video record
Media not available in the Digital Archive
The Open University recorded a good part of the Cambridge Poetry Festival in 1975. The programme says something about the development of poetry in public since the big Albert Hall readings of the 1960s, and shows readings by Allen Ginsberg and Brian Patten. It then gives examples of the wide variety of poetry read in public today. Those who took part in the Cambridge Poetry Festival and were recorded for the programme include Sorley MacLean, perhaps the leading Gaelic poet writing today and Lee Harwood, who is one of the poets represented in Michael Horovitz's Children of Albion, the book which grouped together many of the younger poets reading in public in the 1960s. The programme also explores some of the more recent forms of poetry, such as concrete poetry - both visual and sound. The programme is introduced by Alasdair Clayre, who also did the production.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A306, Twentieth century poetry
Item code: A306; 14
First transmission date: 28-08-1976
Published: 1976
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:14
+ Show more...
Producer: Alasdair Clayre
Contributors: Bob Cobbing; Allen Ginsberg; Lee Harwood; Don Sylvester Houedard; Sorley MacLean; Neil Oram; Brian Patten
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Language; Poetry festivals
Subject terms: Concrete poetry; Poetry
Footage description: The programme opens with film of Allen Ginsberg chanting and reading at the big poetry reading held at the Albert Hall in 1965. Alasdair Clayre comments on poets who do read their work in public. Shots of Michael Horovitz and Pete Brown reading at the Albert Hall. Clayre briefly describes the career of Brian Patten over film of the poet at the Edinburgh fringe festival in 1968. Film of Patten's reading of This is the projectionist's nightmare and A Small Dragon. Clayre describes Patten's success. Patten reads Portrait of a Young Girl Raped at a Suburban Party. Clayre maintains that poetry and music combine successfully and gives examples of where this has happened. Neil Oram is seen improvising words and flute together. He reads a short untitled poem. Clayre describes the poetry of The "Underground" movement. Film of Lee Harwood reading at the 1975 Cambridge Poetry Festival. Harwood reads his Portraits 1 to 4 and the poem In Bed. Clayre explains concrete poetry. Shots of visual concrete poems by Dom Sylvester Hovedard. Film of sound poetry being read at the 1975 Cambridge Poetry Festival. Reading of Das Grosse Lalula by Christian Morgenstein. Clayre explains the aims of this kind of poetry. Reading of a poem consisting of sounds rather than words. Clayre introduces the Scottish poet, Sorley MacLean. MacLean reads the poem Springtide in English, and then reads the original Gaelic version Reothairt. MacLean explains 'automatic poetry' and gives the background to his poem Dogs and Wolves, which he then reads. Maclean in interview gives his views on reading and writing poetry. He describes the essential characteristics of Gaelic poetry. Closing shots are of the 1975 Cambridge Poetry Festival.
Master spool number: 6HT/71831
Production number: 00525_3191
Videofinder number: 727
Available to public: no