The Poetics of Poetry Film – Sarah Tremlett – UK

The Poetics of Poetry Film published by Intellect Books and The University of Chicago Press


Poetry film-maker, poet and theorist Sarah Tremlett is interviewed by author and poetry film-maker Dr Meriel Lland, on her leading reference work The Poetics of Poetry Film – Film Poetry, Videopoetry, Lyric Voice, Reflection (May, 2021), commissioned by Intellect Books, Bristol. 

The Poetics of Poetry Film is described by the publishers as: ‘The first book of its kind, it classifies the different types of poetry film, shedding light on the fast-growing genre and citing works from poetry filmmakers worldwide. A ground-breaking industry bible for academics, researchers, and anyone interested in poetry, digital media, filmmaking, art, philosophy of practice and creative writing as well as poetry film-makers.’

In this revealing interview Lland brings to light some of the key questions raised; both in  creating such a large work, but also how Tremlett’s thinking develops around subjects such as time, lyric voice, subjectivity, the remediation of the page poem, and audio-visual philosophical practice. The book equally interweaves historical and contemporary facts with numerous artists’ voices, discussing their personal approaches to poetry film, film poetry and videopoetry today. Selected films will also be screened.

Dr Meriel Lland, recently Creative Writing Programme lead at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Cheshire faculty, is a freelance writer, wildlife photographer (working with such clients as BBC Wildlife, RSPB Birds and National Geographic), film-maker and educator. As an eco-poet  and film-poet Lland investigates biophilia and practice and the representation of human relationships with non-human worlds: with nature, wildlife, and folklore.

Sarah Tremlett (Poem Film) MPhil, FRSA, SWIP is a British poetry filmmaker, poet and
theorist, particularly enquiring into the philosophy of poetry film. She is co-director of
Liberated Words Poetry Film events, editor of Liberated Words online, a judge at festivals,
and author of leading publication The Poetics of Poetry Film.

She has given presentations on her own poetry films worldwide, written on the subject for
online sites and print journals, and judged at a number of festivals, including Liberated
Words; REELpoetry, Houston; Newlyn PZ Film Festival and Light Up Poole. Recent
commissions include: Selfie with Marilyn – by American poet Heidi Seaborn, from the Visible
Poetry Project; and from Brighton University for – Bird Poem – a family history poetry film
by poet Dr Helen Johnson. Her film Solstice Sol Invictus (which Sarah partly wrote and
directed for The Book of Hours with first four verses by herself, and the final four by Lucy
English) has been widely screened. At the beginning of Lockdown, it was selected by ZEBRA
poetry film festival for The Festival of Hope, subtitled The Versopolis Global Virtual Poetry
She is the creator of an ongoing family history prose, poetry and poetry film project – Tree –
and is developing a showcase for films by other practitioners on the subject at Liberated
Words online. Her family history poem (with accompanying poetry film) on mediaeval
mining ‘Firewash’ is part of Earth Lines geopoetry and geopoetics collection (Edinburgh
Geological Society, Autumn, 2021).
Curations include: ‘Reconnections’ for LYRA, April, 2021, featuring family history poetry
films made during Lockdown; the touring screening Uprooted (with films on the refugee
crisis) as part of REELpoetry festival, Houston 2020; and ‘Poetry Films for the Environment’
for LYRA Poetry Festival 2020.

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