Tag Archives: poetry film

Poetry and the film and the lecture

6 Oct

The second two Poetry Swindon Festival events were proper clever. Left me with a lot of thoughts which, to do the whole process justice, I’ll pose as questions.

The first asked us, is poetry film, poetry?

After a series of mesmerising shorts from the 1920s to last year – Swoon, Man Ray, Eduardo Yagüe, Hans Richter, Barbara Hammer, Tom Konyves, Dave Bonta – I wondered if poetry film is an intellectual exercise, or whether it speaks to us emotionally at a deeper level that bypasses intellect. Not that there’s anything wrong with ‘intellectual’ – unless it’s trying to shut others out with its cleverness. If you’ve met the lovely poetry film makers Elephants Footprint A.K.A. Chaucer Cameron and Helen Dewbery, you’d know inclusiveness was the only thing on the table.

Like contemporary dance, poetry film creates its own visual language of movement that feels beyond text. In appreciating poetry film, do we let go of brains instead of trying to hold onto them? Continue reading

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Loss into growth

7 Oct
Ruth Stone is looking at me

Ruth Stone

Poet Ruth Stone lived to 96, transforming all losses into movement, into growth, so said Stone-enthusiast, Chaucer Cameron who edited Salt on the Wind: poetry in response to Ruth Stone. She lived in a little house in Vermont with no running water and wrote about the everyday and her family, and science, civil rights and even horror. Continue reading

I hear voices, I see visions

1 Oct

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Elephant’s Footprint – Poetry Films

Bringing life to life is more difficult than it looks.

Who is the reader, the listener, the viewer and really so what?

The way I look at life is different to the way you look at life – I would imagine; I can send you a print-out of my browser history to confirm this if you like.

I would bet my bottom Euro though that we both review life as a sequence of images with an extremely unAttenborough totally unreliable narrator intoning apparent fact ad nauseum.

Poetry Films make the voice, and the visuals converge, and the results hint, suggest and deliver a particular type of poke in the ribs that they couldn’t do on their own.

The films made by poets from Swindon and the elsewhere that exists beyond the town were of high quality and obviously the result of some hard graft coupled with effective mentoring from Helen Dewbery and Chaucer Cameron of Elephant’s Footprint.

Unfortunately, I was buttonholed by my unreliable narrator two poems in, and he just wouldn’t shut up. Continue reading

There is Nothing in the Garden at the Swindon Festival of Poetry

2 Oct

I can see why the Swindon Festival of Poetry organiser, Hilda Sheehan, invited filmmaker Helen Dewbery and poet Chaucer Cameron to present their poetry film, There is Nothing in the Garden.

To the founding editor of Domestic Cherry and the creator of 1950s housewife persona, Mabel, There is Nothing in the Garden would seem happily all over the woman’s perspective. Continue reading