Woman Running Alone, poem by Maria Taylor

‘Woman Running Alone’ is a poem by Maria Taylor which is the closing poem in her collection Dressing for the Afterlife. The collection starts and ends with poems about running. ‘Woman Running Alone’ is essentially about women’s freedom, although “the wolf whistle becomes the wolf” also picks up on the vulnerability of women alone. But by the end it becomes clear that running is also a way of transcending these threats too.

I took still images from two very different but local urban areas and combined them with an overlay of running feet. These pavements are in Swindon town centre and Bath City.

The images from these pavements flash onto the screen to match the cadence of the runner – 156 steps per minute – which also suited the timing and rhythm of the poem. Every other one of the images was converted to black and white and the overall visual effect, together with the intermittent sound of running shoes, created elements of poetic form.