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FRAME TO FRAMES : YOUR EYES FOLLOW ekphrastic poetry film competition


Ekphrastic Poetry Film Screening & Sarah Tremlett Prize

 at LYRA, Bristol Poetry Festival, 3, 4, 2022; 2:30–3:30 p.m. with a Q &A afterwards at The Viridor Theatre, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Gas Ferry Rd, Bristol BS1 6TY and for one month on the LYRA website, then at Liberated Words online archive.

FREE admission with tickets available at https://www.lyrafest.com/#events/e72158

The finalists are: Marc Neys, Marc Zegans and Peg Simone, Colm Scully, Jutta Pryor, Eve Kalugin, with an additional film by myself (not in the contest!). The winner will be announced at the live screening.

Original Call

Following on from the publication of The Poetics of Poetry Film (Intellect Books, UK; The University of Chicago Press, USA), I am inviting poetry filmmakers to send me your ekphrastic poetry films on any artwork for inclusion and promotion on the Liberated Words poetry film website. This is an open submission without a deadline, but I will also be selecting films for screening at different festivals, with one screening annually. I will be giving a monetary prize for the winning film at each screening, and conducting an in-depth interview. There will also be invited judges for each annual prize.

For 2022, I have an opportunity to screen at LYRA, Bristol Poetry Festival in April, where I will be selecting 6-8 films. For the actual screening the films should be ideally around 3 minutes long, and no longer than 5 minutes and all copyright needs to be cleared. Please include English subtitles if English isn’t the original language. Please also complete an entry form & release form for each submission. Each entrant can submit up to 3 films. I would need the films by mid-March for the LYRA screening, but please get in touch to confirm.

An ekphrastic poetry film is based on a work of art, usually a painting. The film can be directly from an artwork to film, or via an ekphrastic poem written on an artwork and then made into a poetry film. I am very interested in ones where there is a written poem, as well. Although direct reproductions are fine, I would encourage works that also follow Jorie Graham’s maxim: ‘It is not trying to describe the painting, it is trying to speak from it’; or ‘a painting run through an imagination’.

I would like to take this opportunity to announce the fantastic judges for the ekphrastic poetry film prize. I am so pleased that they have taken on this onerous but rewarding task. A heartfelt thanks to all of you.


Gloucestershire poet, Anna Saunders. Picture by Clint Randall www.pixelprphotography.co.uk

Anna Saunders has been described as ‘a poet who surely can do anything’ by The North, ‘a modern mythmaker’ by Paul Stephenson, and Tears in the Fence said of her ‘Anna Saunders’ poetry is reminiscent of Plath – with all its alpha achievement and radiance’.

She is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) Kissing the She Bear(Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox (Indigo Dreams), and Ghosting for Beginners (Indigo Dreams). Anna’s new book is Feverfew (Indigo Dreams). The collection has been described as ‘rich with obsession, sensuousness and potency’ by Ben Ray, and as ‘a beautiful and necessary collection’ by Penny Shuttle. She is also the Executive Director of Cheltenham Poetry Festival and works as a creative writing tutor and mentor, communications specialist, journalist, broadcaster and copywriter/editor.

Anna is often inspired by painting in her poetry and Burne Jones and the Fox was made into a poetry film by Diana Taylor of Redcliffe Films.


Charles Olsen (Aotearoa New Zealand, 1969) moved to Spain in 2003 drawn by his interest in Velasquez and to study flamenco guitar. His paintings have been exhibited in Madrid, Barcelona, Oporto, Paris, Wellington and the Saatchi Gallery, London. His short film The dance of the brushes won second prize in the I Flamenco Short Film Festival, Madrid, 2010, and he has published the poetry collections Sr Citizen (2011) and Antípodas (2018). His poems and translations are included in NZ Poetry Yearbook, Landfall, Cordite Poetry Review, Blackmail Press and Neke. Charles contributed two essays, Poetry Film in Portugal and Spain, and Poetic Sound to ‘The Poetics of Poetry Film’ (Intellect Books 2021) and his essay, Poetry and Film in Colombia, is included in The London Magazine, 2021.

In 2017 he was awarded the XIII distinction Poetas de Otros Mundos by the Fondo Poético Internacional and he received the III Antonio Machado Poetry Fellowship of Segovia and Soria in 2018. Together with poet Lilián Pallares, flamenco pianist Pablo Rubén Maldonado and flamenco dancer Selene Muñoz, he created the performance Agita Flamenco which was presented in the New Zealand pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2011 and the Sala Manuel de Falla of the SGAE, Madrid, 2012. Charles and Lilián direct the audiovisual producer antenablue ‘the observed word’ and their poetry films have been included in international festivals and featured in Moving Poems, Poetry Film Live and Atticus Review. Their collaborative Māori language film Noho Mai, won Best Poetry Film in the 8th Ó Bhéal International Poetry Film Festival, Cork.

Charles Olsen in Segovia, 2018. Photo Lilian Pallares.




Mary McDonald is a Canadian writer and multimedia artist whose work explores word through sound, image, and movement. McDonald’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses text, photography, poetry film, music and immersive sound, interactive AR (augmented reality) installations, and community participatory arts projects. Her poetry films and AR installations have been exhibited widely in Canada and internationally. McDonald’s poetry film and AR installation, On the Margin of History was awarded first prize in Digital and Performative Multimedia Art at Arts 2019, Surrey City Art Gallery, BC, Canada.

Mary McDonald
Mixing the Arts

The prize will be announced on the 3rd of April at the screening. This is an annual prize so submissions that have missed the deadline for this screening will be held over for next year. I am VERY EXCITED to find out who has won!

Please contact me if you need further details, otherwise send a good quality (ideally around 100 MB per min) MP.4 downloadable file link (via We Transfer etc. and an entry and release form with the subject header Frame to Frames to sftremlett@gmail.com