Sunday, June 29, 2008

Poetry/Photography Collaboration

I've just heard that a much-discussed project will be going ahead this summer, namely a poetry/photography collaboration between myself and the Leamington Spa Artist in Residence, Anand Chhabra.

The details haven't yet been thrashed out between us, but I believe Anand will be taking photographs around the town of Warwick and I will then write poems to accompany them - probably somewhere between 15 and 20 poems in total. The resulting collaboration will then be exhibited at a Warwick art gallery during the weekend of the Warwick Words Festival in early October, in connection with my year-long Warwick Poet Laureateship which ends that month.

It's a challenging but exciting thought, having to combine my words with someone else's images. I've written about photographs before, of course, but never quite in the same collaborative spirit, and I have no idea right now how it will work out. But I'm sure that when Anand and I put our heads together in the next few weeks, some mutually interesting themes based around the town of Warwick will come up to inform the general thrust of the project and make it something really special.


The Editors said...


That sounds really interesting. As a jumping off point, and you probably already know them, but I'd find Ted Hughes' collaborations with photographers - 'River' and 'Remains of Elmet' - really useful in relation to your current project. They seem to be exemplary as to how these two disciplines could work together, each lending something to the other without detracting anything intrinsic from either the poetry or the photography. In both cases, the poetry is powerful, and the photographs startling and evocative, but both are added to by being published in conjunction with the other: it never feels as though one facet of the collaboration is bolstering the other.

Anyway, apologies if this all seems terribly long-winded. Good luck with it!

Simon Turner, Gists and Piths

Jane Holland said...

Oddly enough, I was in a library in Oxford yesterday where I spent some time looking through the photography/poetry collaborative edition of River. I'd only read the poems before ...

Thanks for that; good to know you're still trawling Raw Light occasionally!

Anne said...

Good luck with all that, Jane. A lot of work, but should be very rewarding.

Great new photo!