Out of Bounds is an anthology of ‘place poetry‘ by British black and Asian poets. It was published in 2012 by Bloodaxe Books and edited by the Scottish poet laureate Jackie Kay, James Procter (Newcastle University) and Gemma Robinson (University of Stirling). Described as “an alternative A-Z of the nation”, its geographically-organised structure represents poetry responding to different parts of Britain; a total of [X] poems by [X] different poets.
To build on the success of the anthology, the project was awarded an AHRC impact award, which funded – among other things – a nationwide tour. Between February and November 2016, “poets on tour” Vahni Capildeo and Kayo Chingonyi travelled the length and breadth of the country to bring the poetry of the anthology into the real places they relate to. From Shetland in the far North of Scotland to Dorset on the South coast of England and from Aberystwyth in West Wales to Newcastle in the North East of England, the tour coincided with poetry events and connected with many of the poets whose work featured in the anthology.
Alongside the tour, we have been creating a documentary project that has sought to capture the conversations about place poetry inspired by the tour, led by the poets on tour, often in direct response to specific places, such as Lerwick Harbour in Shetland, The Antonine Wall in Bearsden, Glasgow and Dorchester in Dorset. In addition, we have sought to bring together unique footage of the tour with new material from participants in the form of images, video, sound, tweets and other ‘poetic responses’ to the poetry within the anthology.
which we have brought together via a website, Out of Bounds [dot] Digital – http://outofbounds.digital – part interactive multimedia documentary; part social media hub; part living archive of the emerging responses to the project.
Out of Bounds Digital was co-created as a piece of exploratory research, in partnership with project leads James Procter and Gemma Robinson and the poets-on-tour. It was developed using the interactive media-authoring software, Klynt and features a wide variety of media produced during the tour, from poetry readings and performances to conversations, short interviews and other poetic responses to place. It also features content produced by users of the App-Movement generated app, Poetry Pick-‘n’-Mix, which allows users to produce poetic responses to places and attach them to a dynamic map. It also features ‘film poems’ contributed by young filmmakers from Cultureword, the Manchester-based writing development organisation as well as photographs by Angie Spoto, founding editor of Shetland Create.
The design of Out of Bounds Digital was intended to reflect both the media itself and the locations on the tour. It features a variety of interfaces, including a map and timeline of the tour. However, it is Klynt’s unprecedented support for creative configurations of cloud-based media that has been highly enabling from a creative perspective. Its support for non-linear narrative design also means that rather than editing the media we have collected into a single, linear narrative, we can create a rich interactive experience that includes media hosted on the variety of platforms, from the app-based data from Poetry Pick’n’Mix, to YouTube videos, Flickr images, tweets on Twitter. All dynamically update to reflect comments and views; this means that views are attributed to non-centrally produced content (e.g. the ‘film poems’).