Posts in Category: Performance Poetry

dear padmarajan by Nitin Nath

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Nitin Nath is the poet and performer in this musical short directed by Sumesh Lal with music rearranged and produced by Govind Menon. Like yesterday’s video, this poetry film was released as a trailer for a feature-length movie. But there’s an additional connection with the world of film here: the poem is a tribute to the great Malayalam director P. Padmarajan.

India’s first spoken word musical, ‘dear padmarajan’ is a prologue to the independent English feature film ‘Humans of Someone’, slated for release this March 2016.

‘Humans of Someone’ tells the story of a man who gets obsessed with a filmmaker whose films become inextricably entwined with his own life. WATCH THIS exclusive introduction to warm up to the neighbourhood of the film.

The prologue is our heart-sized ode to the dramatic genius of P. Padmarajan, one of the greatest storytellers we’ve ever known.

To support the film, follow facebook.com/humansofsomeone

Click through to YouTube for the unusually complete credits, which include a list of the Padmarajan films mentioned plus other references in the poem.

Chikome Xochitl by Juan Hernández Ramírez

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For World Poetry Day, here’s a poem in Huastecan Nahuatl by Juan Hernández Ramírez.

Veracruz poet Juan Hernández Ramírez reads the first section of his prizewinning poem “Chikome Xochitl” in the Huastecan Nahuatl. Translated by Adam Coon with David Shook from both Huastecan Nahuatl and Spanish—Hernández’s creative process employs both in dialogue with one another—this poem and an accompanying note will appear in the print edition of World Literature Today (Jan. – Feb. 2014). […]

Video shot in Veracruz by Adam Coon. Subtitled in Los Angeles by David Shook. Poem © Juan Hernández Ramírez, 2013. Translation © Adam Coon and David Shook, 2013.

The complete poem appears in the anthology Like A New Sun: New Indigenous Mexican Poetry, edited by Víctor Terán and David Shook (Phoneme Media, 2015). It may also be read online in World Literature Today, which includes a lengthier description of Ramírez’ writing and the translation process.

See Vimeo for more of David Shook’s videos of indigenous and other poets.

National Service (with added talky bits) by Luke Wright

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British performance poet Luke Wright notes on YouTube,

Four months into my six month driving ban I’m getting nostalgic about motorway service stations. I miss rating my toilet experience.

This very basic video shot with a stationary camera is rendered thoroughly engrossing by Wright’s entertaining performance and the innovative (though deliberately not seamless) co-mingling of rhyming poetry and explication.

Winning by Jade Anouka

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A new performance poetry video from director Sabrina Grant and actor and poet Jade Anouka, with original music by Grace Savage.

Subh-e-Azadi / The Dawn of Freedom by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

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Sabina England’s expressive ASL translation of the great Urdu poet’s poem about the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan. Be sure to click the CC icon to get the subtitles, and choose either Spanish (translation by Sabina England and Alberto Hernandez) or English (translation by Agha Shahid) by clicking on the settings icon. England notes that ‘The poem is recited by Naseeruddin Shah, a famous Indian actor, from the movie “Firaaq” (2008).’

Bela noć! (apokaliptične uspavanke) / White Night! (apocalyptic lullaby) by Goran Živković Gorki

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Serbian slam champion Goran Živković Gorki, “the first homeless man on the Moon,” performs in a film by Dragana Nikolić. Đorđe Vić translated it into English for the subtitles. The poem appears in Gorki’s forthcoming collection Psihoslajdovi (The Psychoslides).

Never Too Late by Malcolm London

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Just in time for Thanksgiving, a meditation on the power of family, community and love from Chicago-based poet Malcolm London and filmmaker Caves for Heart Of The City TV, in collaboration with Irish graffiti artist Maser. It was posted to YouTube in December 2013 with this description:

Chicago met Dublin a little over a month ago when we linked with Malcolm London and renowned Irish graffiti artist Maser for their “Never Too Late To Love” collaborative mural. Today, we drop the visuals. Enjoy.

If you’d like to check out the mural go to La Baguette Bakery’s alley on 2109 S Ashland Ave (at 21st St).

I looked up Malcolm London today because he’s in the news, but unfortunately not in a good way: he’s one of five activists who were arrested by Chicago police last night for what sounds very much like the usual trumped-up bullshit used by American police to punish people for exercising their constitutional rights to free speech and assembly:

One of the five protesters arrested in the Loop in the hours after the release of the Laquan McDonald video is an aspiring poet who has garnered national attention and was one of the organizers of the march.

Malcolm London, 22, of the 4900 block of West Huron in the Austin neighborhood, was charged with aggravated battery to a police officer, a felony, after he allegedly struck a cop, according to the Police Department.

He faces the most serious charge of those arrested during the demonstration, which lasted for hours and briefly stopped traffic on the Eisenhower Expressway.

London is accused of striking an officer in the 100 block of East Balbo Drive as police blocked protesters from marching across the bridge. He is scheduled to appear in bond court later Wednesday.

Supporters have created a Free Malcolm London hashtag and have urged people to call police to demand that he be released.

“He was just standing there and the police snatched him up,” tweeted the Black Youth Project 100, which organized Tuesday night’s march. London is listed as a co-chair of the organization’s Chicago chapter.

London is a member of the Young Adult Council of the Steppenwolf Theater and appeared on PBS for a TED Talk with John Legend and Bill Gates. In 2011, he won the Louder Than A Bomb youth poetry slam in his Chicago, according to a biography on his website.

In 2012, just graduated from Lincoln Park High School, London talked to the Tribune about growing up in Austin and how it affected his work.

“There are a lot of kids like me in places like this, places kind of pushed into the shadows by the people who run this city,” he said. “We have stories to tell, stories not told in the news and media. I am getting the chance to tell mine, and others can too.”

In September of that year, he made his national television debut in “Verses & Flow,” a series that features musical and poetry performances.

(Read the rest.) Three of the five activists are charged only with “resisting police officer,” which is one clear sign that this is B.S. Follow the #FreeMalcolmLondon hashtag on Twitter for updates. Please consider helping Malcolm and the other arrested activists raise money for their bond so they can get home for Thanksgiving. And be sure to visit Malcolm’s website for more videos of him performing his poetry.

UPDATE (25 Nov., 7:56 PM): The charges against Malcolm London were dropped and he was released this afternoon.

[A]fter an outcry from fellow activists, who said London did not hit an officer and was standing peacefully when he was targeted by police and arrested, the charges against London were dismissed Wednesday afternoon.

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