Coyote Wedding by Brittani Sonnenberg

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A poem by Austin, Texas-based writer Brittani Sonnenberg adapted for the Visible Poetry Project by UK artist Jane Glennie. “A key technique in her films is to take hundreds of photographs, which are edited and sequenced into rapid ‘flicker films’ and combine them with composite soundtracks,” as Gklennie’s bio on the VPP website puts it.

Half-life by Luisa A. Igloria

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Two Moving Poems regulars—filmmaker Eduardo Yagüe and poet Luisa A. Igloria—in their first collaboration, a film for the Visible Poetry Project. Luisa provided the voiceover, and the actress, as in so many of Eduardo’s poetry films, is the wonderful Gabriella Roy. The music is an original composition by Four Hands Project. The poem originally appeared on Via Negativa, the literary blog I share with Luisa, last October.

Luisa had another poetry video this spring, too: Marc Neys (a.k.a. Swoon) made the trailer for her latest collection of poems, The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis.

Skirt by Rochelle Potkar

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Why is this our most silent, daily question, ‘what to wear?’
And is it for ourselves or someone else that we ask this?

A thought-provoking poetry film from Indian writer Rochelle Potkar and UK-based Irish director Philippa Collie Cousins. It was produced for the Visible Poetry Project, which notes:

It was writing poetry and being a published poet at 14 that spurred [Cousins] on to be a visual artist: “The best poets explain our lives back to us in the rhythm and song of our own language. I was a very lonely child befriended by poems and stories. It was a combination that made me a very happy and successful adult. Being commissioned to send a poem out in to the world in a 3 dimensional film form is very exciting to me. I cannot wait to collaborate with my poet and think up a tapestry of images that will do them visual justice. What a treat! My aim is to reach an audience who benefit as I did from the magical medicine of poetry.”

Leisure by W. H. Davies

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UK director A D Cooper‘s short for the Visible Poetry Project adapts a poem by the early 20th-century Welsh “supertramp” W. H. Davies. I had the pleasure of seeing the film, and meeting the director, last Saturday at a special curation of VPP films at London’s Poetry Cafe. Cooper said her decision to film in London, rather than in some more pastoral setting as the text might seem to suggest, was driven in part by filming logistics and in part by the desire to avoid naive illustration, and that some of the shots were unplanned and serendipitous. I told her it really worked for me, both as a tourist in London and as a country person in cities generally, where I often wonder why no one else seems inclined to pause and gawk at the amazing surroundings. So for me, the text and the video seem tailor-made for each other.

For full credits, stills, and other information about the film, see its page on the Hurcheon Films website.

Small Shoes by Maggie Smith

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This simple but devastating poetry film pairs U.S. poet Maggie Smith with Irish filmmaker Kate Dolan. It’s the latest web release from Motionpoems’ Season 8, “Dear Mr. President”. As a nature lover I appreciated the inclusion of a starfish in one shot, subtly suggesting a link between the deaths of human refugees and of species impacted by global warming — a small but effective example of how a film can add additional dimensions to the poem on the page.

The Ayes Have It by Tiana Clark

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Directed by Savanah Leaf, this is the first film from Motionpoems’ Season 8, “Dear Mr. President,” to be released on the web. Tiana Clark‘s poem is included in her collection I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood, which won the 2017 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and is due out this fall from the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Click through to Vimeo for the full credits.

Where Are The African Gods by Abbey Lincoln

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A powerful poem by Abbey Lincoln becomes even more powerful in this viral video, which filmmaker Rodney Passé calls a “meditative portrait of black masculinity.”

A moving recording of the late writer and renowned jazz singer Abbey Lincoln is captured in this new film from Brooklyn-born director Rodney Passé, who has previously worked with powerhouse music video director Kahlil Joseph. Reading from her own works, Lincoln’s voice sets the tone for a film that explores the African American experience through fathers and their sons.

You can also watch Lincoln reciting the poem, along with “The Man Who Has The Magic,” in this interview on YouTube:

Hat-tip: Cinematic Poems.

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