Very pleased to be taking part in this stimulating conference organised by the Geological Society, with a strong team of geopoets at the helm and taking part. Whilst pre-COVID-19 the event would have been live, (with all that encompasses in relation to the theme), geological sites have found their online visual voice through poetry plus photographs, paintings, music and poetry film. Renowned poet John Hegley is headlining the day, with unmissable talks and readings from: Yvonne Reddick, Sarah Acton, Norrie Bissell, Nia Davies, Alyson Hallett, Ken Cockburn and more, including the Hugh Miller Writing Competition poetry winners Jack Cooper (18–25) and Claire Rinterknecht (under 18). I will be reciting the poem and showing the poetry film ‘Firewash’, the second episode from Tree my family history geopoetry and poetry film project.
To sign up to watch the conference please go to: https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/geopoetry20 where they note:
‘This event is to follow up the Geological Society's first Geopoetry Day (held in 2011), and was due to take place at the Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh. While due to the coronavirus situation it will now take place online, we are delighted to present a programme that brings together voices from around the world while remaining firmly rooted in Scotland.
Rocks have long inspired poets (refer to Burns' "O my Luve's like a red, red rose"poem 2794): "Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun".
To the present day poets are similarly inspired. Michael McKimm's Fossil Sunshine (2013) and "MAP, Poems after William Smith's Geological Map of 1815" (2015) showed how geological subject matter from Geopoetry 2011 could inspire poets: "...the poems here make Smith's map anew in moving and surprising ways". The Jurassic Coast Poems (2017) by Sarah Acton, the Jurassic resident poet, showed continued inspiration: "We hear the red rock Speak in ripples".
This event, to be held on National Poetry Day (1 October 2020), is hosted by the Geological Society (in conjunction with the Central Scotland Group), the Scottish Poetry Library and the Edinburgh Geological Society and will bring together poets and geoscientists to further encourage the rocks to speak.
Thanks to the sponsorship of the Scottish Energy Forum, registration for this event is free.’
Very pleased to reveal latest poetry film with poem by Caleb Parkin. Really enjoyed editing and selecting footage whilst battling flies this summer!
Description from Vimeo:
Dadaist bike ride, swallowing flies and being part of the world’s ecosystem.
Poet: Caleb Parkin
Director, editor and selection of footage (2019) and music: Sarah Tremlett
Music: ‘Isaac the Syrian’ courtesy The Anchorites
Footage: ‘How the Fires of our Body are Fed’ Maurice Ricker, 1926 – Prelinger Archives; Yevgen Rychko, Erstudio5 – pond5.com; Miguel A. Padrinan – Pexels.com; Oleh Slepchenko – istockphoto.com. All under Creative Commons licence.
I first encountered i swallow when Caleb sent it to me to make a poetry film. That was in July 2019. Working on other things, time elapsed, but in November 2019 I found the perfect footage for the film – ‘How the Fires of our Body are Fed’. I was finishing a large reference work on poetry film The Poetics of Poetry Film (Intellect Books) and so only finished the film in July 2020. But then the film came together pretty quickly! I love Caleb’s visceral, visually evocative language that concerns itself with deep issues - crises within society and our ecosystem. I also echo the idea of turning the spotlight on insects and other forms of what have been termed ‘lesser life’ beyond the human. I was also very lucky to find the unique sound of the ‘postmodern’ band The Anchorites and will definitely work with them again.
Join Canadian Mary McDonald, Program Delivery Lead for Pinnguaq (a not-for-profit organization based in Lindsay, Ontario), for the premiere of her mammoth, geo-located sound project, Times in Sound, Letters of War. Drawing from the Canadian Letters and Images project of Vancouver Island University, Mary has composed and mapped letters written to and from WWI soldiers and their families who were located in Southwestern Ontario; (within 150 km radius of her home in London, Ontario). Uncovering poignant and historically revealing statements, or often heart-rending final words, Mary explores the power of sound and place with this mapped and geo-located sound work, where fragments from the letters serve as both lyric and note.
This is part of the Maskwacis Cultural College Microlearning Series and is open to the public.Registration link: https://forms.gle/cg16M8BxZfsT2hcf6
All the films are online now at The Visible Poetry Project www.visiblepoetryproject.com @VisiblePoetryProject. See You can view a poem a day for April – National Poetry Month USA – from the New York-based organisation. I have really enjoyed the variety, especially during lockdown, and it is good to look back over previous years, too. If you are a selected filmmaker you can pick one of their chosen poems to develop. My allotted day is April 25th and I was lucky to be able to choose evocative, bittersweet poem ‘Selfie with Marilyn’ by US poet Heidi Seaborn www.heidiseabornpoet.com @HeidiSeaborn. Her writing encapsulates Marilyn’s imaginary thoughts / loss of innocence perfectly to me. Equally, I feel Hatti Rees www.hattirees.com @Hatti_Rees completely inhabits the roles of Marilyn and Norma Jeane. See The Visible Poetry Project on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/411836281 Many thanks VPP, Heidi and Hatti (and Georgi for the stills) for the fantastic opportunity. 🙂
Lucy and I had an enjoyable but difficult time judging the poetry films at Newlyn PZ Film Festival 2020 www.newlynfilmfestival.com (now rescheduled for next year). But well done to all who entered, the eleven finalists and the prize winners, who are justly deserved. A particular mention goes to: Dave Richardson for Sinkhole and Adrian B. Earle (ThinkWriteFly) for BoyShapedSpace, for joint first-place winners. Each of these films addresses different experiences of losing (readjusting to a father with Alzheimer’s) and loss (the death of a son and friend), in such moving and affecting ways.
The filmic interpretation of Canadian poet Doyali Islam’s thought-provoking poem ‘Water for Canaries’ won second prize with evocative and mesmerising hand-cut stencil animations (such delicate and beautiful birds) by director Suzie Hanna. It is a meditation on a photograph taken during a ceasefire after the bombing of the city Beit Hanoun in 2014, where the fragility of life remains poignant amidst the destruction. In Fugitive Creatures, third prize winner Meriel Lland has expanded on her ethos of biophilia (embracing a connection with other species), linking the point of view of an elderly man, and the power of nature to sustain him through his journey in life. Lland quotes the spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh ‘Real change will only happen when we fall in love with our planet. We cannot “be” by ourselves but as “interbeings” with all that is.’ In short, to connect with and appreciate the natural world will change us, too.
Please go to Liberated Words for further details and links to the films.
Congratulations Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel H. Dugas - Wonderful news that the mammoth – over 400 pages – publication Videopoetry = Vidéopoésie by leading Canadian videopoets Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel H. Dugas is now out online. It is available at: https://dr.library.brocku.ca/handle/10464/14790 Published by Brock University’s Small Walker Press it is a comprehensive survey of their collaboration over a thirty-year period. Catherine Parayre has written the French introduction, with Lucy English writing in English. It has also been my pleasure to contribute an essay on their extraordinary body of work.
In my research it took me a long time to get to know (and relish) all their developments. I am particularly fond of their use of documenting first-hand experience as in ‘Slices of Life’ from the nineties for example; as well as their finely crafted and important ecopoetry films of more recent years. For my in-depth analysis on their filmic and poetic techniques please check out the book itself.
But I would just like to say that what adds to the poetry (that is always succinct, and of its time and place whilst setting us on a philosophical path), is the fact that it is bilingual. This can create comparisons (visual as well as verbal), as one language is typeset next to the other, but also reminds us of their Canadian roots, and all its associations and influences (geographic, artistic and political). The poetry and the videos emanate not just from the combining of two creative fields, and the collaboration and consequent creative marriage of two people, but two significant cultures. This ‘bilinguality’ extends our understanding of what it means to be not just poetically engaged and enlightened but politically aware in the 21st century. Go Read!!!!