As part of Arctica, Alastair Cook was commissioned by Stevie Ronnie to make a triptych of short Filmpoems with sound by Italian composer Luca Nasciuti. The films also feature Arctic footage shot by US-based artist Michael Eckblad alongside found footage from Alastair’s collection.

The filmpoems premiered at Durham Book Festival in 2015 and have since screened at NewBridge Books, Newcastle; Zebra Poetry Film Festival, Berlin / Münster; Hague Centre, Ulvik Norway; Newcastle Centre for The Literary Arts, Newcastle; Juteback Poetry Film Festival, Colorado, USA; Centre for Literature, Haus Rüschhaus, Münster, Germany; Hidden Door, Edinburgh; Stratford-Upon-Avon Poetry Festival, Stratford-Upon-Avon; Felix Poetry Festival, Antwerp, Belguim; Newlyn International Film Festival, Newlyn, Cornwall and a pop-up poetry cinema for Ouseburn Open Studios at 36 Lime Street Studios, Newcastle.


’What I Should Have Said’ is the first Filmpoem of the Arctica triptych. It takes us into the air as we settle in to listen – then brings us back to ground in the Arctic. This is a love poem to the family that Stevie left behind, originally composed shortly before he set off on his Arctic journey. ‘What I Should Have Said’ appears in Stevie’s collection of poetry ‘Manifestations’ (Red Squirrel Press)

‘Time and the Two Year Old’s Hands’ is the is the second Filmpoem of the Arctica triptych. It reaches the midway point of the triptych and turns back on itself, the hourglass turning over, injecting an urgency into this plaintive call for the survival of our children. The poem ‘Time and the Two Year Old’s Hands’ was composed as a creative response to the IPCC report on Climate Change that was commissioned by Tipping Point, the Free Word Centre and Spread the Word for the publication ‘ Weatherfronts: Climate Change and the Stories We Tell’.

‘From Arctica’ is the is the third Filmpoem of the Arctica triptych. It brings us back from the Arctic to Northumberland and was originally composed in response to the tragic and unexpected death of a child in Stevie’s local community. This difficult and moving ending to the tryptich is about the about the acceptance of the unspeakable, the unthinkable and those things that are around us that we choose not to see. ‘From Arctica’ is an extract from a yet to be published poetic narrative that explores climate change, light, dark and our relationship with death against the backdrop of the Arctic landscape.