Filmpoem & Poetry Installation

A poem of mine has been chosen to represent Ireland by The Poetry Society at the European Literature Festival. My piece is titled ‘Faoi Mhaighnéidín Cuisneora, Grianghraf de Mhamó mar Chailín Scoile’ / ‘Under a Fridge Magnet, a Photo of Grandmother as a Schoolgirl’ and it will feature as part of a sound installation of poetry from throughout the continent, at the British Library, London, 27 April-19 May. More information here.

A joint project by The Poetry Society and the European Literature Festival, the Poetry Periscope includes recordings of poems from 30 European cultures, placing poetry grandees such as Titos Patrikios (Greece) and Friederike Mayröcker (Austria) alongside upcoming names such as Irish-language poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa. Poems will each be available in their original language and a recorded English translation. The installation appears at the Piazza of the British Library from 27 April-19 May before touring to other venues nationwide during 2016, including the Ledbury Poetry Festival (1-10 July) and at the Durham Book Festival (16 Sept-16 Oct).

The project will be launched by poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan. He writes –

“In the globalised 21st Century we need some means of speaking to ourselves and each other about our deepest hopes, desires and fears. Poetry can do that, in all its languages with all its rhythms and images, reminding us who we are and who we can become. The joy of the Poetry Periscope is that, like all periscopes, it lets us glimpse landscapes, in this case poetic landscapes, in a brand new way. It’s a great initiative and I’m proud to be associated with it.”

My thanks to Judith Palmer, director of the The Poetry Society, for inviting me to participate in this exciting and innovative project. Unfortunately, I can’t travel to the launch in London. Instead, I designed a new filmpoem based on my poem.

Experimenting with cross-disciplinary collaboration is an aspect of my work that I find both challenging and nourishing, and film is a medium that particularly appeals to me.

This is the first filmpoem that I’ve devised and made alone, but over the past few years, the talented filmmaker Peter Madden has collaborated with me on the creation of several other filmpoems. You can watch more of our filmpoems here. Peter is currently editing our latest filmpoem collaboration, [chronosequence]. Filmpoems we have completed so far include I Come From, Rondelet on the Alchemy of Bacon Fat, Glaoch, Call and Waking, and you can see them here. I have a fondness for each of the filmpoems for different reasons, but I think my personal favourite is Rondelet on the Alchemy of Bacon Fat.