Posts in Category: Videopoems

Current, I by Lehua Taitano

Poet: | Nationality: , | Filmmaker:

A Whitmansque exploration of identity from Lehua Taitano for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s online exhibition A Day in the Queer Life of Asian Pacific America. It’s part of a half-completed series of twelve author-made videopoems curated by poet Franny Choi: Queer Check-Ins, which Choi introduces with this note:

It’s a strange time to be strange. For those of us who are queer and trans, femme and gender non-conforming, immigrant and indigenous, every day seems to bring a new understanding of the exact precariousness of our survival. As artists, we are often making our visions for the future while being drained by loss, heartbroken by loneliness and the distances between us. But, as poet Ocean Vuong writes, “loneliness is still time spent / with the world.” As curator for this project, I’m excited to gather these twelve queer voices from across the Asian and Pacific diasporas, to form a kind of collective rest stop in our travels through this America. Together, these poets meet the dark road ahead with fierce tenderness, with legends and incantations, with sharp criticism and complex dreams. Here are twelve check-ins from our extended chosen family; twelve brief glimpses into what it looks like when we stay.

For more on Taitano, see her excellent website. I’ll take the liberty of quoting her bio:

Lehua M. Taitano is a queer CHamoru writer and interdisciplinary artist from Yigu, Guåhan (Guam) and co-founder of Art 25. She is the author of two volumes of poetry—Inside Me an Island (WordTech Editions) and A Bell Made of Stones (TinFish Press). Her chapbook,  appalachiapacific, won the  Merriam-Frontier Award for short fiction. She has two recent chapbooks of poetry and visual art:  Sonoma (Dropleaf Press) and Capacity (a Hawai’i Review e-chap).

Her poetry, essays, and Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction have appeared in  Poetry, Fence, Arc Poetry Magazine, Kartika Review, Red Ink International Journal, and numerous others. She has served as an APAture Featured Literary Artist via Kearny Street Workshop, a Kuwentuhan poet via The Poetry Center at SFSU, and as a Culture Lab visual artist and curatorial advisor for the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American Center. Taitano’s  work investigates modern indigeneity, decolonization, and cultural identity in the context of diaspora.

Letter by Doyali Islam

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker: , ,


Filmmaker: Amrita Singh


Filmmaker: Laurice Oliveira


Filmmaker: Jane Glennie

A poem from Canadian poet Doyali Islam‘s second collection, heft, gets three different film interpretations, thanks to the wondrous Visible Poetry Project, which released these on April 12. I’ll take the liberty of lifting their bios for each of the filmmakers (though Jane Glennie is probably already familiar to many Moving Poems readers):

Amrita Singh is a writer/director born in Chennai and raised in Chicago. She’s currently attending NYU Tisch’s Graduate Film Program and developing her thesis film about a ruthless spelling bee wunderkind and her immigrant family.

Born in Brazil, Laurice Oliveira bravely moved to NYC with the ambitious hope of becoming a filmmaker. In her long journey to The Big Apple, Laurice met the unseen people and listened to unheard voices. From people of the poorest Brazilian slums to abused immigrant workers in the US, Laurice has made her goal to tell the stories of people that often do not have the privilege of being seen or heard by society.

Jane Glennie is an artist, filmmaker and typographic designer. Previous projects include an installation at The National Centre for the Written Word in the UK, and the publication of ‘A New Dictionary of Art’. Her videopoetry has been awarded a special mention at the Weimar Poetry Film Award in Germany and she was a finalist for Best Production One Minute or Under at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival 2018. Poetry films have been selected for festivals in the UK, USA, France, Germany, Ireland and Singapore.

Pareidolia by Jim Kacian

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

April 17, International Haiku Poetry Day, can ironically be a hard day to discover true haiku on Twitter, where #NationalHaikuDay is currently the second highest trending term in the United States. Browse the hashtag and you’ll see what I mean: nothing but three-line, 17-syllable arrangements of prose — party tricks by the least clever people at a party.

So I thought I’d share this animated text experiment by Jim Kacian, editor/publisher of Red Moon Press and head of The Haiku Foundation, to push back against widespread misconceptions of the genre. Though more serious viewers might find that some of the font and animation choices border on cheesiness, to me, the irreverence is part of the charm (not to mention an essential feature of haiku/hokku since the 17th century). And the playfulness is in service to a pretty important lesson about modern haiku, as the description suggests:

Jim Kacian takes the Rorschach Test and makes his results public.

Pareidolia is the the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features. In this short film, poet Jim Kacian explores the relationship between the images of the famous Rorschach Inkblot Test and multi-stop monoku — one-line haiku with several possible interpretations. Music composed by Erik Satie, arranged and realized by the Camarata Contemporary Chamber Orchestra.

First screened for HaikuLife, the Haiku Film Festival held during International Haiku Poetry Day, April 17, 2016.

The Hugeness of That Which is Missing by Forrest Gander

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Forrest Gander‘s latest collection Be With has just won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry — congratulations to him. As someone who shares his interests in Latin American poetry and ecopoetry, I’ve been cheered by his growing prominence in recent years. Not to mention the fact that he’s one of the very few major American poets who makes his own videopoems. Here’s one he re-edited just a few weeks ago. (I think the original video appeared around 2012.) The text appears in his 2001 collection Torn Awake.

The Danger Meditations by Marc Zegans

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker: ,

Directed by Ellen Hemphill and Jim Haverkamp of Archipelago Theatre as a companion piece to Manicotti, based also on a poem from Marc Zegans’ Typewriter Underground, with the voice-over this time by Tom Marriott. See its dedicated webpage for the full credits, and the main Archipelago Productions listing for more of their cinematic and theatrical works.

Like Manicotti, The Danger Meditations premiered at the Henry Miller library, and has also been screened at the Durham Typocalypse and an Athens Typewriter Underground event. In addition, it was an official selection of the 2018 Juteback Poetry Film Festival in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Read my interview with Zegans in Moving Poems Magazine.

Manicotti by Marc Zegans

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker: ,

An interpretation of one of the poems from Marc Zegans’ Typewriter Underground co-directed by Ellen Hemphill and Jim Haverkamp from the Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based Archipelago Theatre. Haverkamp is the narrator and one of the videographers, along with Alex Maness, and the score was composed by Allison Leyton-Brown. Click through to Vimeo for the full credits.

This film, together with a companion piece which I’ll share tomorrow, premiered at a theatrical production of the Typewriter Underground at the Henry Miller Library, Big Sur, California. It was also screened at the 2019 Cosmic Rays Film Festival, at the Durham Typocalypse, “a celebration of all things typewriter,” and at the Athens [Georgia] Typewriter Underground.

Read my interview with Zegans in Moving Poems Magazine.

A Clack in the Tunnel by Marc Zegans

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Continuing with this week’s feature on Marc Zegans, here’s the first of three videos I’ll be sharing based on texts in his latest collection, circulated to select video artists and filmmakers while still in manuscript. This one is described on YouTube as “retro-collagist Eric Edelman‘s animation of the First Fragment from the Typewriter Underground. Full text can be found in La Commedia Sotterranea della Macchina da Scrivere: Swizzle Felt’s First Folio from the Typewriter Underground. Available from Pelekinesis March 1, 2019.” The publisher’s webpage calls La Commedia

a gathering of verse fragments and collages describing and illustrating the life of the Typewriter Underground, a spontaneous sub-cultural phenomenon that appeared with near simultaneity in a variety of cities and smaller locales across the globe in the late 20th and early 21st Century.

Read my interview with Zegans in Moving Poems Magazine.