Irish poet Kevin Barrington is doing interesting things with spoken-word video these days — here, with the help of filmmaker Mark Cantwell. The poem’s cynicism may be a little on the heavy side, but it works for me. (For Americans and others who may be clueless about soccer/football, “Man United” is Manchester United Football Club, one of the most successful teams in English football.)
All the flowers in my country have been picked
And gunpowder planted instead.
Fragrance breathes its last
In a torture camp.
The very lane where hand in hand with you
I have danced to the music of peace,
There a death-dealer is spread-eagled.
Ammar Aziz directed this poetry film featuring Pakistani poet, writer, and women’s rights activist Attiya Dawood, accompanied by dancer Suhaee Abro. Be sure to press the icon marked “CC” at the bottom of the video to view subtitles in English, Sindhi or Urdu, or click through to the Umang website to read the text in all three languages.
Poem by Denise Duhamel read by 65 poets including Terrance Hayes, Richard Blanco, Collin Kelley, Michelle Buchanan, Diego Quiros, Emma Trelles, Amy Gerstler, Maureen Seaton, Matthew Hittinger, Stephen Mills, Major Jackson, Duriel Harris, more. Video is part of the FIXATION gallery event taking place at the Zhou B Art Center April 2014.
Poet Denise Duhamel explains in a note at the end of the video that
I chose for my “Fixation” entry jealousy, a very human reaction under certain circumstances, but one that I am embarassed to have. I used “googlism” to search Jealousy, as though it were a person or place. There are four googlism choices: who, what, where, and when. When I searched Jealousy under “when,” there was nothing, only this message: Sorry, Google doesn’t know Jealousy. I knew instantly this would be my title. I collaged the lines from the other three googlisms for jealousy, pruning away the repeats. Many of the lines that pop up on googlism are truncated in some way, and I let those stand, as it seems to me they imply a hesitation, a shame in finishing the thought about this very vexing emotion.
For more about Fixation, see poetsandartists.com.
Pakistani poet Abrar Ahmad reads his poem in this video from Umang, directed by Ammar Aziz. Press the CC (closed captioning) icon for the English translation by Zahra Sabri, and visit the video’s page on the Umang site for the complete original Urdu text as well as the translation.
Jade Anouka: Poem and Narration
Michael Dickes: Camera & Concept
Filmed on location at 59E59 Theater in
NYC using one camera and 1 lightbulb
on a wire. Kind thanks to theater staff.
Jades voice-over recorded at 48k using an AKG
large diaphram microphone.
Original soundscapes by Erokia (CC) Re-edited
Vanessa Agovida and Sarah Davis both appear in this dramatized version of spoken-word poem they wrote concerned with domestic abuse, “created by Shannon Morrall’s Crew at Fordham University in 2014 as part of Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student film festival.” It was nominated for Best Drama and won Best Actress from the 100 entries to the festival. Here’s the full credit list from YouTube:
Vanessa Agovida – Actress/Writer
Joe Gallagher – Actor
Fenizia Maffucci – Cinematographer
Sarah Davis – Actress/Writer
Amanda Pell – Composer
Carolyn Chadwick – Actress
Shannon Morrall – Director
Congratulations to these immensely talented students for a well-made, gripping film about a topic for which we all too often employ the wrong words and metaphors (or none at all).