Nationality: United States

Grouse Song by Ruth Thompson

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

An improvised dance interpretation of a poem by Hawai’i-based poet Ruth Thompson from her latest book, Crazing. The dancers are Jenn Eng, Claudia Hagan, Anna Javier, Chloe Oldfather, Catherine Rehberg, and the poet herself. Camera, editing and audio are by Don Mitchell. The music is from the Miró Quartet.

It Was Cloudy: Aabjito’ikidowinan 2 / Used Words 2 by Heid E. Erdrich

This is

A poemeo animated by Jonathan Thunder, written in English by Heid E. Erdrich, translated to Ojibwe language by Margaret Noodin. This poem began when Heid was reading the Nichols and Nylhom Ojibwe language dictionary and practicing her pronunciation, which is always a challenge. The dictionary page is almost entirely made of Ojibwe words for clouds. It ends with “club” which is how winter starts.
Miigwech!

Visit Heid E. Erdrich and Jonathan Thunder on the web.

Eleven Reflections on September, part 11: Judgment / Traveling by Andrea Assaf

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

Thinking about how the entirely preventable tragedies of the so-called War on Terror unfolded after September 11, 2001, and agonizing about what we might’ve done to stop it, language breaks down. From poet Andrea Assaf and the Art2Action theater group, including video artist Pramila Vasudevan, “Eleven Reflections on September” is

a poetry/spoken word, multimedia performance on Arab American experience, Wars on/of Terror, and “the constant, quiet rain of death amidst beauty” that each autumn brings in a post-9/11 world. This production is based on the series of poems Andrea Assaf has been writing since 2001, spanning the fall of the towers, the on-going wars, and the current revolutions and conflicts sweeping through the Arab world. Aesthetically, the poems explore the disintegration of language in the face of violence, prejudice, and unspeakable horror; as such, they progress from lyrical to abstract and broken. The annual witnessing of autumn leaves becomes a metaphor for the fallen–soldiers and civilians … This multi-disciplinary project includes performances with interactive media design and live music; community dialogues; visual arts exhibits; open mics, panels and opportunities for action through partnerships with Iraq Veterans Against the War and other peace organizations.

The Vimeo description for this video reads:

An excerpt from “Eleven Reflections on September” by Andrea Assaf

Poem # 11: Judgment
Post-script 1: Traveling

Video Art by Pramila Vasudevan.
Sound Design for “Judgment” by Owen Henry & Keegan Fraley.

Choreographic Assignment: Raise me from the dead. From the metaphorical underworld to the heavens. Once you have lifted my body-spirit from the ground, help me travel to the afterlife. Travel with me, and send me on my way.

Cue: After the poem “Judgment” ends (repeating “just stop” 3x), the Daf pulses three times, followed by a chapreez — and the ritual to raise the dead begins. It will continue through the end of “Traveling”.

Movement during the re-mixed/voiceover section of “Judgment”: I am responding to the fragmented, falling, exploding words with my body — torso, arms and head only, while kneeling on the ground. This section is my descent into the underworld, so to speak — or simply my disintegration, from which you will raise/remake me…

A note on “Traveling” — This poem is an English translation of Mohamed Bouazi’s suicide note to his mother, posted on his Facebook page. Tarek al-Tayyib Muhammad ibn Bouazizi, a 26-year old Tunisian fruit vendor who quit high school to work and support his mother and sisters, set himself on fire on December 17, 2010, after his wares were confiscated … A fire that sparked the revolution now known as “The Arab Spring”. His last note is pure poetry, his final act pure protest. The poem, by Andrea Assaf, was published by Mizna in the Spring 2012 issue on “Literature in Revolution.”

Visit the Eleven Reflections on September channel on Vimeo to watch other excerpts from the piece, including live performance videos.

Telegenic by Erica Goss

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

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

Here, Bullet by Brian Turner

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

This week at Moving Poems we’re marking the 15th anniversary of the US Congress’ nearly unanimous passage of the Authorization to Use Military Force on September 14, 2001, which launched the modern era of essentially endless, unlimited war. How better to begin than with Iraq War veteran Brian Turner‘s justly famous poem “Here, Bullet“? In an interview recorded at the 2009 Poetry International Festival at Rotterdam, Turner acknowledges the influence of Philip Levine’s poem “They Feed They Lion.” The video concludes with his recitation of the poem.

At Thirty by Paula Bohince

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A poem by Paula Bohince adapted to film by Thibault Debaveye for Motionpoems, who refer to it on Facebook as

our first crowdsourced voiceover! Thanks to our voiceover artists John W. Goodman, Jeannie Elizabeth, Louis Murphy, Amy Miller, Jennifer Jabaily-Blackburn, Veronica Suarez, Carrie Simpson, Michelle Meyer, Juliet Patterson, Will Campbell, and Clare McWilliams.

Debaveye’s description on Vimeo:

Feeling empty. Null and void. Finding a new identity.
“At Thirty”, a visual poem about this feeling of being there but not being present.
Non-existent silhouette of ordinary people as they go about their lives in everyday chores.

See Motionpoems’ upload for the full credits, and visit their website to read the text of the poem and a brief interview with Bohince.

River Étude by Sandra Louise Dyas

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

What mysteries lie hidden in a single name? As if in answer to the OTTERAS videopoem Navn Nome Name and its celebration of a telephone book’s worth of names, Iowa-based artist Sandra Louise Dyas set out to pay closer attention to one great river of a word, as the Vimeo description explains:

River Étude is an experimental video poem inspired by the Mississippi River and John Cage. When I was very little, I learned how [to] spell Mississippi and Dubuque by singing the letters. Life offers you nothing to hang onto. To survive you must learn how to let go and swim. Become the water. Stop resisting.

12345...124