The Ghosts from the Recent Past poem films form a series of three short films commissioned by IMMA, created by filmmaker Matthew Thompson, and co-produced by IMMA and Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation, in collaboration with Poetry Ireland.
Set within the exhibition Ghosts from the Recent Past at IMMA, each film acts as a call-and-response between artwork and poet.
The poets – Sarah Clancy, Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi, WeAreGriot – perform new and existing works that seek to internalise meanings that are embedded within the exhibition, and connect these outwards to audiences. Their readings present multiple perceptions of the exhibition. Such interpretations, tensions and translations shift back and forth between artwork and poem, each becoming a catalyst and a conduit for the other. In this way, through the lens of the filmmaker, the films offer tangential replies and rebuffs to the vital question embedded within the exhibition – How can we care for a shared world?*
Part 1: featuring Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi – 20 July
Part 2: featuring Sarah Clancy – 10 August
Part 3: featuring WeAreGriot – 7 September
*Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (Verso, 2019)
Ghosts from the Recent Past explores how urgencies of the recent past continue to inhabit the present. Framed by key political events of the past 40 years, both in Ireland and further afield, the exhibition presents artworks from the IMMA Collection from the 1980s onwards. These works tell stories of colonisation and contested borders, of human relationships to the environment, of radical self-representation in the face of oppression and of love.
Sarah Clancy is a poet and community worker from Galway city, living and working in County Clare. She has published three collections of poetry – Stacey and the Mechanical Bull (Lapwing Belfast), Thanks for Nothing Hippies (Salmon Poetry), and The Truth and Other Stories (Salmon Poetry). Clancy has been involved in many campaigns in Ireland over the years, for environmental justice, bodily autonomy, marriage equality, and most recently, the ongoing campaign to end Direct Provision. Her poems have been published in Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, Slovenia, Poland, Italy and Nicaragua and broadcast on RTE and BBC Radio. She has poetry forthcoming in an anthology of Queer Poetry ‘Queering the Green’ (Lifeboat Press, Belfast), and a new collection from Salmon Poetry which is years overdue but still in the works.
Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi is a poet, columnist, editor and arts facilitator. Her work is widely published online and in print, notedly in The Art of the Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories anthology, edited by Sinéad Gleeson (Head of Zeus, 2020). Enyi-Amadi is co-editor of Writing Home: The ‘New Irish’ Poets anthology (Dedalus Press, 2019). Her work was longlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards Writing.ie Short Story of the Year 2020.
WeAreGriot is a collection of Nigerian-Irish poets and storytellers; FELISPEAKS, Dagogo Hart and Samuel Yakura. They state, “Our goal is to reflect the times we live in through our work, to celebrate culture and community, and to stretch the boundaries of poetry. We create to serve both Art and Agenda.”
FELISPEAKS is a Nigerian-Irish poet, performer, playwright from County Longford, living in County Kildare. She has been nominated ‘Best Performer’ by Dublin Fringe Festival 2018 for her performance in ‘BOYCHILD’, a play co-written with Dagogo Hart. FELISPEAKS’ poem: ‘For Our Mothers’ is in Higher Level English Leaving Cert Curriculum for examination year 2023. She is a member of the Poetry Ireland Board.
Dagogo Hart is a Dublin-based poet, writer, playwright, performer and spoken word artist. His work has been published in the University College Cork’s Motley magazine and The Moth magazine. In 2017, Hart won the Slam Sunday Grand Slam, qualifying to perform at Electric Picnic with the Cuirt International Poetry Festival. He has performed at Mother Tongues, St. Patrick’s Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, Drogheda Literary Festival, Spirit of Folk, Body and Soul, Loud Poets Scotland and First Fortnight. His personal works include RedBeard Paddy (a poetry short film), Africa Day 2018 champion (served as host and performer), Lantern Smoke (runner-up for Button Poetry video contest).
Samuel Yakura is a Nigerian-born poet and performing artist living in Ireland. From co-curating the Waterford Speakers Corner as part of Summer in the City, Waterford, to winning the #1 Talkatives Slam Competition in Dublin (put together by Boundless and Bare, Slight Motif and WeareGriot), Yakura has been buzzing in the art scene. In 2019, he was among the six poets selected for Poetry Ireland’s Versify 2019 in collaboration with Dublin Fringe Festival. He is passionate about spoken word/performance poetry and strongly believes it is today’s re-evolution from page poetry to engage society’s narratives and the human condition in ways only the Arts have potential to. Yakura is committed to giving his voice to the cause.
Over the past two years, Irish filmmaker Matthew Thompson has created a series of films with the Brinkerhoff Foundation, in partnership with Poetry Ireland (Dublin), Druid (Galway), the 92nd Street Y (New York), and Poet in the City (London). The films represent a new approach to poetry that combines language, performance, music, and moving image. The result is an immersive experience that invites viewers to reconnect with a communal art form that is vitally alive.
The Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation is a literary organisation based in New York, bringing great poetry from across places, eras, and traditions together. The Foundation’s aim is to expand access to poetry for audiences worldwide to enjoy. By exploring universal themes through poetry from the past and present, the Foundation connects some of the greatest writers of the 20th century with new and diverse voices today.
Poetry Ireland connects poetry and people, and is committed to achieving excellence in the reading, writing and performance of poetry throughout the island of Ireland. The non-profit organisation, established in 1978, combines its role as a promoter and supporter of poetry with advocacy for poets, advancing the art form through solid development goals.
This series of poem films is a co-production of IMMA and the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation, in collaboration with Poetry Ireland. It is supported by the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Fund of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.