A very big thanks to Gabriele Labanauskaite for inviting us to speak at TARP this year. and to the Arts Council for funding the trip.
Lucy spoke about her performance poetry show Count Me In and I discussed how my poetry films have developed over the last ten years to current haiku poetry films. We were able to discuss Liberated Words and position it within a European context. We both went away feeling inspired by the innovative approach to poetry making in Lithuania and Europe in general. We are planning a joint project with TARP for next year – From The Rivers to the Sea – with teenagers playing a central role. If any other festival is interested in joining us, please get in touch.
Highlights for me included:
The Audio Zine – a new experience where we sat in darkness and listened to poets reading with sounds from their favourite places, alongside music/sound art culminating in what felt like a highly refined orchestral piece. The overall experience was very intimate and allowed a highly personal interpretation.
Prague-based Ondrej Buddeus‘ performance texts comprising solo, duologue and choral elements, as well as poetry film, featured individual compositions that developed a thought or concept that may or may not lead to the next. The duologue or dialogue also involved cross-translation into Lithuanian that created in my mind a third area of performance poetry.
Alessandro Bosetti from Milan provided a mesmerising performance improvising to his own pre-recorded composition delivered via laptop from the centre of a darkened and packed room. This format creates opportunities for dialogue or sound-making with the self; repetitive phrases and long, flying bouts of fantastical storytelling.
She’s A Show gave us a ranting, raving tightly produced show that pumped up the crossover between poetry and the sexuality of a rock performance.
Making haiku poems myself I was particularly interested in Cinema Fragile‘s workshop with haiku video poems. Their creative method relied on respecting the spirit of haiku and its rhythms through editing in 5/7/5 seconds or double time.
Apologies to the performances we missed, but I have good memories of the poetry slam and its friendly, less competitively driven spirit than the UK; of speaking at the National Gallery of Art and discussing the state of poetry film today; experiencing the friendliness of Gabriele and all working at TARP – we were given a highly interesting tour of the sights – and in general soaking up new approaches to the art of making poetry.
It was very hard to leave.