Claire Hillier

It was a privilege to be invited to participate in this collaborative conversation, and such a delight to write reflecting on the intense, rich imagery of the film. ‘Fire’ already has a rhythm, which lends itself well to the traditional sestina form I have used. The content of this poem incorporates aspects of the uncanny, the epiphany, elemental rapture, the surreal and the ludic, as all these things are alive for me in the film.

It is truly humbling to be reminded that all is part of a larger whole. I am really excited about experiencing the collective results of this exercise, as I am sure that the act of relating will transform each individual component.

I hope this may demonstrate that poetry is relevant, current and important.

Claire Hillier has a 1st class BA in Creative Writing from the University of Winchester.

I have a particular interest in hybrid poems, written in traditional poetic forms yet capturing contemporary language and imagery. For some reason whenever I write, I absolutely love disrupting syntax and linear temporal pathways, juxtaposing tone with image and playing with fragmentation whilst adhering to a specific set of structural rules. If pushed to explain my geeky, word tinkering obsession, I would say that working in this way equates to speaking out in a voice that refuses to relinquish control to mass media whilst engaging with the contemporary mediums of social, artistic and political discourse.

‘Hybrid poems often honour the avant-garde mandate to renew the forms and expand the boundaries of poetry – thereby increasing the expressive potential of language itself’ (Cole Swensen, American Hybrid, 2009)

Traditionally the fierce subjects of critical discourse on poetics snapped into binary oppositions. Ideologies and modalities of writing that focused on marginalisation and demarginalisation, form or free verse, confessional or narrative, then constructed arguments behind clearly defined borders. This trend has not completely broken down, today’s binary dynamic seems to demand rationalised difference between orality that stems from lyrical verse ‘performance poetry’ and text or ‘page poetry’, the focus of interrogation is on the relationship between self and voice.

However the current and most interesting questions have migrated into the areas of truly postmodern, reflexive discourse. This open debate is unpredictable, multi faceted and has a depth and breadth of language interpretation and employment unprecedented in the history of poetics. Critical is creative is critically creative and creatively critical.

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