New Orleans-based poet Carolyn Hembree and director John Lavin (Bloodrush Films) have collaborated on a videopoem that really raises the bar for poetry book trailers. The book, Rigging a Chevy into a Time Machine and Other Ways to Escape a Plague (Trio House Press, 2016), has already won two awards as a manuscript: the 2015 Trio Award, selected by Neil Shepard, and the 2015 Marsh Hawk Press Rochelle Ratner Memorial Award, selected by Stephanie Strickland. The trailer is equally impressive, featuring Hembree’s dramatic, incantatory voiceover and a spellbinding blend of unsettling images. As beer writers like to say about exceptionally tasty brews, this is very moreish. And just a bit inebriating.
One of three short videopoems from the South Carolina-based filmmaking duo Allen Wheeler in support of Ed Madden‘s new poetry collection Ark (Sibling Rivalry Press), ahead of the launch on Sunday. Quoting the publisher’s description:
In a spring of floods, a son returns to rural Arkansas to help care for his dying father. Ark is a book about family, about old wounds and new rituals, about the extraordinary importance of ordinary things at the end of life, about the gifts of healing to be found in the care of the dying. At once a memoir in verse about hospice care and a son’s book-length lament for his father, Ark is a book about the things that can be fixed, and those that can’t. Ed Madden is originally from Arkansas and is currently the Poet Laureate of Columbia, South Carolina.
Wheeler and Madden have also made an exemplary book trailer, incorporating the above poem as well as some blurbs:
A videopoem by Charles Olsen (Antena Blue), intended as a trailer for the book from which the text is sourced: Pájaro, vértigo (Editorial Huerga & Fierro, 2014) by the Colombian writer Lilián Pallares. Be sure to click on the CC (closed captioning) icon to read Olsen’s English translation. The guitar music in the soundtrack is by Quique Meléndez.
This is a fascinating experiment: a poetry book trailer of sorts that’s also a collage videopoem by another poet, Rachel Eliza Griffiths. Here’s the description from Vimeo:
A visual poem based upon the poetry collection of the same title, “Woman Without Umbrella”, by Victoria Redel. Published by Four Way Books, 2012. The visual poem incorporates various spoken lines gathered from the poet’s collection and employs associative thematic imagery inspired by Redel’s work.
Directed/Edited by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Associate Producer: Joseph A.W. Quintela
Make-Up Artist: Cassi Renee
Narrator: Gabriel Don
Kudos to Redel and Four Way Books for giving permission for such an innovative remix.
I’m tethering my life
so the storm doesn’t escape me.
costs the unthinkable.
A series of gnomic pronouncements, as if in response to an unseen interrogator, accompany shots of the poet’s visible traces: his identity papers, fingerprints, and typewritten words. Ángel Guinda stars in this gem of a book trailer, the work of Charles Olsen, a New Zealander currently residing in Spain, and the production company Antena Blue. (Be sure to click the CC icon on the lower right to read the subtitles—a very good English translation.)
This was one of two Olsen/Antena Blue films selected for screening at ZEBRA this year. Olsen wrote about his experience at ZEBRA for the big idea/te aria nui.
The second film poem, included in the section “Wracking Your Brains” – our preoccupations with the past, doubts and spiritual unrest – was a piece we made for the Spanish poet Ángel Guinda, “Libro de Huellas” (The Book of Traces) where, in a series of striking aphorisms, he reflects on memory, religion, and power.
I began making film poems using my own poetry and that of my wife, the Colombian writer Lilián Pallares, with whom I direct the production company Antena Blue, “The observed word”. There is a great freedom to explore all the aspects of the image, sound, text, words, narrative, pace, and as a poet-filmmaker it is not necessarily the poem that has to come first. It may be an image or a personal story that lends itself to a poetic treatment later inspiring the text or a filmmaker may piece together fragments of dialogues, sounds and images to create a collage of words and images.