From the judges: ”This poem of historical abuse works powerfully because it’s written with a tremulous watchful grace. The adult perspective recalling the child perspective is very finely done, as the bifurcated character remembers the day that clove her in two. Its rhymes are halting, haunting, they come and go as if desperate both to remember and forget.” – Glyn Maxwell.
The Poetry Society’s annual National Poetry Competition is for previously unpublished single poems.
Filmpoems have been commissioned in partnership with Alastair Cook and Filmpoem for all eleven winning poems, and will tour at festivals around the country and beyond.
A poetry-film about a photographer strikes me as a particularly difficult assignment, but director James William Norton of Filmpoem rose to the challenge, enlisting the aid of actress Kelcy Davenport. Artist and writer Roger Philip Dennis‘ poem “Corkscrew Hill Photo” took First Prize in the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition 2014, and Norton uses his recitation in the soundtrack, along with soundscapes by Farah Mulla and music by Dissimilar.
In the build-up to last weekend’s Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, sports pundits were talking about the decline of boxing, eclipsed (at least in the states) by MMA. But this filmpoem by Alastair Cook and poet Ross Wilson suggests that boxing is far from dead. The description at the Filmpoem website reads, in part:
Written and read by boxer and poet Ross Wilson, this is a heartfelt dedication to Alex ‘Spangles’ Hunter. Filmed and recorded in the Greenock Boxing Club, this film forms part of Alastair Cook’s work In Order to Win, You Must Expect to Win.
Alastair writes: “What began as a yearlong residency centred on the Scottish port town of Greenock has developed into a longer photographic investigation of this place and its people. One element of this is a series made with Greenock Boxing Club. Led by Danny Lee, who boxed at the 1960 Olympics with Muhammad Ali, and his inspirational son Danny Lee, the club is based in a Salvation Army church in Cartsdyke. Like much of post-industrial Britain, Cartsdyke is an area with difficult statistics on drugs, crime and mortality. With this work I want to tell the story of these boxers, the families who live here, struggle here, rejoice here.”
Alastair Cook of Filmpoem directs, with cinematography by James William Norton and sound by Luca Nasciuti. “The Day the Deer Came” was the Second Prize winner in the UK’s 2014 National Poetry Competition. The Vimeo description notes that “Filmpoems of the top three winning poems have been commissioned in partnership with Alastair Cook and Filmpoem. Filmpoems of all eleven winning poems will be available to watch later this year, and will tour at festivals around the country and beyond.”
For more on the poet, Joanne Key, see her page at the Poetry Society website.
A “filmpoem by Alicja Pawluczuk. Commissioned in collaboration with Alastair Cook and Filmpoem,” according to a page for the poem at The Poetry Society’s website. “Last exit to Luton” by Fran Lock was the Third Prize winner in the UK’s 2014 National Poetry Competition. Click through and scroll down for more on the poet.
Filmpoem director Alastair Cook invited Makar Liz Lochhead, the National Poet of Scotland, to read three of Robert Burns’s poems and together with Italian composer Luca Nasciuti they have created three beautiful interpretations of some of Burns’s most loved works: I Murder Hate, Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation and A Man’s a Man for a’ That.
A terrific poem and film that should appeal to gun-toting meat-eaters and vegan gun-control advocates alike. (And what else but art or poetry could bridge such a chasm?) Director Alastair Cook writes,
I have admired Vicki Feaver and her words for some time. I recorded this in 2011 and kept it safe, finally entrusting the sound to Luca Nasciuti and the cinematography to James William Norton, our core Filmpoem team. I’ve worked with Vicki on the amazing community arts project in Greenock, Absent Voices and also Empire Cafe, Louise Welsh and Jude Barber’s Commonwealth 2014 project, looking at the unbearable links between slavery and Scotland.
So, the Gun. I may stop now, because (forgive the immodesty) I love this one. Love it. The timbre in Vicki’s voice is dry, broken, words delivered with such a punch. I enjoyed editing this one, it’s why I do this, it was so very difficult to get right, but I do hope you enjoy it. The Gun has now screened at Felix (Antwerp), Poetry International (London) and will screen at ZEBRA (Berlin). [links added]