Nationality: United States

Sometimes the Water by Kallie Falandays

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Marie Craven remixed some surreal footage by Simone Mogliè and Fernanda Veron, music by Adrian Carter, and Nic S.‘s reading of a poem by Kallie Falandays at the Poetry Storehouse. (Nic has also made her own video for the poem.) I’m especially impressed by the bold choice of music. It shocked me at first, but I eventually came to feel that it provides just the right contrast for the dream-like imagery, throwing it and the voiceover into high relief. I can’t tell you how many videos I’ve chosen not to share here just because the music struck me as too stale or predictable.

Noble Savage Learns To Tweet by LeAnne Howe

A videopoem by Choctaw novelist and poet LeAnne Howe and director R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., with artwork and animation by Jonathan Thunder. Though it may seem tailor-made for the film, like Heid Erdrich’s “Pre-Occupied” the poem originally appeared in text form at 99 Poems for the 99%, where the author included these notes:

1. Dutch settlers built the ‘Wall path’ sometime around 1692 to keep out the Indians. In other words it was built for white settlers to keep out undesirables to protect developing commerce. According to Hermes-Press.com, the Wall path “joined the banks of the East River with those of the Hudson River on the west.” Wall path later named Wall Street. Hence the poem’s narrator, Noblesavage, tweets irony.

2. “Indian agent” is a double entendre and can be read as Noblesavage’s agent, authorized to act on his behalf for acting roles in Hollywood westerns; or as an individual authorized to interact with American Indians authorized on behalf of the federal government.

3. “Ford and Cameron” refer to Hollywood film directors John Ford and James Cameron.

4. #AI.com is a site for “artificial intelligence.” Another irony, Noblesavage is not real, a creation of Hollywood imagemakers.

Pre-Occupied by Heid E. Erdrich

A masterpiece of collage/remix videopoetry co-directed by the author of the text, poet Heid E. Erdrich, with R. Vincent Moniz, Jr. Art direction, animation and effects are by Jonathan Thunder. The excellent audio track is the work of Gabriel Siert, and additional visual art is credited to Carolyn Lee Anderson, Andrea Carlson, and Angie Erdrich. The synopsis on Erdrich’s website reads:

“Pre-Occupied” is a new and experimental form, the poem-film. Originally written for the website 99 Poems for the 99%, poet Heid E. Erdrich created a visual landscape of associations and references that match the tremendous irony of how the word “occupy” can be meant. The film version of this poem is a collaborative collage that means to reveal the distracted human mind at a particular point in history. Released in early 2013, the film inadvertently anticipated the Idle No More Movement. [link added]

Erdrich has made several other poetry films as well, including a new one that should be released shortly, according to Saara Myrene Raappana of Motionpoems, who kindly emailed me after attending an AWP panel at which Erdrich shared her films.

Adam and Eve by Denise Newman

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A text-on-screen, author-made videopoem by Denise Newman, a multi-media poet and translator who teaches at the California College of the Arts. Her films have shown at the Southern Exposure Gallery in San Francisco and at the Whitney Museum in New York City, and she’s been collaborating with composers for the past decade, in addition to writing books of poetry and translating fiction from the Danish—a perfect skill-set for videopoetry.

The credits at the end note that this was “filmed at Juniper Lake in 2014 by Denise Newman” with “voice/sound by Ania Samborska.”

Advice Dyslexic by Lisa Vihos

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Lamp the lights
and harvest the gather.
Let no unturned go stone.

A nicely minimalist video remix by Dale Wisely of a Poetry Storehouse poem by Lisa Vihos, using Nic S.’s reading in the soundtrack. The text is delightful; some of the inverted phrases make better advice than the originals. And somehow watching moving images while hearing them helped me put them together. (Though I wonder whether a dyslexic person would have the same reaction.)

Everything But the Sky: poems by David Tomaloff and Meg Tuite

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If I post a lot of films by Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon (while still failing to quite keep up with his output), it’s because he’s continually trying new things and not falling into a groove. This is an especially good example of that, blending two poems by two different poets, Meg Tuite and David Tomaloff, into a new whole, and taking its title from an unpublished chapbook they’ve co-authored, Everything But the Sky. It appeared at Gnarled Oak on April 10, along with some explanatory text:

Poem “No Code” & voice by David Tomaloff
Poem “I am walking beside me” by Meg Tuite

Essentially, EVERYTHING BUT THE SKY explores the way that dream logic and interpretation often work in context to ordinary events taking place within our daily lives. Think of it as reverse dream interpretation–each of David Tomaloff’s poems is a dream poem whose images might have been the manifestation of the thoughts, emotions, and events that each of Meg Tuite’s flash pieces describe before it. In this way, each pair of poems is a complete set, and, likely, one could begin to see a greater narrative as one begins joining these sets. –David Tomaloff

I created a soundtrack around David’s own narration of his poem and presented that scape with a (horizontal split screen) film composition with Meg’s poem appearing as text on screen. –Swoon

Having one text appear on-screen while another is delivered via voiceover is an interesting and I think effective way to translate a collaborative poetry project into film. There are some additional process notes on Swoon’s blog, as well as the text of both poems.

Solar Therapy by Michele S. Cornelius

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This nearly perfect video remix of a poem by Michele S. Cornelius comes to us from Marie Craven, who writes,

Just a few days ago I read a lovely poem called ‘Solar Therapy’ by Alaska-based artist and writer, Michele S. Cornelius and published in the multi-media literary journal, Gnarled Oak. As it happened, I already had images and music on hand, edited together and waiting for a poem that would mix well with them. I recognised the potential in Michele’s piece straight away and completed this video in the 24 hours following the poem’s first public appearance. The music is by Western Australian ensemble, Masonik, whose soundscapes I’ve appreciated over a number of years. This track is called ‘Bending Light For The Magi‘. I sourced it at the Pool group on Facebook, where it was posted on offer for remix. The images are from the royalty-free stock footage site, VideoBlocks. With a minimal piece like this the small details become magnified. I spent a surprising amount of time on minutiae in the editing, especially deciding how to present the phrases of the poem on the screen and where and when the text should best be placed. In the end, as is often the case, simple seemed best.

Click through to read Marie’s process notes on three of her other recent videopoems, as well.