Posts in Category: Author-made videopoems

Not Kissing You by Kevin Dublin

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An author-made videopoem by Kevin Dublin, one of three videos he’s made in support of his forthcoming collection How to Fall in Love in San Diego,

a chapbook of 26 love & anti-love poems. The poems are set inside, around, and far outside the bounds of San Diego, CA. They’re a collective attempt to encapsulate the city’s energy and people, as well as the universal, sometimes heart-wrenching, 21st century search for love or something similar. You can pre-order a copy of the chapbook in the Finishing Line Press store.

Dublin made the video with a combination of found and CC-licensed footage and music from The SVRGN, but it’s his exceptionally good voiceover that really sold me on it. (There’s a lesson in there for other poets interested in following his example, I think.) The poem originally appeared online in Glint Literary Journal.

Alien Babies by Gary Barwin

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There’s more than meets the eye to this delightfully unhinged new videopoem by the Canadian writer, multimedia artist and composer Gary Barwin. The YouTube description notes that the text is from his forthcoming collection No TV for Woodpeckers.

TWIN by Brendan Bonsack

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A new videopoem from Brendan Bonsack, who explained via email that

This one grew, organically if you like, from a short piece of discarded footage from another project.
Different from adapting a “page poem” to film, with this the music and poetry was written to follow the visuals.

If you still want the “page poem” experience, click through to Vimeo to read the text.

Exercise in the Face of Divorce by David Campos

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California poet David Campos calls this “A narrative video poem about utilizing exercise to deal with the pain of divorce.” It was the first example of contemporary videopoetry examined by Ruben Quesada in his article in Ploughshares last week. As the quotes in the article make clear, however, Campos prefers to think of his work as part of the film tradition, and describes his composition process as follows:

Sound can carry an image…. In “Exercise in the Face of Divorce,” I focused on capturing sound in the shots—this enhanced the poem. All the film criticism I’ve read came into play while shooting and editing the video. I framed and composed shots from the beginning to add meaning. I was conscious of the color while shooting and editing. I edited the footage down to their essential parts. Most importantly, I added sound from the shots themselves. These projects are not “video poems.” They’re short films and they must be treated this way. It is why I use a story board and a rough script from the beginning. The same care I would exhibit in creating a poem on the page must be taken through its production into a film.

Read the rest of the article, if you haven’t already, and check out more of Campos’ work on Vimeo.

Wasp’s Honey by Martha McCollough

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Martha McCollough’s latest animated poem appeared in Atticus Review on March 3, along with this artist’s statement:

Bees have many associations with death—they are sacred to Persephone and when there is a death in the beekeeper’s household they must be told and allowed to mourn. Through honey, they have associations with creativity—it is a Greek folk belief that if a bee touches the lips of a sleeping child, the child will be a singer or a poet. I wanted to keep this elegy simple and direct, so there is no voiceover, only visual text. The soundtrack was composed using the p22 text-to-music generator. Sections of the text were used to create a midi file, freely edited in Logic.

Click through for the bio, and watch more of McCollough’s stand-out poetry videos on Vimeo.

1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim by Anida Yoeu Ali

Made seven years ago, this collaboration between Cambodian-American performance artist and poet Anida Yoeu Ali and Japanese-American filmmaker Masahiro Sugano is, sadly, more relevant than ever, with hate crimes against Muslims (and those erroneously assumed to be Muslim) escalating in the U.S. under an administration that has embraced a white Christian supremacist ideology. This was the Film of the Month for January at Poetryfilmkanal. See the 1700% Project website for much more information about the film, including bios of the collaborators and the text of the poem, a cento based on hate crimes committed shortly after 9/11. The video description reads:

In this video, narratives collide with music, poetry and politics to create a complex and layered experience. A poet, dancer, angel, prisoner converge with members of the Muslim community to speak, deflect, and intervene against racial profiling and hate crimes. This convergence exemplifies a spirit of defiance and resistance from communities of people who refuse to end in violence.

This spoken word video is a collaboration between artist Anida Yoeu Ali and filmmaker Masahiro Sugano with over 50 diverse volunteers, participants and community members in the Chicagoland area. It is part of an ongoing project that engages art as a form of intervention against the racial profiling of Muslims in a post 9/11 era. The larger project titled “The 1700% Project” uses a multi-faceted artistic approach to educate the wider public about the diversity within the Muslim community. The number 1700% refers to the exponential percentage increase of hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims and those perceived to be Arab or Muslim since the events of September 11, 2001.

As the article in Poetryfilmkanal notes, the lack of didacticism makes this film more powerful and provocative than most political poetry. Ali says in her artist’s statement:

The project acknowledges that politically driven works are complex and layered thus often requiring a multitude of ways for expression and encounter. … My work continues to investigate the residual stain of performance and how the live body completes the experience for both audience and performer. Performing narratives is an act of social storytelling that contributes to collective healing. For me, performance and storytelling become ways of bridging the interior and exterior space of self as well as initiate critical dialogues between communities and institutions.

Night on Klamath River by Patricia Killelea

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A videopoem by poet, teacher and musician Patricia Killelea using a text from her collection Counterglow. In an interview with Passages North, where she’s now the poetry editor, Killelea talked about the impetus behind her poetry videos:

I carry a video camera with me wherever I go—I think of it as my visual notebook. For a long time I theorized my poetry mostly in terms of sound and silence, but the more I started thinking about the relationship between my body and language, the more I wanted to create a multi-sensorial experience. We don’t experience language merely through sound or even visually on the page, but everywhere we go. I walk through the woods and I’m reminded of a story told to me by Oneida beadwork artist Karen Ann Hoffman, or I’m watching my bandmate Aubrey Hess cradle a jug of wine and it reminds me of thirst and insatiable longing. I think in terms of interwoven networks between words and images, sounds and movement and so my video poems are an attempt-in-progress to capture both my associative writing process as well as to situate my poetry in the actual, physical world of things.

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