Filmpoem Festival 2014 commissioned British poets David Harsent, Helen Mort, John Glenday and Michael Symmons Roberts to produce new work on the theme of migration. Filmpoem then commissioned films of these poems; these films will be presented in conversation with poets John Glenday, David Harsent and Michael Symmons Roberts.
I Shake Out My Coat is by Michael Symmons Roberts, directed by Alastair Cook with cinematography by James William Norton and sound composed by Luca Nasciuti. Alastair, James and Luca form the main group making poetry-film under the name Filmpoem.
Filmpoem was founded by artist Alastair Cook in 2009 and is dedicated to the filming of words. The combination of film and poetry is an attractive one. For the poet, perhaps a hope that the filmmaker will bring something to the poem: a new audience, a visual attraction, the laying of way markers; for the filmmaker, a fixed parameter to respond to, the power of a text sparking the imagination with visual connections and metaphor.
Michael Symmons Roberts was born in 1963 in Preston, Lancashire, UK. His poetry has won the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award, and been shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. He has received major awards from the Arts Council and the Society of Authors.