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Wanted - London Poets! | 28-Jan-13

A new project for 2013. We're very excited ...

Jaybird Live Literature and Southbank Centre are planning a large scale poetry commissioning project for Summer and Autumn 2013.

We are going to find one poet connected to each of London's 33 boroughs* and ask them to create a new poem inspired or provoked by that borough.

We will then introduce each poet to an artist (visual, theatrical or digital) who will interpret the new poem and send it out into the world: launching it from a relevant borough location, from a space in Southbank Centre as part of the 2013 Neighbourhood Festival, and from the web.

We need poets, one of them connected to every London borough. Poets can be well established or just starting out, they can write in English or other languages, they can be native or adopted Londoners, they can be page or performance poets - but they must be able to respond to a specific commission creatively and professionally. It is unlikely that we will select poets who are still unpublished beyond magazine level, or who have as yet only given a couple of performances. A poet's connection with a borough may be that s/he lives /d there, was born there, works/ed there or experienced some genuinely significant life event there. (What's my borough? Check here.)

We need artists who can work imaginatively with text, whether visually, theatrically or digitally. They must be UK based, but they do not need to be London based. Artists can be individuals, partners or collectives, they can be well established or just starting out - but they must be able respond to a specific commission creatively and professionally and create an interpretation of an existing poem which is sympathetic to the qualities of that poem, and which is conceptually and / or physically robust. We are unlikely to select artists with no track record of delivering similar work.

If you can project a giant poem in light up the side of a wall, if you can make a poem grow in moss graffiti, if you can send a poem in morse code to search for extra terrestrial life (or similar!) we'd like to hear from you. We are looking for performances, happenings, large and small-scale installations, takeaways ... whatever delights us. Please bear in mind that while some interpretations will have a budget of £1,000s, most will have budget of £100s. We need your ideas and skills to carry our newly commissioned poems into the hearts of Londoners throughout 2013.

This new project will be managed by Julia Bird of Jaybird Live Literature; and Bea Colley, Participation Producer at Southbank Centre and one of the organisers of Poetry Parnassus in 2012.

How to Recommend ...

Poets and poet recommenders: please email Julia and Bea at 33boroughspoetry@gmail.com with your / the poet's name, your / their borough if you know it, and a link to your / their website or online presence. We do not need detailed CVs or suggestions at this stage, just enough information to be able to follow up if we choose. Please title your email 'Poet Recommendation'.

Artists and artist recommenders: please email Julia and Bea at 33boroughspoetry@gmail.com with your / the artist's or collective's name and a link to your / their website or online presence. We do not need detailed CVs or suggestions at this stage, just enough information to be able to follow up if we choose. Please title your email 'Artist Recommendation'.

A more detailed brief will be provided for poets and artists who are selected to take part.

All recommendations must be received by 18th February 2013.

The delivery of this project will take place in three stages over Summer and Autumn 2013 and the poets and artists we select will be notified within plenty of notice of any commissioning deadline. Because of the expected volume of recommendations, we will probably not be able to respond individually to the poets and artists we don't select. Details of the selected poets and artists will be announced on this website.

Please note 1: we are expecting to receive many more recommendations than there are opportunities. Between them, Jaybird and Southbank Centre manage many poetry-related projects so all individuals will be borne in mind for possible future projects even if they are not selected to take part in this one.

Please note 2: This project depends in part on a successful Arts Council England funding bid. The poets' and artists' commissions will be paid opportunities, but no-one will be officially commissioned until the funding is in place.

* 32 boroughs, plus the City of London

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