Posts in Category: Author-made videopoems

I Am by Steven Nichols Smith

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An experiment in found poetry with a distinctly populist flavor. As the filmmaker describes it:

I Am is not only a film but a social experiment that took strangers in Philadelphia and asked them to finish this sentence. “I am ___.” Through these responses, the film-maker was able to create a montage of answers and then delve deeper into a select few and allow them to explore their answers even further, creating not only written poems but a visual metaphor of these responses. (Premiered at iLLReality’s STEW event on March 21, 2010). Be sure to check out

The three poems embedded on the piece were written by Smith, based on the stories told him by Kelly Turner (“I Am Constantly at War with My Body”), Sanja Blazevic (“I Am Proud of My Parent’s Resilience”), and Jared Martin (“I Am an Actor, Once Upon a Time”).

The Peter Principle: Week 23 by Clayton Crosby

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The Peter Principle is “an epic work poem released in blog form each week” at, but it just occurred to me to check YouTube as well, where I found uploads from the author, Clayton Crosby, of five of his Flash animations converted to video form. These are all very basic typographic animations, and they’re not integrated with the audio on the blog, but it’s a very interesting project and I wanted to recognize it here. On the About page, he describes its origin as follows:

In 1968, Laurence J. Peter published The Peter Principle, which held the theory that “every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” He reasoned that any employee who excelled at a particular job would be promoted up the corporate chain, and though the employee might adapt to the requirements of the new job, each promotion brought him closer to a job he couldn’t know how to do. Therefore, any employee is eventually promoted beyond his level of skill and competence.

I’ve been reading Homer, and have been putting a lot of thought into heroes and poetic forms. As a result, I’m exploring the tension between epic and lyric poetry – which is to say the narrative, the expressive and what falls between.

All of these poems are completed before or shortly after going to work.

I am also in awe of the website’s design. It has to be one of the coolest single-author poetry sites on the internet. Check it out.

Five ( Dramatic Pauses ) by Brendan Bell

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A found-poetry masterpiece comprised entirely of phrases from the NBC Nightly News between July 2008 and February 2009. Brendan Bell credits himself with “imagery, music, and language reconfiguation,” with additional film footage by Lester Bell. He also singles out NBC anchor Brian Williams as a specific source of some of the language. The description on the Vimeo page is worth quoting in full:

We let the television news into the perceived safety of our lives on a daily basis. Even without direct contact, the language of the medium connects with us via background noise, internet blips, and watercooler small-talk. It has a distinct, and often overlooked, authority over the way we think and feel.

The nightly half-hour national news format attempts to condense the state of the world into easily digestible soundbites. My intention is to release these soundbites, inherent powers intact, realign them and force them to interact in unintended ways.

For seven months, I watched NBC Nightly News, recording phrases that piqued my interest. I focused on this single media outlet to give the project a specific voice and began reconfiguring the phrases into what can best be described as collage poems. Poetry, like the news media, uses evocative language to provide insight into the inner workings of the world. However, poetry allows subtleties and subtext to take center stage. The resulting collage poems highlight the ambiguous spaces between language and life, exposing the vagaries of the ostensibly concrete world around us.

The term (Dramatic Pause) implies a brief deviation from an intended script, or a small crack in real time, where things that are normally hidden become visible. It is based on instructions written for news broadcasters on their teleprompters.

me’s-an-abyme by Michelle Lovegrove Thomson

A collage of images and voices of women poets that succeeds brilliantly, both as a tribute to the women whose words are borrowed and as an original videopoem. Michelle Lovegrave Thomson is the editor, cinematographer and hand-processor of the Super8mm film.

Walking Out, Part 1 by Tyler Flynn Dorholt

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“Part I in a series of poems called ‘Walking Out,'” says Mr. Dorholt.

A Time of Water Bountiful by Michael Anthony Ricciardi

This is something I haven’t seen before: a videopoem made of almost entirely of old home movies and photos, with just a few additional Creative Commons-licenced images to fill in the gaps. As Michael Ricciardi describes it,

Experimental, narrative short (an eco-prophetic autobiography) reconstructed from my family’s Super 8mm home movies (late 1960’s) and my Dad’s photos (WWII) – this video was/is a jury-selected finalist in the 2009 H2O Film on Water Exhibition (installed at: Great River Arts Center, Bellows Falls, VT, sponsored by Orion Magazine, Water for People, and Cynthia Reeves Gallery).

Thanks to Michael for leaving a comment here and inviting me to visit his YouTube channel.

Hydrotherapy by Ren Powell

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Poem and animation by Ren Powell. (See Ren’s site AnimaPoetics for a higher-quality version.)

This will be the last post until November 30. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers.