Startling | a poetry film

To celebrate the publication of Linda France’s tenth poetry collection – influenced by her three years of writing the climate – artist Kate Sweeney has created a new film responding to Linda’s words.


“I have taken to counting what I want to call ‘Startlings’. They are creatures who, sensing their species is facing extinction, feel the cell-tingling impulse to evolve and ensure their survival. Within their tissue and bones, hearts and minds, they enact the necessary transformation. For every Endling there is a Startling.”

‘Startling’ is a film made in response to poetry by Linda France, taken from her same-titled new publication, ‘Startling’ (NWN, Faber, 2022). The beautiful idea underpinning Linda’s ‘Startlings’ (and her ‘Endlings’) resonates with Kate’s concerns in her practice; transforming materials from her intimate surroundings to produce dyes, charcoal and inks to then use in her work. The starting point for the film was a small pile of erased bits of a drawing. Containing both endings and beginnings, these ‘Rubblings’ are animated across the screen as a flock whilst retaining the trace of the bird they once were.

A short film by Kate Sweeney, with poetry written and read by Linda France.

Linda France’s residency as Climate Writer was supported by New Writing North, Newcastle University and Arts Council England. Startling was published in partnership with Faber Books.


Find out more about the residency and its projects

Order a copy of Startling