Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival III 2014 brochure

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Poetry Film & Memory 1914 / 2014

Portrait of a Listener, Sonority Turner

The Golden Bird Project, RUH hospital patients & staff

White Crosses, St Gregory’s Catholic College

13th / 19th / 20th September 2014 The Arnolfini, Bristol Poetry Festival Watershed, Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival YHA, Marc Neys Masterclass

WELCOME to Liberated Words III!

Sarah Tremlett / Agualuz Retratos, photoart Hernan Garcia Lanza, 2012

Reflections This year as we reflect on commemorating the anniversary of the 1914-18 war, and on the ways we commemorate, respond to and recount the past more broadly through poetry films, it is also heartening to think that Liberated Words is beginning to develop a history of its own. This is our third year and we now have three venues which are combined contextually under the umbrella title of Reflections. As part of Bristol Poetry Festival at The Arnolfini Art Gallery we are screening interpretations of aspects of reflection as memory, and as part of Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival I am hosting a discussion and screening reflecting upon Poetry Film and Form. Finally, we have the wonderful opportunity to take part in a masterclass with the prolific poetry filmmaker who needs no introduction – Marcy Neys, at the YHA. Here we can attempt to reflect and mirror some of his sublime techniques. Overall my focus for 2014 has been to present not only international luminaries but also to bring to light poetry films from those who wouldn’t otherwise be involved in such a project – students at school and patients in hospital care. I am really pleased to screen a number of works on subjects close to Bristol – the premiere of the abridged version of Dart by filmmaker Marc Tiley based on Alice Oswald’s poem, and interpretations of Gloucestershire poet, musician and First World War survivor – Ivor Gurney. Conversely, on the international front, alongside Marc Neys from Belgium we also warmly welcome visiting fellow festival organiser Gabrielė Labanauskaitė from the biggest poetry and film event on the Baltic, TARP festival in Lithuania. In terms of the Reflections / Memory competition I had no idea that there could be so many interpretations of the theme. I would like to gratefully thank our judges: for best music or sound we have returning L.A. judges, spoken word with music poet Rich Ferguson and top filmmaker / music video maestro Mark Wilkinson (creators of the compulsive music-based poetry film Human Condition). Check out our website to see Ben Staley’s award-winning documentary about Rich, Bo et al in Wevoicesing – his spoken word /music band. And for judging best editing for poetic effect past year’s award-winners and this year’s brilliant workshop organisers ecopoet Helen Moore and filmmaker Howard Vause. And thank you to Howard and Bristol poetry filmmaker Diana Taylor for presenting the awards. I would also like to thank the Poetry Film and Form poetry filmmakers and panellists I have harried for their time and contributions to what I hope will be a stimulating discussion on what exactly are poetry films? Are they the same as short films, a branch of short films or another genre entirely and does it matter anyway? Lucy English, Emeritus Professor Penny Florence, Gabrielė Labanauskaitė, Adele Myers, Marc Neys and Martin Sexton will be asking and answering questions. Whilst the poetry film categories I have selected are identifiable they are not written in stone (rather light or photons!) and certainly many films cross these artificial boundaries. It should be said that, whilst provoking debate, the classifications are not meant as a form of division, but a way to begin to think about form – as a base layer to build upon – and certainly not as a substitute for the intuitions of the creative process. However, as patterns emerge it is clear that, rather than creating boundaries, diverse artists with varying content can be seen to link to each other in different structural and dynamic ways.


As part of the Poetry Film and Form screening at Watershed, there are not only selections from Javier at VideoBardo and Heather from Visible Verse, but also, I am very pleased to say selections from three other northern European festivals: Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel at Zebra (which is a bit like having God at the church service), Gabrielė from Tarp, Lithuania and Birgit Hatlehol from the highly regarded Oslo Poetry Festival. There are also some extraordinary films produced by the schools’ workshops – not only in terms of age and ability (some of the younger filmmakers are only ten years old) but in depth of content. In terms of working on the spot in a hospital setting generating ideas from scratch The Golden Bird Project is a highly innovative and sensitive film which has required much skill and vision to achieve – well done Helen and Howard, Edwina and Frankie for making it work, and many thanks to Hetty, Diane and everyone at The RUH for helping making an idea a reality. This year the poetry films, as reflection upon reflection, have delved deep, bringing creative undercurrents to the surface, which I feel certain, to continue the metaphor, we will recollect through their luminous ripples in years to come.

For this year’s festival we have tried to show the range and reach of poetry films. The inclusion of the school and community workshop material shows that poetry film is not merely for the artistic and intellectual elite. We want Liberated Words to be inclusive and accessible. The theme of ‘Memory’ was connected to the anniversary of the First World War and we wanted to ask the question, why should we remember this event at all? What relevance does a war begun a hundred years ago have on our lives today and what events should we remember and which ones should we forget. We were fortunate in that we were kindly given the rights to screen interpretations of the Ivor Gurney poem, ‘The High Hill Have a Bitterness’. Of all the First World War poets, Ivor Gurney seemed the most appropriate for this theme, his own mind damaged by his experiences in the trenches. His favourite landmarks and places are scarred by his recollections of horror; he cannot separate the present from the past. In Liberated Words our selected poetry filmmakers explore ‘Memory’ with creativity, flair and bravery. The heart breaking films of grief when a loved one is absent; the disappearance and altering of memory through mental illness or dementia; the persistence of memory, revealing those thoughts and feelings which are difficult to eradicate and the personal collections of memories which define our humanity. We have featured well-known poetry filmmakers who produce work to a high specification and blend sound, image and words with dexterity, but we have also chosen emerging artists whose energy and emotional insight transcends technical skill. I hope that you will be as moved and awestruck as we have been. Lucy English


REFLECTIONS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Bristol Poetry Festival, 13 & 20th & Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival 19th September, 2014 Liberated Words – the first annual international poetry film festival in the UK – is showcasing over three dates in Bristol the best international poetry films, both at Bristol Poetry Festival, and also, this year in conjunction with the world-renowned Encounters Short Film Festival. MEMORY – 13th September, Bristol Poetry Festival, The Arnolfini, Bristol. Showcasing Memory competition finalists, commemorating the anniversary of the 1914-18 war, and entries based on Ivor Gurney’s poem The High Hills Have a Bitterness. A very warm welcome to returning best music judges from L.A. – Rich Ferguson (mesmerising spoken word with music poet) and Mark Wilkinson (top music video and feature director), and judges for best editing – last year’s brilliant finalists and this year’s workshop leaders poet Helen Moore and filmmaker Howard Vause. See workshopped films: the groundbreaking Golden Bird Project made in conjunction with older patients from The Royal United Hospital, Bath, and Art at the Heart, with resident artist Edwina Bridgeman and art from young patients and musician in residence Frankie Simpkins; three stunning films from years 7–10 at St Gregory’s Catholic College based on the arresting poem Mametz Wood by award-winning poet Owen Sheers; and two thought-provoking films from St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, Bristol. POETRY FILM AND FORM – 19th September, Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival at Watershed, Bristol. Sarah Tremlett, poetry filmmaker and theorist has curated a screening looking at different poetry films forms, including films from Liberated Words collaborators VideoBardo in Buenos Aires, Visible Verse in Vancouver, Oslo and Tarp, Lithuania, Poetry Film Festivals. In conjunction she is hosting a discussion on ‘What exactly are poetry films?’ with: Gabrielė Labanauskaitė, Adele Myers, Martin Sexton, Penny Florence, Marc Neys and Lucy English. MASTERCLASS – 20th September, the YHA, Bristol. Take part in a rare opportunity for a day-long masterclass with leading prolific poetry filmmaker Marc Neys. If you miss this exciting opportunity you can see the Memory screening again at The Little Theatre, Bath in Spring 2015, alongside a unique poetry film from Bath-based Action on Hearing Loss. Saturday 13th afternoon, The Arnolfini, Bristol, 14:00–16:00, showcasing The Golden Bird Project, and student films from St Gregory’s Catholic College – Mametz Wood and interpretations of memory from St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, Bristol. Winning films from Liberated Words competitions on Memory and an Ivor Gurney poem and prize-giving. Friday 19th September, Watershed, Waterside 3, 12:00–13:00, Liberated Words: Freeing the Form A panel discussion into the form of poetic filmmaking and just what makes a film a poetry film. Friday 19 September, Watershed, Cinema 2, 13:00 – 14:30, Liberated Words: Poetry Films and Forms A showcase of poetry films from around the world exploring the diversity of storytelling devices used within this genre. Saturday, 20th 10 – 4.00 Marc Neys’ masterclass, The YHA, 14 Narrow Quay, Bristol. / / /


JUDGES Best Music and Sound


Pushcart-nominated poet Rich Ferguson has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka, T.C. Boyle, Jerry Stahl, Bob Holman, Loudon Wainwright, Ozomatli, and many other esteemed poets and musicians. He has performed on The Tonight Show, at the Redcat Theater in Disney Hall, the New York City International Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, South by Southwest, the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, the DocMiami International Film Festival, and with UKbased poetry collective One Taste. He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (sequel to the double Grammy-nominated film 1 Giant Leap), featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, Krishna Das, and others. He has studied poetry with Allen Ginsberg and fiction with Aimee Bender and Sid Stebel. In addition, he has been published in the LA TIMES, Opium Magazine, has been widely anthologized, spotlighted on PBS (Egg: The Art Show), and was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, LA. His spoken word/music videos have been featured internationally. Ferguson is host of the Blog Talk Radio podcast Poetiscape, and is a regular contributor and poetry editor to the online literary journal, The Nervous Breakdown. His poetry collection 8th & Agony has been published by L.A.’s Punk Hostage Press.


Mark Wilkinson Director/Cameraman Mark Wilkinson recently directed music videos for Danielle Barbe, Semi Precious Weapons and Miss Derringer as well as spoken-word artist Rich Ferguson who appears on the next 1 Giant Leap project. Concert and performance video directing credits include: Shakira, Phoenix, Silversun Pickups, Weezer, Katy Perry, Alice in Chains, Three Days Grace, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sean Kingston, Norah Jones, and many others. As a director, editor and post-wizard, Mark has over a decade of experience working on music videos and promotional films for artists Michael Jackson, Ice Cube, BG, Ozomatli, AFI, Finch, Big L, Wyclef Jean, Brooks & Dunn, Delta Goodrem, Junkie XL, Emmy Rossum, and most recently Rebekka Bakken, The Police, ACDC, Chris Botti and Sting. Described by Kevin Thomas in the Los Angeles Times as “a deep-digging and personal filmmaker,” Mark has written two award-winning short films screened at international festivals and made his feature film debut with Dischord, an art-house thriller that was released theatrically in 2003 by Artistic License Films and is now available on DVD in 6 countries. Called “a great independent film and a spectacular debut from filmmaker Wilkinson,” by Chris Gore of Filmthreat, Dischord enjoyed an extensive festival run before its release, collecting a total of 10 Grand Prize Awards including: Best Director, Best of Fest, Best First Feature, Best Feature Film and Best Screenplay (press-Videoscope). Mark also wrote and directed two award-winning short films which were also screened at festivals internationally. The Next Big Thing (press-Cinefantastique). a science fiction piece about virtual-reality gone awry, won a Saturn Golden Scroll Award from the Science Fiction Academy and has since been declared a “transgressive cinema classic” by British sci-fi fanzine Sally and Angela, an action-adventure comedy, garnered multiple directing and comedy awards at festivals around the world and was also screened in Paris during the Festival du Sang Neuf (“New Blood”), an exhibition of the 12 best short films of the year by American and French filmmakers. Sally & Angela is part of the iFilm Midnight Classics collection of most popular internet movies of all time and is distributed worldwide for cable TV, the Internet, and VHS and can also be seen on Mark’s most recent film Biting Personalities which he made with his teammates in the 2007 SoCal Cinema Slam 72 Hour Competition won Best Film, Best Screenplay, Audience Award and was screened in the Sundance Digital Pavilion in 2008. In addition, Mark maintains an active career directing live theatre. Recent productions include Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest at Theatre Palisades; a regional production of Mojo (press-Boston Globe); Jez Butterworth’s high-octane thriller set in 1958 Soho, London; Sheila Callaghan’s hilarious and poignant play Scab and Three Lefts by Christina Bunner. Mark is also one of the founding members of the Alchemy Arts Ensemble, a theatre and film company committed to arts education and community outreach. Mark directs commercials for clients that include Warner Bros., Hoover, Hamilton Beach, DIRECTV, Visa, Procter & Gamble and many more. Mark is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Stage Directors and Choreographers society, the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and the Actors Studio Directors Unit.


Judges for Best Editing for Poetic Effect & Workshop Organisers St Gregory’s Catholic College and Art at the Heart, The Royal United Hospital

Helen Moore Helen Moore is an award-winning ecopoet and community artist/activist based in Somerset. Her debut collection, Hedge Fund, And Other Living Margins, published by Shearsman Books in 2012, was described by Alasdair Paterson in Stride Magazine as being “in the great tradition of visionary politics in British poetry.” Her second collection, ECOZOA, is forthcoming. Helen’s essays and reviews also appear in a range of international publications, including Permaculture Magazine; and she has extensive experience in leading creative workshops within continuing education, schools and community arts programmes. In developing a new artistic sensibility in response to ecocide, Helen has explored other art forms too. In 2011 she directed the Web of Life Community Art Project to raise awareness of mass extinction. ‘Greenspin’, a videopoem exposing the language of corporate advertising and ‘greenwashing’, made in collaboration with Howard Vause, won 3 rd prize in the Liberated Words International Poetry Film Festival 2013. FFI:

Howard Vause

Howard is an artist and performer. He lives in Frome, Somerset. He creates multimedia for international theatre, is an award winning animator and his illustrations can be seen in everything from fantasy novels to organic cook books. In 2011 his audio work featured in a major exhibition at the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool. A first collaborative videopoem (“Greenspin”) with ecopoet Helen Moore, won a gong during 2013’s Liberated Words Festival. Howard often works in education and in 2012 co-founded Frome Media Arts CIC to promote the use of creative technology for all people. He admits to never having outgrown his childhood fascination for the macabre and describes his work as playful, grotesque and true.


REFLECTIONS & MEMORY Liberated Words at Bristol Poetry Festival The Arnolfini Art Gallery, 14:00 – 16:00 p.m. September 13 th, 2014 LIBERATED WORDS WORKSHOPS, COMPETITION ENTRANTS AND PRIZEWINNERS

P.M. 14:00

Introduction Sarah Tremlett


Memory: Schools and Workshops St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, Bristol St Gregory’s Catholic College, Bath The Golden Bird Project, young and elderly patients, Royal United Hospital, Bath Dart - premiere of revised version from the poem by Alice Oswald, by filmmaker Marc Tiley

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------INTERVAL 14:28 – 14:43 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------14.43

Introduction ‘memory’ entrants and winners


Poetry films based on The High Hills Have a Bitterness, poet Ivor Gurney


‘Memory’ Poetry film finalists


Announcement of Awards by poetry filmmaker Diana Taylor and award-winning filmmaker Howard Vause




REFLECTIONS & MEMORY Liberated Words at Bristol Poetry Festival The Arnolfini Art Gallery, 13th September, 2014 Schools’ Poetry Films

St Brendan’s Sixth Form College (Bristol, UK) Numb 02:45 (2014) ‘This is me (Marnie Rose Davidge) and Laila Rumbold Kazzuz’s video for film studies AS at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College. We had to make a film that was roughly 2:30 mins long and edit it and film it completely by ourselves and I did the music myself too. Granted it seems very depressing at first glance but this is supposed to represent how everyone is different in this world and we thought we’d show a side of someone that people don’t tend to see, to maybe make them understand. This film comes from a very deep and emotional place in both me and Laila’s hearts and minds and we hope others will be able to relate to it in the same way as us, or a completely different way. We just hope it makes you think and wonder. Roles: Laila actress / Marnie camera work / Laila+Marnie editing / Marnie Original score

St Brendan’s Sixth Form College (Bristol, UK) All the World is Grey, 02:08 (2014) Samuel Perry-Falvey, Chester Ellis, Ryan Snailham, Poem: Jake Hawkes, Voice: Adam Ranson


St Gregory’s Catholic College (Bath, UK) Map, 01:40 (2014) An interpretation of the poem Mametz Wood by Owen Sheers by Katy S / Katie Weathers / Rosa BezCryer.

St Gregory’s Catholic College (Bath, UK) Digging, 01:43 (2014) A poetry film interpretation of Mametz Wood by Owen Sheers. by: Tobie Donovan, Navya Jose, Charlotte Macarthur and Carla Tarallo.

St Gregory’s Catholic College (Bath, UK) White Crosses, 02:49 (2014) Successive generations of descendants of a WWI soldier seek to find his grave; inspired by Owen Sheers’ poem Mametz Wood. made and written by: Rose Burroughs / Charlotte Bush / Mariya George / Emily Howard / Aleks Jagodzinska / Carla May / Aimee Savage / Katie Seaborne / Jayme Sims


The Golden Bird Project 05:30 (2014) Workshop leaders: poet Helen Moore & filmmaker Howard Vause with resident artist Edwina Bridgeman, resident musician Frankie Simpkins and patients from The Royal United Hospital, Bath Drawing on a Russian folktale about the relationship of an elderly woman and a golden bird, who helps to save a forest threatened with destruction, this poetry film draws on creative sessions with adults with dementia at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, where the story was introduced with linked objects and then recounted. Made in collaboration with Frankie Simpkins (RUH musician in residence) and Edwina Bridgeman (RUH artist in residence), the film features a new narrative poem written by Helen Moore and animation by Howard Vause. Reflections on the Golden Bird Project at the RUH, Helen Moore

Drawing on my experience of running story sessions with older adults with dementia, I’ve seen how tactile objects can offer a stimulating opener for group work. Handling the objects provides participants with sensory engagement, which helps to ground them in the present moment. And by choosing things that connect with the story I’m about to tell, there’s a ‘bridge’ into what will follow. I very much owe the success of this approach to Paula Crimmens’ book, Storymaking and Creative Groupwork with Older People. Often the objects stimulate discussion – in the case of The Golden Bird Project, four furry toy birds, which when squeezed make their respective songs, provoked plenty of conversation about garden birds, which Howard patiently filmed. Encouraging participants to express associations that arise with the objects can also facilitate self-expression in new/unexpected areas, mining memories and experiences, which were perhaps long forgotten. In making this poetry film, our objects also offered a strong visual dimension, and suggested the use of animation. The contribution made by Edwina Bridgeman (RUH artist in residence), who had used the same story as a stimulus for developing artwork on the children’s ward, added a wonderful intergenerational aspect to the project, with the creation of a set and the figures of Babka, the old lady, and the golden bird itself. Clearly a poetry film needs a poem at its core, and so an important part of the process in post- production was my writing of a narrative poem drawing on the original Russian folktale. I spent some time researching Russian forests and the creatures that inhabit them, and wanted to make the narrative more contemporary, substituting the building of a king’s palace for modern-day mineral exploitation. Howard and I decided to frame the poem with elements of the story and the context of the hospital ward and its patients. The rest of the filmmaking process was then down to Howard’s intuitive approach, weaving together the sound and visual components in a tapestry that references the participants without putting them centre stage, and which brings out the magic at the core of the story.



Marc Tiley (UK) Dart, 09:50 (original 2013, new, abridged version 2014) A premiere of the edited version of the film Dart by Marc Tiley from the poem by Alice Oswald. Over a decade ago, poet Alice Oswald began recording conversations with the people who live and work along the river Dart in Devon. In her subsequent book-length poem these records formed the characters in a sound-map of the river, a song-line from the source to the sea. By combining words from the poem with actual observations of life along the Dart, this film follows the varying character of the river itself, flowing from its mysterious source on Dartmoor to the sea at Dartmouth and beyond. Marc Tiley is a filmmaker working largely in documentary (BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic, Discovery Channel) and was director of the feature-length music film, Anda Union, which premiered at the London Film Festival in 2011. Alice Oswald is a multi award-winning British poet whose books include, Memorial, Woods, Etc. and The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile. Note: this version is a shortened version of the full-length film which is 24 minutes in duration.

INTERVAL Interpretations of The High Hills Have A Bitterness by Ivor Gurney

Helen Dewbery (UK), 01:22 (2014) This film brings out the sense of loss: loss of self, the environment and industry. The quarries of the Mendip Hills, many of which are long gone and are now geological sites of Special Scientific Interest, are places to reflect on the ‘soul helpless gone’. The active quarries are used for road construction and other building work. It doesn’t take an expert to realise that they too will one day run out.


Helen is an associate member of the Royal Photographic Society and works in collaboration with poets to produce film poems and collections and images.

Diana Taylor (UK) 01:03 (2014)

Diana Taylor, Director of Redcliffe films: Diana has been working with Bristol Poets since 2010 and has produced over 50 poetry films. The films have been shown at the International Film Festival Barcelona, the Portabello Film Festival London, and the Zebra International Poetry Film Festival Berlin, the BBC Big Screen, and the national Hansel of Gretal festival. In Bristol the films have been shown at the Colston Hall, the Watershed, the Arnolfini, the Harbourside Festival and the Bristol Poetry Festival.


REFLECTIONS & MEMORY Competition Finalists Memory and War Experience

Robert Peake (USA) One Stop, 02:42 (2014) M/S* A film-poem by Robert Peake, with music by Valerie Kampmier, commemorating the 70 th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Robert Peake is a British-American poet living near London. His poetry has received commendations and nominations in a number of contests and his newest short collection is The Silence Teacher (Poetry Salzburg, 2013). His previous short collection was Human Shade, (Lost Horse Press, 2011). His full-length collection The Knowledge is expected in early 2015 from Nine Arches Press. Robert studied poetry at the University of California, Berkeley and the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program at Pacific University, Oregon. director / scriptwriter / editor Robert Peake music: Valerie Kampmeier

Hala Georges (Syria) From my Car’s Window, 04:00 (2014) This film is a personal and nostalgic response to my home’s suffering. From inside my car I observe the streets of London while listening to Syrian folk music and remembering my home town: Damascus. It is a nostalgic personal response to my reality as an exiled artist who can’t visit home anytime soon and who is constantly worried and wondering about her family’s future. director: Hala Georges scriptwriter: poetry by Nizar Kabani, re-edited by Hala Georges music: Syrian Folk by Lena Shamamyan


Tamsin Taylor (UK) Resonance, 03:00 (2014) This poem centres on extracts from the World War II war letters 1940−1945 of Sergeant Edmund Quigley, RAF (from private collection). Tamsin Taylor is an Oxford-based contemporary artist. Her work explores the relationship between emerging technologies and more traditional forms of communication. She seeks to explore, create, and imagine dialogues between the past, present and future. Tamsin developed an interest in the language of communication during her degree course in Graphic Design (UCA). Subsequently she completed a Masters in Contemporary Art and Music with distinction (Oxford Brookes University). Her recent work predominantly uses sound, text and video to create installation work in response to her research into the temporality and fragmentation of memory. The film ‘Resonance’ is part of this on-going work. director: Tamsin Taylor

Memory and Psycho-Geography

Meriel Lland (UK) Soulbird, 03:02 (2014) E* Without need of recipe, Pollyanna bakes perfect bread to share with seagulls. She and her husband throw the loaf for the birds. The familiar ritual conjures their past and momentarily transcends the adriftness of emerging dementia. Soulbird takes as inspiration the old coastal community’s belief that gulls manifest the spirit of lost sailors. This immigrant couple who once found a language together now navigate unmapped waters and their own alien ‘tongue’. They find each other only in glimpses; ghost selves sometimes passing, sometimes touching. This response to conversations with those experiencing memory loss celebrates connection despite the fragmentation of thoughts. Country and place of production: UK; Staffordshire/Cheshire/South Wales. All material original. Old family photos from artist’s personal archive. Director / scriptwriter / editor / voice Meriel Lland; music Meriel Lland & smallestdogintheworld studio.


Sheila Packa & Kathy McTavish (USA) My Geology, 03:00 (2014) As a child, Sheila Packa grew up on the vein of iron and taconite in the Iron Range in northern Minnesota. The iron mines fed the demand for industrialization and munitions during WWI. The poem is from her poetry book, Night Train Red Dust. Kathy McTavish designed the video with her software, the graffiti angel, a film generator that uses open source web technologies to generate a mobile of projections from a database. The abstract images are of an old railroad bridge, the Oliver Bridge, in Minnesota. The music is cello and saxophone. Sheila Packa is a writer who strives to re-create the flows of the northeastern Minnesota landscape, and borrows metaphors that express the pattern of change in individual stories and narrative poems: the erosions, floods, migrations, lightning strikes, industrialization, excavation, mining, roads, and harbours of her environment. As a widely published poet she has won numerous awards and taken part in many media performances and exhibitions as well as teaching the craft of writing. Kathy McTavish is a cellist, composer, and multimedia artist who has received numerous awards. In live performance, installation and online environments, she blends improvisational cello, found sound, text, data and abstract, layered, moving images. Her recent work has focused on creating generative methods for building multichannel video and sound environments. poet & editor: Sheila Packa composer & film-maker: Kathy McTavish sound: includes sound samples of clarinet and soprano sax in the mix which are from Pat O’Keefe and Adam Tickle.

Susanne Wiegner (Germany) One moment passes, 03:00 (2011) One Moment Passes is a 3-D animation of a poem by Robert Lax; a meditative game with the subject time, with is, was and will be symbolized by a car ride in the film (the past in the rear mirror and the future in front). There exist three different time layers: the past in the rear mirror is slowed down; the car ride as forward and reverse are placed on top of each other to create the very moment of presence.


Suzanne Wiegner studied architecture at The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at Pratt Institute in New York City. She works as an architect and 3-D artist in Munich. In addition, for several years she has been creating 3-D computer animations dealing with literature and virtual space and has won several international awards: La Parola Immaginata, Bergamo, 2011 and the Ballon Prize at Crosstalk Videoart Festival, Budapest, 2012. director / scriptwriter / editor Susanne Wiegner poem and voice by Robert Lax

Memory and Personal Relationships

Rhian Edwards (Wales) Tiptoe, 02:12 (2013) This is a poem based on the theme of memory; in particular the importance or lack of importance and impression one leaves on a former lover. Director / editor: Simon Huntley Scriptwriter / cast: Rhian Edwards

Marc Neys (Swoon) If Grief were Briefly to Disappear, 04:20 (2014) M/S* This film was created as a competition entry for the spring 2014 Awkward Paper Cut writing contest to write a poem (to accompany a video by Marc Neys) of 500 words or less of prose, poetry or flash fiction. Marc is one of the leading award-winning poetry filmmakers, having made numerous films, collaborating with poets and artists worldwide. Poem: Stevie Ronnie Voice: Nic Sebastian Concept, camera, editing and music: Swoon


‘The video was made for a writing contest of Awkword Paper Cut. We invited writers to write a poem to a film I made. With the winning poem I created a “new” edit of the film.’ Marc Neys ‘The words were written in direct response to Swoon’s video. I watched it several times without writing anything down at all and then lines began to appear.’ Stevie Ronnie Process Notes − Footage: The woman in the video is my mother, holding a bust made by my sister of my dead father. Originally the footage was shot for a video about ‘Roots’ (Heimat). I had made shots of my mother in places that were significant in my youth: our old driveway, my favourite forest, the place I secretly smoked my first cigarette, my first school, etc. Soundscape: It’s a re-edit of a scape I made after reading James Salter’s All That Is, about an older man looking back on his life and (lost) loves. The Voice: Nic Sebastian blogs at Very Like a Whale and Voice Alpha, and is the author of Forever Will End on Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. Nic makes videopoems in her spare time and was the founder and voice of the now-archived poetry audio journal, Whale Sound. She is a firm believer in the nanopress poetry publication method.

Diana Taylor (UK) & Martin Rieser (UK) Let Down A Line, 01:24 (2014) Director Diana Taylor worked in BBC television for twenty years as a film editor and assistant producer. She started making films with Bristol Poets in 2009 and since then her poetry films have been accepted for short film festivals in Barcelona, London and Berlin (Zebra 2012).

Martin Rieser has worked in the field of interactive art and literature for many years. He was research Professor between the Institute of Creative Technologies in The Faculty of Art Design and Humanities at De Montfort. He is now visiting Professor at the Pervasive Studios UWE and Visiting Research Fellow at Bath Spa University. His art practice in mobile, internet art and interactive narrative installations has been seen around the world including Cannes; Holland, Paris; Vienna, Thessaloniki, London, Germany, China, Taiwan, Milan and Australia. He has published numerous essays and books on digital art including New Screen Media: Cinema/ Art/Narrative (BFI/ZKM, 2002), and has reedited The Mobile Audience, a book on locative technology and art from Rodopi.


Irina Nedelcu (Rumania) 1277 1749, 03:00 (2013) From the poetry of Emily Dickinson; man grapples with the cycle of life: he begins his journey only to find himself right where he started. Life begins with the day after forever and goes full circle. director: Irina Nedelcu & Bogdan Lazar scriptwriter: Irina Nedelcu editor: Stefan Todor music: Mario M. cast: Simon Ginty, Emma Cohen

Keith Sargent (UK) Late, 05:14 (2014) E* ‘My father was dying of cancer, I was in London and he was in Kent, a 45 mile distance; this would normally take one and a half hours. On the 8th of August at 8.30 a.m. I received a call from my Mum who passed the phone to my Dad, he said “I love you. Night, night.” At 10 a.m. I received a call from his nurse saying he was very close (to dying). I set off. I arrived at 1.15. I was late. He had gone. I held his still warm hand (Mum had wrapped him in duvet to keep his body warm). I missed him. I miss him.’ Keith Sargent is creative director of multi-disciplinary design company immprint ltd and has worked as an educator, illustrator, filmmaker and graphic designer since graduating from the RCA in 1988. His films have been commissioned for commercial projects and screened at Bath Mix, Zebra, Athens and Visible Verse poetry film festivals. director / scriptwriter / editor / music: Keith Sargent cast: Keith Sargent, Stan Sargent, Rebecca Sargent, Stanley Sargent


Community Memory – History

Daniel H. Dugas (Canada) Standard of Truth, 02:20 (2013) E* M/S* Standard of Truth is a video about archives and innocence. Children do not have any archives, they are born free. They do not have to worry about all of those boxes of paper stating this or that truth, they do not have to pay storage fees, or check the levels of relative humidity in the vaults. The past has not yet arrived. They have nothing else than life ahead of them. The meaning that flows in their veins is not saturated with antibodies; they are made of oxygen. Maybe that is why they have big smiles. director / scriptwriter / editor / music Daniel Dugas

Kate Sweeney (UK) What We Found in the Archive, 01:05 (2013) E* What We Found in the Archive explores the idea that an archive can create an uneasy sense of intrusion. Things consigned to the past, remembered and unremembered. The film includes documentary footage from the archives at Newcastle University featuring Anna Woodford’s hair and shadow, and contains footage from Blood Axe archive, notably with visual reference to a draft of Sean O’Brien’s book The Indoor Park. Director / Editor / Music: Kate Sweeney Scriptwriter: Tara Bergin


Edward Kulemin (Russia) Live Journal, (Живой Журнал) 03:07 (2013) Social networking and the Internet are sites where collective memory comes into contact with personal experience. Live Journal is another example of a location of such contacts. This performance is both the journal and the means of mass communication. The artist is wrapped in polyethylene film containing works of visual poetry (encoded memory). The individual draws attention to himself and creates an impression (leaves a trace in the memory). The resulting live cocoon (the mummy, the monument) provides the basis for the spectators to form public opinion (occupation memory). As a result, this art object can be viewed and read like an illustrated magazine or street advertisement (representation memory). In the final part of the performance design "comes to life" (awakening of consciousness): reading poetry text the character gradually gets out of the paper cocoon, freed from its waste and ideas imposed by a society of opinions (enlightenment memory). director scriptwriter / editor / music: Edward Kulemin cast: Edward Kulemin, Ekaterina Danenova, Tatyana Sushenkova

John Scott (Canada) In The Waiting Room, 05:00 (2014) An adaptation of one of Elizabeth Bishop’s most loved poems, In the Waiting Room tells the story of a six-year-old girl in 1917 who suddenly realizes that she is her own person. Bishop’s poem is one of the best expressions of this life-changing experience in the English language. director / scriptwriter / editor: John D. Scott cast: Anneke Stroink (lead) music: Camille Saint-Saens performed by Ron Clearfield


Shake! (Farzana Khan), Patrice Etienne (UK & various) Remember 03: 08 (2014) This short poetry film responds to the themes of: remembering, re-imagining, reparations. The film was devised over a five-day period by participants on the 4th Shake! intensive course at the Stephen Lawrence Centre, London. Shake! is a project that brings together young people, artists and campaigners to develop creative responses to social injustice. The course enabled discussions and creative exercises using the mediums of film and poetry to address issues of power, race, capitalism and legacy. This film and the process of creating it thus became a tool for change and a celebration of youth voices as creative soul expression. directors: NuWave Pictures (Patrice Etienne/ Dershe Samaria) + Edwina Omokaro, Grainne Aldred, Michelle Bella, Mujtaba Ahmed, Tasnima Ahmed, Isidora Markovic scriptwriters: NuWave Pictures + Edwina Omokaro, Grainne Aldred, Michelle Bella, Mujtaba Ahmed, Tasnima Ahmed, Isidora Markovic, Arkady Johns, Carmela Cuesta, Maaike Boumans, Orla Price, Paula Serafini, Sai Murray, Zena Edwards editors: NuWave Pictures + Edwina Omokaro, Grainne Aldred, Michelle Bella, Mujtaba Ahmed, Tasnima Ahmed, Isidora Markovic cast: Edwina Omokaro, Grainne Aldred, Michelle Bella, Mujtaba Ahmed, Tasnima Ahmed, Isidora Markovic, Patrice Etienne, Dershe Samaria

Memory of Place

Don Carey (Ireland) Innisfree, 02:21 (2013) Based upon the famous poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats. A man in a chaotic and depressing urban environment seeks to escape his surroundings. Director / scriptwriter / editor: Don Carey cast: Will O Connell produced by the students of the animation department at the Irish School of Animation, Ballyfermot College of Further Education, 2013


Antonio Alvarado (Spain) City of Songs, 01:00 (2011) The City of Songs speaks not as a reality but as a sum of its parts. This work shows a multiplicity of viewpoints represented as a single unit. As people cross at a stop light in New York, overlapping views from the Empire State building show the city in its entirety. Antonio Alvarado is a media artist and curator.

Suzie Hanna (UK) Proem: to Brooklyn Bridge, (2013) E* M/S* Professor Suzie Hanna has been teaching in Higher Education for over two decades, specialising in the subject areas of animation and sound design. During this time she has developed international academic and industry networks, as well as maintaining her own creative practice. She engages in diverse collaborations with other artists, performers and academics to create original films. Her current research includes the creation of animation from documentary material, and the study of parallels in animation, poetry and sound design. Suzie also designs and animates commissioned innovative theatrical and site specific animation ranging in scale from puppet theatre to architectural projection. She presents papers at international symposia and industry seminars as well as contributing to academic journals and other publications.


Chaucer Cameron (UK) Kobe, 02:47 (2014) On Tuesday, January 17th 1995, at 5.46 a.m. (local time), an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 on the Richter Scale struck the Kobe region of south-central Japan. Over 5,000 people died, and over 300,000 people became homeless. Kobe was written and performed by Chaucer Cameron, and is part of a longer narrative poem which explores issues of loss, fragmentation, and memory, set against the backdrop of natural, environmental and personal disasters. Chaucer works in collaboration with filmmaker Helen Dewbery Chaucer is a founding member of Poetry Factory and has collaborated with CPiC photographers to produce the anthology The Museum Of Light. Her poetry films have been screened at Cheltenham Poetry Festival, and The University of Gloucestershire and will be screened at Swindon Poetry Festival 2014. directors: Chaucer Cameron and Helen Dewbery scriptwriter: Chaucer Cameron

Memory and The Mind

Lorenzo Scacchia (Trama afonA) (Italy) In droplets (confabulation) (In stille (confabulazione), 04:06 (2012) M/S* Two distant lives. They are marked by the same trauma, that will trigger in each of them a different form of amnesia. That is the origin of a symbiotic relationship: the one will receive from the other, respectively, what cannot be recalled and what cannot be retained any longer. And their thoughts will seamlessly flow into a stream. Observed through the lens of memory, these lives (con)fuse together


into a sole entity, with the one’s past and the other’s future. (Confabulation: Verbal formulation of false and fickle remembrances aimed at filling in good faith memory gaps). Lorenzo Scacchia, born in Rome in 1977, currently lives in Berlin. In 2005 he unveiled Trama afonA: A sound/visual/literary dream. Since then he has received awards and exhibitions in Italy and abroad, a CD published by Greytone records in 2010; appearances in compilations, collaborations with bands, performers, actors, poets, magazines, event managers, economists, directors (taking part in several historical documentaries produced by RAI, the Italian public broadcast company). director / scriptwriter / editor / music: Lorenzo Scacchia cast: Lorenzo Scacchia, Stefania La Corte country and place of production: Germany, Berlin

David Richardson (USA), Kathleen Roberts (USA) On A Prophet, 01:57 (2014) E* A woman, seemingly tormented by the lasting images of seeing her brother die, believes she can become immortal by fasting and studying. She takes refuge in a garage, creating her own talismans, and believes nourishment takes her away from understanding the truth. Dave Richardson is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Eastern Illinois University, in Charleston, Illinois, USA, where he teaches interactive and motion design in the Art Department. His MFA is from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his print and motion design work has been exhibited in solo and group shows across the United States. He divides his creative work between personal literary projects and client-based graphic design. Some of his recent presentations include speaking on simplifying the complexities of interactive design at the University and College Designers Association in Chattanooga, TN, May 2013, and on integrating digital media into traditional 2-D art foundation courses. His blog is Kathleen Roberts is a Duluth, Minnesota-based poet originally from Rhode Island. Her work has appeared in various journals, including Revolver, El Aleph Press, and fwriction: review. Her multimedia works have appeared in various galleries and museums, including Walker Art Center, Prøve Gallery, and the Duluth Art Institute. director / editor / all video and graphic work: Dave Richardson scriptwriter: Kathleen Roberts cast: Paula Boener


Matt Mullins (USA) Sundowning, 03:03 (2014) E* M/S* Alzheimer’s/dementia includes a phase called ‘sundowning’ during which the afflicted, due to memory erosion, cannot shake the sense that there is somewhere else they must be, regardless of where they are. This includes the need to go ‘home’ even if one is already home. The videopoem comments on this condition even as it comments on how Alzheimer’s/dementia strips away memory and identity to take the sufferer ‘away’ from loved ones while that loved one is still in their presence. directors: Matt Mullins / Marc Neys scriptwriter / editor: Matt Mullins music: Matt Mullins / Marc Neys All footage is public domain (i.e., from the Prelinger Archives)

End of Liberated Words ‘Reflections & Memory’ Screening.


REFLECTIONS POETRY FILM & FORM 19th September, 12:00−13:00 discussion / screening 13:00−14:30 Watershed, Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival, Bristol Sarah Tremlett, poetry filmmaker and theorist has curated a screening looking at different poetry film forms, including films from Zebra, Tarp, Oslo, Visible Verse and VideoBardo festivals. In conjunction she is hosting a discussion on ‘What exactly are poetry films?’ with: Lucy English, Penny Florence, Gabrielė Labanauskaitė, Adele Myers, Marc Neys and Martin Sexton. There are three main questions here: do we need to consider poetry film as different in any way from other forms of short film, secondly, as was pointed out to me recently, in terms of form aren’t all poetry films hybrid films – being a combination of words, image, music, text, sound etc. regardless of other differences such as varying production methods e.g. use of virtual reality or interactivity? And thirdly, does it really matter if we term a film a poetry film or videopoem? In relation to the first question I would answer, (particularly drawing on my own research) that I would argue that it is possible to a certain extent to define at least some poetry films in terms of page poems – i.e. through a parallel use of rhythm and form which derives from word-based poetry and prosody rather than cinematic techniques. Likewise it may be argued that other poetry films bear a stronger allegiance to cinema than poetry. I feel that all poetry films reveal their roots – whether oral or written poetry, film, art or media such as animation. In terms of the second question – aren’t all poetry films hybrid films? – I am using the term hybrid to consider a marked combination of different methods e.g. virtual reality, live footage, animation, etc. all in one film. However, I am aware that even this might seem outmoded since last year when we first used the term. I also follow in the footsteps of Tom Konyves, whose definitive list of videopoetry forms still resonates to me but transposed in terms of poetry film. You might ask how can I transpose his definition of videopoetry to the term ‘poetry films’. Like Heather Haley I don’t stop to think about the term when I make a film – it is the creative process that is important. However Tom has defined videopoetry as poems which become poems through combination of film, text and sound – in other words which do not utilise a pre-written poem. It also has to be noted that he is referring to works made on video, rather than born digital. I consider that poetry films embrace both types – ones which contain pre-written poems and ones which become a poem through the interaction of the forms being used during filmmaking. In another way others would argue that the pre-written poem becomes something new, not just through form as a poetry film, but a new way of producing meaning from the poem which sets it apart from the original written work – I am thinking of Marc Neys in this instance. I cannot ignore the pre-written variety and indeed I am crossing between the two myself so find that poetry film is a good all-embracing term with both types within it. In this way some filmmakers who form a poem on screen can term it a videopoem – which I believe the master of atmospheric landscapes Jani Sipila terms his films, but another filmmaker, exploring the same method might term his creation a poetry film (but as a sum of parts formed on screen). Ultimately, as long as we are aware of Tom’s definitions then this is fine. I am also aware that the medium of video is fast disappearing and yet the term poetry film will last the test of time whatever the next technological phase may be. So, ultimately, whilst to some all poetry films are all hybrid and therefore one genre, there are indeed marked differences in form and approach like the practices of other short filmmakers and these can be identified, whether as degrees of a whole rather than a definitive type. In other words a film might be primarily visual text but with additional animation. It is not that I would prioritise form above the general response to the film as a whole, but that it is important to make a note of different approaches, just as in other fields. If you look at just one aspect of poetry films, for example serial poetry films: here you find different films on the same theme by the same person (team), different films on the same theme by different filmmakers (teams), chronological films – e.g. films made at different phases of the moon; films which included appropriated sound or visuals, films which include original sound and visuals, films which include original art – as in handmade painting and print (or even sculpture); poetry films deriving from super 8, or code, poetry films without sound or dominated by sound and the list goes on. Maybe I am a closet collector but it is this variety which makes the genre so compelling and creates a digital environment which feels to me somewhat like the 1960s – experimental with much aesthetic and technological food for thought. On the other hand poetry film feels like a breath of fresh air − there is much joy, light and rule-breaking which creates a heady mix of exciting and surprising films which are still, dare I say it, accessible to everyone (accessible no longer being an artistically retrogressive word) – poetry films are for sharing first and foremost – now with no more ado …


DISCUSSION PARTICIPANTS Sarah Tremlett chair: co-director of Liberated Words, artist, poetry filmmaker and theorist specialising in experimental poetry film. Her PhD is on rhythm and poetry films and, since 2005 has been known for making what she has termed minimal ‘contemplative poetry films’. She is currently working on a series of autobiographical and historical poetry films including Troubadour poetry.

Lucy English Lucy English is Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University running the only performance poetry module in the UK. She has written and performed two spoken word theatre shows, Flash, and Count Me In, and she is a co-founder of Liberated Words. Her PhD project The Book of Hours will feature 48 poetry films.

Penny Florence Penny Florence – Professor Emerita at The Slade, UCL – is an artist, filmmaker and interdisciplinary scholar, exploring visuality in and through language. She has published on e-poetry, the relations between poetry and painting, feminist philosophy, C19 French art, and the prefiguring of the digital in Symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s Un coup de dés.

Gabrielė Labanauskaitė Gabrielė is a Lithuanian poet and drama writer, theorist, events organiser and performer. She created the poetry project Avaspo and since 2004 she has produced audiovisual cds and dvds. In 2006, inspired by experimental poetry, she started TARP audiovisual poetry festival. This event now includes poetry films, exhibitions, workshops, comedy, improvised poetry and music and has become the biggest in the Baltic States.

Adele Myers Manchester-based artist Adele Myers has exhibited a variety of interactive video works in Manchester UK, New York and Bulgaria. Her recent works include a collection of poem films that have been screened in film festivals in the UK and throughout Europe including: Zebra in Berlin, Posiefestival in Oslo and Tarp in Vilnius. This year she was selected to create a poem film for the Filmpoem commission for the Poetry Society’s National Poetry prize. Her film Birdfall, based on the eponymous commended poem by Danica Ognjenovic, was premiered at the Felix Poetry Festival, Antwerp, and was also screened at The Southbank Centre’s The Royal Festival Hall, London. Adele is also the founder and coordinator of Bokeh Yeah! in Manchester, which is a DSLR Academy offering production training sessions, film challenges, screenings, networking and film career development opportunities for filmmakers. Working closely with local publishers there have been 13 newly created poem films made by members of the group so far.

Marc Neys (aka Swoon) is a videopoetry addict with more than 160 international collaborations to his name. Swoon’s work is provocative, beautiful and disturbing. Using poems as guidelines, Swoon creates video and soundscapes using a blend of layered images and sound recordings. Swoon’s work is instantly recognisable for extracting new meaning from the poems he illuminates and his films have been featured at film festivals all over the world, winning several awards. Swoon is video editor for the online magazine Awkword Paper Cut.

Martin Sexton Martin Sexton produces powerful and genuinely controversial work. His practice occurs at the interface of ancient history and metaphysics and includes such topics as the psychosocial aspects of UFOlogy and the politics of aesthetics − but it is all countered with an overpowering poetic vision that has echoes of the extremism of rock n’ roll. His work seems to defy categorization, but in conversation with the curator James Putnam he explained: “With my writing practice I somehow feel the books or poems I want to read do not yet exist, so I must make them in order to read them and in making them this does not always mean writing them in a conventional sense. Sometimes my practice seems to converge and takes the form of, say, a sculptural poem, video poem, or an invocation or play, ritual or performance notions of time: past, present future existing all at once, play powerfully within me and inhabit much if not all of my explorations.” He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, including: Tate Britain, Benaki Museum Athens, Poetry Library London, Wolfsonian Museum Miami, Hydra Museum, Palais Thurn Und Taxis Bregenz, & the Venice Biennale. Both in his storytelling and poetry, he has worked with the physical medium of ice, fire, meteorites, sound, film and performance – elusive to labeling his work seems to defy categorization – yet he describes all of his practice in whatever medium as writing.



AUDIOVISUAL POETRY FESTIVAL TARP (IN-BETWEEN) TARP (‘In – Between’ Festival) is an on-going interdisciplinary experimental poetry festival, which has expanded and transformed from an underground event into an international festival since its foundation in 2006 Vilnius, Lithuania. The debut of the festival was initiated by poet and playwright Gabrielė Labanauskaitė, when an idea to collect audiovisual poets together to present them to the people of Vilnius was born. TARP events began at a mental rehabilitation centre and printing factory, very similar to a dilapidated squat. At that time it was kind of a revolution in the Lithuanian poetry scene – instead of listening to poetry readings the audience became familiar with many forms of contemporary poetry practices.

At this moment in time TARP is the only international audiovisual poetry festival in the Baltics, organized each year in October by a team of volunteer artists. TARP covers unexpected programme combinations: visual poem exhibitions and video retrospectives, workshops, concerts, poets’ performances together with video and audio artists and an audiovisual poetry screening competition. The festival events combine visual, textual and music improvisations, and creativity and openess for any kind of new poetic forms. TARP aims to develop and disseminate audiovisual poetry traditions in Lithuania; to expand knowledge of the audiovisual poetry field and to encourage poets and artists from different fields create together. You can learn more about the festival at:


The poetry film is as old as filmmaking itself! One of the first film adaptations of a poem was the film THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Edwin S. Porter for the Edison Manufacturing Company in 1905 based on the poem ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’ (1822) by Clement Clark Moore. Poetry films could be more than an illustration of a poem. The combination of pictures, sounds and words creates a new form of poetry and a new genre – the poetry film. There are different forms of adaptions like video poems, poetry clips, motionpoems or filmpoems. All of them are audio-visual interpretations of poems which reach a wide audience at festivals, on television and the internet. Every two years since 2002, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival has been presenting the current state of this dynamic short film genre located between poetry, film and new media. The first of its kind, it is the largest international platform for short films which deal with poetry either through their content, their aesthetics or their form. It offers poets and filmmakers, as well as festival organisers, a broad platform for meeting their audience and exchanging ideas and experiences. With exhibitions of media art, readings by poets and performances it creates new impulses and inspirations, while aesthetic questions are discussed in colloquiums; retrospectives, talks, workshops and film programmes, with various focus topics supplementing the competition to find the best poetry films in the world.

The Night Before Christmas, Edwin S. Porter, 1905

Originally part of the poesiefestival berlin, which is a project of the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival quickly grew so big that it needed a festival of its own. From the films that are entered a programme commissioner selects the films for the competition, and a jury then chooses the winners. Both the programme commissioner and the jury include internationally renowned figures from the worlds of film, poetry and media. In the year 2014, for the second time, the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin invited filmmakers from all over the world to make film interpretations of the festival poem “Love in the age of the EU” by Björn Kuhligk. Twenty three filmmakers from thirteen countries responded to the call. The extensive children’s programme – ZEBRINO – is an integral part of the festival, exciting an interest in poetry in children and school pupils through play. In a special film programme children and young people award their own prize. The total value of the prizes in the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival competition is €15,000.


Liberated Words at Encounters Short Film Festival in Bristol will show two poetry films from Germany and Italy. In the German poetry film “something I remember” by Susanne Wiegner based on the poem of the same name by Robert Lax the letters are divided into layers, which become spaces, streets, and falling rain. In the Italian poetry film “Meine Heimat” by Antonio Poce based on the same name poem by Ulrike Almut Sandig a man, maybe a composer or a painter, collects scattered fragments of his soul. Both filmmakers, Susanne Wiegner and Antonio Poce, have made many poetry films. Wiegner’s animations are a play of space, typography and forms. Poce’s experimental films are full of beautiful images and his own typical calligraphic style, combined with extraordinary music by Valerio Murat.

15th February, Tim Webb, filmmaker & Peter Reading, poet; the very first grand prizewinner of Zebra, 2002.

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is a project of the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin in co-operation with interfilm Berlin and with the kind support of the Capital City Cultural Fund (Hauptstadtkulturfonds), the Goethe Institut, the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) and Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG. It takes place as part of the poesiefestival berlin. The 7th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is taking place from 16th–19th October 2014. Artistic director: Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel /


Visible Verse The genre, a hybrid, combines two of my passions, poetry and the moving image. I was first exposed to the idea of videopoetry while residing in Los Angeles by my friend and associate Doug Knott who hosted a cable program called PTV, Poetry Television. His videopoems are still some of my favourites. Visible Verse provides a platform for poets and artists working in the genre; hope to raise its profile, as well as provide a venue for audiences to enjoy their efforts. Sometimes I use the term media poet to describe my work though poetry exists beyond media; always has, always will. I tend to push boundaries by creating across disciplines, genre and media as a poet, author, musician, performer and director. My work manifests online, on paper, on stage, on disc and onscreen. I believe Jean Cocteau was the first poet to employ film. In 1930 he produced Blood of a Poet, usually categorized as Surrealist art. Recently I read about “film poets” from the West Coast abstract school, James Broughton, Sidney Peterson and Hy Hirsh, the latter two collaborating with John Cage in 1947. In 1978 Tom Konyves of Montreal’s Vehicule Poets coined the term “videopoetry” to describe his multimedia work. Rather than get bogged down in semantics, I’d like to point out that I think in terms of moving images and don’t make a huge distinction between film and video. I have worked primarily in digital video as it is accessible and affordable, important considerations to a poet with a small budget and again, poetry exists beyond media. Though most of us in the West are visually literate, it is brave—foolish some say—to adapt the oral tradition to a medium where image is metaphor. I’m drawn to it simply because it’s natural for me, having grown up with television and cinema. According to my mother, I sat with my mouth open through the entire 78 minutes of Jungle Book, my first movie theatre experience. It’s a powerful medium and I still can’t resist its lure. In 1999, as one of the curators of the Vancouver Videopoem Festival, I described videopoem for a journalist as “a wedding of word and image.” Achieving that level of integration is difficult and rare. In my experience the greatest challenge of this hybrid genre is fusing voice and vision, aligning ear with eye. Some poets like to see words on the screen. The effect can be exquisite but I find that film/video doesn’t accommodate text well. We are busy listening to the poem with our eyes, assimilating it through our ears. I prefer spoken word. To me, voice is the critical element, medium and venue secondary considerations. Unlike a music video—the inevitable and ubiquitous comparison—a videopoem stars the poem rather than the poet, the voice seen as well as heard. Heather Haley


VideoBardo Videopoetry: verboaudiovisual language Introduction to language: Animals use different languages to communicate. Sound language, phonetic language (sound produced by the audio system of the individual), body language, visual, tactile language, olfactory language. The human animal adapts and survives by developing his mind, and thus creates a series of abstract languages - representations of reality, typical of the species. Verbal language is phonetic language articulated in speech; the language of sound produced by technological elements to communicate and secondly musical language. Body language also occurs in the form of gestures, rituals, theatre, dance, performance, with theatrical language with its sub-languages such as clothing, makeup, tattooing, objects, architecture, decoration, lighting, etc. Ultimately we are presented with symbolic visual language or visual art. This can be fixed forms (painting, sculpture, photography) as well as mobile forms and in different forms of the moving image, which I am particularly interested in. The prehistory of the language of the moving image has been beautifully captured by Herzog in the "Cave of Forgotten Dreams." There we see rock paintings of animals that are octopuses "moving" in the glare of the torchlight. I imagine that scene accompanied by ritual music, dance and recitation of symbolic-sacred-poetic texts and magical costumes. There is also another factor that influences, transforms and creates human languages: technology. It allows for different forms of language with successive inventions throughout history. For example, one of our first technologies was fire management, essential to warm, to cook, to manipulate materials. Another use of fire was to create light - as torches for primitive people in caves, which then allowed light projections of moving images, to our current large-scale use of lasers. Performative Videopoetry: Prehistory and history Video is the technology of electronic production and showing of motion pictures. Videopoetry produces a dialogue between moving image, sound poetic language and verbal language, giving rise to what we call verboaudiovisual language. The video poem can be presented in different formats: single-channel projection, installation videopoĂŠtica, videopoĂŠtica performance. Hypothetically I would ask you to imagine the prehistoric cave paintings as the first prehistoric, performative video poems. In terms of historically proven forms of performative verboaudiovisual language we can turn to around 5,000 BC in Indonesia, where puppet shadow images known as Shadow Theatre were projected with recited poetry and live music. In ritual, sacred and poetic character, monumental epic Hindu religious poems are represented: the "Mahabharata" and "Ramayana" (anonymous). These are the first performative historical video poems. Another crossing of historical and critical languages to this day emerged in Sumeria in Southern Mesopotamia (now Southern Iraq). The Sumerians developed Sumerian cuneiform writing out of earlier systems. Well before 3000 BC they recorded their language in simple pictures writing on clay


tablets which developed into cuneiform or wedge-shaped writing. Verbal language until then had taken a visual, coded form. In turn writing has been transformed by successive technological inventions: turtle shells, stone and chisel, paper, printing press, typewriter, computer, e-mail, sms, to name a few. So fundamental is this language that has its own art: literature. Within it we are particularly interested in poetry. I should mention that in our historical fascination with meaning in literature and poetry, we have almost completely forgotten the phonic, visual and performative dimensions of language. Technology has enabled us to rescue and experience these dimensions once again as sound poetry, visual poetry and performance poetry. The loss has not been so great in the East and Middle East - Arabic writing, Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, - where the action of writing is considered an inseparable part of writing. The Image In 1839, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851), invented the daguerreotype and the history of photography was born. In 1895 the Lumiere brothers invented a technological system that allowed the filming and projection of moving images. The invention was termed ‘cinema’, which loosely means ‘writing in movement’; not that it was seen as writing but that moving images were a new language. Verbal language in written form is used on screen in the absence of sound to narrate. In turn, the film takes literary genres: documentary, fiction, poetry or art cinema film or experimental cinema. The verboaudiovisual in film language had a strong effect upon the public due to its power to hypnotise. In the early days of cinema some avant-garde filmmakers left out narrative and documentation and developed experimental films, investigating the expressive capacities of cinema (Bragaglia, Eggeling, Leger, Richter, Vertov, etc) Two artists who sensed the possibilities of this new videopoetic format of playing text and lyrics on screen were Duchamp with his film Anemic Cinema and Man Ray in L’etoile de Mer done, in my opinion, the first film videopoems incorporating verbal language as poetic and moving visual elements. The language revolution: from verbal to verboaudiovisual (VAV) The human has primarily communicated through verbal language, since its emergence as a species. From 1900 there began what I call the language revolution: from verbal to verboaudiovisual. Our growing technological society has made us increasingly communicate with this language - VAV. Successive technological inventions have promoted the VAV language, while redefining and creating new formats and own sub-languages. The implications of this revolution are very deep and we still do not know for sure all its consequences. Various thinkers like Giovanni Sartori, Gilles Lipovetsky and many others analyse the changes that technology has introduced. Consider some technological developments that have enhanced this revolution.


1) The film makes language a mass phenomenon VAV initiating this revolution. 2) The House: homes are designed to always taking as center primary elements necessary for survival: water (the tank), fire (the "home" a wood / coal) In 1945 another technological invention VAV language- was installed which then became the centre of our homes, instead of water (cistern), or fire (home). A device called TV becomes the hub of family life, projecting steadily within our homes (with its added allure of not having to leave the home to see and hear it). Artists such as Nam June Paik used that technology as an expressive artistic medium. 3) Until 1970 the production and showing of VAV products was relatively high cost. Then another technological invention arrived to enhance this language with low production and projection costs: the video. Verboaudiovisual production work becomes available to artists and the general public. Thus Video Art, Video Performance, Video Poetry, Video Dance, and Music, etc are born and developed. 4) The computer as a generator of images and animations is another technological development that began to be used for this purpose around the mid-1960s in ongoing innovations, with an enormous influence on VAV languages. 5) An invention born in 1990, alongside other forms of communication, enhanced the VAV exponentially until today - the Internet and worldwideweb. 6) In 2005, the online video channel (Youtube and then others) is created, it democratises and enables instant dissemination of VAV; each person has their own channel and control of overall transmission. 7) In 2006, the current leader of social media (Facebook) became available to all Internet users, achieving explosive use of it. Other social networks follow. Within these formats are linking video channels creating further online VAV platforms multiplying this format. 8) Also during the first decade of the twenty first century everyone started to walk around with a small camera and screen connected online, easily accessible in your pocket: a cell phone with video camera and screen. This further enabled instant 24 hours of VAV language projection. 9) Another contemporary phenomenon is how VAV has monopolised urban public display space: streets, stadiums, public transport waiting rooms, bars and restaurants that broadcast (without asking permission) their messages constantly. A kind of VAV urban space is created, the extreme case being Tokyo. 10) The buildings, the streets, meeting spaces are filled with cameras connected to a central screen in video security systems. The prophecy of "Big Brother" has now come true, and VAV observes and records life in different spaces. 11) Using various technologies in combination we have arrived at a system in which the entire surface of the planet is constantly shooting from satellites for various purposes. Some of the results of this technology are available online. Video Satellite and Global Language VAV planetarium. Google Earth is an example. 12) All the sciences and professions have started using the language VAV in different ways for their differing purposes. It’s what I call Video Technology. For instance; in medicine, through imaging or introducing small cameras in our bodies for diagnosis and operation. 13) Recently technology has started expanding in actual, moving holographic projections as a VAV 3D format. The VAV language has an enormous legitimising aspect which enables it to effect and change human consciousness. In the revolution of VAV language, the poet must act on it, to make poetry and language that does not result in the impoverishment and enslavement of human consciousness, but to serve its enrichment and development. In this sense, video poetry has much to offer. Javier Robledo, VideoBardo International Festival of Videopoetry


REFLECTIONS & POETRY FILM FORMS Watershed, 19th September, 13:00-14:30 Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival

Cine Poetry Film

Marc Neys (Belgium) Come Away, 03:58 (2014) Swoon a.k.a. Marc Neys has over 160 international collaborative poetry films to his name. Swoon’s work is provocative, beautiful and disturbing. Using poems as guidelines Swoon creates videos and soundscapes using a blend of layered images and sound recordings. His work extracts new meaning from the poems he illuminates. His work has been featured all over the world and has won several awards. He is also the video editor for the online magazine Awkward Paper Cut. You can dive into his world at poem: Come Away (and voice) Steve Klepetar ( concept, editing, music Swoon footage: Silent Night Bloody Night (Theodore Gershuny) in the public domain

Gabriele Labanauskaite (Lithuania) Įelektrinta (Electrified), 04:08 (2010) T Electrified came into being after a surprise letter from Lithuanian fashion designer Airida Skrickienė. She wanted to know if she could use this Avaspo poem as a promotional clip for her ‘Cinetic Costumes’. As a poem which combines the poetical metaphor of being electrified by love and the love object with how technology influences our everyday life, the poem seemed to suit her work perfectly. This is how Avaspo began working with fashion and Fresco Pictures, which transformed the initial ideas into a poetic and mystical nightscape.


director: Fresco Pictures and Gabriele Labanauskaite scriptwriter: Fresco Pictures / editor: Fresco Pictures /music: AVaspo cast: Gabriele Labanauskaite, Asta Siuriene, Justina Zukauskaite, Vilma Vansaviciute. ZEBRA poetry festival, Berlin, 2011 TARP festival, Vilnius, 2010

Adele Myers (UK) Birdfall, 01:50 (2014) Originally commissioned by filmpoem from a poem by Danica Ognjenovic, Birdfall was commended in the National Poetry Prize, UK, 2013. This film is reminiscent of the dying swan from Swan Lake, yet offers a haunting rendition of the fallen bird of the poem. Her landing is uncertain and her destiny even less so. scriptwriter: Adele Myers [poem adaption] poem: Danica Ognjenovic editor: Adele Myers music: Ta Prohm by Real Rice cast: Liis- Maria Toomsala Filmpoem, Felix Poetry Festival, Antwerp 2014 Filmpoem, Poetry International Festival of Love. Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, London 2014 Zebra Poem Film Festival 2014, Berlin. Germany

Antonio Poce and Valerio Murat (Italy) Meine Heimat (My Home), 04:30 (2013) Z A man, maybe a composer or a painter, collecting scattered fragments of his soul. Names, words, signs, rusty melodies emerge from a sandy memory. Ulrike Almut Sandig [meine heimat]


ich habe die namen der großen vögel vergessen. jeden juni fällt brut vom first einer scheune, die jetzt leer steht. später im jahr stehen sie steif auf den feldern, von der straße her flocken die kleider weiß aus, von weitem riecht nach verscheuerten sträußen + stahl + geborstenem gut von jenem gewitter am anderen tag: meine heimat. in der heimat brechen sich namen an der scholle, im wort: was dort angebaut wird, ist mir fremd. © Ulrike Almut Sandig, Streumen, Connewitzer Verlagsbuchhandlung, Leipzig 2007. [my heimat] I have forgotten the names of the large birdseach june a brood falls from the ridge of a barn that now stands empty. Later in the year they stand stiffly on the fields, from the street the coats curdled white, from a distance smells of cheap bouquets + steel + possessionsaffected by the storm the other day: my heimatin the heimat names break on the soil’s ridge,in a word: what is raised there I find strange. translated by Bradley Schmidt. The film has screened at: Zebra, Berlin; DoctorClip Roma; Traverse Video Toulouse; VideoFormes Clermont-Ferrand; Instant Video Marseille. Antonio Poce Composer, visual artist, photographer and calligrapher, Antonio studied Composition with Ennio Morricone, Domenico Guaccero e Salvatore Sciarrino. He graduated from the Univerity La Sapienza in Rome with a degree in Humanities. As a composer and video artist he has been given many awards gaining particular recognition for the quality of his work. In 1997 he founded the Hermes Intermedia Foundation a laboratory for the creative processes. He is currently Professor of Composition at the Conservatory of Music “Licinio Refice” in Frosinone. Valerio Murat (1976, Italy) As a child Valerio inherited his tenacity from his forefather Joachim Murat, King of Naples.A mysterious aphasia, which persisted until he was five years old, turned him inwards, reflecting upon memory and images. He was nine years old before he pronounced his name for the first time. Valerio went on to study Composition with Antonio Poce and Electronic Music with Alessandro Cipriani. He often fasts (not always as a result of his own choice) because he believes that the demands of the stomach are incompatible with the ones of composing.He has discarded a life of wealth, but lives with dignity, alternating the pleasures of hospitality and friendship with his well-known ability in dispensing predictions. Recent Music Composition Prizes: I° Prize, Reading panel, IRCAM, Ensemble Intercontemporain, 2006 Paris I° Prize, Concours International de Musique et d’Art Sonore Electoacoustiques, Bourges 2006 I° Prize, Giga-Hertz Prize 2009, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany. ICMC 2006 International Computer Music Conference, New Orleans, selection for concert. As a ‘sound poet’ he is particularly interested in cross-collaborations between the arts. Multiplicity and Intermedia are the prime focus of his work. With Hermes Intermedia, his works for video and multimedia art have been selected and performed at numerous festivals worldwide. A small selection includes: 2005: EXiS, Seoul; A.I.A.C.E. Invideo, Milano; International Computer Music Conference, Barcelona; Doctor senza fili, Frosinone (2009); 2010: Zebra Poetry Award, Berlin; MACRO, Roma; New York University, New York; 2011: Biennale di Venezia; Suonafrancese, Perugia; Università Roma3, Roma; Zebra Poetry a Treviglio Poesia, Treviglio; Museo di Arte Contemporanea Pecci (Prato 2011); 2012: Traverse Video, Toulouse; Videoformes, Clermont Ferrand)


Gabriele Labanauskaite (Lithuania) (Chess Queen), 07:08 (2013) T The poem Chess Queen is a metaphor of power. Gabriele states: ‘Behind every successful man there is a woman. Indeed, the Queen is the most powerful piece in the chess game: its movements are the most complete, and in fact it has the master role in protecting the King. In actual politics the situation is reversed; women’s relative lack of access to social and military power is sometimes justified through their greater perceived value for reproductive and symbolic purposes. Perhaps the chess King’s vulnerability reflects the perception that, like many men surrounded by strong women, that women actually hold the power, even if it isn’t wielded by the sword’. director: Solveiga Serova and Gabriele scriptwriter and editor: Solveiga Serova music: AVaspo cast: Gabriele

Penny Florence (UK) Doaryte Pentreath, (full-length film 09:23, 1989), poem, 03:27 re-edited (2014) This poem, filmed in Cornwall, is part of a longer film centred both on the subject of Doaryte Pentreath, who was the last woman to speak in ancient Cornish, and the problematic of patriarchal language oppressing and silencing women in political terms. Originally filmed on 16 mm, it was screened at the Celtic Film Festival at Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair) in Ireland in 1990, and won the best Cornish entry. Picture 5 Women, funded by South West Arts Written, directed and edited by Penny Florence filmmakers: Joy Eliot and Lally Henty; lighting: Jan Tovey; sound: Jenny; other roles: Elaine Hamilton


Ghayath Almadhoun (Palestine) Your Memory is My Freedom, 05:41 (2012) O Ghayath Almadhoun is a Palestinian Poet, born in Damascus in 1979. He has been living in Stockholm since 2008. He has had a number of poetry collections published including by the union of Arabs writers, and was winner of the ALMAZRAA prize, 2005 and the winner of the Klas de Vylders award, 2012. In 2014 he collaborated with poet Marie Silkeberg on a poetry collection entitled Till Damaskus, published by Albert Bonniers FÜrlag. Stockholm. Marie Silkeberg lives in Stockholm and is a Danish poet, translator and Professor of Literary Composition at the University of Gothenburg. She has published six books of poetry and has been creating sound/text compositions since 1992. She has also made poetry films in collaboration with composers and filmmakers – e.g. The City, about the destruction of Damascus, alternating lines from her own work and from a poem by Ghayath Almadhoun.

Matt Mullins (USA) The Final Neural Firings of the Eternal Starlet, 02:02 (2014) Matt Mullins is an American writer, musician, experimental filmmaker and multimedia artist. His filmpoems have been screened at numerous festivals nationally and internationally. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Mid American Review, Pleiades, Hunger Mountain, Harpur Palate, Descant, Hobart, and various other print and online literary journals. Three Ways of the Saw, his debut collection of short stories was published by Atticus Books in 2012. Matt teaches creative writing at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana where he was an Emerging Media Fellow at the Center for Media Design. You can engage his interactive/digital literary interfaces at and view some of his filmpoems on and vimeo.



Tom Konyves (Hungary / Canadian nationality) Beware of DOG, 03:39 (2008) DOG and GOD. Two sides of the same ontological coin … In the videopoem, the 3 “states” of our being – spiritual, intellectual, instinctive – are presented respectively as text above, text below and voiced. The work is in 2 parts: (1) a conversation, a one-way dialogue between the poet and his “spirit-guide”, revealed as words typed on the horizontal rails of a fence, accompanied by a Latin club beat and punctuated with a well-situated growl or bark; (2) the image of the fence suggests “the other side”, where there is no dialogue, no music – only the singular voice (Piper McKinnon) of the instinctive impulse, the black and white POV of our animal nature, accented by slow motion. Born in Budapest and based in Montreal until 1983, Tom Konyves is one of the original seven poets dubbed ‘The Vehicule Poets’. His work is distinguished by Dadaist / Surrealist / experimental writings, performance works and videopoems. In 1978, he produced his first videopoem, Sympathies of War, and coined the term videopoetry to describe his multimedia work. He is considered to be one of the original pioneers of the form. In 2011 Tom theorised the formal characteristics of the medium in Videopoetry – a Manifesto. Since 2006 he has been teaching screenwriting, journalism and the creative visual writing course, Word and Image, at the University of the Fraser Valley. scriptwriter: camera: editor: music: cast:

Tom KONYVES Tom KONYVES/Alex KONYVES Scott DOUGLAS/Alex KONYVES Los Chicharrons, “Chicharron ‘N’ Boogaloo”, TummyTouch 1999 Piper McKINNON (voice)


CGI Poetry Films

Suzanne Wiegner (Germany) Something I Remember, 02:20 (2012) Z Something I Remember is a poem by Robert Lax that describes a certain moment outside of time and space during a rainy night. The letters of the poem are divided into numerous layers. These layers become spaces, streets and the falling rain, and in the end ‘there is nothing particular about it to recall’. Suzanne Wiegner studied architecture at The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at Pratt Institute in New York City. She works as an architect and 3-D artist in Munich. In addition, for several years she has been creating 3-D computer animations dealing with literature and virtual space and has won several international awards – La Parola Immaginata, Bergamo, 2011 and the Ballon Prize at Crosstalk Videoart Festival, Budapest, 2012. director / scriptwriter / editor Susanne Wiegner

Henry Gwiazda (USA) You Can Never Go Back, 02:15 (2009) Henry Gwiazda is a new media artist/composer whose artistic trajectory has taken him from sampling sound effects and immersive technologies to his current work with new media. The new work is multimedia and focused on movement. The lights in this work represent past actions, thoughts; things we move away from in order to go forward. He has been screened at festivals worldwide and won first prize at Abstracta Cinema, Rome, Italy; the Magmart Video Festival, Naples, Italy; second prize at the Crosstalk Video Art Festival, Budapest, Hungary; and third prize at the GIGUK Video Art Festival, Giessen, Germany. His work is available on Innova Recordings.


Visual Text

Judy Kendall (UK) Murmuration, 00:19 (20) Using found text lifted from a response to a film of a starling murmuration in action, a text that explains in scientific terms how this delicate manoeuvre occurs, the film consists of a series of handmanipulated shapes of text approximating the movements of one such murmuration; the text is then looped so the film continues indefinitely. We see the starlings move through and by means of the words that describe those movements. The words that observe the starlings are also the starlings, the starlings are their words. director: scriptwriter: editor:

Tim Isherwood Judy Kendall Julian Tagoe


Judy Kendall (UK) The Character of Rain, 00:20 (2000) This poem, originally written in Japan as a text piece and published as such in Judy Kendall’s Joy Change (Cinnamon Press, 2010), explores the delicate nuances and depths contained within Chinese characters, historically, visually and associatively, and also connecting them both in the language used and in the reference to Brendan Kennelly, with Western spiritual experiences. In the visual version of the poem, the moving dropping (rain-like) radicals that make up the character of rei encourage a Western audience to focus more on this angle to the poem than they otherwise might. Of the several pieces on which Steve Earnshaw and Judy Kendall collaborated this has been consistently very popular with audiences, unused to visual or experimental poetry, who appreciate its delicacy and legibility. director: Steve Earnshaw scriptwriter: Judy Kendall editor: Steve/Judy produced: Kanazawa University Japan / Sheffield Hallam UK exhibited at Interactivity, Gloucestershire Court Exhibition in 2006. It is included in Steve Earnshaw’s FLASH ART web gallery:

Charles Olsen (New Zealand: nationality: New Zealand /British) In Silence, 02:30 (2014) Charles Olsen (b: New Zealand, 1969) is the son of an Anglican priest and an opera singer. He moved to England in 1981 and to Spain in 2003. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Middlesex University, London, in 1994. His work has been shown in London, Madrid, Barcelona, Oporto, Paris, Wellington, and his painting “La Sundari” was displayed in the Saatchi Gallery, London. His short film The dance of the brushes won second prize in the I Festival Flamenco de Cortometrajes, Madrid, 2010. He is director alongside Lilián Pallares of AntenaBlue – the observed word – creating booktrailers, filmpoems and short films in the field of literature. He presented his poetry recital Agita Flamenco with flamenco piano and flamenco dance in the New Zealand pavilion of the Venice Biennale and the SGAE (General Society of Authors and Publishers), Madrid, 2012. Since 2011 he has run the online poetry project Palabras Prestadas (Given words) with the participation of poets from throughout the Spanish-speaking world. He is editor of the collection Palabras Prestadas (Ediciones de la MediaNoche). His poem “In silence” is published in his first book Sr. Citizen, Amargord Ediciones, 2011. It is a meditation on the ebb and flow of silence.


Martin Sexton (UK; nationality Anglo-Irish) Poem of Poems, original 11:52, (2002) revised 03:11 (2014) Martin Sexton produces powerful and genuinely controversial work. His practice occurs at the interface of ancient history and metaphysics and is as diverse as including such topics as the psychosocial aspects of UFOlogy and the politics of aesthetics − but it is all countered with an overpowering poetic vision that has echoes of the extremism of rock n’roll. His work seems to defy categorization, but in conversation with the curator James Putnam he explained: “With my writing practice I somehow feel the books or poems I want to read do not yet exist, so I must make them in order to read them and in making them this does not always mean writing them in a conventional sense. Sometimes my practice seems to converge and takes the form of, say, a sculptural poem, video poem, or an invocation or play, ritual or performance notions of time: past, present future existing all at once, play powerfully within me and inhabit much if not all of my explorations.” He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, including: Tate Britain, Benaki Museum Athens, Poetry Library London, Wolfsonian Museum Miami, Hydra Museum, Palais Thurn Und Taxis Bregenz, & the Venice Biennale. Both in his storytelling and poetry, he has worked with the physical medium of ice, fire, meteorites, sound, film and performance – elusive to labeling his work seems to defy categorization – yet he describes all of his practice in whatever medium strictly as writing. First screened at Middlesex Uni ‘Pitch’ contemporary writing MA (2002), ‘VINYL IV As if by Proxy’ Redux, London – curated by Peter Lewis & Makiko Nagaya (2005), ‘Art on Poetry’ Saison Poetry Library, South Bank Centre, curated by Victoria Browne for KALEID editions (2011). director / scriptwriter / editor: Martin Sexton music: James Cauty

Sarah Tremlett (UK) In the Turning, 02:00 (2014) This poem was conceived as part one of a series of six screen ‘pages’ incorporating post-concrete poetry techniques with advances in digital technology. In is a poetry film influenced by repetitive rhythms and page-based poetry, particularly the verse form of anaphora, where the same word begins every line of verse, typified in the work of Walt Whitman. In this film the bands of colour are created by the


way the lines fall on the screen – poetic verse thereby determining pattern. The music is Arabic in influence. ‘As a multimedia artist – painter and arts journalist (with a play written about art produced in the USA), I began making short films in 2001 and minimal, contemplative conceptual poetry films in 2005, and my work often examines processes of remediation. I also work with ekphrastic poetry – a poem on Peter Lanyon being included in the Otter Gallery anthology, Chichester University.’ Sarah Tremlett is an experimental media poet, artist and arts theorist and has completed a research degree on rhythm and poetry film at The University of the Arts, London. Described as a ‘visual philosopher’ by Karina Karaeva, (Video Curator, National Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow) she is codirector of Liberated Words poetry film events and co-conceived and organised MIX (Merging Intermedia Conference) in 2012. As both a creator of poetry films and a theorist of poetry film forms, her work has previously focused on exploring the screen surface and the borders between moving painting and poetics. She is now working with historical poetic forms, e.g. troubadour poetry and romantic poetry in her latest poetry films.

Kristian Pedersen (Norway) Soar, Soar, 02:45 (2011) O Soar, Soar is freely based on a passage from Solstad’s autobiographical novel 16.07.41, named after his own birthday. Here he is passenger on a plane that circles over Berlin before landing. In this cloud landscape he sees his own father, who passed away when the author was 11 years old. Dag Solstad (b. 1941) is one of Norway’s most celebrated authors. He lives partly in Oslo and partly in Berlin. Solstad is a novelist and writer, and has published numerous articles and essays throughout the years. In 2011 the Norwegian National Library notably celebrated his 70th anniversary with an honorary exhibition. Soar Soar was produced for this occasion. Kristian Pedersen (b.1980) graduated with an MA in Visual Communication from Bergen Academy of Art and Design. He works as a freelance animator and designer in Oslo, Norway. In collaboration with the small press Gasspedal, he produces animated poetry films for Gasspedal and Norwegian publishing house Gyldendal.


Sound Text

Meriel Lland (UK) Flowerkisser, 03:00 (2013) Flowerkisser is an incantation taking inspiration from Mojave stories of hummingbirds who guide humans to light. Here the birds lead a woman to rediscover her voice. Betrayed by words as she gives her beloved ‘permission to die’ all sounds fade. But the Beloved gifted her seeds to plant in a secular ritual as she feeds the cake to the rainforest and we witness the moment she consents to life. Legend tells that hummers were made from scraps of feathers and so with the rebirth to colour, sound and language of this woman. Fragmentary they find nectar together. Sound Text / Hybrid Form ‘Sound as vibration, as vital energy and its absence is the journey of the poem. Here sound is sculpted, layered to create texture, time and process. Though visuals and written language compose the piece, sound in its fullest sense is key to the experience disclosed. It is voice, thought, pact, promise, bird and rhythm. This film also might also be described as a contemplative poetry film using sloweddown visuals, focusing on surface effects where sound also plays a hypnotic role. However for me part of the excitement of film poetry is that it permits makers to explore the interactions of sound, visuals, movement, action, performance, written and spoken language, music and voice in such a way as to make each of these syntagems equally significant to the project and to make the final edit more than the sum of its part – a kind of gestalt art form. For this reason genre hybridity seems the order of the day. Meriel Lland lectures at Manchester Metropolitan University, she is a writer, wildlife photographer and artist entranced by the stories we tell of the natural world and the secrets those stories reveal of their tellers. She has travelled with reindeer in Scandinavia, elephants in Africa and camels in Morocco. A turtle dove once shared her garden. Director/writer/editor/music/cast: Meriel Lland and Smallestdogintheworld studio Hummingbird sound-effect used by permission of; production: UK and Tobago


Animated Poetry Film

Lise Fearnley & Kajsa Næss (Norway) Sa mor (Mother Said) 02:11(1999) O ‘Who do you really want to please, your mother or an anthill?’ An animated film based on a poem by Hal Sirowitz. The film is made using a mix of pixillation, cut out photographs and stop motion, shot on 16mm. Lise Fearnley began her animation career as Director of Photography for puppet master Pjotr Sapegin at Studio Magica. After a few years, she started working as a producer, and in 1996 she co-founded Mikrofilm. She is one of Norway’s most experienced animation producers, and among her credits is producing the Academy Award winner The Danish Poet. Lise Fearnley: Director, DOP, Producer Kajsa Næss (b. 1970) studied at the Oslo Film and TV Academy in 1993, followed by studies in animation at Volda University College from 1994 to 1996. After completing her education she cofounded the animation production company Mikrofilm AS with Lise Fearnley in 1996, and has since worked as a director, screenwriter, animator and producer for the company. The company’s many films have been screened at numerous festivals, both at home and abroad, and have received several awards, including an Academy Award for Best Animated Short for The Danish Poet (Torill Kove, 2006). Næss herself has written, directed, animated and produced several animated and live-action shorts, documentaries, commercials and music videos. She was assistant director for the feature film Som du ser meg 2012. Kajsa’s short film Deconstruction Workers was screened at numerous short film festivals worldwide (Clermont-Ferrand, Annecy, Tribeca, Aspen and more). Her latest short “It’s Up To You” (2013) won several awards and has been screened at more than 30 festivals world wide, including Dok Leipzig, Kapittelfestivalen, Stavanger and Animafest, Zagreb. scriptwriter: Kajsa Næss, based on the poem A year younger by Hal Sirowitz music:Tommy Berre and Geir Bremer Øvrebø cast:Narrator: Nicholas HopeMother: Trine FalchSon: Andreas Papadopoulos Samuelsen


Ignacio Mendía (Argentina) Parásito Polilla Corzaón, 02:42 (2012) VB Ignacio’s YouTube quotation is translated as: ‘this is not a documentary about a product of genetic engineering – the moth heart was created to eradicate hatred from the face of the earth’. Celebrating moths, the flickering, scratchy, hand-drawn quality of this film creates a sense of ‘mothness’ which is hard to define. Ignacio Mendia is an art director in multimedia. He works with video installations, projections, alternative graphics, artists books, visual poetry, combining new media technology with practices in painting, drawing, and printmaking. He is also an actor and performer.

Martha McCollough (USA) Journey Up The Amazon, 01:47 (2013) Journey Up the Amazon is about death and shopping. It conflates the idea of a journey with exploration of some of the more obscure corners of the website, and is a meditation on buying versus making, and the inevitable disappointments of consumerism. Martha McCollough received her BFA from the University of Michigan, and an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute. She has twice been a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and is a member of Atlantic Works, a co-öp gallery in Boston. Her videopoems have been exhibited at festivals and conferences in Greece, Canada, the U.K., Ireland, and the United States, and have been published in online magazines Rattapallax, Gone Lawn, and TriQuarterly. She lives in Massachusetts.


Music Poetry Film

Rich Ferguson (USA / nationality Scottish / Irish / Italian) and Mark Wilkinson (USA) Human Condition, 05:20 (2010) VV ‘Voices of you and me cry out every day: crying out for justice. Voices of hope cry out every day: crying out for a better tomorrow. Voices of faith cry out every day: saying we must do our best to stay positive while being tested by oppression, personal demolition and spirit submission. The song of We cries out every day: to sing and dance, to witness the potential brilliance in ourselves. Our hearts cry out every day: knowing there has to be more to life than just survival while in this condition, our human condition.’ At its heart, this video is about the struggles we deal with daily: hatred, ignorance and oppression. This video also shows that no matter how much we have weighing against us, we still somehow manage to rise. Rich Ferguson: Pushcart-nominated poet Rich Ferguson has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, T.C. Boyle, and many other esteemed poets and musicians. He has performed on The Tonight Show, at the NYC International Fringe Festival, and with UK-based poetry collective One Taste. He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (sequel to 1 Giant Leap). His work has been widely anthologized, published in the LA TIMES, Opium Magazine, and his spoken word/music videos have been featured internationally. His poetry collection 8 th & Agony has been published by L.A.’s Punk Hostage Press. As a director/cameraman, editor and post-wizard, Mark Wilkinson has over a decade of experience working on music videos and promotional films for artists Michael Jackson, Ice Cube, BG, Ozomatli, AFI, Finch, Big L, Wyclef Jean, Brooks & Dunn, Delta Goodrem, Junkie XL, Emmy Rossum, and most recently Rebekka Bakken, The Police, ACDC, Chris Botti and Sting. Described by Kevin Thomas in the Los Angeles Times as “a deep-digging and personal filmmaker,” Mark has written two award-winning short films screened at international festivals and made his feature film debut with Dischord, an art-house thriller that was released theatrically in 2003. Mark is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Stage Directors and Choreographers society, the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and the Actors Studio Directors Unit.


Heather Haley (Canada) Whore in the Eddy, 05:55 (2013) VV The Siren of Howe Sound, trailblazing poet, author, musician and media artist Heather Haley pushes boundaries by creatively integrating disciplines, genres and media. Published in numerous journals, anthologies and collections Sideways (Anvil Press), and Three Blocks West of Wonderland (Ekstasis Editions), Haley’s verse is described as ‘a highly fueled poetic ride; fierce, racy, full of stiletto irony and verve, yet rife with sensitivity’. Architect of the Edgewise ElectroLit Centre, the Vancouver Videopoem and Visible Verse Festivals, her own works have been official selections at dozens of international film festivals. Haley has gained renown as an engaging performer, sharing her poetry and music with audiences around the world.


Stephanie (Sonority) Turner (UK) Portrait of a Listener, 02:10 (2012) Portrait of a Listener is a response to Billy Collins’ ‘A Portrait of a Reader with a Bowl of Cereal ’ and was born in Camden Town’s Roundhouse whilst attending a writing workshop led by Inua Ellams. The omniscient speaker follows a young listener on a journey to school, to a friend’s house and then calls the listener into a pair of headphones. The film was created in partnership with Adidas and creative agency Four23. Stephanie (Sonority) Turner is a poet, performer and creative artist based in London. Stephanie was recently nominated for the University of Cambridge’s Jane Martin Poetry Prize. She was selected as the poet to represent Camden by Adidas for their Olympic Campaign; was shortlisted for City Read’s Young Writer in Residence; has held residencies in museums and community spaces and is also a


Rise Slam Champion. She performs her work regularly, organises events and workshops in various settings across the country and is currently animating poems and painting ‘hope’ on windows across London - Lookoutforhope. She is committed to supporting arts in the community and working towards bridging cultural, educational and access barriers across the arts and cultural sectors. director / scriptwriter / cast: Sonority editor: Four23

Javier Robledo (Argentina) Humo (Smoke), 3:46 (2008) VB ‘Smoke: breathing, speaking in poetry, building the word, magic word concreted as thing/ cigarette /thought, smoked word, the poet performs like the priest sacred Mexican Aztec smoker, looking for the poem.’ In this performance Javier Robledo places cigarettes on a table to spell the word ‘Humo’ or Smoke and then lights a cigarette. Javier Alejandro Robledo (anagram of ‘the young bard red grouse’) is a poet, writer, director, performer, visual artist and producer, and perhaps most famously known now for Bardo (Bard) poetry magazine from 1996 to 2004, currently in blog format In 1996 he founded the VideoBardo videopoetry archive in Buenos Aires, with the purpose of collecting, exchanging, researching and disseminating the genre. In 1999 he was the co-founder of Impa The Factory, and the Impa Orazio Microcinema, and in 2004 he held the first International Festival of VideoPoetry in Buenos Aires.

Robert Priest (Canada) Colours of Bullshit, 02:33 (2014) VV Colours Of Bullshit, is a new high-resolution capture from the series of video poems known as poem painter. Performance by Robert Priest; produced and directed by Allen Booth. The poem is from Robert Priest’s book The Mad Hand. Robert Priest is the author of 20 books of poetry and prose and numerous CDs and videos. His poetry platforms on the web have attracted over a hundred thousand hits and he is a mainstay of the festival


circuit in Canada and all over the world. His words have been decried in the legislature (see the video at youtube/greatbigfaced), turned into a hit song, posted in the transit system, broadcast on MuchMusic, quoted by politicians, sung on Sesame Street and widely published in text books and anthologies. His latest books are Previously Feared Darkness, ECW Press. (“Dense, humorous, knowing, pleading, consoling and entirely invigorating poems of the first class.” - Michael Dennis) and a book of praise poems for children: Rosa Rose published in June 2013 by Wolsak & Wynn (“Rosa Rose and Other Poems is a beautiful poetry collection that needs to be on every child’s bookshelf and is sure to make young readers lovers of history and poetry.” Inderjit Deogun CM magazine).


Helen Moore / Howard Vause (UK) Greenspin, 3:00 (2013) Greenspin liberates and exposes the language of corporate advertising and ‘greenwashing’. It references the creative practice of subvertising through the medium of satirical videopoetry – in this case a blend of cinepoetry, with elements of voice, music and animation superimposed over still and moving graphics (constituting an ante-narrative (in the form of an ‘ad’ for the spoof Greenspin PR company) followed by the performance of the poem ‘From Greenwash, A User’s Manual’, where the sound of the drum is visually united with the drum of the washing machine. An award-winning published poet – Hedge Fund, And Other Living Margins (Shearsman Books, 2012) and ecopoet based in Frome, Somerset, Helen publishes poetry, essays and reviews in a wide range of anthologies and journals, and regularly performs her poetry at literary events and environmental conferences around the UK. She offers tailor-made poetry/creative writing/storytelling workshops to adults, young people and children, and has a wide experience of directing arts projects and working in the field of community arts. Howard Vause: media artist, performer and co-founder of Frome Media Arts. In 2010 his animated film-noir Driver bagged the top Shepton Digifest Animation Award. He is passionate about using creative technologies to enrich learning.


Andrew Cullimore (UK) Slag, 02:05 (2014) Slag is a short film inspired by Helen Clare’s eponymous poem. ‘Slag’ is a modern slang term for whore, and the film focuses on a woman, branded by this insult, wishing to cleanse herself. director: Andrew Cullimore scriptwriter: Helen Clare editor: Richard Addlesee music Moby gratis / DJ Dirty Freud cast: Davinia Jokhi / Charlotte Quartermaine / Clark Joseph-Edwards produced in association with Comma Press and Bokeh Yeah

Maciej Piatek (Poland) Contemplating Hell, 04:57 (2013) A film by Polish video artist Maciej Piatek inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s poem, Contemplating Hell. In the world of coming from and going to nowhere, we are living in bi-polar reality in which the gap between what’s right and what’s wrong between hell & heaven is getting bigger, thus our life becomes more uncertain. These blended ideas and images are creating chaos and making us lonely. The only solution is to stop and contemplate, contemplate heaven or go to hell. Maciej Piatek is a Polish video artist based in the UK. He started his adventure with movie making while preparing a short film Dictator for a mobile phone movie competition Take it and Make it a part of Off Plus Camera 2009, Cracow, where it came tenth. Since then he has been involved in many projects, including producing music videos for various local music bands and emerging international musicians such as: Soolee/ South Korea, Program/Canada, Kid Savant/US, Stems/UK. Maciej has worked on short films alongside Karol Wyszynski and other Yorkshire-based artists and curated short movie showcases at Halifax Festival 2011-13. He is a founder and curator of Polish short movie showcase Projektor and co-founder of Halifax- based electronic music event Körnee Shöny, where his alter-ego Vj pietrushka performs visual sessions mixing live his own video samples taken from cinematic classics of the 20th-century. written, directed & animated by Maciej Piatek music by Karol Wyszynski produced by Maciej Piatek & F_F_P END OF POETRY FILM AND FORM SCREENING


Marc Neys’ masterclass, Saturday 20th September 10:00-16:00, YHA, Bristol

(photo by Laura Vansevičienė)

An introduction by Marc Neys The objective is to create a brand new videopoem. I give a brief introduction (with examples) on the history of videopoetry and of what videopoetry is/can be. Then, through a series of playful experiments the participants get to write and create a first example of videopoetry. This way participants experience the importance of timing, the power of coincidence, and, hopefully, the fun of playing with words and images. The last part involves working on a (few) projects (groups of 3-5 people) where the participants must create a brand new videopoem from scratch, based on newly-written material or existing poetry (of their own?). They go out and film themselves or look for images and footage on the net. I will be helping with recording/filming/looking for images, music, editing ... Technical rider(s) workshop: 1. computer speakers (usb) 2. computer microphone (usb) – I have one myself, but if I don‘t have to bring one, that would be nice. 3. projector and screen – sound system (not needed if workshop room is not too big, I’ll use the computer speakers) Other equipment for the workshop: 1. A room where we can work in with internet connection (and the sound and visual equipment) 2. A few tables and chairs for the participants List for participants: I’m looking for (aspiring) writers, people who love the combination of word & image, people who want to play around with video and language … If they are (aspiring) writers they may bring poems or short prose of their own. If they have a camera they can use it to film (HD, DSLR, Smartphone …). If they have their own laptop or tablet all are welcome. None of the above are essential, just handy …


Website Home Page Screening

Wishbones and Gunfire Wevoicesing Wishbones & Gunfire explores the creative process and the inspiration behind the unique sounds of Indie duo Wevoicesing. Musician, producer & composer Bo Blount along with Spoken word artist/singer Rich Ferguson have melded their personal styles together to create something truly original. Shot on location in Los Angeles during the recording process of their debut album by Emmy winning filmmaker Ben Staley, this eclectic short film is part Documentary and Part Music Video. WaG was recently awarded Best Documentary in the 2014 SoCal Creative and Innovative Film Festival.


None of this would have been possible without the insight and support of:

Peter Salt and BANES; Colin Brown at Poetry Can and Rich Warren and everyone at Encounters who with all their combined years of experience have enabled a melding of the arts of poetry and film in Bristol, September 2014 in a truly unique way. Much admiration. Our wonderful workshop organisers: ecopoet Helen Moore and filmmaker Howard Vause who, in their own ways make me want to do better at both supporting and defending nature causes and understanding the black art technicalities of animation and filmmaking. Hetty Dupays, Diane Samways, Edwina Bridgeman, Frankie Simpkins, the wonderful patients and relatives and all involved with Art at the Heart and The Royal United Hospital – which, with their efforts must make the RUH the largest and most stimulating gallery/hospital in the UK! You don’t have to wait to be ill just pop in and savour! Our LA judges Rich Ferguson and Mark Wilkinson – for making distance negligible (west coast to west coast over there is over here) and consummate craftsmen both. James Symonds for his endless patience and the fine editing of Reflections & Memory and Reflections & Poetry Film and Form screenings. Pete Hunter for great website interpretation skills. All our associate festivals in Europe, Canada and Argentina: Zebra, Tarp, Oslo Poetry Festival, Visible Verse and VideoBardo for helping us to grow and share poetry film throughout the world. I actually feel a tingle of excitement just writing this – how can you define tingle?! Co-award presenter Diana Taylor (with Howard) for inspiring us with her contributions to poetry film in Bristol and supporting our project. And finally Tom Fieldhouse at St Gregory’s Catholic College and all the school children and patients who took part – for whom making a poetry film made a bit of a difference to their day – and ours as well.

Liberated Words Liberated Words workshops commissioned by Sarah Tremlett, and devised by poet Helen Moore and filmmaker Howard Vause in conjunction with: Art at The Heart, The Royal United Hospital, Bath – The Golden Bird Project; St Gregory’s Catholic College and Tom Fieldhouse, English teacher and all the students who took part in the Mametz Wood Project based on the poem by Owen Sheers Liberated Words Reflections & Memory Poetry Film Competition: Lucy English and Sarah Tremlett Reflections on Poetry Film and Form, Watershed, hosted and curated by Sarah Tremlett as part of Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival Programme edited and produced by Sarah Tremlett Festival development: Sarah Tremlett

Key *M/S *E

shortlisted for music / sound award shortlisted for editing for poetic effect award

Abbreviations for selections from other festivals: Z VB VV T O

Zebra VideoBardo Visible Verse Tarp Oslo Poetry film festival





Schedule of Events


Judges’ details


Reflections & Memory at Bristol Poetry Festival: order of events


Filmmakers and film details: Schools’ films


The Golden Bird Project




Interpretations of The High Hills Have a Bitterness, Ivor Gurney


Reflections & Memory filmmakers and films competition finalists


Reflections & Poetry Film and Form


discussion participants


festivals providing selected films


Reflections & Memory Poetry Film and Form filmmakers and films


Cine Poetry Film




Visual Text


Sound Text


Animated Poetry Film


Music Poetry Film






Marc Neys’ masterclass


website screening: Wishbones & Gunfire, wevoicesing and Ben Staley








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