Posts in Category: Performance Poetry

America by Allen Ginsberg

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An impressive videopoem apparently made for a high school English class. I particularly like how the young filmmaker asserts herself as a kind of alternate-history author of the poem. It seems in keeping with the poem’s own speculative interests.

poem “America” by Allen Ginsberg
directed by Sydney Gross
starring Sydney Gross
special thanks to Sabah Light and Ashley Langley
project for Mr. Locke’s class

B Movie by Luke Wright

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A wildly entertaining performance video, augmented by visual text drawn by Sam Ratcliffe. This is from British poet and broadcaster Luke Wright, found via Viral Verse. Here’s the description at YouTube:

BARRY vs THE BLOB – a B Movie set in Brentwood, Essex.

Poet Luke Wright felt bad that Brentwood had the singular reputation of being the home of TOWIE. So he’s set another cinematic event in Brentwood — Essex’s first B movie. On a budget, like all the best B movies, the only special effect he had at his disposal was ALLITERATION. This is literally a B movie.

Hearing Your Voice for the First Time by Raymond Luczak

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Raymond Luczak has made a number of compelling poetry videos in American Sign Language, but this may be my favorite to date. It’s in support of his new book Mute. (See his YouTube channel for a few others.) Luczak writes:

In this clip, I recall what it was like to use my hearing aids when calling a prospective date for the first time. This happened back in the late 1980s, way before the Internet thing came along. The talented songwriter Seth Pennington performs his song “Want” as a guitar instrumental.

(As with the other Luczak videos I’ve posted, I’m putting this in the Spoken Word category even though that’s obviously not a perfect fit.)

Limbo by dikson

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A good example of the music-video style of poetry video, directed by Laurence Dobie. Dikson is a slam poet from Zimbabwe. The text is here.

Jayne Cortez live with Denardo Coleman: three poems

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1. Find Your Own Voice

2. I’m Gonna Shake

3. She Got He Got

The recent death of Jayne Cortez prompted a post on Metafilter calling attention to her pioneering and musically compelling work with jazz musicians. Though most of the YouTube material is audio-only, the above videos were expertly filmed and recorded. They’re from a concert/reading in 2010 with Denardo Coleman accompanying his mother on drums. Andrew Lynn directed, with camera work by Elanor Goldsmith, Ira McKinley and Joshua Thorson. The description on YouTube reads:

“A Dialogue Between Voice and Drums,” live at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY on October 23, 2010. A firespitting evening with drummer Denardo Coleman, featuring a voice celebrated for her political, surrealistic, dynamic innovations in lyricism, and visceral sound. Cortez’s literary work and impassioned activism, inspired by the ideals of human dignity and social justice, have been called blues poetics, part of the foundation of hip hop and performance poetry. Denardo Coleman is a musician, composer, producer and drummer with the Ornette Coleman Quartet.

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986 by William S. Burroughs

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According to Open Culture,

“Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986” first appeared in print in Tornado Alley, a chapbook published by William S. Burroughs in 1989. Two years later, Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho, Milk) shot a montage that brought the poem to film, making it at least the second time the director adapted the beat writer to film.

Far Away by Kate Marshall Flaherty

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A poem about Alzheimer’s by Toronto-based poet Kate Marshall Flaherty. Filmmaker Mark Korven notes that this was “Shot in one take at Guildwood park in Scarborough, Ontario during the last days of winter.” Korven also plays the cello in the soundtrack.