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Day Two: the this collection McEwan hall showcase finale

In 100 Poems, film, poetry on March 31, 2010 at 10:38 am

this collection McEwan Hall showcase

Following the success of our film exposition the day before, expectations were high for our poetry-film finale on Friday 26th…

The evening kicked off at 6.30pm when we flung open the doors of the McEwan Hall, and were delighted to find an already-sizeable gaggle of keen poets, filmmakers and enthusiasts waiting on the doorstep. We quickly uncorked the first of many bottles of free wine and sat back to watch the influx of visitors. Once the crowd had gathered, Claire kicked off with a speech welcoming everyone to the event, giving a potted history of this collection and explaining what the evening had in store. Stefa then gave a brief round of thanks to all the wonderful people who’d helped make the event happen, and then without further ado, the party got under way!

The first four poets to read were Dan Mussett (a late addition, stepping in to replace Morgan Downie who sadly couldn’t be with us), Russell Jones, Anita John and McGuire. Russell was spotted brandishing copies of his pamphlet, The Last Refuge (Forest Publications), which would suggest his reading went down very well with those who gravitated towards Poet Station #1. At Station #2 Dan Mussett gave a beautiful reading in spite of his late addition to the bill, and Anita John gathered a sizeable audience in the upper gallery at Station #4. Meanwhile at gallery Station #3 McGuire was a total triumph — even gathering a crowd in the main hall below! These four poets were followed by Tom Bristow, Juliet Wilson, Simon Jackson and Andrew C Ferguson respectively — Juliet brought along copies of her hot-off-the-press pamphlet ‘Unthinkable Skies’ (Calder Wood Press) and read a particularly lovely poem about a sycamore tree, among others. Simon Jackson was multi-tasking, as two of his films were also showing in the hall below, and Andrew and Tom both received rapturous rounds of applause from their respective audiences.
The third sets were provided by Rob A Mackenzie, our very own Claire (standing in for Aileen Ballantyne who also sadly couldn’t make it in the end), Christine de Luca and Chris Lindores. Rob and Christine both read excellently and Chris Lindores was a tour de force, gathering the largest crowd of the evening — and the most glowing feedback! — and shifting a fair few copies of his pamphlet, You Old Soak (Read This Press) over the course of the evening! The poetry was wrapped up by Andrew Philip, who read from his critically-acclaimed book The Ambulance Box (Salt); Jane McKie, whose film adaptation of La Plage (courtesy of Alastair Cook of DISSIMILAR) played in the background as she read; Hayley Shields, who entranced a small but attentive audience with her ghostly tales and accounts of Edinburgh’s darker side; and Mairi Sharratt, whose audience were asked to pick her set themselves, by shouting a series of numbers which each corresponded to a poem.

this collection McEwan Hall showcase

All the poetry readings were accompanied by a continuous stream of beautiful, dark, inspiring and moving images courtesy of our many talented filmmakers. Adaptations by Helen Askew, Sean Gallen, Abhinaya Muralidharan, Alastair Cook, Ginnetta Correli, Diana Lindbjerg Jorgense, Dominique De Groen, Hans Peter, Heather Bowry, James Mildred and Francesca Sobanje, Laura Witz, Lewis Bennett, Rawan Mohammed, Rose Creasy, Simon Jackson, Stefanie Tan and ThatCollective all graced our projector screens as the evening progressed. Although some of the films included audio (piped through headphones at each station), the McEwan Hall had its own soundtrack for the evening. This took the form of a mercurial city soundscape, put together by the super-talented Simon Herron of ThatCollective; as well as improvised music and ethereal sounds from the CRA:CC experimental ensemble.

this collection McEwan Hall showcase

The evening rounded up just before 9pm, but the festivities continued well into the night at various alternative venues around the city! Altogether, the this collection team worked out that over 200 people had come along to be a part of our showcase, and so far we’ve received glowing feedback from poets, filmmakers, musicians and visitors alike. Thanks so much to everyone who came along, everyone who helped us organise, set up, take down, fund, promote or otherwise realise the event, and of course to all the brilliant artists who lent their creativity to us for the evening!

Here’s to the next…
Love,
Claire and Stefa

this collection showcase photos by Tom Bishop.

Day One: the this collection McEwan Hall showcase

In 100 Poems, film, poetry on March 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm

this collection day one

So unless this is your first visit to this blog, you’ll know that today marked the first half of our two-day March film and poetry showcase at Edinburgh’s magnificent McEwan Hall

…and what a first day it was! We flung open the doors at 10am and greeted the good people of Edinburgh as they came in to escape the swirling haar. Our DIY flags, posters and flyers drew a crowd made up of all sorts of people — some told us they’d had the date marked in their diary for weeks, while others just wandered in for a look and seemed to like what they saw! The film screenings were spread across four screens within the main hall space, with each screen housing around five or six films. These were subtly grouped by theme — warm, cold, stop-motion, palimpsest — and accompanied by their respective poems either on-screen or in DIY pamphlets for viewers to pick up and read. Sound engineer Simon Herron provided a spectacular non-stop city soundscape which played throughout the hall, and Glasgow-based experimental orchestra CRA:CC provided an improvised musical soundtrack in response to the films as they played out. Visitors were also able to congregate around our free press merchandise table: a source of books, pamphlets, magazines, journals, promotional materials and all manner of other poetry- and film-related paraphernalia, all of it completely free!

Through the afternoon we saw a steady stream of visitors, all of whom responded positively to the installation and the project as a whole. Documenting their reactions to the films was almost as enjoyable as the films themselves — watch this space for photos, video and stop-motion footage of the event in due course! We were particularly happy to see people who’d never heard of this collection, but who left raving about it and asking how they could come on board and get involved!

If you missed us today, please don’t worry — the event continues tomorrow (Friday 26th March) at the McEwan Hall in Bristo Square, Edinburgh. This time it’s our grand finale: an evening event at which the poets get a chance to take to the spotlight and read their works. The films will be screened throughout, and the whole thing will again be accompanied by our soundscape and brilliant improvised sounds from the spectacular CRA:CC ensemble. Our free merch stall will again be open for business, and there’ll also be free wine for anyone who turns up! Entry to the event is also totally free, and everyone is welcome. Doors open at 6.30pm and the readings kick off at 7pm. We really hope you’ll come and join us, and spread the word!

(this collection image by Marzieh Jarrahi.)

this collection’s FREE March McEwan Hall showcase!

In film, poetry on March 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Explore Edinburgh as you’ve never seen it before – come to our FREE poetry-film showcase extravaganza in the magnificent McEwan Hall!

We all know Edinburgh is the greatest literary city in the world – a centre of vibrant culture and home to the biggest, brightest, loudest and coolest annual arts festival ever. But how well do you really know Edinburgh? this collection is a non-profit DIY project that aims to take a fresh look at life in the city… through the eyes of its talented writers and filmmakers.

Last year we started out with 100 poems – each of 100 words or less, and each inspired by a different Edinburgh postcode. All these poems were submitted by Edinburgh writers of all walks of life; from award-winners like Brian McCabe and Alan Gillis to students, school children and talented first-time poets. From there, we worked to pair our poets up with local filmmakers, to create a collection of collaborative snapshots inspired by life in Edinburgh. Filmmakers have also come from all works of life – this collection has received responses from well-known professionals, but we’ve also gathered a great crop by running free public-access workshops, in which budding first-timers were given the chance to make an entire short film from scratch in only a few hours. The results have been by turns funny, beautiful, moving and dark, and we’re so proud of this collection so far that we want to share it with the world!

So on 25th and 26th March we’ll be showcasing all the collaborations we’ve gathered so far, in a truly awe-inspiring setting – the University of Edinburgh’s magnificent McEwan Hall. Thusday 25th will see an all-day film exposition from 10am-5pm in the hall’s main space, with films projected on several screens and a free press table where visitors can gather more information about our artists and the project as a whole. On Friday 26th we’ll be holding an evening event with live sets from poets, screenings of our films, and the chance to further explore this collection within the amazing McEwan Hall. You’ll also be able to find out more about how YOU can get involved in one of our collaborations. The entire event is free, and everyone is welcome to attend – the Friday evening event will also include free refreshment for visitors.

So come along and see Edinburgh through the eyes of its artists: see, hear, be inspired, get involved!

this collection March McEwan Hall showcase: Thursday 25th March 10am – 5pm / Friday 26th March 7pm – 9pm . FREE, all welcome.

See some of the films we’ll be showing here.

Poets reading at on Friday 26th from 7-9pm include:
Tom Bristow
Christine de Luca
Hayley Shields
Russell Jones
Andrew C Fergusson
Morgan Downie
Anita John
Andrew Philip
Rob A Mackenzie
Aileen Ballantyne
Jane McKie
Chris Lindores
Mairi Sharratt
Juliet Wilson
McGuire
Claire Askew
& more TBC!

(Photo by mikefranklin)