Lipschtick Poetry Project



Project proposal by Jess Mookherjee, Alison Sneddon & Lucy Jones


We are inviting all who are interested to join in a Tunbridge Wells writers spoken word poetry project which will be filmed and posted on YouTube.

This project is not related to any other TW writers poetry projects on the go at the moment, although as ever in the world of creativity, there will be opportunities for cross-fertilization if you look for them.

The idea for the project was partly inspired by a Samuel Beckett piece that Jess and I both happened to see on TV back in the old days (the very old days in my case). Originally broadcast in the 80’s and then again in the 90’s, this work (entitled ‘Not I’)  consists of a close-up of Billie Whitelaw’s mouth as she performs a stream of consciousness style monologue direct to camera. Isolating the mouth as the instrument of communication creates a feeling of intense intimacy and alienation at the same time, which both Jess and I found very powerful and intriguing.

When the idea was first discussed with Chris and Lucy at the Black Pig (amidst much banter and cackling as I recall) we conceived the idea of a collection of poems filmed in this way and then posted on YouTube. To this end Lucy has already set up a YouTube account, Jess has been experimenting with her new iPhone (guerilla filming, natch) and Sam and I will be producing and directing.

Our thinking at the moment is to keep the imagery very homogeneous- same space, same lighting, same close-up mouth shots- so as to direct the viewers’ focus on the poetry and performances.

If you click on the link below and have a look at the Becket piece, you will see that it is very intense- perhaps rather datedly so. Our interest is not in capturing this particular tone, rather in exploring the form. In short there is no expectation that participants will have to paint out their faces and become hysterical, just that they read a poem and be filmed in extreme close-up!

Please post expressions of interest and any further enquiries on the TWW facebook page HERE, or use the form below to contact Alison directly.

lipsUPDATE:  The Lipschtick Project is almost reaching completion. We finished filming in August and are now editing the footage in readiness for the official online launch. Further developments and updates will be posted here and on the blog, so do remember to check in from time to time.


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