Poetry Pulse: time to send us your films

Rebecca Cullen
Wed 27 Feb, 2019

Thank you to everyone who has commented, made suggestions and wished me luck with the Poetry Pulse project. This blog post answers a few questions and gives you more information about how to get involved – we need your help.

What has digital technology got to do with poetry?

I’m thinking about how we can use different forms of technology to reach new audiences for poetry, specifically live stream, videos and immersive video to capture and showcase the diversity of poetry in Nottingham. There’s evidence that some poets are choosing to publish their work in video form on social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, so it’s important to learn from that to consider how digital technology can help us reach new audiences and develop new writers - and videos and streaming are another way of letting people know what we’re up to.

You say there are 1,000+ poets in Nottingham. Surely that’s plenty?

There’s a real love of poetry in Nottingham – we’re thinking about how we can share the love! For example, we have 60,000 students a year coming to Nottingham, nearly 30% with English as a Second Language – how could we combine poetry and technology, especially digital media, to get them more involved in our UNESCO City of Literature, enriching their student experience? What a graduate aspires to is very different to some of our school leavers; we have some of the areas most in need of literacy development in the UK. So there’s always room for more poets, and ways of reaching them.

Why are you thinking about a digital archive of poets and poetry?

We want to make sure poets of the future are inspired by and aware of their poetic heritage. It’s important too to be visible so that people can discover our writing, and see that a great city Nottingham if for poetry and poets. My own development as a poet only started in the past few years, and I am aware that there are people who have been working at developing poetry and poets in Nottingham for a long time. Part of the motivation for the project is that we have no central record of all that excellent work – and no central record of everything that is happening now.

Will you actually be making the archive?

The Poetry Pulse project is looking at what we need to do to get an archive up and running, what it might include and how we could organise, update and manage it. So a short answer might be ‘not yet’. But what do we want a poetry archive to do? How can we use it to show people here, nationally and internationally in other UNESCO Cities of Literature what our poets are doing? Being a City of Literature offers our writers a whole range of opportunities – there are 130 literary festivals, for example, that our writers could perhaps work with more frequently as we make our poems more visible, and easy to find. What are the benefits of an archive, socially, culturally and economically? How can an archive benefit the local creative economy not just for writers, but for filmmakers and digital artists? The research will make recommendations in a report to help Nottingham City of Literature formulate a digital strategy and leverage funding to put the recommendations into action.

What do you want from me?

We need your help. The first stage in working out how an archive might work is to consider what we want to put in it. We know that there are films of poems and poets out there on different platforms, or on different phones or cameras, but we want to get an idea of the quantity and technical range of videos we’re looking at. So we’re asking you to send an example of what you’ve got, and details of the number of films of poetry you have. If you’ve got poems which relate to the National Poetry Day theme of truth, that would be great, but nothing will be ruled out, because I’m going to be looking at how the videos work together in themes or genres or how they are filmed. They won’t be shared with anyone else.

How can I send you my video?

The deadline for submissions is Monday 18th March. Click though the form, adding your details, a title and brief description of your poem, with a Vimeo or YouTube link. If you have posted your video on Vimeo or YouTube for a limited or private audience, please remember to send the password.

Complete the form, telling us you have sent your video via WeShare. The email for your WeShare link is Because the video is part of a research project, it will only be accessible by me, and will be securely stored by NTU. If you would like to withdraw your video at any point, then of course we will delete it from our systems.

Your video can be filmed on a phone, laptop, tablet or camera. You don’t need to have filmed yourself and you don’t need to be in the film.

Your videos should be 5 minutes maximum, HD quality if possible, but don’t let this stop you sending stuff in. You'll receive an email notification so you know your work is safe.

I don’t have a video, but I’d like to have one. What can I do?

Click below to let us know who you are by Monday 18th March. Part of the project is to think about how poets might need support to use digital technology, so it’s important to capture your views.

I haven’t got a video, but I want to tell you something. What can I do?

This is Nottingham – say what you think! Get in touch by email at by Monday 18th March.

I’m not a poet, but I can make films. What do I do?

You are very welcome, friend. Drop us a line at by Monday 18th March and we’ll be in touch.

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poetry poetry pulse video

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