Documenting Britain


My Documenting Britain project will document my time spent between two very different locales, engaging with the people, culture and history of these places. I will also be incorporating elements from my own PhD research in this endeavour. This project will primarily feature poetry, though may also include filmmaking from time-to-time – particularly in the field of film portraiture.

An Introduction

A brief introduction; my name is Roseanne, and I am an Edinburgh-based poet from the Shetland Isles. I am currently reading for a PhD at the University of Stirling, in which I aim to creatively examine the importance of time and interconnection within the poetry of the Scottish Isles—examining in particular the fragility and plasticity of cultural memory. This will be achieved through the completion of 30 original poems, a 15,000 word scholarly essay, and the creation of an online archive of film portraits. I am incredibly excited to be participating in Documenting Britain, and will hopefully get to document some of my research in future posts.

For my first post, though, I thought I would share my first forays into the world of the film-poem. I worked on this particular film, Sullom, over the summer for my Masters dissertation, which investigated themes of ‘maps and alignment’.

Sullom Voe [transcript]

And here lies
the slow black pulse
of the islands,
which grew roads
arterial, capillaries
across the map;
a slick spill of dark
spinal fluid right
down the middle.

In my memory
it is lit
as a magic lantern,
all chatoyant glitter
of another, flickering world;
city of the night
tucked in a far corner
of my north -
a hologram,
a mirknin heart.

mirkinin: darkening