The Monthly interviews poet and film poetry producer, and winner of the Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film competition, Janet Lees – Part 2 – Film Poetry Competitions

Part one of this interview is here

What made you enter the Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film competition?

I had entered the competition for quite a few years and had been shortlisted a number of times before. I do send out my work quite a bit, you sort of have to because if you have gone through all the processes of producing poetry, or film poems, you do want to get your work published and you want to connect with people.

Was that your starting point when you first came back to being creative?

I really did think, back when I first started, that I was committing to something. That it wasn’t going to be just a hobby. I decided that I wanted to do my writing justice, so back in 2012 I did a Masters in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. This gave me the confidence to send my work to poetry competitions, to magazines and journals. By the way, I received many, many more rejections than I did positive responses. But I just kept working at my writing and my film poetry. It can be exhausting to be on the treadmill of submitting material, but it is part and parcel of the process.

You must have been quite excited then to win the Ó Bhéal International Film Poetry competition?

I honestly didn’t expect to win, although looking back on it maybe I should have, but it was incredibly exciting. I have come close before, and I have been told by people that I have come close before, but to win is wonderful. I was on a beach when the announcement was being made, actually a freezing cold beach and it seemed to go really, really quiet when my name was announced.

Where to now?

I am working on a larger project with Martyn Cain and other collaborators, including the poet, artist and musician Paul Nash, and the composer David Mackenzie. These are just starting to take shape, so it is looking very promising for the foreseeable future.

To see more of Janet Lee’s Work see link – janetlees.weebly.com

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