Nationality: United States

Cat by Gary Hoare and Joe Cronin

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This delightful videopoem by Gary Hoare and Joe Cronin was the winner in the Best Smartphone Production category at the 2015 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival. (Watch all six finalists on YouTube.) The internet may already be cracking under the cumulative weight of tens of thousands of cat videos, but I think there’s always room for one that pushes beyond the mere cute factor to ask larger questions about cats, people, and (in this case) worship.

One of the unique features of Rabbit Heart is that they require all films/videos to be made by the author, either alone or in close collaboration with the filmmaker. In this case, I’m not entirely sure which of the named authors did which, but that’s O.K. I guess.

Your Mouth is a Wound, and That Fly is a Nurse by Cindy St. Onge

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A wonderfully creepy, author-made videopoem by Cindy St. Onge, with sounds sourced from freesound.org and footage from Shutterstock. Visit her poetry site for the text of the poem.

How Not to Need Resurrection by Michalle Gould

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Motionpoems are really going from strength to strength these days. October’s offering is a powerful, highly effective film based on a poem by Michalle Gould. The film was directed by Diego Vazquez Lozano and Statten Roeg of Detachment East with a talented cast of actors and original music by Lozano and Claudio Aguilar Riquenes. (See Vimeo for the full list of credits.)

Motionpoems also produced a short video of Gould discussing her reaction to the film—


as well as a longer, text interview about the poem, conducted by Kevin Danielson. The whole thing is worth checking out, but I particularly liked Gould’s concluding remarks:

I really enjoyed the experience of seeing my poem made into a film. What I love about poetry is that there are so many different ways to read a poem, and having a film made out of your poem is a really unique way to view someone else’s perspective on your work and what they get out of it. Because I wrote this poem so quickly and instinctively, I’m not sure I had ever really sat down and reflected on what I actually meant by it, and I think this whole process has helped me understand it better than I did before.

Gould also blogged about the premiere of Motionpoems’ 2015 crop of films last May.

The Minute by Charles Bukowski

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Even though I don’t like Charles Bukowski, I love this poetry film by Adrián Suárez, which functions in part as a demonstration of just how much can be packed into (slightly more than) one minute. The production team is pretty much the same as with Instrucciones para cantar / Instructions for Singing, including Juan Carlos Gonzáles as director of photography.

Ghazal Before Morning by Colleen Michaels

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A new Swoon (Marc Neys) film using a text from The Poetry Storehouse by Massachusetts-based poet Colleen Michaels, in a voiceover by Nic S.. In a blog post, Marc notes:

I had images of jellyfish and other ‘floating creatures’ in mind for this poem/soundtrack. I found what I was looking for at Mazwai; filmed by Justin Kauffman & Randy Perry.

The music in the soundtrack is, as usual, Marc’s own composition. It’s also included on his Timorous Sounds album.

Consider the Space Between Stars by Linda Pastan

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Linda Pastan’s poem, read by Scott Gentle, is featured in this film, Consider the Space, directed by Aaron Kodz and Frida Regaza. This particular upload is from Newintown, but the actual production company was apparently Big Block Live. Henry Zaballos’ cinematography won a 2015 Silver Telly Award. For more credits, see Shoot magazine.

Not surprisingly, considering the directors’ previous clients, this has a bit of the look and sound of a television commercial. But hey, Linda Pastan! The poem was published last year in the Paris Review, and is included in Pastan’s 14th book of poems, Insomnia, due out from Norton in October.

A post in The Inspiration Room quotes Aaron Kodz about the film:

“Consider the space between words on a page” begins the poem by Linda Pastan, and we set out to capture that feeling of the moments that make us. Not the events in our life, but the little spaces in between that develop us into who we are. New York was the perfect backdrop, as it is itself a canvas of 6 million stories. Many of these tales do not make headlines, but even the small, quiet moments in our lives define who we are and what we become. “Consider the Space” explores these little moments in life, and the common threads that bind us all together.”

The Lie by Anne Waldman

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This is “a random recipe in piecemeal,” according to its creator:

Improvised Movement: Merzili Villanueva
Poem: Anne Waldman
Text Rearrangement + Reading + Audio Recording: Merzili Villanueva
Videography + Video Editing: Merzili Villanueva
Filmed July/August 2015
© 2015 Merzili Villanueva for Let’sLiterasee

Waldman’s poem is first recited in its original form (concluding at 1:43), followed by a condensed selection of lines—a repetition that works well in this context.