June 5, 2012

Over the past few months I’ve been taking portraits for my latest photo project ‘Poets at Work’

As a spoken word artist/photographer photographing poets seemed like an obvious choice of project but my intentions behind this series were more about exploring a process that is largely undocumented and unexamined.

 As a young writer growing up idolising the cool factor of the writers working in Paris in the 20s and beat generation in the 50s. I’ve seen many a photo of Jack Keroac at the typewriter looking as badass as any rockstar.

In many ways, I consider performance poets to be the new rock stars of literature. They are entertaining, honest and in the most part accessible, yet all we see of them is immediate. Their work is presented to an audience in a theatrical manner. However honest and sincere the performance it is always easy to sit back and accept their work as talented showmanship and never consider the process behind the words.

It interests me to think that a poem performed with the confidence and grace many talenented poets possess could have been written under a duvet with a full ashtray and tears in the eyes of the poet. Just because poems are often performed in an extrovert manner doesn’t mean the idea wasn’t convinced in a more introverted and personal environment.

Similarly I find the process itself fasinating. How do people write?

With laptop, notebook, Dictaphone? In your home, library, train, coffee shop, the street?

During my project I have found more and more reason to document these poets. The way they write is not only fascinating but encourages to look closer at every piece of stationary, setting and cup of coffee in this world and their collective potential to inspire creation.

So far I have photographed 5 poets and am giving a sneak preview of my work so far.


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