Nationality: Ireland

Day by Dylan Townsend

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A videopoem “following the rhythm of a day… shots from Dublin, Ireland and New York,” according to Irish filmmaker-poet Dylan Townsend. This is an excerpt from a longer, not-yet-released film called Shadowsmiths. See Townsend’s videos on Vimeo for more excerpts.

For two NATO soldiers… by Paul Perry

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The complete title of the poem is “For two NATO soldiers who drowned in an attempt to recover supplies from a river in the province of Badghis, Western Afghanistan, November, 2009”; Swoon calls the videopoem Drift. Irish poet Paul Perry’s text contrasts sharply in mood with the video images. As Swoon writes in a blog post:

The main images came not from me but I used footage from the site Beachfront B-Roll. Crisp and clean footage. Idyllic images with water, birds and logs.

Movement and juxtaposition I found with Cullen McHale. This footage of young men, alive, in their prime and having fun with searching kicks in innocent danger forms a perfect contrast with the content of the poem. Yet they tell a story of what was, or could have been.

I only had to add a layer of ‘light’ and some treated photographs to add to the general atmosphere of the video.

Wax Ear by Alice Lyons

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A short poem by Alice Lyons made into a film by Orla Mc Hardy. As with The Polish Language, this appears to have been a collaboration: Lyons is credited with 2-D animation, and Mc Hardy with photography, compositing, computer animation and sound.

The Polish Language by Alice Lyons

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This is just about the most inventive typographic animation I’ve even seen — a gorgeous and moving tribute to the power of Polish poetry by American-Irish poet and artist Alice Lyons and Irish artist Orla Mc Hardy. The film has its own website at, whence the following description:

The Polish Language is an animated film-poem about the subversive force of art and the renewal of poetry in the whispery language of Polish.

Based on the poem of the same title, the film pays homage to the revitalization of poetry in the Polish language in the 20th century. Using hand-drawn, stop-motion and time-lapse animation techniques, the poem unfolds onscreen, with typography as a key visual element. It visual style is loosely based on underground publications in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s, known as Bibula. A chorus of voices sampling poems in Polish, woven together with original music by sound designer Justin Spooner, combine to create a powerful score in a film of ’emotional depth and technical sophistication’ (Jury, Galway Film Fleadh 2009, award for Best Animation).

The Polish Language is at once a playful and solemn journey into the sensuality, beauty and power of language.

Lyons wrote the poem, while Mc Hardy took the lead on the animation. For full credits and a list of screenings, see the website’s About page. The poets sampled in the soundtrack are Tadeusz Różewicz, Zbigniew Herbert and Wisława Szymborska.

Dún Chaoin by David McLoghlin

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[Update: embedding disabled — watch on Vimeo]

A wonderful evocation of an artist and a place, with original music and a poem for the narration. I strongly recommend expanding it to full-screen. The director, Lanka Haouche Perren, describes it as follows:

7 minutes non-narrative documentary exploring the work & methods of the renowned Irish artist Maria Simonds-Gooding who has been based in Dún Chaoin, Co. Kerry, Ireland, for the last 40 years. It features a poem by award winning poet & writer David McLoghlin, narrated by Dominic West.

More examples of McLoghlin’s work may be found at his website. And be sure to check out Maria Simonds-Gooding’s website as well.

Currach by Tony Curtis

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Animation by Ronan Horan of a short piece by the Irish poet Tony Curtis.

For Poetry, this by Tony Curtis

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Irish poet Tony Curtis reads his poem about the death of Delmore Schwartz in this animation by Tim Phelan.