Nationality: United States

Wishes for Mom by Sojourner Ahebee

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Sojourner Ahebee‘s words meet Reva Santo‘s filmmaking, with actress Alana Ogio and a score by Avila Santo, in today’s film from the Visible Poetry Project, a NYC-based initiative to produce a poetry film for every day of April. I’ve been remiss in sharing their videos here, but expect at least 75 percent of them to appear on Moving Poems eventually, because the quality has been really high so far, and they’ve been amazingly varied, as well. I also like the project’s openness to emerging as well as accomplished poets from all walks of life; they had an open call for submissions back in January.

You can watch all the videos on their website or Vimeo page, and/or attend one of the live screenings still upcoming in Brooklyn, Manhattan, upstate New York, or Beijing. Here’s how they describe the project on their About page:

The Visible Poetry Project brings together a collective of filmmakers to create a series of videos that present poems as short films. Drawing from works created by renowned poets, including Neil Gaiman and Tato Laviera, as well as emerging poets, the Visible Poetry Project strives to make poetry accessible, exploring how we can recreate and experience poems through the medium of film.

Throughout the month of April – National Poetry Month – we will release one visual poem each day at 9 AM EST. An exercise in translation and a reclamation of both poetic and film discourses, the resulting thirty videos will explore how we read, interpret, visualize, and hear poetry.

The Visible Poetry Project is no longer accepting submissions from poets and filmmakers for the 2017 series. We will reopen for 2018 submissions in December 2017. If you would like to be involved with the Visible Poetry Project, or have any questions about our organization, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at visiblepoetryproject@gmail.com.

application for the position of abdelhalim hafez’s girl by Safia Elhillo

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Motionpoems’ latest poetry film is directed by Donna Lamar using a poem from Safia Elhillo‘s collection January Children. The Sudanese-American poet stars in the film.

Apartment 15 by Josh Jacobs

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A brief but effective film combining animation and live action by Atlanta-based motion graphics artist Liah Honeycutt, who notes in the Vimeo description that this is

A second installation of my visual poem series in which I team up with poet Josh Jacobs and bring his written word to life. I allowed myself to feel insecure and uncomfortable by including my own face and body in this piece (something I loathe) in order to connect a little deeper with the overall tone of isolation, inadequacy, and insecurity found in the poem and, to be honest, in my own life.

The first short animation in the series, Goldfish, is also worth checking out.

Not Kissing You by Kevin Dublin

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An author-made videopoem by Kevin Dublin, one of three videos he’s made in support of his forthcoming collection How to Fall in Love in San Diego,

a chapbook of 26 love & anti-love poems. The poems are set inside, around, and far outside the bounds of San Diego, CA. They’re a collective attempt to encapsulate the city’s energy and people, as well as the universal, sometimes heart-wrenching, 21st century search for love or something similar. You can pre-order a copy of the chapbook in the Finishing Line Press store.

Dublin made the video with a combination of found and CC-licensed footage and music from The SVRGN, but it’s his exceptionally good voiceover that really sold me on it. (There’s a lesson in there for other poets interested in following his example, I think.) The poem originally appeared online in Glint Literary Journal.

Relearning the Alphabet (excerpt) by Denise Levertov

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In this Moving Poems production, a quote from Denise Levertov’s “Relearning the Alphabet” anchors a brief epistemological meditation. Or as I’ve been describing it on Facebook, this is basically a videopoem about videopoetry. The text animation, live footage and audio were all released to the public domain by their shy and selfless creators. (The poem is of course under copyright, but I think using a short quote—the “U” section—combined with what the law would probably consider a transformative use—the videopoetic treatment—would qualify this as “fair use” under U.S. copyright law.)

Lush by Deniz Zeynep

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Deniz Zeynep supplies the text, voiceover and music for this brilliant videopoem directed and photographed by Christine Stoddard for Quail Bell Productions, with editing and graphics by David Fuchs. It began as a “photo tale” in Quail Bell Magazine.

New Orleans by Matt Dennison

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This is Have Made It, a 2013 film by Michael Dickes using a text by Matt Dennison. It’s kind of a videopoem-music video hybrid, with Dickes’ music taking central stage half-way through.

Have Made It appears in the most recent issue of Gnarled Oak, an online literary magazine distinguished by, among other things, its willingness to include previously published/uploaded poetry videos. Their next issue is open for submissions through March 31.

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