Events - Festival 2022

Poetry Loops

Thursday 3 March, 10:00 - Sunday 6 March, 22:00
Byre Theatre, Abbey Street - Conference Room
This event took place in 2016

Loop showings of films featuring poetry by Valerie Laws, Gabriele Tinti, Rita Bradd, Steve Pottinger, Gary Quinn and Elizabeth Burns, animation by Barney Quinton, visual design by Susan Aldworth, translation by Christine De Luca and artworks by Paul Tebble and Anne Gilchrist variously in films by Lotus Hannon, Dunstan Bruce, Kevin Cadwallender, Kyra Pollitt, Johanna Mesch, Sitar Rose and Robert Conticelli. Please note one of the films contains adult material and is recommended for 16+

Short poetry films are shown on a loop as a free installation between 10.00am and 10.00pm from Thursday to Sunday, except during other events in the Conference Room – see full festival programme for details. The films included in the loop this year are:

The Boxer Part I & Part II: The ancient sculpture, The Seated Boxer, inspired two poems by the Italian writer Gabriele Tinti. Tinti's poems are read by actor Robert Davi in the galleries of Power and Pathos at the J. Paul Getty Museum, in films produced by Robert Conticelli, directed by Jason Koborov, and edited by Brian Sergott. The videos were created in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, Museo Nazionale Romano di Palazzo Massimo, Federazione Pugilistica Italiana and Primal New York. Gabriele Tinti explains here why the sculpture inspired these poems.

Gabriele Tinti has published New York Shots (Allemandi&C., 2011), The Way of the Cross (Allemandi&C., 2012), both of which are collaborations with the actor and writer Michael Imperioli, as well as All Over (Mimesis Edizioni, 2013) and Las Words (Skira, 2015). His books have been presented in many museums, including the Queens Museum of Art and the Bronx Museum of the Arts in NYC, the Triennale in Milan, the MACRO in Rome, the Boston Center for the Arts and the J. Paul Getty Museum, and have been acquired for the collections of major international poetry centres.

City of Adelaide Bleeds: In this Tenor Bull Production by Kevin Cadwallender, Kevin reads Rita Bradd’s poem about the plight of the oldest surviving composite-built clipper ship in the world, the City of Adelaide which was built in Sunderland by William Pile in 1864 and was recently transported back to Australia to become a museum ship. Rita composed City of Adelaide: Farewell To Scotland and plays it on the clarsach (a small lever harp) in the film . The film constructs a collage compiled from Rita’s photographs from her voyage with the ship back to Australia and various film clips. Rita is currently writing a book about her experiences with the City of Adelaide.

Kevin Cadwallender, originally from Sunderland, is a poet now based in Edinburgh. His many publications include Dances With Vowels: New and Selected Poems (Smokestack Books), and Making Buildings out of Gods & Glue (Red Squirrel Press, 2013). He is a Commissioning Editor for Red Squirrel Press, lectures in Modern Poetry and was Scottish National Slam Champion 2012-2013. His BBC Radio 4 programme Voyages was shortlisted for a Sony Radio Award. He runs 10RED, an eclectic spoken word night in Leith.

APOPTOSIS - cell suicide: This filmed animated text installation of Valerie Laws’ poem undergoes 'apoptosis', programmed 'cell suicide', to create a new poem telling the opposite story. Every cell in our bodies receives a daily signal to keep living – without it, it will self-destruct. Apoptosis is a form of death vital to life - it destroys the cells of the 'webs' of the foetal hand to free our fingers, for example. The poem was written and the text story-boarded by Valerie Laws; the animation is by Barney Quinton, and the art work and visual design is by Susan Aldworth. APOPTOSIS is part of This Fatal Subject, a multi-media collaboration which won a Wellcome Trust Arts Award. The poem was also published in The Facebook of the Dead.

PotterPainterPoet: Highlights of a new film by Sitar Rose, currently in production,which will premiére at this year's StAnza Festival.  PotterPainterPoet explores the collaboration between potter Paul Tebble, painter Anne Gilchrist and poet Elizabeth Burns. A reflection on the interplay of poems, paintings and pottery, rooted in the native woodland on the banks of LochTay.

the ostentatious breastfeeder: The poem 'the ostentatious breastfeeder'  was written by Steve Pottinger in response to Nigel Farage's much publicised complaint. Using humour to tackle a serious issue, it both mocks the attitudes lying behind the presumption that a woman feeding her child should be seen as doing something offensive from which the public must be protected, and imagines a world which celebrates it instead. The video was shot by Dunstan Bruce (ex-Chumbawamba) of Dandy Films.

Steve Pottinger is a performance poet based in the West Midlands. His latest book 'more bees bigger bonnets'  (Ignite Books), from which the poem 'the ostentatious breastfeeder' is taken, was chosen by economist Richard Murphy as one of his books of 2015. Last year his letter to Caffè Nero – taking them to task over tax avoidance – went viral. He is passionate about the power of poetry and spoken word to engage and entertain, and has taken his work to pubs, clubs, and festivals the length and breadth of the UK. He is currently working on his fifth volume of poems.

The Expiration: This is a short film adapted from John Donne’s love poem by writer/director Lotus Hannon. A beautiful, evocative depiction of two secret lovers as they reluctantly accept that they must part forever, this film adaptation embraces the Renaissance concept of la petite mort that ‘to die’ was ‘to orgasm’ and explores the bittersweet moments of the last time a couple makes love. The Expiration is filmed by BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Cinematographer Anna Valdez Hanks, with actors Olivier Huband and Azzurra Caccetta. Editor: Sian Fever, Composer: John K Miles, Sound Designer: Adele Fletcher and Dubbing Mixer: Ania Przygoda.   PLEASE NOTE THIS FILM CONTAINS ADULT MATERIAL - recommended 16+

Lotus Hannon’s first short film Man of Me Dreams, was selected and screened by The British Council and various international film festivals. Lotus went on to work as an Inserts Director and Assistant Director primarily in TV comedy, working for Jonathan Ross, Mark Lamarr, Jack Dee and Peter Kay. In 2008 Lotus won The Script Factory Development Scheme with her first original feature screenplay, Render. She was selected for the WFTV mentoring scheme 2014 and the Creative England SW Talent Module 2015.

The Stars Are The Map: Natural sign languages have no written form, so deaf culture is passed from hand to eye through stories and poetry. This film features a précis of an epic poem, created and performed by Gary Quinn to mark the success, in 2013, of Glaswegian Gerry Hughes - the first deaf yachtsman to sail solo around the five Great Capes. Kyra Pollitt worked closely with Christine De Luca to produce loose translations in both English and Shetlandic, thus bringing together three of Scotland’s indigenous languages. The written texts were then animated to suggest the shapes and images that are conjured in the eye of the sign language audience. The work was commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library with funding from Creative Scotland.

Kyra Pollitt was a professional translator/interpreter before a research PhD on the poetics of sign languages. In 2014 she was the PEP artist-in-residence at the Scottish Poetry Library, producing this film. Since then Kyra has developed her own writing; creating and performing poetry with The Travelling Language Gallery, writing monologues for Nincompoops, a script for an aerial circus company, and joining a television drama scriptwriting team. She is currently writing poetry that is directly influenced by sign language and would be thrilled were any publisher to be interested.

Kayak: Johanna Mesch’s Swedish Sign Language poem Kayak (2006) is characterised by its rhythmical signing and the shifting dynamics of the paddling of a kayak. The audience can feel how the protagonist paddle through the rough waves.

Still from the ostentation breastfeeder




Rita Bradd: Brenda Thomson
Paul Tebble: (c) Iga Gozdowska

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Byre Theatre, Abbey Street – Conference Room

Location: At the top of Abbey Street off the east end of South Street. Also accessible from the Byre Close, off South Street.

Includes: Auditorium, Studio Theatre, Conference Room, foyers, Café Bar &...