Guest Poet: Elephant's Footprint
Chaucer Cameron and Helen Dewbery are international poetry filmmakers, working under the name Elephant's Footprint. Their work includes: collaborative poetry film shorts, PF curations, augmented poetry performances, and creative-writing-poetry-film workshops in the community. They are currently developing the concept of Poetry Film Collections, as a poetry film genre. Helen's short film, The Future is Here, was listed as one of the best poetry films at Athens International Poetry Film Festival (2017). Chaucer is currently curating Wild Whispers, an international poetry film translation project. They have co-edited three collections of poetry and image. Chaucer and Helen are the editors of Poetry Film Live, working in partnership with The Interpreter's House. https://elephantsfootprint.com
Guest Poet: Jodie Hollander
American poet Jodie Hollander was raised in a family of classical musicians. She studied poetry in England, and her work has been published in journals such as The Poetry Review, PN Review, The Dark Horse, The Rialto, Verse Daily, The New Criterion, The Manchester Review, Australia's Best Poems of 2011, and Australia's Best Poems of 2015. Her debut pamphlet, The Humane Society, was released with tall-lighthouse (London) in 2012; her full-length collection, My Dark Horses, is published with Liverpool University Press. Hollander is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in South Africa, a Hawthornden Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant in Italy. She currently lives in Colorado.
Guest Poet: Liz Watts
Liz Watts is a sculptor and ceramicist. She often constructs pieces which incorporate her writing, the text and image developing simultaneously, and has won awards both for her sculpture and her poetry. She exhibits her work in galleries and installations, collaborating with poets, storytellers and musicians. In 2015 she was elected to the United Society of Artists and was first prize winner at their exhibition at Bankside Gallery, Southbank in 2016. She is a past winner of the National Poetry Day prize for Wiltshire.
25th May 2017, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
How appropriate for a Words & Ears falling on a hot, hot evening that we should find ourselves among Liz Watts' Beached imaginings, and cooled, in the imagination if not literally, by the water-and-shady-woods imagery from Elephant's Footprint films. That, though, was just the start of things at the Swan last week. The one-off collaboration between sculptor and film-makers produced something quite 'other' for the senses - the gorgeous synergies of those skies, wavelets and woods flitting and flickering over Liz's work (clouds beneath sea shells and sea women - a poem in itself), the plinths and the walls, created what felt like a brand new, three-dimensional, multi-layered art form. There was something mesmeric and soothing about the readings, too - Chaucer Cameron's poems were all the more powerful for their uncomplicated delivery, without preamble. 'Water seeps into our land', she said, and so the theme settled with us all - Liz let the whales and blue fin tuna swim free, while in the open mic, Pey was 'as indivisible as water', Paul gave us George Mackay Brown's 'dreaming plankton', and with Peter is was possible to 'catch fish with our eyes'. In the second half, we were treated to a curation of rich and gentle poetry films by Helen Dewbery, showing something of what is possible with this delicious form. Jodie Hollander maintained the mood with a powerful but lilting reading from her new collection My Dark Horses and, among many wonderful poems in the second open mic, we were treated to a reading of Rosie's poem The Heaven That Runs Through Everything, which recently won the Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition.