• Poetry
  • Poetry Film
  • Geopoetics
  • Videopoetry
  • Film Poetry
  • Intermedia
  • Screen Poetry
  • Ekphrastic Poetry Films
  • Family History
  • Ecopoetry Films
  • Translation
  • Performance and Subjectivity


Exhausted and inspired, I have just flown back from vibrant, warm and friendly Mexico City and FOTOGENIA festival 5 – an extraordinary collection of films from across the world, at seven locations, so ably co-ordinated and directed by Chris Patch / Mtro. Christian O. Pacheco-Cámara. The sites were: Centro Cultural Bella Epoch – Cine Lido; Centro Cultural Universitario – Sala Carlos  Monsivais; Terminal Coyoacan; Faro Cosmos – Baja Negra; Faro Aragon – Cine Corregidor; Barco Utopia – Auditorio Arrecife / Sala Doble Altura; Complejo Cultural Los Pinos – Sala de Cine Miguel Aleman

Complejo Cultural Los Pinos


I was there to see my own work onscreen (I Cannot be Human), but primarily to present the Frame to Frames : Your Eyes Follow ekphrastic poetry film prize at the beautiful Complejo Cultural Los Pinos (Calz. del Rey S/N, Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City). Until recently this was the official presidents’ residence, set in a vast public park amongst verdant greenery and pine trees, and it provided a fantastic backdrop to events.


Huapango Torero by Ana Segovia

Traditionally ekphrasis suggests poems written about paintings or sculptures, but here poetry films have been created as a response to artworks that have inspired the filmmaker. As part of the screening, I was able to interview leading Mexican artist Ana Segovia on the important painting Huapango Torero which provided inspiration for many of the filmmakers. I was so pleased that Ana could attend and watch all the films in person, and he also provided a translation of my words. It was  made more interesting in that Ana had also  copied the painting from another painting, but with the addition of a red rose. In this way the ekphrastic process continued: wave upon wave. Whilst Ana addresses all types of outmoded machismo through his figurative painting, it was unanimously felt that he had made a brave and significant artwork, in relation to the treatment of animals.

Ana and Sarah in discussion


Ana, Sarah and Chris


Ana and Frame to Frames filmmaker Carlos Ramirez Kobra in discussion


The Book of the Films

I was also able to present the bilingual book of Frame to Frames II, as a pre-publication special offer published by Poem Film Editions. FOR SPECIAL OFFER PRE-ORDERS of £5 (50% off £10 retail price) contact liberatedwordspoetryfilms@gmail.com

 It includes an introduction from myself, leading American ekphrastic poet Janée Baugher and other artists; the poems, stills from the films and a QR code link to the screening itself. So, you can read the poem and watch the films at the same time. It celebrates translation in all its forms!

The Prizewinner for Frame to Frames : Your Eyes Follow II

It was very exciting to also announce the winner for this year’s edition of the prize. The judges felt that all the films were extremely innovative and memorable both in the poetry and the filmmaking and it was difficult to reach a decision for a single prizewinner. To explain the process: the judges selected five artists from 16, and then met to discover if they had overlapping choices and discuss each film in more detail.

I am so happy to announce that the prize this year goes to British poetry filmmaker, writer, artist and nature photographer Meriel Lland for A Love Spell Cast in Petals based on the painting Huapango Torero by Ana Segovia. Meriel was very high on both the judges’ lists, so congratulations and thank you so much for your wonderful film!  I have to put my hand on my heart and say I am overjoyed that Meriel should be given the award. I also want to add that I abstained from influencing the process as I know her well.

Words and concept: Meriel Lland
Photography and camera: Michael Leach and Meriel Lland
Editing: David Lland and Meriel Lland
Animation: David Lland
Sound: David Lland
Translation: Camilo Bosso

Meriel’s synopsis:
‘A Love Spell Cast in Petals weaves together threads from many sources. Most importantly, Ana Segovia’s flower offering in her painting Huapango Torero – and the painting of the same name that inspired it – but also the 1950s’ Lola Beltrán song ‘Huapango Torero’ and the once banned 1936 children’s book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. The film-poem explores what happens when we dare to think differently and challenge the cruel stereotypes that misrepresent and trap a living being. It refuses the theatre of machismo to remake old understandings of bulls and of men. The painter is a peace-maker, she invites new dialogues and encourages forgiveness and an end to violence. She is a sorceress casting a spell of hope.’

In brief, the judges said that A Love Spell Cast in Petals was complex, innovative and thought-provoking and that the sound elements were delicious and mesmerising with surprising figurative language. They loved the craft of the visual aspects – the paint, the bull figurine, the animated drawings and it was for them a clear winner.


 ‘In ekphrastic poetry films, I look for the choreography of the elements – movement, sound, image, word to create an interpretation of the original work of art. I look for these to create a new work that is built upon the spirit of the first. In her piece, “A Love Spell Cast in Petals,” Meriel has mastered this choreography. The pace, the cadence, the impact of words flowing seamlessly into and out of the play of imagery. Together, they ebb and wash over us, the viewer, drawing us in until we too are subsumed within this dance of understanding, of vision, of what has been and what will/could come. We too see, we too are seen, in this mesmerizing film poem.’

Mary McDonald, media artist, digital storyteller and poetry filmmaker

‘Brava to Meriel Lland for her complex, innovative, and thought-provoking art-influenced film-poem. The text itself, which I’d call narrative-lyrical, had a clear point-of-view, delicious sound elements (e.g. consonance, assonance, alliteration), and surprising figurative language. I particularly loved the visual varieties, such as the closeups of paint issuing off a paintbrush, human hands whittling a bull figurine, drawings in animation, and landscape photography. For me, this film—political without being heavy-handed and creative in its craft-driven relationship among image, text, and sound—was the clear winner.’

Janée J. Baugher, ekphrastic poet and multimedia artist

Meriel – a Thank You note

Today’s news is heart-stopping – wow!  To have been made a finalist in Frame to Frames was a delight.  The makers on the shortlist are all people I admire for their vision, subtlety, authenticity and invention.  That A Love Spell Cast in Petals has found a place here is such an honour.  Huge thanks to my team at smallestdogintheworld studio – especially to David Lland, Michael Leach, Peter and Margaret.

For me, one of the delights of ekphrastic work is the dialogue it makes possible between minds, times, places and ideas.  Thank you to Ana Segovia for opening this conversation, for her brave, optimistic and daring painting.  And for making me think, wonder and hope.

Thank you to Sarah Tremlett and the judging team at Liberated Words for this opportunity.  And to Fotogenia for offering such a vital and vibrant celebration of voices that are all too often unheard.   Together we can create spaces to challenge cruelty, break with unacceptable traditions and work towards more compassionate understandings. Thank you.

I See You, and You See Me

carving a bull through swirling red ‘blood’ (or paint) and rose petals


As an artist, filmmaker and lover of all creatures, I am absolutely thrilled that Meriel has been awarded the prize. She is a fine advocate for the natural world and an empathic relationship with  birds and animals. I cannot think of a better person to win the Frame to Frames prize in this particular year. She has written and provided photography for 18 books all concerning nature and its importance to our wellbeing, and fully deserves to be ‘seen’ as a leading activist for animal rights through poetry film.

I also would personally like to extend my thanks to Dr Chris Patch / Mtro. Christian O. Pacheco-Cámara. Without his support and encouragement this event would not have been possible. I have watched the progress of FOTOGENIA since the very start, and in 2021 Chris interviewed me on The Poetics of Poetry Film. I am honoured to be able to be part of this festival, and share creative projects together. Thank you. Sarah

XaiLA the performer in Bull / Torero (by myself – Sarah Tremlett)


and in the ‘real’ world – early morning mother and daughter …