Nationality: United States

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.

Exercise in the Face of Divorce by David Campos

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California poet David Campos calls this “A narrative video poem about utilizing exercise to deal with the pain of divorce.” It was the first example of contemporary videopoetry examined by Ruben Quesada in his article in Ploughshares last week. As the quotes in the article make clear, however, Campos prefers to think of his work as part of the film tradition, and describes his composition process as follows:

Sound can carry an image…. In “Exercise in the Face of Divorce,” I focused on capturing sound in the shots—this enhanced the poem. All the film criticism I’ve read came into play while shooting and editing the video. I framed and composed shots from the beginning to add meaning. I was conscious of the color while shooting and editing. I edited the footage down to their essential parts. Most importantly, I added sound from the shots themselves. These projects are not “video poems.” They’re short films and they must be treated this way. It is why I use a story board and a rough script from the beginning. The same care I would exhibit in creating a poem on the page must be taken through its production into a film.

Read the rest of the article, if you haven’t already, and check out more of Campos’ work on Vimeo.

Love is Not All (Sonnet XXX) by Edna St. Vincent Millay

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A recording of Millay reciting her poem is paired with a McCoy Tyner track to good effect in this new film by London-based filmmaker Sidney Sonnerberg. Daleya Marohn is the actor.

Wasp’s Honey by Martha McCollough

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Martha McCollough’s latest animated poem appeared in Atticus Review on March 3, along with this artist’s statement:

Bees have many associations with death—they are sacred to Persephone and when there is a death in the beekeeper’s household they must be told and allowed to mourn. Through honey, they have associations with creativity—it is a Greek folk belief that if a bee touches the lips of a sleeping child, the child will be a singer or a poet. I wanted to keep this elegy simple and direct, so there is no voiceover, only visual text. The soundtrack was composed using the p22 text-to-music generator. Sections of the text were used to create a midi file, freely edited in Logic.

Click through for the bio, and watch more of McCollough’s stand-out poetry videos on Vimeo.

The Robots Are Coming by Kyle Dargan

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A film by Minneapolis-based animator Julia Iverson for Motionpoems — their latest episode, in partnership with Cave Canem. I love the poem by Kyle Dargan, from his 2015 collection Honest Engine.

Like Breath, Like Air by Mari Pack

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From Quail Bell Magazine, here’s a video by Christine Stoddard and David Fuchs featuring a poem by poet, essayist, copywriter, and radio producer Mari Pack. According to a piece in the Huffington Post back in January,

The day after the women’s marches in Washington, D.C., New York, and other cities around the world, Brooklyn-based artist Christine Stoddard photographed feminist poet Mari Pack. She wanted to capture a strong woman caught in a vulnerable time. After Stoddard produced a set of photo collages from the shoot, Pack paired one of the collages with one of her poems. The rest of the photo collages will appear in a poetry film written and narrated by Pack and edited by David Fuchs.

This I presume is that film. Incidentally, in addition to their in-house productions, Quail Bell Magazine does appear to consider others’ multimedia productions as well — see their guidelines for submission. I rather like their mission statement.

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