Ecopoetry & Subjectivity: discussion with Ian Gibbins and Mary McDonald REELpoetry 23
REELpoetry 2023 is upcoming at the end of the month – February 25th and 26th – with a wide selection of poets and filmmakers and strongly inclusive of the deaf and hard of hearing. In relation to the devastating effects of climate change, Ian Gibbins, Mary McDonald and myself are presenting a documentary discussion on Ecopoetry Films and Subjectivity on Sunday 26th. See TRAILER above.
I first presented at REELpoetry just before Lockdown in 2020, with UPROOTED curation, with films on the refugee crisis. It was memorable in that Fran organised a reading by a number of Houston-based poets interwoven with the screening which prompted a great discussion. Since then I have been involved in the organisation / judging every year, and this year I was fortunate to be one of the judges of the exciting and innovative open competition with festival director Fran Sanders and Australian filmmaker Ian Gibbins. Look out for that and the talented winners!
Curators and presenters include: Laura Bianco (Italy), Helen Dewbery (England), Colm Scully (Ireland), Eleanor Livingstone (Scotland), Sabina England, Aarron Loggins, Jonathan Lamy (Canada), Rachel McCrum (Canada), Crom Saunders, Peter Cook, Douglas Ridloff, Estefania Diaz (Mexico), Pamela Falkenberg (USA) and Jack Cochran (USA), Ian Gibbins (Australia), Mary McDonald (Canada) and myself Sarah Tremlett (England).
Coming from three different parts of the world our discussion was a salutary lesson in the geopolitics of catastrophe poetry film and how we are addressing the news we hear every day. Also how we want to share our feelings on the subject. I have to say this was a really revealing discussion, particularly for me, as Mary and Ian had some really perceptive things to say about my work, and I seldom have such great one-to-one comments made. Mary’s films are Wishing Well (poet Penn Kemp) and Utility Pole (poet Fiona Tinwei Lam); Ian’s floodtide, and colony collapse, and mine I Cannot be Human, and Villanelle for Elizabeth not Ophelia.
Poets with a Video Camera closes
artists in the symposium from left to right: Kurt Heintz, me, Heather Haley, Valerie LeBlanc, Daniel H. Dugas, Tom Konyves
seated: Adeena Karasick, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Jim Andrews, Annie Frazier Henry and Jordan Strom.
Follow Up on Poets with a Video Camera: Videopoetry 1980–2020
Sadly Poets with a Video Camera exhibition curated by Tom Konyves at Surrey Art Gallery, Vancouver ended on December 11th. There have been a number of very good overviews of this leading exhibition, and I have posted them at this link on Liberated Words alongside further photos from the event.
I was very proud to have my videopoem Some Everybodies in the exhibition, and be key speaker at the related symposium on November 5th, amongst so many talented artists. Many many thanks to Tom and Jordan Strom (SAG curator of exhibitions). Life will feel a little less special after this!
The Women’s Canvas – A Festival of Films is upon us (16th–19th December) from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Run by women for women who aim to create interesting and boundary-pushing content’. Good luck with the festival. I was fortunate enough to have Villanelle for Elizabeth not Ophelia included and look forward to the screenings in the coming days.
FOTOGENIA here again!
For a full week this year, Fotogenia festival (who I partner with at Liberated Words) and directed by leading curator Dr Chris Patch, is running from November 23rd to December 1st. At https://www.fotogeniafilmfestival.org/en it is now in its fourth edition and is packed with a broad and eclectic selection of international works and includes live events alongside an online programme. I am one of the judges of the poetry film section and the entries were very difficult to judge, although one or two were highly innovative and a real delight to watch. Villanelle for Elizabeth not Ophelia is also in the festival programme 6 alongside artists such as Jane Glennie, Deborah Kelly and Tova Beck-Friedman in a section primarily related to women’s issues, and I am looking forward to being involved next week from an online point of view.
I just love this festival! I won it last year with Selfie with Marilyn so maybe I am biased, but I really applaude their approach and artistic creativity. I am also lucky enough to have my interview (in Spanish and English) with Javier Robledo celebrating 25 years of VideoBardo and The Poetics of Poetry Film in the event, as well. If you are in Spain please go along!
Lovely review of The Poetics of Poetry Film by leading animator Professor Suzie Hanna in the Lisbon-based International Journal of Film and Media Arts –Vol. 7 No. 1 (2022): GEECT Transversal Entanglement – Artistic Research in Film. Thank you so much Suzie and editor Anna Coutinho. A valued endorsement.
Writer, Poetry Filmmaker and co-founder of Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival and events.