In 2009 the English & Media Centre was awarded a small grant from Arts Council of England to create a freely accessible web-based video channel and portal for poetry.
Our aim was to:
- exploit the potential of the web to create a rich multi-sensory experience of poetry which includes music, film, and animation, as well as readings by actors and authors.
- bring together diverse and eclectic poetry worlds – from the unpublished world of slams, live events and song writing, to the published, literary and classic traditions of poetry.
- appeal to a really wide audience, from committed poetry readers to those who have felt excluded or haven’t thought poetry is for them.
The pilot phase came to an end in March 2010. Since then we have been sustaining the website from our own resources in the hope that we’d succeed in our bid to The Arts Council of England for further funding. At the end of September we received the disappointing news that ‘due to competition for funds’ we have not been granted further funding.
We’re not going to give up yet though! Your lovely supportive comments, combined with our belief in the project, will motivate us to continue our search for more funding. In the meantime we will keep the site live and open to visitors, but inevitably the lack of funding will mean fewer original additions to the website and will be able to upload only a small selection of contributor poems. Many thanks to all of you who have submitted your work for inclusion on the Channel. We have had a wonderful time watching and listening to them all. And it is clear that visitors to the site have also both enjoyed and been impressed by them.
During the pilot phase we have been lucky to forge relationships with a number of poetry publishers and arts organisations, and people from some of these organisations have agreed to sit on an advisory board to help shape the future direction of the site. One of the first tasks of this board will be to develop a consistent and transparent set of technical and artistic criteria for contributor submissions. This will be published on the site as part of the launch of the next phase, assuming our grant application is successful.
What you can do – give us your feedback
Tell us what you think of the site.
We need feedback from as many people as possible to help us develop the site and also to show funders and others how it might be used.
Browse, enjoy and tell us whatever strikes you:
- What do you think of it?
- How useable is it?
- What else would you like to see on it?
- Any ideas for poets, poems or features to add.
A big thank you to the poets who’ve supported us so far
Most of the poets on the pilot site have been filmed by us in the past as part of our work with schools. We are enormously grateful at the pilot stage of the project to all the poets who have given us permission to use these recordings without a fee. To give more of a flavour of what the site will finally offer, we have also included material created by other organisations such as Channel 4, the BBC, YouTube and specialist poetry publishers, Bloodaxe.
Who are we?
The English and Media Centre is a not-for-profit trust offering publications and professional development on all aspects of English teaching for teachers and students of literature, language and media in the UK and abroad.
You can find out more about our work by visiting the Centre website.