Nationality: U.K.

Hate for Sale by Neil Gaiman

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Buy my hate. You’ll come right back for more.
Hate for sale. Enough to start a war.
Hate the rich, the brown, the black, the poor.
Hate is clean. And hate will make you sure.

The Visible Poetry Project‘s final video for National Poetry Month was a real corker: a topical, satirical poem by the great Neil Gaiman recited by Peter Kenny in the soundtrack for a beautifully done stop-motion animation by Anna Eijsbouts.

The Shrouding of the Duchess of Malfi by John Webster

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Filmmaker Devansh Agarwal and singer-songwriter Sonali Argade collaborated on a music video-like poetry film of John Webster’s 17th-century poem for the Visible Poetry Project. Argade is also the actress. Her musical interpretation appears to be a cover of the 1924 Peter Warlock composition, from his 3 Dirges of Webster, now in the public domain. Here’s a more standard performance by the Baccholian Singers of London:

Coventry Glossolalia by Martin Green

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An experimental videopoem from Martin Green (text, voiceover) and filmmaker Emily Wright, one of the 27 poetry films produced for the Disappear Here project focused on the ringroad around Coventry, UK. Every week another three films appear on the project blog, together with biographies of those involved. This was my favorite of the three films by Green and Wright featured on April 2; I thought that the recitation of vehicle registration plate codes as if they were text gained a peculiar pathos from the conjunction with a stained-glass-like video collage of the ringroad map.

Wright’s bio states that “Brutalist architecture is a strong inspiration for her work as she is interested in drawing attention to anything unpopular and unloved.” And Green is described as more of an artist than a poet, whose “work explores joining sculpture, writing and performance together.” (This is especially evident in “T“.) Read — and watch — the rest.

Upon My Skin by Axel Kacoutié

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British composer Axel Kacoutié‘s Poe-like text is brilliantly interpreted in this film-poem, produced by Kacoutié and directed by Émile. The YouTube description reads:

Please do not touch the paintings or other exhibits, and do not cross barriers.

It was featured in the London-based “online multimedia platform” Skin Deep on March 17. Here’s what they said about it:

Axel Kacoutié’s film-poem, Upon My Skin, is an electrifying meditation on performance, desire and the ways in which art is consumed. Inspired in part by Władysław Podkowiński’s [Vadeh-swav Pod-ko-vin-ski] painting Frenzy of Exultations, the video does away with the idea of art as the consumption of objects. Instead, art is conceived of as a disorienting experience that moves beyond the confines of the gallery space and into the world, blurring the distinction between art product and reality.

Axel explains: There is a helpless mood of sometimes not knowing what you’re looking at when you are in a gallery, but that wasn’t the case for ‘Axelina’ [Aderonke Oke]. Her confident stillness and her disregard for what is happening in the room makes it so that the observer becomes the observed; we become more interested in how she perceives the audience, rather than how the audience perceives her.  We cut to see ‘Her’ [Ally Goldberg] now clothed and free in a real world full of life.

Upon My Skin is otherworldly. It creates a world that is ethereal and ready to disappear at any moment, making Axel’s poetry the only thing that grounds us in corporeal reality. Although Axel explains that his ambitions are still exclusively musical, there can be doubt that the immersive sonic experience that Axel has created is made that much more poignant by the accompanying words. Upon My Skin is a mystifying video that is so obviously about black and white, but in a way that is unexpected. [link added]

A more recent interview in MASQ Magazine goes into detail about the production of the film and Kacoutié’s influences and aesthetic preferences: “Dark Horses and Desire.”

Domingo Después del Vendaval / Sunday Morning After Gales by Jean Morris

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London-based translator and poet Jean Morris provided the texts for this bilingual filmpoem by the Stockholm-based Spanish director Eduardo Yagüe. Soprano Juana Molinero sings the Pie Jesu from Fauré’s Requiem in the soundtrack, providing a pleasing contrast to Yagüe’s voiceover.

Embarrassed by Hollie McNish

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Hollie McNish is a British spoken-word poet with a very popular YouTube channel. Her description for “Embarrassed“:

This poem is taken from my book Nobody Told Me: a journey from pregnancy to pre-school in poetry and prose: http://www.blackfriarsbooks.com/book/nobody-told-me/

“The World Needs this Book” The Scotsman
“a moving and profoundly personal account” The Skinny

The video was directed by Jake Dypka with Indy 8 for Channel 4 Random Acts with help from hundreds up people via a KickStarter campaign.

Why is titillation accepted and sustenance rejected?

Nobody Told Me has just won the prestigious Ted Hughes poetry award.

Singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams, who judged the prize with poets Jo Bell and Bernard O’Donoghue, said the book “should be sold alongside Caitlin Moran and Bill Bryson. Honest and insightful, it will resonate outside the poetry world to reach a new generation of poetry readers.”

The collection covers all aspects of motherhood, challenging taboos about post-pregnancy sex and breastfeeding as well as the sense of isolation and loss many women feel after giving birth. It also celebrates the joys of having a young child. On publication, the Guardian wrote that “her poems can often sound like love letters to her daughter and each phase of babyhood”.

The Cambridge graduate has earned a reputation for breaking new ground with poetry and performances that straddle the literary and pop scenes. As well as becoming the first poet to record an album at Abbey Road, McNish has collaborated with rapper George the Poet and Kate Tempest, who won the Ted Hughes award in 2012. Her YouTube videos have been viewed more than four million times.

Haunting by Martin Evans

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An author-made videopoem from Welsh writer and humorist Martin Evans, whose work was brought to my attention by the inclusion of another of his videos, “Numbers“, in the latest issue of Poetry Film Live. He describes this one as

A film-poem to revisit a childhood haunt. Filmed on Whixall, Bettisfield and Fenns mosses on the Welsh/English border.

Scratch the pastoral surface of the countryside nearly anywhere and you’ll find similar stories of violence and loss. A beautifully done evocation.

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