~ Sabotage ~

Lucy English on poetry-film collaboration

The British poet and poetry-film scholar Lucy English has a very interesting essay in Sabotage recounting the genesis of her Book of Hours project and how she’s adapted her poetic style to the exigencies of collaborative poetry-film creation.

When I tell people I am working on a poetry film project they make the assumption that I am creating films of myself reading or performing poetry. This is a natural response as I am a spoken word poet and, typically, my work is delivered live to an audience. My desire to create poetry films has made me re-evaluate the type of poetry I write, what word choices to use and what form it takes. As I developed The Book of Hours I have experimented with the placement of spoken poetry in a poetry film and formulated definitions of how a ‘poetry film’ differs from other filmic interpretations of poetry such as films of poets reading their work or ‘film poems’; short poetic films. The poetry I have written for this project is leaner, and more focused. There is more ‘space’ within the words for the moving images to interact and more silence. In The Book of Hours I have attempted to bring the delicate poetry film form, which is a growing but niche area of poetry, into the populist and digitally distributed arena of spoken word.

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