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Tony Harrison is one of the most distinguished and important poets of his generation. He’s also a filmmaker, although that’s less celebrated simply because his films, made for the BBC and C4, have rarely if at all been seen since original broadcast. Whatever the format, his work has always embraced the past, through his working-class roots or the myths and dramas of ancient Greece, to tackle, confront and challenge the present. Often controversial, dividing opinion, initiating debate and embracing the challenge to the powers that govern, Harrison’s poetry always conveys a message, whether political or personal, for the public at large. 

Dealing with themes and issues such as censorship, the fall of the working class, the collapse of socialism, life and death in the community, the destructive violence of governments and lost memories, the power and intensity of the film poems continue to resonate and respond to the times. 

A unique opportunity to see these rarely screened works and experience the power of the film poem as created by one of the greatest poets of the people. 

Curated by David McLachlan in partnership with the Scottish Poetry Library and Filmhouse. 

Scottish Poetry Library

An Evening with Tony Harrison

Various directors


Tony Harrison


130 mins

Tony Harrison Shorts: Greek Tales

Various directors


122 mins

Tony Harrison Shorts: Lives and Memories

Various directors


110 mins

Tony Harrison Shorts: State of the Nation

Various directors

87 mins


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