My Heart Always Goes Back to the North

My Heart Always Goes Back to the North is a three poem cycle of work by Hugh MacDiarmid – Perfect, In the Hedgeback and My Heart Always Goes Back to the North. Each is interlinked, overlaid and yet distinct. Directed and edited by Alastair Cook, with cinematography from James W Norton, Filmpoem commissioned celebrated musician […] read more

“Hands Across the Sea” Keynote

Watch Alastair Cook’s Keynote for “Film-Poetry, Hybridity and Cultural Resilience in the Scottish Highlands & Islands and Western Brittany” (An Lanntair, Stornoway). This short keynote contains an introduction to Filmpoem and five of Alastair’s films with short discussions between each. 06’08” Filmpoem 02 Scene 09’10” Filmpoem 09 Abachan 11’30” Filmpoem 19 The Gun 16’05” Filmpoem […] read more

James W. Norton Showcase

We are showcasing James W Norton’s poetry-film work this month – Filmpoem’s long term cinematographer. These are our favourites, where James works beyond the usual team of Alastair and Luca with other collaborators and partners. Here are four of our favourites, all widely screened and admired. “The Grey Mirror” – a collaboration between The Poetry […] read more

The Life Breath Songs

Òrain Beò-analach is a three film cycle from the People’s Poem project supported by the Scottish Government and driven by the Makar, Kathleen Jamie Commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library, the triptych is called “The Life Breath Songs – toward a nature poem, written by the people of Scotland”, and is curated and arranged by […] read more

Janet Lees Showcase

We’ve been working to collaborate with Janet Lees, a poet and filmmaker whose work we know and love. Below are a few examples of Janet’s delicate skill with poetry and film, bringing a slowness and to her work – as she says “Something very fascinating and exciting happens when you mix poetry with moving images […] read more

Filmpoem Festival

Filmpoem Festival 2017 at Depot, Lewes. Filmpoem successfully partnered Depot in Lewes, East Sussex, on Saturday October 28th 2017 to present our established mix of poetry-film, live film performance, poets, filmmakers, and discussions and workshops. Helmie Stil, organiser of this year’s festival created a trailer from footage of the new 10 National Poetry Competition Films commissioned […] read more

The Desktop Metaphor

The Desktop Metaphor is a film by Helmie Stil of Caleb Parkin’s second placed poem in the National Poetry Competition 2016, commissioned by Alastair Cook of Filmpoem in partnership with the Poetry Society. read more

Arctica Triptych

‘Arctica’ is a series of interlinked artworks, borne from writer and artist Stevie Ronnie’s 2013 journey to the High Arctic through the Arctic Circle international residency programme As part of Arctica, Stevie and Alastair Cook of Filmpoem have made this a triptych of moving Filmpoems that explore the themes of climate change, loss, time and […] read more

Filmpoem Fife

The National Poet of Scotland has been working with Filmpoem to develop the poetic skills of young people in Fife, working with the project Fife Youth Arts – together we have made four new poetry-films. An accompanying book has been published by Documenting Britain. Six Feet was written by Jonah Lorimer as part of the […] read more

Filmpoem Stratford!

We’re heading to Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry festival this weekend to deliver an exciting programme of new work, open submissions and some special commissions we’ve been working on with The Poetry Society. “An evening of poetry films at the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival, curated and introduced by Alastair Cook of Filmpoem. Films will include those commissioned by The […] read more

Filmpoem Festival Fifteen

Filmpoem Festival Fifteen was conceived and held as a series of events and screenings. After our successful Antwerp festival in 2014, we worked with The Poetry Society and a series of universities and poetry festivals, presenting Filmpoem’s established mix of poetry-film, live film performance, poets, filmmakers, and discussions. “The combination of film and poetry is an attractive […] read more

ZEBRA Interview Filmpoem’s Alastair Cook

The Literaturwerkstatt Berlin and CHASED, an online magazine from Berlin, interviewed Filmpoem founder Alastair Cook for an article on the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival. How can poetry and film unite? AC: The very first films had text in them, often poetic texts. They have always united, there has always been a marriage between poetry and film, though […] read more

Poetry International Filmpoem Workshop

So, Filmpoem made a children’s workshop film with Southbank Centre for Poetry International – made with seven children from Love to Learn, a community which increases refugee children’s access to learning opportunities, this was a joy to make, loved it. With thanks to Bea Colley, Luca Nasciuti and Carolyn Jess-Cooke. Please do share, these kids […] read more

Liz Lochhead Filmpoem Workshop

Liz Lochhead, Scotland’s National Poet, led a Filmpoem Workshop in Greenock, with twelve children from Greenock Boxing Club Scotland. I Prefer Both was written read and filmed by the chidren in under two hours! This film is made all the more wonderful by the fact that everyone gave their time to the community voluntarily, and […] read more

Filmpoem 40 The Gun

Alastair notes “I have admired Vicki Feaver and her words for some time. I recorded this in 2011 and kept it safe, finally entrusting the sound to Luca Nasciuti and the cinematography to James William Norton, our core Filmpoem team. I’ve worked with Vicki on the amazing community arts project in Greenock, Absent Voices and […] read more

Southbank’s Festival of Love

Filmpoem will be partnering up with Southbank Centre to bring our own unique blend of artists films, workshops and events to the Poetry International, held from Thursday 17 July 2014 – Monday 21 July 2014. Poetry International is part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love – the festival features an exciting programme of free events, […] read more

Huffington Post Festival Review

Filmpoem Festival 2014 was held on Saturday 14th June 2014 in the FelixPakhuis in Antwerp as part of Felix Poetry Festival. Filmpoem Festival is fully supported by Antwerpen Boekenstad and is working in partnership with The Poetry Society.  What a festival we had! The Huffington Post did us a super write-up, enjoy it here in full: “Poets, […] read more

How to be a Poet by Dylan Thomas

Commissioned by Chapter Arts Centre for Laugharne Castle Poetry and Film Festival. As part of the Dylan Thomas 100 celebrations, The Welsh Government are partnering with Chapter Arts Centre on a unique weekend of film screenings, poetry readings and stop-animation workshops set in the beautiful castle grounds: How to be a Poet is an […] read more

Poetry film is as old as film itself!

“Poetry films are as old as film-making itself. The oldest known poetry film is from 1905 in the USA, and is called “The night before Christmas”. The next ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival will take place from 16-19 October 2014. We will be screening interesting productions from various decades, and fascinating contemporary works from the whole […] read more

National Poetry Competition Filmpoems!

Felix Poetry Festival and Filmpoem cooked up a little poetry-film with National Poetry Competition and the Poetry Society – the first, second and third prize winners have all been given the Filmpoem treatment and can be seen here Bernard and Cerinthe is a film by Alastair Cook for Linda France’s first placed poem in the […] read more

ReVersed Poetry Film Fest, Amsterdam

Filmpoem has been invited to make the keynote speech at ReVersed Poetry Film Festival held in Amsterdam from 4-6th April. ReVersed is new, bold and exciting: “ReVersed Poetry Film Festival is launching its first edition, inviting artists, poets and filmmakers to explore the intersection between poetry and film. With its scope encompassing screenings, performances and […] read more

Filmpoem 43 Lifted

Lifted is a poem by Jo Bell; this film is a Filmpoem production for the Poetry Society in partnership with the Canal & River Trust as part of the Canal Laureate 2013 project. Lifted was screened in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank on 3rd October 2013, National Poetry Day. It has also been screened in 2014 at the Cork Poetry Festival and StAnza, the Scottish Poetry Festival. read more

Filmpoem Antwerp Press Release

Filmpoem Festival 2014 will be held in partnership with Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp and will be held on 14th June 2014 in conjunction with Felix Poetry Festival at FelixPakhuis in Antwerp.  The Felix Poetry Festival is from 11th June-14th June; Filmpoem Festival 2014 is fully supported by Antwerpen Boekenstad. Filmpoem Festival will have elements throughout the Felix […] read more

Southbank Poetry Film Competition

Calling all poets and filmmakers! Love is in the air at Southbank Centre and we want you to create poetry films that explore the joy of first love, the pain of lost love, the confusion of displaced love, the purity of platonic love, or any other kind of love. There are two categories to enter: Poetry […] read more

Hidden Door Edinburgh

Filmpoem is dedicated to the filming of words and is a collaborative venture committed to attracting new audiences to new writing. Filmpoem at Hidden Door is a match made in filmic festival heaven – at 3pm Saturday April 5th, we will be bringing poets, films and performance to these great Edinburgh arches, running three forty-minute […] read more

Filmpoem Children’s Workshop

We invited Emily Dodd to run a Filmpoem Children’s Workshop with Alastair Cook and Luca Nasciuti. Here’s what happened, in Emily’s words… Shaking Shells In August 2013 I led a 3-hour Filmpoem workshop with five children aged between five and ten as part of the first UK Filmpoem Festival in Dunbar. The workshop started with exercises and games […] read more

Filmpoem Festival 3-4th August 2013

The inaugural Filmpoem Festival was held on 3rd-4th August 2013 in Dunbar in East Lothian, Scotland, over a weekend drenched in sunshine. Robert Peake, the distinguished American poet, was one of the attendees and writes: “I had a tremendous time at the Filmpoem Festival in Dunbar, Scotland and wrote a bit about this groundbreaking event for Huffington Post. […] read more

Filmpoem at Scottish Poetry Library

Painter and glass artist Alec Galloway taught Alastair Cook kiln-forming techniques at the Edinburgh College of Art. Impressed with his approach, Alec asked Alastair to join a group of artists called Absent Voices, dedicated to working within and potentially saving the enormous category A listed sugar shed buildings on the James Watt Dock in Greenock. […] read more

McArthur’s Store

McArthur’s Store a project by Filmpoem founder Alastair Cook. Alastair took a series of wet plate collodion tintype portraits of the fishermen who work from McArthur’s Store, an historic creel store on the Old Harbour in the small Scottish fishing town of Dunbar. WET PLATE COLLODION is a photographic process dating from 1851 and was […] read more

Felix Poetry Festival Commission

Alastair Cook writes: I was right pleased and certainly humbled to be asked if I could take my Filmpoem project to Antwerp, to showcase alongside my best contemporary, Swoon, known only to his mother as Marc Neys. The Felix Poetry Festival takes place in the Felix Pakhuis, a delicately restored warehouse on the Willemdock to […] read more

Filmpoem Live at StAnza 2012

As part of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, Filmpoem will perform on 16th March at StAnza. From the StAnza press release: “the impact of Filmpoem comes from a powerful interplay between the imagery of film and poetry. For StAnza Alastair Cook has brought together a collection of his films and will screen them alongside live […] read more

Field Notes at Alchemy with Q&A

Alastair will be a guest of Alchemy Film and Moving Image this month, doing a question and answer session with at a screening his film Field Notes. Notes from Alchemy: Synopsis: “Changes started on a day with a lamb’s coat sky. I walked the riverbank in the scent of ramsons, catkins on the birches. Water […] read more

Emily Melting and Scene at ZEBRA 2010

Alastair’s films Emily Melting and Scene have been chosen for screening at ZEBRA 2010. The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival came into being in 2002 and was the first and is the biggest international platform for short films based on poems – poetry films. Every two years it offers poets, film-makers and festival organisers from all […] read more
All images and films are copyright Alastair Cook 2023 unless expressly indicated otherwise.