Information on Liberated Words Poetry Film events www.liberatedwords.com and Home Page Screening Spring 2017
As you can see we are not having a festival this spring, mainly because we have been focusing on our own personal projects; but we are however putting in a bid for a future two-year project in the region. This will involve a series of workshops and screenings culminating in a national screening including an international call for films. As all the pieces drop into place it is already becoming an exciting project for everyone taking part.
Lucy has been busy organising MIX, the conference in digital writing that we co-founded in 2012 and is currently working on a PhD in Digital Writing, creating a digital poetry film project, The Book of Hours http://thebookofhours.org/. I am making two films for the project which will be really interesting.
I have had my head down for far too long now working on The Poetics of Poetry Film for submission very soon. I have had some really valuable contributions and it will provide a comprehensive overview of the genre, including some of the most exciting and influential makers today.
I am also excited to be working on a poetry film commission from leading poetry filmmaker Alastair Cook for one of the ten National Poetry Competition winners from 2016. The work in question Claire Climbs Everest is a beautifully understated and immediately accessible poem about love and loss by American poet Sam Harvey. As a new departure I will be working with Howard Vause who will be driving the engine and providing support with his comprehensive audiovisual filmmaking and editing skills, so I hope we can do it justice.
Process and Metaphor
In January I was invited by Dr Judy Kendall of The University of Salford to take part in the Poetics and Poetry Network (of North West universities) Symposium on the theme of Poetry Film. I gave an overview of the subject, discussing my own work and included artists such as Meriel Lland (who by great good fortune chanced to come along and was able to answer questions on her own work without any preparation!) and naturally featured work by Marc Neys.
With clearly a rich research community, thought-provoking content and insightful films, discussion flowed throughout the day. Dalia Neis introduced her research into cinepoetics in relation to wind, and the authorial challenges of voicing multiple roles in solo research projects. And thoughts on such as non-metaphorical poetry filmmaking rose to the surface, following my drawing attention to the subject in Marc's work.
Helen Mort, Tom Jenks, Michael Symmons Roberts all gave insights into their working processes: Tom Jenks on working to a commission and how he achieved layerings of found sound and Michael Symmons Roberts interviewed by Martin Kratz revealed the intricacies of working between poetry and TV documentary – keep an eye out for one that is in production, potentially screening later this year. I was particularly interested in Helen Mort's film Dear Alison – see below – and hearing her views on the process of making a poetry film in terms of rock climbing, landscape and voice. Both Judy Kendall (writing on the influence of Eastern poetry) and Helen are included in the forthcoming book.
In terms of listening to discussions on process, for me, the stories about making stories – the 'what really happened' revelations of any story-makers, the happy accidents and the forced choices of poetry filmmaking are as fascinating as the final, 'finished' result. And of course what is so liberating about poetry films is that there is no absolute structure and no absolute finishing point; even if they serve as political flares or contain dramatic narrative they are often (and are allowed to be) emotional archaeology: fissures of feeling caught in mid-flight – not only a point in time and space but also a reading of the healthy functioning of the soul.