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“Eddie Woods writes poetry the way he lives life, intensely. Experience informs his art, and vice versa. Passion, raw edges, nothing left out. Sex, love, politics…coupled with an unrelenting drive towards awareness, the need to understand what universal reality is all about. His poem “Mary” enters the listener’s ears like a wordbomb, exploding inside the mind, and reverberates down the spine like electroshocks from the brain’s pleasure centre.”
— Mark McCawley (from Mary by Eddie Woods, Urban Graffiti, March 8, 2012)
First published in Peter Mortimer‘s Iron magazine [Issue 43, Tyne & Wear, England], “Mary” has appeared in various incarnations over the years, including a much heralded performance at Amsterdam’s Salon dAdA in May 2011. (You can view a photographic interpretation of the poem as well as read the text of the poem where there’s a link to an audio recitation at the end, here).
It is in the incarnation of “Mary” as a Yarre Stooker film that Eddie Woods’ poem achieves its most sublime treatment. Brought to cinematic life by Yarre Stooker’s unique skills as an experimental filmmaker, and starring the poet Win Harms in the title role, Eddie Woods’ poem of sensual and sexual freedom reaches its true zenith.
“…Mary is Divine Mother. Mary is the Madonna, Queen of Heaven. Mary is the Patroness of Prostitutes and a Virgin Whore. Queen of the Libertines. Anarchist Princess of Spiritual Revolution. Golden Maiden of Carnal Alchemy. Mary is real. This film tells her story.”UG
Yarre Stooker (born 1968 in the Netherlands) is a visual artist who works with film, photo collages, loop projections, and public interventions. He studied art in ‘s-Hertogenbosch from 1989 till 1994, and since then has become recognized as an independent innovator of multifaceted artistic happenings. A notable trademark is that in most of his films he plays all the characters. In 1997-1998 he worked with the theater group Warner and Consorten, and at the same time began a Magic Lantern collaboration with Ida Lohman that continued until 2005. Throughout his career he has made numerous short films (loops), as well as video installations combined with performances for both art spaces/galleries and theater festivals. Yarre further invented the non-contact sport Line Football, initially as a huge intervention spectacle for Museum Jan Cunen in Oss (North Brabant). So successful was this project that it was later presented in Eindhoven and Amsterdam. A collaboration with the international art collective Cascoland eventually took the event to Cape Town, South Africa. In 2010, during the World Cup, Yarre was invited to present a major football project in Mafikeng, South Africa, where he introduced a new game called Wing-Style. In 2008 he founded Art Space Skybox, and stayed on as their curator for the next three years. He also regularly participates in the annual Weesperzijde film festival in Amsterdam East. Yarre Stooker lives in Amsterdam with his artist wife Sanne Bruggink and their two children.
Eddie Woods (born 1940 in New York City) is a well-traveled poet & prose writer who since 1978 has mainly resided in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Over the years his work has appeared in numerous online and print periodicals. Plus he is the author of several books, most recently Tennessee Williams in Bangkok (a memoir of his time in Thailand and Singapore) and Smugglers Train & Other Stories (a collection of short fiction). He has also released three spoken-word audio recordings, with more on the way. Although Eddie and Yarre Stooker have previously collaborated on various sound projects, Mary is their first joint film undertaking. Next in line is an animated version of Eddie’s erotic fairy tale in verse, “The Faerie Princess.” This is Eddie’s website: http://eddiewoods.nl/
Win Harms (born 1982 in Wyoming, but at heart a Philadelphia girl) is the poet princess of Lille, France. She has been featured in a variety of literary journals and magazines, and already has two books to her credit, In Harms Way and October 22, both published by Barncott Press (London). When not writing, Win makes obscene embroidery and tutors drunk Frenchmen in a class she calls English at Midnight. Mary is her film debut. You can read Win’s poetry on her website: http://winharms.wordpress.com/