Filmmaker: Erica Goss

Telegenic by Erica Goss

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It’s Long War week at Moving Poems, and (appropriately perhaps) it’s going to be an unusually long week, with videos right through the weekend. That is in part because so far we’ve heard only from men, which doesn’t seem right, given that wars disproportionately impact women. Today, the California poet and videopoetry critic Erica Goss helps us right the balance with her first author-made videopoem. But according to the description on Vimeo, it won’t be her last:

This is the first in a series of three videos based on poems I’ve written about the subject of war. The word “telegenic” was given to me from a radio broadcast I heard during the 2014 attack on Gaza. Much of the poem was influenced by an encounter I had with an Iraq war veteran at a poetry writing event in San Jose, California. The images of children, sunrise and the woman are different from the usual images one associates with war: they are intended to remind us of what is lost to violence.

The music is guitarist Sam Eigen’s interpretation of the Rite of Spring theme. Sam composed the music specifically for this video, with my guidance. The music was recorded at Keith Holland Studio in Los Gatos, California. Don Peters, my husband, is the narrator; it took us many recordings to get his voice right for the video. I wanted someone with a “normal” voice – i.e., not a “poetry voice” – to tell the story.

To find footage, I searched Video Blocks for images that seemed to create associations. The clips I chose came together in an intuitive way.

I am grateful for the feedback I received from Dave Bonta and Marc Neys (Swoon), two artists whose work I greatly respect and who have influenced me in creating my first video poem.

The poem “telegenic” was first published at New Verse News: newversenews.blogspot.com/2014/11/telegenic.html