbery of Poetry Film Live and Elephant’s Footprint. We aim to discuss the collaborative process and share some of the challenges and benefits of cross genre art forms.
LYRA, Bristol Poetry Festival
The Main Auditorium, Arnolfini Art Gallery, Bristol
Saturday 13 April 7 p.m.
Spoken word poet and LYRA Poetry Festival co-director Lucy English, and poetry filmmaker Sarah Tremlett, co-directors of Liberated Words CIC Poetry Film festival and workshops will be presenting Uprooted – a touring screening of short films by international poetry filmmakers on the refugee crisis and migration. Our aim is to show how artists can provide a different, more empathetic view than is portrayed in the media. We have films from artists such as: Ghayath Almadhoun and Marie Silkeberg, Jan Baeke, Alfred Marseille, Maciej Piatek and poet Hollie McNish, as well as our own work, so please drop by, all welcome.
Previous screenings: North Cornwall Book Festival; Bath Spa Empathy Conference, 2018.: ‘Wonderful’ Patrick Gale, North Cornwall Book Festival. ‘Thought provoking and so many different types of film’; ‘Really revealing’; ‘We really support what you are doing’; ‘Powerful – and giving artists a voice’ ‘How do you make poetry films?’ The films generate a big response; the audience all cheered at Holly McNish’s film: Mathematics. www.liberatedwords.com
Spring is not far off and Newlyn Film Festival (5th-7th April) https://newlynfilmfestival.com/2019-festival/ is beckoning once again for its second year. I am very pleased to say that Lucy and myself have been invited to judge the poetry film strand once again – and we are looking out for your inspiring entries. As the festival notes they are looking for ‘core vision’ for entries of six minutes or less, with a winner’s award and certificate. Please note that the deadline has been revised to February 28th. Last year’s poetry film winner was Dave Richardson with Love’s River of Errors. I interviewed Dave about the film – 'Unchartered Terrain: The Personal Within' which you can read in Home Page Screenings at www.liberatedwords.com.
There are also £100 prizes for: best fiction film judged by Maria Livesey, who has vast experience in all areas of broadcast television; best documentary judged by Cornish-born Martha Dixon, who is both an experienced investigative journalist in the field and producer; and best animation by Morgan Francis (Spider Eye) who has an established career directing highly successful animated short films for major broadcasters. There are also trophies and award certificates for best student film, judged by the talented video artist Martin Rieser (known for sublime interactive installations); and the new and interesting category best short screenplay judged by Dr Martin Kiszko, with award-winning scores and screenplays; there are also categories for best feature film and best Cornish film. Located in the historic Acorn Theatre, Penzance, festival founders Diana Taylor and Anthea Page from Redcliffe Films in Bristol, have set a standard for innovative and yet warm, celebratory screenings with a festival party to remember, so don’t miss the chance to be there!
At Engaging Empathy Lucy and I gave presentations about our latest touring screening – Uprooted – comprised of a collection of searing and arresting films by international poetry filmmakers on the refugee crisis. Films are divided into those centred on war zones, in transition and accounts of their experiences trying to build new homes in a strange country. It is interesting to see how an empathetic approach to poetry filmmaking has combined with different approaches and levels of first-hand experience by the filmmakers and poets taking part. Lucy’s films included in the main screening were Numbers by Maciej Piatek and The Last Days by Marie Craven, and I screened my latest film Night Bus. It was interesting to hear writers such as Nathan Filer (and his upcoming new book The Heartland) discussing the questions surrounding creative writing and non-fiction, particularly relating to the delicate topic of interviewing subjects and how they are then portrayed.
It was impossible not to feel enriched and wanting to learn more, with fascinating presentations that ranged from the ‘I’, neuropsychology and creativity; empathy, personal trauma and art as therapy; the ethics of creating narratives around non-fictional subjects and political climates changing what we call ‘home’ and a way of life. It was also a meaningful moment for Lucy and I since Liberated Words had its first screening at the first Mix at Pound Arts Centre in 2012. Setting aside the time for lengthy personal projects (The Book of Hours and The Poetics of Video Poetry Film) I feel as if we have steadily built on our aim to host screenings combining international poetry filmmakers with workshops by others whose voices are less heard, and we will be developing this aspect in 2019.
A big thank you from myself and Lucy English to the very thought-provoking Engaging Empathy Through Creativity Conference organisers at Bath Spa University: Professor Maggie Gee, Dr Kylie Fitzpatrick and Dr Tanvir Bush and everyone else who made the day so worthwhile.