As it is December 24 today, the night before Christmas, here is the 1905 poetry film “The Night Before Christmas” directed by Edwin S. Porter. It closely follows Clement Clarke Moore’s 1823 poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, and was the first film production of the poem.
Directed by Edwin S. Porter
Based on the poem written by Clement Clarke Moore
Cinematography by Edwin S. Porter
Distributed by Edison Manufacturing Company
1,670 feet of film was shot, with 798 feet used
A panoramic shot of Santa Claus riding his sleigh over hills and the moon was shot using miniatures and a painted backdrop.
Below is a selection of comments from the sold out PoetryFilm Solstice event at the ICA Cinema on 21 December 2014.
“Just a short word to say how much I enjoyed the poetry film winter solstice. It was wonderful, stimulating and great to see it got a full house too, lots of interesting brilliant people.”
“Really good to see something so unique and thought-provoking”
“Wonderful creative poetry films screened and excellently hosted/presented”
“Very unique and thought-provoking”
“Wonderful films, stimulating. Loved Sandpiper, Genet, Solstice”
“Great project – well produced. Dann Casswell’s film was great as was Sandpiper and Turbines”
“Some lovely inspirational creativity and all beautifully presented / hosted”
“Following PoetryFilm since my film was selected for Shot Through the Heart (Southbank) – lovely to come to an event – enjoyed the selection”
“Really enjoyed – thank you”
“Great selection of films! Love the connection between poetry and science in an experimental medium”
“Thank you really much!! That was hypnotic and poetic. Great time”
“Thank you for a fine afternoon. Enjoyed the turbine the most! :-)”
“Really enjoyed it, thought-provoking for a Sunday afternoon. Lovely venue”
“It’s the best poetry event that I’ve missed, yet!”
“Solstice screening today was cool. Lots of great stuff”
“Perfect way to spend the Winter Solstice. Keep up the good work and roll on the next event”
PoetryFilm Solstice sold out in record time. Please email email@example.com to be added to the priority list for future events.
Programme for PoetryFilm Solstice on Sunday 21 December at the ICA Cinema in London.
Demonstrating the headphone exhibit. Many thanks to the Regulate team.
Below is a selection of comments written in the PoetryFilm Comments Book following the PoetryFilm event in Cork.
“Really brilliant, makes us question perception and everyday events”
“Excellent initiative allowing to see great talents calling out to reflect upon everything. Brilliant.”
Due to the high volume of submissions received by PoetryFilm, please read the following advice before submitting your work:
– A fully completed Submission Form must accompany all submissions – please download from http://www.poetryfilm.org/submissions
– Please print out and include hard copies of all the additional material you would like to have considered as part of your submission
– Please do not write website links or “see website” on the form, and please do not submit links by e-mail or through social media
– Please submit a screening copy of your film, preferably on a properly-formatted DVD, or on a USB memory stick, and send your submission to PoetryFilm by post to: PoetryFilm, First Floor, 85 Harwood Road, Fulham, London SW6 4QL.
Thanks very much.
I have been invited to read at The Poetry Café on Saturday 13 December. Publicity material for the event is below:
Platform 1 is a wonderfully eclectic night of poetry and spoken word at The Poetry Café, hosted by Ernie Burns and Amy Neilson Smith. This month’s event features:
Mishi – a devoted Stalwart Football fan, his work, often written in a real-life, working man’s rhyme is honest and hilariously self deprecating
Zata Kitowski – a jewel of antithesis, her collection Doppelgangers is published by Heaventree Press
James McKay – since graduating from Cambridge, his lyrical work and mastery of Victorian classics has stolen many a show
Elphara – a violinist whose music will pluck your heart strings
I am delighted to have been invited to contribute an academic presentation called The PoetryFilm Archive 2002-2015 to the Pararchive Conference at Leeds University.
This AHRC-funded conference and community showcase marks the climax of an eighteen-month multidisciplinary research project entitled Pararchive: Open Access Community Storytelling and the Digital Archive. The project is based at the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds and seeks to build new interactive environments that explore issues of ownership, public and institutional relationships and provide tools for collaborative community research and creative expression using digital heritage resources.
Many thanks to the team at Pararchive for the invitation.
Friday 27th March 2015 – Saturday 28th March 2015
stage@leeds, University of Leeds
Following the PoetryFilm event in Cork, today PoetryFilm is heading to Dublin.
PoetryFilm has been awarded a Trademark Registration Certificate by the Intellectual Property Office.
It has been a busy month of film festivals and I enjoyed both the BFI Film Festival (in London) and the Zebra Poetry Film (in Berlin).
Regulate is an exhibition showcasing recent works by 12 artists who responded to the theme of routine and repetition in contemporary art:
Thomas Bridle, Gemma Cossey, Steve Evans, Michelle Fava, Vanessa Lewis Jones, Jiwon Kim, Zata Kitowski, Roisin Mcgowan-Green, Hannah Meadwell, Audrey Salmon, Rachel Smith, Deborah Westmancoat, Gemma Cossey
Throughout the evening, artist Rachel Smith will produce durational drawings, creatively documenting the event. Overheard conversations from the evening with be used to create drawings – the words will visually merge to document overlapping and truncated narratives from the noise and dialogue around the exhibition.
Friday 7 November, 6-9pm.
I am delighted to hear that Full Stop has been selected for the forthcoming Regulate art exhibition. In this manifestation, the work will be experienced as a Morse Code audio recording (via headphones) and as a framed A1 hanging print at the gallery.
The Regulate exhibition is on the theme of routine. The exhibition will explore behavioural, visual and customary elements and present two dimensional works discussing a broad range of artistic interpretations of the habitual and optical pattern.
Key words: reflex, behaviour, form, structure, repetition, automatism, (un)conscious acts.
Regulate will be held from 7 November-5 December 2014 at The Montgomery, a multi-purpose space based in the heart of Sheffield City Centre. Various creative events and workshops will be held in the space during the exhibition.
Words & voice by Øyvind Rimbereid
Organ by Nils Henrik Asheim
Design & animation by Kristian P.
The Pipes (Norwegian: Pipene)
Written for the opening of the Stavanger Concert hall and its custom built organ, The Pipes is an ode to industrial history – the former backbone of the city’s economic and social life.
I was delighted to be invited to be a Jury Member and invited to award the Radioeins Prize at the Zebra Poetry Film Festival. Below are the comments I made before announcing the winning film and awarding the Diploma to Self-Evident Things by Piotr Bosacki.
The film was chosen on the basis of a majority vote by the audience jury team and the film was chosen for a number of reasons:
Zata Kitowski awarding the Radioneins Prize Diploma. It was received by Boris Nitzsche from Literaturwerkstatt Berlin on behalf of Piotr Bosacki.
Film still from Self-Evident Things / Rzeczy Oczywiste by Piotr Bosacki.
The winners of the 7th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival have been announced. Congratulations to:
La’eb Al Nard / The Dice Player
Film: Nissmah Roshdy – Egypt 2013, 3 min
Poem: La’eb Al Nard by Mahmoud Darwish
Pipene / The Pipes
Film: Kristian Pedersen – Norway 2014, 3 min
Poem: Pipene by Øyvind Rimbereid
essen – stück mit aufblick
Film: Peter Böving – Germany 2013, 10 min
Poem: essen – stück mit aufblick by Ernst Jandl
The Aegean or the Anus of Death
Film: Eleni Gioti – Greece 2014, 7:30 min
Poem: The Aegean or the Anus of Death by Jazra Khaleed
The ZEBRINO prize for the Best Poetry Film for Children and Young People was won by:
Death for a Unicorn
Film: Riccardo Bernasconi, Francesca Reverdito – Switzerland 2013 15:00 min
Poem: Death for a Unicorn by Francesca Reverdito
The radioeins Audience Prize, awarded by a jury of radioeins listeners, has gone to:
Rzeczy oczywiste / Self-evident Things
Film: Piotr Bosacki – Poland 2013, 10 min
Poem: Rzeczy oczywiste by Piotr Bosacki
Zata Kitowski, a British artist and founder of PoetryFilm
1. How can poetry and film unite?
Both poetry and film either describe experiences, or are experiences in themselves, so in that sense they’re already united… there are poetic aspects to most films, and, equally, poetry uses techniques adapted from cinema such as jump-cut editing and montage, etc. The greatest potential in this context lies in using the Poetry Film concept as a point of focus for exploring and amplifying certain aspects.
2. Has poetry film become our last resort in an increasingly rational world?
A rational thought process is quite useful when crossing a road! It’s been argued that new languages emerge when there is some form of information overload, and poetry films offer opportunities for creating expressions, and communicating messages and meanings in new ways. We’re not yet in a position to assess whether poetry film is our “last” resort; we will be able to judge this at some point in the future, and maybe poetry film will be shown to have been the beginning of a movement.
3. How can poetry film be of value to us in our modern times?
Poetry films open up new ways of engagement, new audiences, and new means of self-expression, and provide rich potential for exploring the creation and perception of emotion and meaning. This in turn enables us to connect with and communicate with people in hopefully innovative ways.
4. Is love still possible in the EU?
Yes, of course.
I am delighted that my triptych cut-up poem Cut-Up Experiment VIII: Timers Run On and the associated poetryfilm of the same title will be used for a creative writing course run by The Poetry School. The course is called Fragments: From the Thought to the Page and it is run by Kathryn Maris.
“In this genre-bending course, you will look at poets, fiction writers, philosophers and psychoanalysts who think and write in fragments, use modes of interruption or whose work simply survives in fragment form. Fortnightly reading and writing assignments will aim to broaden your ideas of what is and isn’t a poem, demonstrate the value of omission and the unstated, and suggest new ways of observing yourself and the world, and of communicating those observations. The course will include texts by Sappho, Lydia Davis, Kimiko Hahn, Simone Weil, Adam Phillips, Wallace Stevens, Theodor Adorno, Gertrude Stein, Sam Riviere, Nuar Alsadir, Simon Smith, Anne Carson and others.”
Click to watch Full Stop. The poem (from a sequence of “punctuation poems” published in Doppelgängers in 2005) is transcreated and presented aurally as Morse Code and visually as a moving telegram. (4 minutes, sound).
PoetryFilm has partnered with the Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer Festival in Cork which will take place on 21-22 November in Ireland at the Sample Studios Amphitheatre. Copy from the festival website is pasted below.
“We’re pleased to announce Ó Bhéal’s second Winter Warmer festival weekend. Over twenty excellent poets will read and perform in the amphitheatre at Sample Studios, some of whom will be accompanied by musicians. Snatch Comedy Improv will be performing a set of poetry-focussed comedy games, Sawa-Le will be performing poetry-theatre, a selection of poetry-films from around the world will be presented by Malgorzata Kitowski (from PoetryFilm), and these will be followed with a judges selection from the 2014 Ó Bhéal poetry-film competition. There will also be a closed-mic for ten local poets.”
Free Admission to all events.
The full festival programme is below.
Zata Kitowski introducing the event. Don Share, poet and chief editor of Poetry magazine in Chicago, is in the front row.
The entrance to the PoetryFilm venue at Swindon New College. Matt Holland (owner of Lower Shaw Farm) and Hilda Sheehan (Festival Organiser) stand under the Theatre entrance (both wearing black).
Below is a poster designed by Peter Blegvad for the PoetryFilm Salon which took place at the RCA in March 2013. Many thanks to Peter Blegvad and to the RCA for the invitation.
Here is a photograph taken at the PoetryFilm event in Cardiff in 2008. The event was part of a programme called “Shock of the New”. Thanks very much to Cardiff Academi for the photograph and for the invitation.