Category Archives: poetry

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 3

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We made it to Day 3, congratulations.

TOP TIPS: 

  • Promise yourself a cup of tea/coffee but only when it is done!

 

  • Believe.

 

I looked back today at my round up of NaPoWriMo 2018. https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/napowrimo-2018-a-review-of-a-week-of-poetry-4/

Sometimes it is easy to forget where our writing has come from. I realised by reading the list of poems that a good few are appearing in my next pamphlet. I used them in a Poetry Project last summer and forgot that they actually came from April and a mad month of writing.

There is a lot of comment and speculation about writing this many poems in a month and the calibre of the outcome. You only need to read some of the participating sites to see the standard of poetry which can rise from these daily prompts.

So for now I wouldn’t even worry about what the poem may become or where it may take you…

  • just enjoy the process of writing and have fun!

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For the full post click on Day Three.

There is also an extra link to an interview with longtime participant Vince Gotera, who has published The Coolest Month, a book featuring poems written during past Na/GloPoWriMos.

Day Three

Hello, everyone! We’re now three days into Na/GloPoWriMo. Hopefully, you’re starting to get into the swing of things. 

Our featured participant today is A Reading Writer, where the interrogatory prompt for Day Two gave rise to a very slithery metaphor!

Today’s video resource is this animated version of Erin Mouré’s “Homage to the Mineral of Cabbage.” The English text of the poem is cleverly incorporated into the video, but the narration is in Galician, a language spoken in Northwest Spain. My Spanish is pretty rusty, but for me that adds to the audible mystery and delight of this video – I can almost understand it. For even more multi-lingual flavor, you can also see the video with French-language text here.

 

And now for today’s prompt. Today’s prompt is based in a poem by Larry Levis called “The Two Trees.” It is a poem that seems to meander, full of little digressions, odd bits of information, but fundamentally, it is a poem that takes time. It takes its time getting where it’s going, and the action of the poem itself takes place over months. Today, I’d like to challenge you to similarly write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time. Perhaps, as you do, you can focus on imagery, or sound, or emotional content (or all three!)

Happy writing!


 

NaPo Process Notes 

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Today I read up on Vince’s new collection. Vince Gotera is a Professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa where he served as Editor of the North American Review (2000-2016). He is now the Editor of Star*Line, the print journal of the international Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. His collections of poems include DragonflyFighting Kite, and the upcoming Pacific Crossing.
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If you are local to there you may be interested in his Launch, the event is free.
A release reading for The Coolest Month will be held on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:00 p.m. in 1017 Bartlett Hall on the UNI campus. This event is free and open to the public.
I also had a look at his website and read his NaPo poems for 2019.
I then read ‘Evening Snake’ by Rose Gonzales (from NaPo Day 2). I wandered around her beautiful blog for a bit.
I love the fact that this year’s additional resources are video. I am currently part of the Worcester Poetry Film Collective, a course run by Elephant’s Footprint, who were featured as Guests in last year’s INKSPILL Writing Retreat. We are working with stop motion animation this month and I have become obsessed!
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Poetry Film has always interested me and my first dabble came in 2015. Since then I have created several poetry films including a sequence from my 2016 pamphlet ‘Fragile Houses’ (V. Press). I have created about 12 animated films since our last session and have been researching and watching lots online.
I was excited to watch Erin Mouré’s “Homage to the Mineral of Cabbage”.  I thoroughly enjoyed both the poem and the animation. There was I thinking I had a finished one for our next session. I can only aspire.
I then read ‘The Two Trees’ by Larry Levis.

Then I set aside some prompt thinking time for: a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time.


On Writing
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After a long search for ideas (mentally today, no search engine was used in the process of cracking this poem), I sat down to write.
I settled on writing about the 6 months of illness I have just experienced. The start of it. Time passing to 10 days over the course of the poem. But I was only part way through when I realised the metaphor I’d chosen wasn’t fit for purpose, but carried on. I wanted to see where it would take me and how I could write myself out of this. Besides today was a day set aside to work on the manuscript so I had limited time for my NaPo write.
I wrote a poem called Ridge, it has… yes, you guessed it… 7 stanzas. Here’s a snippet.
The air became tight –-
the knoll scarred by new contours, 
recovered alone. 
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No Napping – The Bit Before NaPoWriMo 2019

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Over on the official NaPoWriMo site posts start at the beginning of March to get us ready for the epic task of writing a poem a day throughout April. This year I was not online much during March, my post op recovery has been slow (and painful) and I had a manuscript waiting to be edited that the publishers sent shortly before I was in hospital (October), so when my mind was finally back to being creative and medication was minimised, my first port of call was getting the edits back to the publishers.

Now I am still mainly offline and working through edits and preparing for a Festival in the summer – but apart from NaPoWriMo and LitWorld 2 Journal commitments I am not at the desk much, still recovering and still off work. My body needs a chance to heal and get stronger and that takes time. I have 5 physio activities to repeat several times a day, plus lots of medical appointments. I need to manage energy levels after the past 6 months so I missed the countdown/ lead up to NaPo 2019.

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Here are the pre-NaPo nuggets all in one place.

Have fun!


To read these posts in full head over to the official site http://www.napowrimo.net/

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March 1st 

Hello, poetry lovers!

It’s March 1, and that means that just one month separates us from the beginning of National/Global Poetry Writing Month! 

To get us started, here’s a poetry-related movie scene you might recognize! Take that, stilted approaches to the value of poems!

 

March 15th 

Today is March 15, and that means there’s only half a month to go until the beginning of National/Global Poetry Writing Month!

… while we’re counting down to April, we’ll be giving you occasional bouts of poetry and poetry-related content, as taken from popular films and television!

Today, why not check out this scene from the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral, a romantic comedy starring, alongside Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell , a recitation of W.H. Auden’s “Funeral Blues.”

 

March 25th 

Hello, all! As of today, we have just one week to go until the start of National/Global Poetry Writing Month!

We hope you’re getting your pencils sharpened, your laptops charged, and all your finest glittery pens prepared for a full month of writing verse.

Finally, as we’ll be featuring poetry-related video resources throughout April, we’ll leave you for the time being with this oldie-but-goodie – Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” as interpreted by The Simpsons. Fair warning – they may have taken some, er, minor liberties with the text.

 

The 3 Day COUNTDOWN

March 29th 

Hello, all. There’s just three days left in March, and that means that there are only three days to go until NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2019.

To help you countdown, we’ll be posting a poetry-related move/tv clip each day until April 1 (at which point our video links will become a bit more “substantive”), and on March 31, we’ll have a special early-bird prompt for those of you for whom April begins a few hours before it does here at Na/GloPoWriMo headquarters.

The poet William Blake was a visionary, a religious mystic, and pretty much all-around weirdo. He also seems to exert a strange pull on scriptwriters, as you will find him being quoted in both Bull Durham (a pretty good movie about minor league baseball)

 

and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (a pretty awful movie about . . . raiding tombs),

 

as well as being paraphrased in the dystopian sci-fi classic Blade Runner.

 

March 30th 

Hello, all! There’s just two days until we start Na/GloPoWriMo 2019, otherwise known as “that month in which you write a poem a day for 30 days.”

Each day during the month, we’ll be bringing you a featured participant, a video resource, and an optional prompt. 

We’ll be back tomorrow with an early-bird prompt and another fun instance of poetry in the movies, but for today, we’ll leave you with this clip from Memphis Belle, a WWII movie in which an airman passes off the work of Y.B. Yeats for his own.

 

March 31st 

Hello, everybody! Na/GloPoWriMo officially begins tomorrow!

We have an early-bird prompt for those of you located in time zones where April 1 starts a few hours earlier than it does on the east coast of the United States, but first, let’s round out our pre-April set of movie/tv clips involving poetry.

Today, we bring you a clip from that classic Bill Murray comedy, Groundhog’s Day, wherein our hapless hero, who is kind of a self-centered jerk, is forced to repeat a day over and over again until he gets it “right.” In this clip, he mocks his love interest’s college study of French poetry. Bill, that’s no way to get a girl! After a few rounds, though, he’s actually reciting French poetry at her – now, that’s more like it.

Early-bird prompt

Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poetic self-portrait. And specifically, we’d like you to write a poem in which you portray yourself in the guise of a historical or mythical figure. Does that sound a bit strange? Well, take a look at this poem by Mary-Kim Arnold, “Self Portrait as Semiramis,” or Tarfia Farzullah’s, “Self-Portrait as Artemis,” and perhaps you’ll get a sense of the possibilities.

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Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

 

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 2

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How was yesterday?

TOP TIPS

  • Make sure you keep your writing, even if it feels little more than a draft or an idea.

 

  • Try not to re-read it with a critical eye just yet.

 

  • If you are working straight onto a keyboard save all your NaPo poems in one place/file.

 

  • If you usually work straight onto a PC or in a notebook, try swapping your method.

 

  • Remember the prompts are optional, write whatever you want.

HAVE FUN!

 

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Here from the official website is our second prompt. Click Day Two to read in full.

Day Two

Today’s featured participant is Not Enough Poetry, where the instructional prompt for Day 1 yielded an evocative poem about riding a train in the Andes.

Featured video poetry music video, involving a highly dramatic reading, in German, of a Shakespearean sonnet set to the music of Rufus Wainwright.

As one of the commenters on the video stated, “I didn’t understand anything but I love it with all my heart.” Poetry can be like that, sometimes!

Today’s prompt is based on this poem by Claire Wahmanholm, which transforms the natural world into an unsettled dream-place. One way it does this is by asking questions – literally. The poem not only contains questions, but ends on a question. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that similarly resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends.

Happy writing!


NaPo Process Notes

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I started with reading the featured poem ‘How to Ride a Train in the Andes’ by Lupita Eyde-Tucker. The first stanzas are beautiful and I found myself re-reading them. Lupita definitely delivers us into the Andes, or transports us there (if you want a train joke). She also adds a note about her experience/ memory/ family history. I had a quick look at her blog.

The featured video was fun, I know the sonnet and Shakespeare (a few years of study), but have never watched it in German, a language I only studied for a year and one in which I have retained just a few phrases so I found myself really entering the performance as a physical piece. Before I was a poet or teacher I was an actor and so I LOVED the drama of this performance.

The original Sonnet 66 can be read here, including study notes. http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/66.html

Then I read today’s featured poem ‘The Meadow, The River’ by  Claire Wahmanholm. I panicked when I saw today’s prompt because personally I tend to avoid writing questions in poems. It is something I dislike, although I don’t baulk as much when I read poems which contain questions. So I take an extra deep breath before I begin writing and remind myself that this is what NaPoWriMo is all about. Writing new. Tackling things you avoid. Attacking from a different angle and being open to new resources/poets and changing opinions.

 

On Writing

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I remembered a previous NaPo prompt (2018) where the starting point was a poem in a unfamiliar foreign language and you had to write your poem from it. I immediately wanted to do this with the video resource, so I replayed it faced with a blank screen and completed a free write.

I wrote a poem called Tired which explores locked parts of someone else in 7 stanzas. It definitely matched the melancholy of this theatrical scene.

You walk each step with care as if you are unpeeling

your very soul. Even your shuffle carries whispers,

 

I often find that I produce more than 30 poems in April and have done NaPoWriMo/ GloPoWriMo since I started writing again in 2013 – which was before I returned to poetry (Sept. 2013). The first year I ran it alongside NaNoWriMo Camp too. Madness!

Next came the real challenge… Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that similarly resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends.

So, as predicted that was hard in conception. My starting point was conversation starter questions, I chose 6 and actually by the time I came to write the poem was able to incorporate my own.

From my question list I decided to write about Australia. I have started to write a sequence of poems around my trip. Fitting NaPo into current projects is a great idea, although not always possible.

My good friend, Amy, emigrated out there a while back and is now a full citizen, we hadn’t seen each other since she was last in the UK (about 6 yrs ago). I wrote about part of the evening we shared in the middle of my trip. It was my birthday and as I was out there as an International Guest Poet for Perth Poetry Festival most of my time was actively on the festival circuit. My birthday was a day/night away and it was wonderful way to spend it reuniting with my friend. Plus we got to retrace our steps through Fremantle from the first time I visited her back in 2006.

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12 years of Amy & I (2006- 2018)

I had great fun writing this poem, which has a working title of Forty Conversations, I am sure we had more than that in our non-stop chatting reunion. It is another 7 stanza poem. 7 is my lucky number but it is a bit random that these NaPo poems are coming out the same length. Maybe that is the length of time my brain can manage to hold a thought. I have just had 6 months off where I wrote very little. This one only really works as a whole poem and I have changed the question at the end three times. Here’s a snippet.

When we listened to music on your Echo

and you asked me for my playlist

every band name fell out of my head.

 

It has been an in depth writing time today, but that is the other pleasure of participating in NaPoWriMo, allowing yourself the time to write, be creative.

Enjoy.

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NaPoWriMo 2019

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Due to health, I have not been actively blogging since October and although there is lots of improvement, I am not fully back to superhero condition, in fact it has been so long WordPress have changed the colours of the buttons and the way posts are edited.

It is April the 1st and that means the start of this year’s NaPoWriMo.  Now called GloPoWriMo – as it is GLOBAL, I can’t get used to that so still refer to it as NaPoWriMo.

So here we go, 30 posts at least this month. 

In the past I have brought you prompts from sites other than the official one, such as The Poetry School. This year I will just be following the official prompts. Last year I did 3 and ended up writing 99 poems! About 5 were decent and the 3 I submitted were published… so I believe it is a worthwhile exercise.

Due to publishing restrictions I tend to only post a line or so of the poems I create, but will share the prompts/ poems/ articles from the official site and others I may find along the way, as well as posting some tips along the way.

Let’s step into Day 1.

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Welcoming a New Year 2019

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I have not been online much since October when I had an unexpected operation. I have been off work and not able to sit for long periods at the desk. With over 26 tablets a day it has been hard to focus or concentrate.

I am currently working on my next pamphlet which was accepted by V. Press last summer. The latest edits came through in October just before I found myself in hospital so I have been unable to keep up with the schedule. I have also had to pull out of every artistic event/gig/festival since the Autumn too. My last performance was National Poetry Day.

It has been a difficult enforced hiatus and I feel very disconnected.

I had to disconnect myself from social media on the phone as I couldn’t deal emotionally with reading about a world I couldn’t manage to be a part of.

Now it is the New Year and I am growing in health and strength. I have a festival event to organise, poetry from workshops in 2018 to display, a manuscript to work on and I took the role of a Director of Worcester LitFest back in the Autumn, a role which hopefully by next month I can actually manage.

I missed the Lit Festival in Voiron but from my WPL project there have been poets not known before to the community who are very much involved in the Twinning now. I will have the opportunity to meet them this Spring before (hopefully) going to the festival this year. I won a poetry competition I entered in September and Sarah Leavesley wrote an article for Poetry News (Poetry Society) about Two Cities (ATOTC – A Tale of Two Cities). The USA side of the project also had a reading in September.

 

 

So thank you for visiting the Fountain and splashing in all the archived posts. My STATS for 2018 were healthy (the best year yet). Each year the blocks tower upwards with the exception of my Poet Laureate year when I ran a second site.

I promise to work on updating pages and adding new material this year. But my first port of call is that manuscript!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

 

INKSPILL 2018 CONTOUR Poetry Magazine Issue 4 COMING SOON

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We hope you have enjoyed the INKSPILL weekend.

During my time as worcestershire Poet Laureate I created Contour – A Poetry Magazine. The launch of this issue was hoped to be our final post for INKSPILL 2018*.  Here I was to invite you to curl up with a warm drink and experience the world of poetry and all things poetical in the latest issue of CONTOUR.

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*However, the issue is not ready to go live (in case you missed the post I have had an operation) and this has set me back/time online not possible etc. This issue will go live very soon and I will post on the blog to promote it when it does.

Until then I can share some news and the previous issues of Contour for you to enjoy.

Inkspill news

My Laureateship ended in June 2018 but I have decided to continue with Contour.

It will now be an annual publication released as the final event of INKSPILL weekend. Submissions will open in July 2019, keep your eye on A Writers Fountain for more details.

LINKS:

SPECIAL EDITION ISSUE 3 A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Transatlantic Poetry Project as featured in Poetry Society Poetry News.

 

ISSUE 2 CONTOUR LOVE

 

ISSUE 1 CONTOUR PLACE

 

INKSPILL 2018 Programme Day 2

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SUNDAY 28th OCTOBER

DAY 2: Welcome back to Day 2 of INKSPILL. Are you feeling a little exhausted after yesterday? If so our gentle Sunday morning is the perfect way to ease you in to another day of all things wordy.

Meditation, Writing Activities, Interviews, Videos, Extracts, Book Promotions, Workshops and the launch of ISSUE 4 of Contour Poetry Magazine.

Enjoy!

 

9 AM Short Guided Meditation

Join us to focus your mind for another exciting day in INKSPILL.

 

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9:30 AM Writing Activity Picture Prompts

Have a go at this interesting activity. See where your writing takes you.

 

10 AM Writing Activity Jigsaw Story

Another fun idea to create writing that may otherwise not exist.

 

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10:30 AM Guest Writer Kevin Brooke

Find out more about our 3rd Guest Writer.

10:35 AM Guest Writer Kevin Brooke  Interview

Insights into the writing process and daily life as a writer.

 

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11:00 AM Bookshop Open NEW STOCK

Find books by Kevin Brooke stocked on our virtual shelves.

 

11:15 AM Guest Writer Kevin Brooke – reading an extract from Jimmy Cricket

Sit back, relax and listen to an extract from Kevin’s YA Novel.

 

11:30 AM INKSPILL ARCHIVE Open

Delve into a workshop from INKSPILL 2015.


Make sure you break for Lunch – we will be back at 1 PM.

 


1:00 PM Guest Writer Workshop with Kevin Brooke – The Sealed Envelope

Have a go at this Workshop brought to you by our Guest Writer Kevin Brooke.

 

2:00 PM Featured Writer Alison May All That Was Lost

Alison May was a Guest Writer for INKSPILL in 2015, we are delighted this year she is our featured writer. Find out more about Alison and her latest book.

 

2:30 PM Interview with Alison May about her latest novel All That Was Lost

Featured Writer Alison May reveals a little about her latest novel and being a writer.

 

3:00 PM Bookshop Open NEW STOCK

The doors to a fully stocked shop are now open, All That Was Lost has been added to our shelves.

4:00 PM INKSPILL ARCHIVE Open

Delve into posts from previous INKSPILL retreats and more.

8:30 PM Launch Contour Poetry Magazine Issue 4 and plans for 2019

Please note change in programme explained on  this post. The launch of Issue 4 has unfortunately been delayed. Here you will find links to the first 3 issues of the magazine and news about future opportunities.

Happy reading!

 

9 PM Feedback and Thanks

Let us know how you enjoyed the weekend of writing.

 

 

 

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writers Elephant’s Footprint Poetry Film.

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Elephant’s Footprint create superb Poetry Films. See the previous post for the Interview with Helen Dewbery & Chaucer Cameron.


 

https://elephantsfootprint.com/film-poems/drive-through-the-night/

https://elephantsfootprint.com/film-poems/the-future-is-here/

https://elephantsfootprint.com/film-poems/links/ Clean Lines

AWF SP Poetry Film

 


You can enjoy more Poetry Films on their website here.

https://elephantsfootprint.com/film-poems/

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writers – Elephant’s Footprint Interview

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Our final Guests for the day are Helen Dewbery and Chaucer Cameron who are Elephant’s Footprint. It is a pleasure to have them join us for INKSPILL 2018.

Here they join me for an Interview which includes EXCLUSIVE video work. Enjoy!

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What draws you to poetry film?

When Chaucer was writing a vision statement for Elephant’s Footprint, she came across an article by visual artist Mary Russell and author Gerard Wozek. Chaucer was delighted to discover that we shared a fundamental belief that: visual and literary art carries spiritual, political, and sociological messages and that ‘visual poetry is a physical manifestation of ‘what it means to be a human being engaged in seeking community’. And, that the medium of film poetry is intrinsically alchemic—magic.

Chaucer’s Wild Whispers is an international film-poetry project that began with one poem and led to fourteen versions, in ten languages, and twelve film-poems. The poetry versions and film-poem adaptations were ‘whispered’ from one to another, across the world. It is a great demonstration of how film-poetry works and we consider it to be the perfect vehicle for exciting collaborations and for fostering strong, positive connections between countries and across the world.

Our poetry-film life began in New York on Brooklyn Bridge in 2009. We were both drawn to merging visual images and poetry after Helen took some holiday ‘snaps’ and Chaucer wrote a poem. The result was Arrival – we rarely show it, but here it is, for this weekend only!

https://vimeo.com/296626395 password: INKSPILL

It is the potential of film-poetry, to offer creative opportunities for exploring and communicating poetry in new ways, that’s exciting. For instance, last year Helen’s work was been shown at the LiKE festival in Slovakia, which focused on various forms of contemporary literature and more importantly was seen by wide audiences in Slovakia including, high schools, universities and other communities.

Similarly, Chaucer’s film-poem Pearls was screened in Kritya International Poetry Festival 2017.

 

How long does it take to create a poetry film?

Film poems, like any other poetry, it can be created almost instantly or can take many months to produce even years.

 

Can you tell us about some of the Festivals you have shown at?

Film-poetry has an international community and network of festivals. We’ve shown film-poems in many of these and have visited two in Germany: Zebra in Münster and Weimar.

We also went to The International Video Poetry Festival 2016 held at the Free Self-Organised Theatre EMBROS in Athens. The festival creates an open public space for screening contemporary visual poetry and is part of the counter-culture activities of Void Network and + the Institute [for Experimental Arts]. The evening started at 9pm and ended at 3am with a continuous screening of visual poetry! It worked – the theatre was packed for the whole six hours!

Our first experience of showing our work was at Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival 2013, in Bristol – when we found out about it we couldn’t believe our luck that a festival of this sort was on our doorstep and we attended the whole festival.

In recent years we have preferred introducing our work at poetry events, rather than specifically poetry-film festivals.

How did your work with Nine Arches start?

We are both passionate about film-poetry and we are constantly looking for new channels to promote film poetry as a genre of poetry. We have produced two thirty-minute film-poetry collections, Nothing in the Garden and I Live my Life Through Windows, and have worked independently with poets on single poems but we wanted to reach more poets and work more collaboratively. However, we wanted to reach more poets and were coming to the end of our partnership with the poetry magazine The Interpreter’s House. Helen had just finished filming Angela France performing her collection The Hill and we had become more familiar with the work of other Nine Arches poets and had great admiration for the press. Helen emailed the editor, Jane Commane and a partnership was formed.

We’re still finding our feet with this work as the film-poems are a hybrid form,

a cross between promotional videos and film poems. We are still trying new ideas and testing the balance between the two distinct genres, but the result is exciting. People new to poetry engage more easily with visual and auditory content, making film-poems an ideal medium. The film-poems are not only viewed by Nine Arches existing readers and online audiences, but are a tool for their poets to engage more easily with their existing and new audiences.

 

Have you got any workshops coming up?

This year we trained ten poets (only one had any prior experience) over a six-month period, meeting monthly. The group worked together as a collective whereby each person was responsible for creating at least one film-poem,

but they also worked together using the skills of the rest of the group. This resulted in a final show of sixteen film poems to an audience of fifty people. It was very well received and the whole collective film-poems are going to be screened in Athens in November. We are hoping that we can repeat this model of training in Worcester next year or any location convenient to a core group of people.

We are also available for one-to-one training and mentoring if anyone has a particular project they want to work on. We can also provide drop in sessions that were well received at saboteur’s awards.

 

What advice would you give people starting out with poetry film?

Find your own starting place. We started with Arrival. The video poet Lucia Sellars said recently on Facebook: “My experience with video-poetry, started with my fondness of music and certain landscape circumstances that struck me deeply in my daily routine at the time. ….. the first few videos I made where an investigation about blending only sound and image.”

If you already have some technical skills there are many apps you can download on your phone to make simple films. You don’t need expensive equipment, and there are online resources of images, film and sound.

Find someone with the skills that you don’t have and ask for their help.

Think about collaborating with a filmmaker – but keep fully involved in the process.

Join our next collective!

 

Add anything else you wish to

What’s in the name?Attempts to define film poetry or to even agree on what terminology to use, is a developing field. We use the term film poetry as a generic term to encompass any other term that might be used. It seems to fit in a poetry context: surrealist poems, long poems, love poems, performance poems, page poems, film poems …

We are starting a new Film Poetry Competition which will be launched in January. We are planning a section for ‘first film poems’.

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Kate Garrett Bonnie’s Crew

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This year Kate Garrett embarked on a new project Bonnie’s Crew. Kate tells us more about this in our final interview.

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1) Can you tell us a little background on Bonnie’s Crew?

Bonnie’s Crew was originally just going to be a little A6 print anthology, put together from work sent in by my friends in the poetry community, and sold via JustGiving to raise money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. Leeds Congenital Hearts – which is funded by the CHSF – saved my daughter Bonnie’s life when she was born, but they did it without surgery (so far – she does have a condition that often requires surgery later in life). Other babies, children, teens, and adults need the unit’s help in much more complex ways. Our time on Ward L51 opened my eyes to congenital heart disease and made me want to do something to help.

 

2) At what point did you realise poetry was your way of giving back?

Almost immediately – it’s where my own heart lies (aside from my family unit of course, but even then my husband and closest friends are poets too!), and poetry is where my people are, where the community is for me.

 

3) Please tell us about the Bonnie’s Crew anthology and webzine.

The Bonnie’s Crew anthology is fiftyish pages of poems, mostly by poets in the UK, printed in A6 size with beautiful original cover art by Marija Smits. The poems range from those written just for Bonnie to suitable reprints, and everything in between.

The webzine has become far wider-reaching – poets from all over the world submit to Bonnie’s Crew! For both mediums, I wanted poems touching on hearts and hope, above all else, but also hospital experiences, grief, loss, love (romantic or otherwise) – as these are all very universal things, we all have a body, we all have emotions, and when we experience health issues, or loss, or family problems, or anything that moves us deeply, it’s good to have a place to express those things and find solace in other stories.

Sometimes our poems are inspired by news articles that aren’t even about human beings, but are relevant to our moral dilemmas (I’m thinking of Jude Cowan Montague’s brilliant ‘the sadness of the experiment’ https://bonnieandcrew.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/poem-the-sadness-of-the-experiment-by-jude-cowan-montague), and sometimes the poets themselves have been in hospital for heart conditions. It varies, but the writing is always beautiful.

We currently publish two poets a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but from February 2019 we will be publishing in a web journal format every other month. BC #1 will be released on 9th February – and there’s still space for more work. To read what we’ve published so far, and to submit your own work, visit http://bonnieandcrew.wordpress.com

4) How many poems have been published on the zine?

I’m not exactly sure! Over 150, or around that… at the time of answering these questions there have been 105 posts published or scheduled, and quite a few of those include multiple poems. We’ve been publishing since the first week of February 2018.

 

5) How did it feel to hit your fundraising target?

Amazing, unbelievable. And I was so moved by the fact that through poetry we were able to raise over £1,000 in 6 months. We’re still going, and still have anthologies left to send out, so if people are interested, our JustGiving page is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bonnieandcrew and if people would like an anthology after donating (£5 minimum for a book, but even a £1 donation helps!), please email me at bonnies.crew.poems@gmail.com. I’d love to raise £2,000 by the time Bonnie turns one in January, or at least by the time the print anthology turns one in May.

6) When did you decide to include visual art?

When I decided to change to a bi-monthly web journal format. Our webzine has been characterised by me pairing public domain images with the poems we publish, and people always remark on the lovely combinations. I’d like to carry on the visual aspect when we change to releasing work in issues, but I wanted the art to come from submissions instead of public domain resources.

7) What have you enjoyed most about this project?

What haven’t I enjoyed! It’s honestly the most rewarding bit of editing and publishing I’ve ever done. If I had to stop editing/publishing everything else tomorrow, I would not be able to put Bonnie’s Crew down. It’s made such a difference to people, not just the heart unit, but regular people who come across the poems and feel soothed by reading them.

 

8)What is the future for this project?

Well, as I say, I’d love to raise more money (which means selling the remaining anthologies), hold an event in Leeds with readings, and see where the new web journal format takes us. I’m accepting creative nonfiction articles and essays now as well, alongside the poetry and visual art. Bonnie’s Crew’s tagline has always been ‘poems helping hearts of all sizes’ and it’s grown to helping hearts in both literal and figurative ways. It would be lovely to keep that momentum going and reach even more people.

bONNIES CREW

bonnies crew