THIS was selected as a Finalist of The 2020 Brush & Lyre Prize for Multimedia Poetry, with Palette Poetry. Steve and Rebecca are delighted to be included on such a strong and inspiring list of innovative works and would like to thank Palette Poetry for creating a platform where work of this nature can be experienced, celebrated and shared.
THIS is an interactive poetry reading made in collaboration by Steve Smart and Rebecca Sharp. Rebecca’s original poem of the same name was already written in a fragmented, semi-concrete style, lending itself to being taken apart and moved around (although if you follow the purple route through THIS you can discover the complete original poem).
Rebecca’s experience in devising and producing innovative collaborative and interdisciplinary projects brought an eye for possibilities: exploring text-as-object, working with visual images, interactivity and sound. Steve’s wide-ranging experience of working in digital media, photography, visual art and as a poet himself, meant that the technical demands of the work were in safe hands, while also keeping hold of the work’s overall poetic integrity. Together they devised what an interactive experience might look and feel like; what the user/reader brings to the experience and what they receive in return.
Being a year of such deep disruption, change and uncertainty, Steve and Rebecca wanted to create something that conveyed the spirit of exploration, curiosity and hope, while also offering no solid ‘answers’ (as poetry rarely does). To let each other know that not-knowing is ok. Instead to keep digging for what we might find in precisely these unexpected places. To remember that we’re all doing the same, underneath the skin of things. THIS playfully demonstrates the ability of poetry to present intricate and elusive ideas, images and feelings for interaction and transformative experience.
Steve and Rebecca would like to thank Eleanor Livingstone, Director of StAnza and Annie Rutherford, StAnza Programme Coordinator for the commission and their support through the making of THIS. They would also like to thank all of the 'voices' (see below) for so generously giving their time and talents to record the text.
Rebecca Sharp is a writer whose work encompasses poetry, plays, interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.
Steve Smart is a poet and visual artist who has been involved in a broad range of creative disciplines over many years.
The words of THIS are read by:
Juana Adcock (poet)
Dominique Cameron (artist)
Bashabi Fraser (poet)
Carl MacDougall (writer)
Jon Plunkett (poet)
Christie Williamson (poet)
Thanks to Rose Brodie for her patience and support, and for the loan of her old paint box.
Echoing archeological study of societies through troves of discarded rubbish,
THIS includes images of lost or discarded objects, many found as kerbside jetsam on local walks.
THIS was commissioned by StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival, with funding from Book Week Scotland and Creative Scotland.