The British Film Institute has been running a season of films by Pier Paolo Pasolini recently. As a side-dish to the season, Simon Barraclough was asked to round up a bunch of poets and see what kind of work Pasolini’s cinema might inspire them to write. Ten films, ten poets. I’m delighted to be one of the ten, and not only because I’ve written very little poetry these past few years. Pasolini’s a constant, nagging presence for anyone who lives and works in Italy, as I do, and it’s been a particular challenge to take on his hardest, least lyrical and most disturbing work, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, and to see what I can do with it.
The event is called Poets on Pasolini: A New Decameron and it’s on Saturday, 27 April.