~ Poet: Filmpoem Workshop children ~

Shaking Shells by the Filmpoem Workshop children


I was privileged to watch the unveiling of this videopoem last month in Dunbar, immediately following its creation:

Shaking Shells is a Filmpoem Workshop film, made in a period of three hours with five children, the amazing children’s writer and poet Emily Dodd, composer Luca Nasciuti and artist Alastair Cook directing, filming and editing. This is part of the incredible new Filmpoem Festival, which was held at Dunbar Town House on 3rd and 4th August this year.

Emily Dodd goes into much more detail about the process on her blog:

Last month I led a 3-hour Filmpoem workshop with five children aged between five and ten as part of the first UK Filmpoem Festival in Dunbar.

The workshop started with exercises and games to get the children thinking like poets (I wrote a bit about it here). Then we spent the second half of the workshop writing a group poem on a poetry walk.

Each section of the walk involved a different poetry challenge and at the next stop we heard the results of the last challenge and I set the next challenge. For example when you’re walking:

  • Explore the wall, touch it, smell it, describe it
  • What sounds do you notice? Describe them
  • Find your favourite object on the beach, if you find a better one, swap it. Describe it.

Each child worked independently during the challenge but we came together in a circle at the end of each challenge and each contributed one line to the poem.


During the walk artist Alastair Cook was capturing film and composer Luca Nasciuti recorded sounds. When we were down on the beach Donald (5) was in the process of finding his favourite object when he made a discovery….

“I’ve found a sound for the film!” he shouted. He was sitting down with a handful of mussel shells in his hands and he shook them to show me. He tipped his ear towards the shells again to make sure they sounded right. “That’s brilliant Donald” I said. “Let’s show Luca so he can record it” and I called Luca over and Donald shook his shells again.

Do click through and read the rest.

All Tangled Up: children’s filmpoetry from Scotland


The result of the first Filmpoem Children’s Workshop led by Alastair Cook for North Light Arts. The film includes five poems read by their authors: Kitty, Alasdair, Andrew, Ben, and Nancy. Ben Dorin James was the cinematographer, and Filmpoem is credited as the director.