Close-up photograph of a senior woman looking straight to camera, in natural light
Poet Serie Barford, in a scene from a new project for Going West festival (Image: Supplied)

Poetry season: Introducing a series of original poems on film

Two brand new poems to blow out the cobwebs, courtesy of the Going West festival. 

Going West has gone entirely online this year and while we mourn the (hopefully temporary) loss of the festival’s corduroy vibe and splendid lunchtime spreads, the move does mean they’ve been able to concentrate on the making of beautiful things.

To wit: these two poems, which are collaborations between poets and film-makers, and the first in a series we’ll be publishing into mid May. The poems are original, commissioned around a coastal theme, with all location footage shot in the Waitākere Ranges local board area. Later in the series look out for spectacular new work from Hera Lindsay Bird, Grace Iwashita Taylor and – the only non-original poem in the lineup – a loop around Lone Kauri Road with Allen Curnow.


A grand poem in sand by poet Murray Edmond and sand artist David Hilliam, with filmmaker Luke McPake. “It’s really a poem for looking at, rather than reading out loud,” Edmond says. “But I can try.”

Te Ara Kanohi

Te Ara Kanohi translates as Pathway to the Eyes. In this collaboration between documentary maker Anna Marbrook and Pasifika/Pākehā performance poet Serie Barford, the poet walks at Te Henga, wind in her face, and remembers the lover who used to walk with her. Also starring: a chorus of cicadas.

See more of Going West at


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