Escape (a triptych) is Swoon’s first videopoem for a text written in response to his own video prompt. Regular visitors to the Moving Poems forum (or subscribers to our weekly emails) may remember his call for submissions posted on April 24:
I am looking for a writer who is willing to let these three films inspire him/her to write three poems for them…
Look and listen…absorb…look and listen some more…and write…
I’m looking for three new poems (please use the titles of the films) written for these three videos:
Disturbance in the maze
Wailing Wall Crumbs
Ghostless Blues (The story of Vladimir K.)
A number of poets responded to the challenge, and Swoon chose the submission from Chicago-based poet Donna Vorreyer. Personally, I wasn’t surprised by the selection, having recently read Vorreyer’s chapbook Ordering the Hours — it’s terrific.
Swoon blogged a bit about the experiment:
I wanted to turn my working method around. See what came out of it.
Very aware I was, of the fact that these three films were experimental, for the fact the titles could have been a guide for some an obstacle for others. It was an experiment.
I received a lot of questions about what I was looking for in particular, a few questions about timing, a fair amount of poems that were written earlier, not for the three films (though some of them might have worked). […]
I knew Donna from the Propolis Project last year.
Her three poems did exactly what I was hoping for when I put out the call.
She was the first one whose poems gave me the feel that they somehow belonged to the images.
I really had the sense that she reacted to the films and gave them content and a story.
Her poems give these three films a less experimental character, and that was exactly what I was hoping for.
She recorded them for me, so I could start the editing process.
Her words made it fairly easy; I only added a few images or made additional cuts according to the reading of the poem. I did put in some new footage in all three as a leitmotiv, a storyline.