Posts in Category: Videopoems

Archipelago by Conceição Lima

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Moving Poems’ first poet from São Tomé and Príncipe, Conceição Lima, is featured in this ultra-short but effective video by David Shook filmed in São Tomé earlier this month. The poem is from her second collection, A Dolorosa Raiz de Micondó, and if its brevity left you hungry for more, check out the four additional poems Shook translated for World Literature Today. There are also three of Lima’s poems in translation by Amanda Hopkinson at Words Without Borders.

Now is the Time by Lucy English

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From the filmmaking duo Katia Viscogliosi and Francis Magnenot, AKA Cinéma Fragile, a new addition to UK writer and poetry-film expert Lucy English‘s Book of Hours project. The voiceover (by Viscogliosi, I’m guessing) is very effective, but her accent may present occasional difficulties for some listeners, so they’ve helpfully supplied subtitles — click the CC icon.

Moments That Breathe by Meghan McDonald

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An author-made video from 2015 by Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Meghan McDonald, who evidently stumbled upon the idea of videopoetry herself, judging by what she wrote on YouTube:

This little tidbit is an idea I’ve been crafting for a while. It is intended to literally bring an imagery aspect to poetry (like a music video, but with poetry). I also wanted to incorporate beautiful moments that take place every day that may be overlooked.

Last year she uploaded six more videos to her Poetry Videos playlist, in addition to going busking across the U.S. Definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Bayside Reporter by Ian Gibbins

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Australian videopoet Ian Gibbins is a retired neuroscientist with three books of poetry under his belt and a penchant for experimental video and electronic music. His Vimeo description for Bayside Reporter reads:

Suspicions of criminal activity along the beachfront… Filmed between St Kilda and Port Melbourne, Victoria. Sounds were recorded beside the Yarra River, on trams between the City and Middle Park, and along the beachfront itself. A version of “Bayside Reporter” was published in Australian Poetry Members Anthology 3, Digital Edition, 2014. Here is the link.

No Black Scorpion Is Falling Upon This Table by Aaron Fagan

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An author-made videopoem by Aaron Fagan from 2014. Fagan has been experimenting with video for a number of years now, initially in collaboration with visual artists Jeffrey Schell and K. Erik Ino. In more recent years he’s been mostly working on his own, and he described his philosophy about multimedia poetry in an interview with huck magazine (which also featured this poem and video):

Why did you decide to turn some of your poems into videos?
I wanted to use sound and image with the poems for texture and offer a different, hopefully more inviting, way to experience poetry. I’m not looking for any literal relationship, I just like how the language, the music, and the image correspond with each other like a dialogue.

The interesting thing about making the videos is that it was totally arbitrary. The length of the movies, the length of the poems, and the length of the songs drove it all. I had a few movies I made with my phone and a few I used my phone to film stuff I liked online off my laptop. So that became a collection of images I liked. Then I looked at a bunch of poems I recorded in a friend’s studio back in 2010. If a film and a poem were the same length I just dumped them together and found a piece of music in my music library that was the same length. They are all like these happy accidents to me. They seem harmonised.

หลงทางในประเทศของตัวเอง / Lost in Homeland by Rossanee Nurfarida

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Thai poet Rossanee Nurfarida recites her poem about the plight of Rohingya refugees in a video by German-American filmmaker Ryan Anderson for the OAXLEY multimedia project. Anderson’s English translation appears as text on screen.

Lost in Homeland was featured last week in Atticus Review‘s Mixed Media section, which is edited by videopoet Matt Mullins. Here’s how Anderson described the video there:

LOST IN HOMELAND is a video poem read by the author Ms. Rossanee Nurfarida while stranded on a boat perched at the top of a four-story, urban house. Ms. Nurfarida’s current collection of poetry, Far Away From Our Own Homes, is a Finalist for the 2016 South East Asian Writers Award. Lost in Homeland was written in 2015 during the Rohingya refugee crisis when thousands of stateless Rohingya from Myanmar set out on old fishing boats seeking a better future. The video’s visual references to Islam extend the poem’s metaphor, commenting on southern Thailand’s Muslim minority as a people stranded in the country of their birth.

Click through for more about the OAXLEY project and for bios of Nurfarida and Anderson. Additional credits are given in the YouTube description.

Two Poems About X, 2009 and 2014 by Blair Braverman

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An author-made videopoem by Wisconsin-based writer Blair Braverman that combines two poems in the soundtrack, read, one presumes, by the poet herself, for an interesting interplay of text and video imagery. It’s from the Summer/Fall 2016 issue of TriQuarterly, where the video editor Kristen Radtke says this about it:

Blair Braverman’s “Two Poems About X, 2009 and 2014” features dueling narratives, competing for our attention as they volley back and forth, left to right. The viewer must make a choice: focus on one and experience it fully, or alternate between the two and splice them together into a new, tailor-made narrative—a rare quality in a medium where the viewer is often a passive participant. Braverman’s video invites rewatching, and as one narrative becomes familiar, we’re more capable of digesting the other—most interestingly, opening up a space in which we can experience those narratives in conversation. Much of Braverman’s video is concerned with desire made complicated by gender and terrain, and near its end comes one of its most powerful and beautifully voiced lines: “Half my problems come from wishing that men who have been bad to me would be worse, and the men who have been good would confront them.”

I notice by the way that all videos at TriQuarterly now seem to be designated video essays, which is perhaps a good way to side-step the whole controversy about what to call poetry films; their cinepoetry category hasn’t had any new additions since the previous video editor’s departure. Regardless of what they call them, though, it’s great that such a prominent American literary magazine continues to place such value on literary short films. And I’m pleased to see that they now have a fully public page at Vimeo.

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