Posts in Category: Author-made videopoems

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.

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.

This Has Begun by Soren James

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“A short film about beginnings and the creative process” from UK-based artist Soren James. It was featured last month at Prick of the Spindle, a print literary journal with a film section on their website.

Adondar a lingua / Kneading language by Celia Parra

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A videopoem by Galician filmmaker-poet (and videopoetry blogger) Celia Parra. There’s also a version without English subtitles. The Vimeo description:

“Kneading language” speaks about love for language and the emotional roots that connect us to it. It explores the role of family in transmitting affection for our culture and traditions.
FESTIVALS
– Nominated to “Best Valentine” at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival (USA) 2016
– Selected at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival (USA) 2016
– Selected at Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition (Ireland) 2016
AWARDS
2º Prize for videoart (ex aequo), Xuventude Crea 2016

According to the credits, Parra was responsible for poem, voiceover, camera-work and editing, while the soundtrack was composed and recorded by Alejandro Almau. I must say, as an amateur baker, I was fascinated by the footage, and have a sudden urge to make Galician empanadas. Northwest Spain is apparently where the empanada originated.

It Feels Like ______ . by Gabbi

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A brilliant author-made videopoem I ran across on Vimeo the other day, by Gabbi A.K.A. Gabriella Cisneros, a Milwaukee-based film student who describes herself on Vimeo as an “Artist of various classifications — Documentarian in words—pictures—&—videos — Rememberer”.

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