October 20th, 2013 at 5:39 pm
Posted by pc in Ópen minds in Poetry


Inaugural Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition Winner Announced
in association with IndieCork, festival of independent cinema

16th-20th October 2013

Ó Bhéal is pleased to announce its association with the inaugural IndieCork festival of independent cinema (www.indiecork.com). This is Ó Bhéal’s fourth year of screening poetry-films (or video-poems), and the first year featuring a competition.

Actor José Moreira and Director Manuel Vilarinho (Portugal)

Winner announced 2Oth Oct 2013: Congratulations goes to Manuel Vilarinho from Portugal, whose poetry-film No País Dos Sacanas (In the Land of Bastards) has won the IndieCork Festival prize for best poetry-film, in the Ó Bhéal International Poetry Film Competition.

No País Dos Sacanas / In the Land of Bastards (3:50)

Poem: No País Dos Sacanas by Jorge de Sena

Synopsis – To be a crook and a half in the country of crooks? No, since everyone is, at least two.

Director: Manuel Vilarinho (Portugal)

Born in 1974, Manuel is a graduate in Tecnologia da Comunicação Audiovisual by IPP, Instituto Politecnico do Porto, in 2004. He directed several video clips for the music band, Fat Freddy during 2000 and 2003. In 2001 he won the FESTIVIDEO FILM FESTIVAL and the First Prize and Public award on OVAR VIDEO FILM FESTIVAL, with the short cut, LADROES. In 2004 he won the TAKE ONE prize at the International Video Festival of Vila de Conde, with AGUENTA, RAPAZ. During 2007 and 2011 he edited several TV programs. Manuel has worked at TVI, Independent Television in Portugal, since 2001.


The full programme for the competition shortlist is here.

August 18th, 2010 at 10:55 am
Posted by pc in Ópen minds in Poetry

Cork poetry-film goes to Berlin

The 5th International Zebra Poetry Film Festival, held biennially in Berlin, is to screen the Irish poetry-film, The Lammas Hireling in October. It is the largest and most significant festival of its kind, so the email was particularly sweet.

The Lammas Hireling from Paul Casey on Vimeo.


From a choice of about 1000 entries the programme commission has selected your film to be part of the film programme of the 5th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival. We would therefore be happy to welcome you to the festival from 14th – 17th October 2010 here in Berlin.

And so goes the email of the year. On a zero budget, creating the film version of Ian Duhig’s award winning poem The Lammas Hireling, adapted for the screen with poet Sam Thomas, took the best part of eight months of near full-time beg, borrow and pray tactics, in order to be realised. Made by Paul Casey with the help of poets from Ó Bhéal, the ten minute film has a primary cast of two Corkonians, Geoff Daykin and Rosie O’Regan, who play the Farmer and the Hireling/Departed Wife, as well as a small flock of Cork poets who volunteered their natural skills at being extras. Most of the work and many of the locations and props were kindly donated by a long list of supporters from Cork and Antrim. The score reinterprets McCauley’s ‘The Aul Lammas Fair’ exquisitely rendered by Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra violinista Macarena Ferrer, and score engineer Carl Hammond.

The film was shot mostly in various parts of County Cork while the framing scenery was captured on the Northern coast of Ireland, around the Glens of Antrim and Ballycastle (plus a day on Rathlin island). Ireland’s nearest point to the Scottish Mull of Kintyre features in some of the time lapse sequences in the film, which was made entirely from still images taken with a Nikon D90. Completed in June 2010, The Lammas Hireling has been entered into at least a dozen other film festivals and has also been accepted for two literature festivals. This post will be updated with screening info as it becomes available.

Do I sense the rise of the poetry-film? Hopefully this new fusion of art forms will catch on more. It really is an avant-garde dance of 21st century digital technology with the timeless steps of poetry, which must surely be the freshest and most innovative combination of creative forces that can be experienced today. Whilst not quite the same as learning another poet’s poem off by heart, it’s a deeply rewarding experience, as is the festival in Berlin, showing the best from across the globe. See you there!


Zebra Poetry-Film Festival, Babylon Theatre, Berlin – 16th October 2010
Clones Film Festival (in competition), Monaghan – 24th October 2010
Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Night, Cork – 8th November 2010
Foyle Film Festival (in competition), Derry – 27th November 2010
Cork Spring Literary Festival, Metropole Hotel, Cork, February 2011
Corona Cork Film Festival, Gate Cinema Cork – 8th November 2011
Sadho Poetry Film Festival, New Delhi – 12th November 2011
StAnza Poetry Festival, Edinburgh – 14th to 18th March 2012
Cork Underground Film Festival – 15th August 2012
Visible Verse Festival, Vancouver – 13th October 2012

May 7th, 2007 at 1:20 pm
Posted by pc in Ópen minds in Poetry

Last week I received a call from Gordon Hewitt, spokesperson and performance member of the Belfast Poets Tour Group. Having recently completed successful tours of Australia and Ireland, he found that organising a tour of the open mic venues here was by far the more difficult. There are less than a dozen countrywide and only a handful who run every week.

His concern has led him to initiate an open-mic tour circuit of Ireland, so that any ambling poets may visit or perform at all of the six major venues (held in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Derry and Belfast) within a week or two. Not only will this boost poetic diversity and exposure, furthering the appreciation of Irish talent locally, but will also encourage International poets visiting Ireland access to these venues with an attractive ease and immediacy. Ó Bhéal has given its complete support to the venture and will be involved in the project’s first meeting in June. Post will be updated.

April 14th, 2007 at 11:36 am
Posted by pc in Ópen minds in Poetry

Comments: A spoken word or two – Where does ‘Performance’ Poetry stand?

There was a psychic moment in a reading once, when I heard someone thinking in a condescending tone, “Well that’s poetry too”. Their expression was all too transparent for my comfort. I imagine my poet posture had appeared during a sprawling appreciation of an organised ‘Published Poet’ reading, and I was transformed into a vividly present symbol of spoken word poetry, as distinct from the written. I was actually being stereotyped from my posture by the somewhat all too common Literati Elitist of poetic classism.

As if the spoken word were resident below fighting mindlessly somewhere in a hell realm, Dante’s ninth maybe, praying to Cuchullain and Tailtiu, Macha and Amergin whilst from above the glass floor peered the epitome of poetic integrity and purpose.

The difference is in the mind. Spoken Word performance Poet in the left corner, Written Word published Poet in the right. Then as they engage they both speak at the same time, failing to make any contact, and their words fuse into a poet thrice the size of either. The Written Spoken Word Published Performance poet emerges (with a bit of filmmaking perhaps or music on the side). The spectators run for the fire exits. The referee cowers beneath the judges’ table.

As Todd Swift (see link below) points out, being more or less of one or the other are just two aspects of any poet’s journey. So are we to commercialise mp3 poetry in order to get funding for the almost exclusively Spoken word poet? To get him or her the right dose of recognition? I think not. Most of the payment is in the giving of the poetry, in the engagement, in the fire of poetry … and what fire needs no fuel? Perhaps the spoken form is too fine to be appreciated enough.

The need to be published in order to get funding is akin to having to have a degree to speak English. At least more universities are accepting life experience in lieu of certain course credits for mature students … maybe this way of thinking will catch on more. Make paper transparent? Many of our praise poets, political poets, 21st century seanchaithe, satirists work almost entirely with writing for the Spoken Word. And is it Art? Expensive in it’s creation, profound in its influence, some just do it better with their mouths than with their literature.

When nepotism climbs into any of the Arts bodies we know what happens to the foundations. Three cheers for the impartial Arts Funders. Fair funding bodies encourage a fair society. How pc of me you may think. But i am PC – Poetically Confussed. And I plan to stay that way. What I love most about MCing is the diversity in Poetry; Form, Style, Content, Passion, Truth, Finesse, Engagement. The unique vision within every voice. Discrimination is only a ‘word’ after all … Calliope, I’ll have a good medium to rare one-hour reading, followed by an epic, a drop of unplugged ceol followed by a story, a good open-mic session and a dash of Slam for dessert.

More articles on the state of the Spoken Word today:

Maureen Gallagher’s article:
Is Slam Poetry the last resort of the failed comedian? … here
(with reference to the Todd Swift interview by Kevin Higgins … here)

Todd Swift’s response to Maureen Gallagher:

Trish Casey’s article:
Slam On – Performance Poetry In Ireland … here

Desmond Swords’ response to Trish Casey … here

Kevin Higgins’ article:

James J McAuley’s response to Kevin Higgins … here

Miceál Kearney’s response to James J McAuley is in the comments section herein.

by pc