Who is Kirsten?

Hi – I’m Kirsten, I’m one half of the Celebrating Change team. I’ll do a profile about my colleague Laura Degnan once she gets back from her hols!

Laura and I first worked together in 2012 when I commissioned her and partner James Harris to devise and deliver a full-day workshop on filmpoems. My ‘day job’ is to be regional producer in the north for performance poetry organisation, Apples and Snakes. I wanted the poets I worked with to gain some digital skills so they could build up their online profiles, but be creative about it. The Read Our Lips Filmpoem Challenge was a great success, taking poems on the page and generating an edited film by the end of the day. We’ve run it several times since then, most recently as part of York Literature Festival, where the best film was a poem that had become a song. (Watch Kintsugi by Hannah Davies here).

Last year I made a poetry theatre show to go with my first collection of poetry, The Trouble With Compassion. Thanks to funding from the Arts Council, I was able to work with Laura again and make two filmpoems to feature in the show. We had such a good time, not least because one film involved me cramming chocolate cake into my face (Imelda Says), while the other one meant visiting a supercute petting farm (Love Is Waiting).

We’re both very excited about starting work on this project after spending months planning and fundraising, and the first thing we’re going to do is – MAKE A FILMPOEM! Yes, we’ll be taking another of the poems from my collection and using archive footage to create a very different kind of digital story, and I am going to learn loads from Laura in the process. You’ll be able to see it at the project launch and on this blog when it’s ready. In the meantime, here’s a shameless plug for some poetry performances I’ve got coming up this autumn, including a new pamphlet with the fab Boro press Black Light Engine Room.


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