Poets at the Movies

Barry Wood

Like many people of my generation, cinema and ‘going to the pictures’ was and has continued to be a constant feature of life. The course will not be only a nostalgia-trip—although I don’t rule that out entirely—but an attempt to consider the role of films in personal and cultural life.  We will examine the way a number of UK and US poets have responded to ‘the cinema experience’ on different levels and for various purposes. The poets discussed will range from Robert Frost and Sharon Olds to Roger McGough, from Rudyard Kipling and Frank O’Hara to Carol Ann Duffy; from silent movies to ‘the after-life of movies’ on TV. The style of the poems will be varied—villanelle to Whitmanic rhapsody; the modes diverse—comic, satiric, tragic; and the themes a ‘mutiplex’ of tributes and elegies for the stars, celebrations and laments for the great picture palaces and reflections on the finance and politics of film production. Cinema as art and entertainment and the impact of cinema on our ways of seeing the world will also be touched on. There’s plenty to go on and a wealth of poetry to enjoy.

Recommended reading:
Philip French & Ken Wlaschin (eds) The Faber Book of Movie Verse
Leslie Halliwell Seats in All Parts
David Thomson The Big Screen
Roger Ebert Awake in the Dark

The course will be delivered by email exchange with weekly discussion notes distributed  on Thursdays, 10.30 – 11.30am. I will also post a booklet of materials, including a selection of movie-poems for detailed discussion, some critical comments and where possible movie stills.

Day: Thursday        Time: 10.30am for distribution of weekly discussion notes.
5 weeks from 6 May to 10 June
Mid-term break 27 May

Online platform:
The course will be delivered by email exchange.

Price Concessions Minimum No. Maximum No.
£40 n/a 8 18

Please send your MANCENT booking form with accompanying payment to the address below. If you prefer to pay through BACS, please contact the lecturer for further particulars.

Contact details:
Barry Wood, 12 St. Brannock’s Road,
Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 0UP
email: barrywood42@hotmail.com