script1_verticalI accidentally attended a workshop at the very excellent Scottish Poetry Library yesterday. ‘Accidentally’ because the workshop wasn’t exactly about what I though it was – my fault for not reading the small print in sufficient detail once again!  I should have looked up acrostic first (well, now I know…)

stravaigWhat the workshop was about was about image and poetry, but in the sense of using text and other elements to make a poem that is spatial as well as (or maybe more than) temporal.  Well, so to speak…

…clear as mud? Think ‘concrete poetry’ (for example).

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, however, so I decided to give it a go…

To be honest, I felt a bit at sea – I’ve always found this kind of thing quite difficult to get into. But in any event it was good to grapple with it with people who didn’t.  I was impressed by the range of visual and crafting, as well as writing skills that other participants brought to the party. (Of course, having actually got what the workshop was to be about initially, it probably was more likely that they would know where they were at!)

As always though, it’s grand to have a chance to see shiny minds at work. I was struck by a kind of ‘lightness of step’ that I admire a great deal in much of what people were doing. Watching (and listening) to this I sometimes feel I’m gazing at dancers in point shoes bourrée their way past a place where I’ve stomped in with wellies and a view to some spadework.

This morning, however, I thought of a way of bringing some of my partly developed efforts from yesterday together. Of course it took about three and a half hours to make – but here it is, in all its thirty second splendour!  With thanks to Helen and Malcy for a very educational and interesting experience, and to all the other participants, for being rather amazing…



About stevedsmart

Steve Smart is an information designer, poet and artist. View all posts by stevedsmart

4 responses to “Stravaig

  • helenboden

    Thanks so much for this, Steve. Your filmpoem is beautiful – so lovely to see work developing after the occasion. Thanks for coming all the way from Dundee, and sticking with it! I’d be interested in hearing more about your work. My own writing is very much at the conventional layout end of the scale, but I love the way that playing around with space like this gives me new ideas for that. And may I say how much I loved your ‘script’ and performance of it on Saturday. Very best, Helen

    • stevedsmart

      Thanks Helen! I am still finding my way in poetry – I suspect this never really stops! I’d say I also think of my own work as a fairly conventional pie for the most part, but with some measure of my personal ‘oddness’ thrown in the mix [otherwise, why bother?!]. But it is also always really good to be helped to get a whiff of something a bit different, to gain an idea of other possibilities! 🙂 Best wishes, Steve.

  • helenboden

    Reblogged this on helen boden literary arts and commented:
    Interesting reflections from a participant in Saturday’s Text & Image workshop at the Scottish Poetry Library – including a rather lovely film-poem he made afterwards.

  • Simultanism: Words and Pictures, Reading and Looking | helen boden literary arts

    […] to make shape poetry, found poetry and sound poetry.  One participant blogged about his experience here. The day  also encouraged me to consider  the relationship between creative and pedagogic […]

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