Term 2 poet in residence

Owen Sheers

A Village of Voices - Lynette Roberts By Owen Sheers
2 Jun 2009 - 02:16 PM

All of the films in this series have been shaped by the poems with which they engage, but perhaps none of them more so than this week's offering of Lynette Roberts's 'Poem from Llanybri'. The poem is an invitation to visit her village, written with a crafted, precise and yet colloquial voice and with a flexible focus that zooms from minute detail to sweeping views. All of these qualities are, I hope, reflected and followed in the film, but it's that notion of Robert's voice that I really hope we managed to translate into the medium of television.

2 comments latest by AnneMarie
The Known Unknown - Arnold's Dover Beach By Owen Sheers
23 May 2009 - 10:55 PM

This week's film takes a look at probably one of the best known poems in English literature. It's a wonderful example of a poem in which the landscape and the poetic intention meet perfectly - the liminal sound and seascape of a beach used as the setting for a poem about someone coming to the brink of a terrifying thought and a realisation. The place and the poem are both called 'Dover Beach'. It's a poem I thought I knew well, by a poet I also thought I knew well. But in making this film I was reminded how often even the best known poets and poems hold surprises for us when we dig a little deeper.

2 comments latest by emma smith
The place in a poet, the poet in a place By Owen Sheers
18 May 2009 - 03:44 AM

This week's film is about the Orcadian poet George Mackay Brown who rarely ever left his home town of Stromness on the main island of Orkney. Stromness and the history and landscape of Orkney were huge shaping influences upon George's work. But what also really came to interest me while I was in Orkney was George's place within his place, the position he occupied in the town and on the island as its dominant poetic voice for so many years.

9 comments latest by Kristina Hayward
Look, Stranger! By Owen Sheers
11 May 2009 - 02:18 AM

In this week's film we're taken to the North Yorkshire Moors with a poem by a poet who knew this landscape in literature and through the memories, character and stories of her new husband, but who had never actually been there herself before she wrote these poems. Sylvia Plath's 'Wuthering heights' was a fascinating subject for this series for many reasons, but I became increasingly interested in it as a great example of a poet writing powerfully about a place not from a position of familiarity, but with the invigorated vision of a stranger.

12 comments latest by eleanor watkins
On Influence By Owen Sheers
4 May 2009 - 01:34 AM

Tonight's opening film of 'A Poet's Guide to Britain' is about Wordsworth's eulogy to London, 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge. I think when you see the film you'll understand why we chose this poem to open the series. Wordsworth is a familiar name, the poem is already well known and, perhaps, most importantly for TV, there's a good story behind the writing of the poem - Wordsworth's trip to France to visit his ex, Annette Vallon. But for me this was also a great poem to begin the series because I think the story of its writing touches upon some fascinating questions of influence; by another poet, by Wordsworth's sister, Dorothy, and of course by London itself. It's a story that opens a door onto how poems so often come about; through a rare intersection and interleaving of circumstance, reading, experience, conversation and physical surroundings.

2 comments latest by Rob Hawley
A Poet's Guide to Britain By Owen Sheers
28 Apr 2009 - 06:17 PM

For the past year I've been making a TV series for BBC 4 called 'A Poet's Guide to Britain.' In one way the series does pretty much what it says on the tin - Through six different poems of place, written by 6 very different poets, 'A Poet's Guide to Britain' does indeed guide a viewer through elements of Britain's landscape and poetic history. But for me making this series, which will begin airing next week, wasn't so much about making a 'guide' as going on an exploration - an exploration through an ongoing conversation between the British landscape and her poets.

33 comments latest by Rachel Fox

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