Nathan Tranbarger filmed and edited this video for the Wick Poetry Center’s Traveling Stanzas project, which has been going on now as long as Moving Poems. I’m happy to see that they’re not only still around; they’ve expanded into a proper online magazine as well as maintaining the public poetry poster side of the project. Kent State Magazine also has a short piece about this video:
[Fatou] M’Baye wrote the poem “Thank You, Tree” last fall as a fifth-grader attending the Holden Elementary School Writer’s Club, an after-school program. David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center, held a workshop at the club as part of the center’s outreach efforts to the community. “In the first session, we started with the idea of being grateful for something in our lives,” says Hassler. “Fatou chose this tree.”
“I wanted to thank her for helping me and my friends,” says M’Baye. “I wanted to thank all the trees. Without them we wouldn’t have healthy, happy lives.” […]
Since 2009 illustrated poems have made their way across Northeast Ohio, displayed on buses and transit systems and printed on posters and postcards as a project of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Wick Poetry Center. Now these poetry illustrations are journeying around the world as part of an interactive website and traveling exhibit that launched this fall, with support from the Ohio Arts Council.
Traveling Stanzas—an award-winning collaboration between the Wick Poetry Center and the School of Visual Communication Design—aims to facilitate a global conversation through the intimate and inclusive voice of poetry. Featured poems are curated from global submissions and illustrated by Kent State students and alumni.
Click through to see the poster made for M’Baye’s poem.
It’s always fascinating to see how different poetry-film makers will deploy the same text. In his film, Cameron Michael juxtaposes the dreamy text and soundtrack with time-lapse shots of New York City, while in Exiles, Bangladeshi director Amirul Rajiv uses black-and-white footage of a vast Rohingya refugee camp. Which is a better fit? How does our understanding of the poem change from one film to the other?
Poetry-film fans should recognize the name Arseny Tarkovsky: his son, the great Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, included his father’s poems in some of his most memorable scenes. Here, the title poem from Virginia Rounding’s recent volume of English translations comes to us via an album by the film composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, which he offered up for an international short film competition earlier this year. Here’s how the website No Film School described it:
The composer behind ‘The Revenant’ has teamed up with Apichatpong Weerasethakul to give out awards totaling $5,000 cash.
This past spring, Ryuichi Sakamoto released his album async, which he described as a “soundtrack for an imaginary Andrei Tarkovsky film.” Today, he announced the async Short Film Competition, in which he asks filmmakers to create a movie around his music.
The short films will be judged by Sakamoto and acclaimed filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives). In addition, one filmmaker will be given an “Audience Award” based on the following method: One point for every time the submitted film is played on Vimeo; 10 points for every “like” on Vimeo; and 10 points for every “like” on Facebook by September 30th, 2017.
Sakamoto will decide on a winner based on the following criteria:
- Unique expression of the relationship between the music and the images
- The general appeal of the film
Apichatpong will decide on a winner based on the following criteria:
- The general appeal of the film
Links to all the films entered in the competition are currently on the front page of Sakamoto’s website. You can see more film interpretations of this poem by doing a Google video search for Arseny Tarkovsky “Life, Life”.
The title poem from a 1920 collection by New Zealand anarchist and poet Lola Ridge as envideoed by Catalan remix artist Josep Porcar.
I haven’t done a very good job of keeping up with Josep Porcar’s videopoetry output over the years, but he’s certainly Catalonia’s most active and visible proponent of the art, often combining (as here) his own Catalan translations with his audiovisual interpretations of classic and contemporary poems. His truly international focus should not be surprising; far from what outside observers of its independence movement might assume, Catalonia has much more of a crossroads culture than an insular or provincial one. (These days, it seems as if it’s mainly the declining empires, such as the UK and the US, which are bedeviled by insularity and xenophobia.) But enough of my editorializing. Go browse more of Josep’s work (or view the archive here).