Nationality: United States

A Julia de Burgos (To Julia de Burgos)

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Julia de Burgos‘ poem to her public self (Spanish text here). Leonard Bernstein conducts the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra in a television performance of a work he composed, Songfest, which borrows texts from various American poets. Daisy Newman is the soprano. In a 1986 review of a Deutsche Grammophon recording, Music critic Edward Greenfield wrote,

If I had to choose one work of Bernstein’s for my Desert Island, it would certainly be Songfest, a cycle of 12 American poems which in its sharpness of imagination brings out Bernstein’s finest qualities. Rather like Britten in the Nocturne and the Serenade, he combines musical ingenuity with illuminatingly poetic response to each poem. The result is not just witty and brilliant, as you would expect, but often intensely beautiful and deeply moving, as in the haunting Whitman love poem and the radiant setting for women’s trio of Anne Bradstreet’s poem ”To my dear and loving husband”.

To watch the entire song cycle on YouTube, start here.

I’m not sure which translation they used for the subtitles (perhaps Bernstein’s own?) but a better one, by Jack Agüeros, may be read here.

Ay, Ay, Ay de la Grifa Negra by Julia de Burgos

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YADagH8ipY

Poem by Julia de Burgos, translated by Jack Agüeros

I’ve been looking for videos of poems by the great 20th-century Puerto Rican poet and feminist Julia de Burgos in honor of the confinrmation hearings of Sonia Sotomayor, so I was happy to run across this installment from the generally wonderful Favorite Poem Project, featuring bilingual public school teacher Glaisma Perez-Silva.

Dark Cities by Stacie M. Kiner, Jan McLaughlin and Bruce Weber

A 16mm, ten-minute-long film “based on a poem by Stacie M. Kiner, Jan McLaughlin and Bruce Weber,” directed by Edward J. Reasor and produced/written by Jan McLaughlin. For the rest of the credits, see here.

My Mind is Peopled with a Great Crowd by Barry Pomeroy

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Poem and video by Barry Pomeroy, from the YouTube-based literary magazine Shape of a Box. The video isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good, I think, and I want to showcase as many author-made videos here as possible. Aaron Bissell is credited with an editing role. Visit the YouTube page for the text of the poem and a short bio of the author, though a more entertaining biography may be found here:

Barry Pomeroy received his PhD. from University of Manitoba in 2000, although it would be a pity if that were his sum total. He is an itinerant English professor, boat designer and builder, traveller, carver, sometimes mechanic, woodworker, and web designer. As a writer he is responsible for Multiple Personality Disorder, a long poem in dialogue; at present he is thrashing through another novel tentatively entitled Meeting Ray, and a collection of stories loosely based on the Christian bible called A Bloody History of the Fertile Crescent.

Front Towards Enemy by Eric Gamalinda

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Avant-garde videopoem by Eric Gamalinda, “constructed out of images shot randomly around new york city.”

Mommie’s Coming Back by Jan McLaughlin

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Poem and video by Jan McLaughlin, who blogs at Faux Press. This was originally shot in 35mm, black and white, in 1994 — see McLaughlin’s filmography for the complete details.

It’s pretty impressive that a professional filmmaker can also write poems this good.

Letter From a Parasitic Head by Dana Guthrie Martin

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Dana Guthrie Martin wrote the poem — see qarrtsiluni for the text — and Donna Kuhn collaborated with her to make the video.

By way of explanation, the poem begins with this epigraph:

Upon autopsy, the neck stump of the parasitic head was shown to contain fragments of bone and tiny vestiges of a heart and lungs.
— www.phreeque.com