Nationality: United States

13 Ways of Looking at a Haiku + anagram mix by Jim Kacian

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Jim Kacian riffs on the famous Wallace Stevens poem, but in visual terms, featuring variants on an original theme. Filmed on Moosehead Lake, Maine, in 2016 and presented here during HaikuLife 2017, part of International Haiku Poetry Day, an initiative of The Haiku Foundation, held 17 April 2017.

That’s from the Haiku Foundation’s HaikuLife 2017 page, which also presents a companion video:

While creating 13 Ways of Looking at a Haiku for HaikuLife 2017, Jim Kacian became addicted to the anagrammatic possibilities of his “seed poem”. Here are 13 of what he feels are the best variations (he warns that many others are possible).

Jim Kacian is one of the most prominent practitioners and publishers in the modern (gendai) English-language haiku scene. It’s great to see him taking such an innovative approach to haiku videopoetry here. Most haiku videos on YouTube and Vimeo are intensely conservative and boring, in my opinion, featuring little of the creative disjunction for which modern haiku is known.

In Darwin’s Dream by Matt Mullins

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A brand-new collaboration between two seasoned poetry-film pros, Spanish director Eduardo Yagüe and American writer Matt Mullins, who edits the mixed media section of Atticus Review. Although Matt’s own videopoems are often very effective, here he supplied just the text, voiceover and music, and Eduardo did the rest — the same division of labor as in their 2016 film The Hero is Light. The actress here is Rut Ayuso.

Daddy Dearest by Lissa Kiernan

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Marc Neys AKA Swoon‘s latest video for a poem by Lissa Kiernan incorporates footage by Grant Porter, Tim Williams and Mikeel Araña. Marc’s original composition features in the soundtrack alongside Lissa’s recitation.

Cathedral by Dave Richardson

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My brother lost his virginity behind the barn, he says, but he says a lot of things… sometimes we want to hold on to sanctuaries and cathedrals even as they crumble.

A new, text-on-screen videopoem by artist and writer Dave Richardson, each of whose poetry films so far has been something of a masterpiece. This one has special resonance for me, since I also grew up playing in an old barn with my brothers, and love old barns in general. Cathedral strikes me as a quiet but powerful ode to this most iconic embodiment of rural life.

What is a soul? by Luisa A. Igloria

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I recently returned to Pennsylvania after a summer in London, and on my way out of Newark, New Jersey, I shot a brief cellphone video through the dusty window of a Greyhound bus, capturing some remarkable murals on a wall beneath a train line. After I got home and recovered from jet-lag a bit, it occurred to me that the footage might make an interesting pairing with a short poem by Luisa A. Igloria, which she’d just posted to the literary blog we share, Via Negativa. Footage shot from car, bus and (especially) train windows is of course exceedingly common in videopoetry, but I’m hoping my use of moving text saves this instance of it from cliché. I liked the juddering racket of the bus, preserving it as-is in the soundtrack even after I slowed the clip down.

When a Wiggly-Monster Was My World by David Olimpio

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An animated poem with text and voiceover by David Olimpio and animation and direction by Efrat Dahan. It was made as part Moving Words, a project from the New Jersey-based organization ARTS By The People pairing American writers with animators from the Shenkar School of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv. The international premiere of the 2017 animations in Tel Aviv has already happened (August 11), but the US premiere is still up-coming on Sept. 9 at Drew University. (Reserve tickets.) Olimpio told me in an email:

What ABTP is trying to do with the “Moving Words” project is to not only make these stand-alone animation pieces, but also to integrate them with live performances. Here’s the video of me performing this piece live at the Animix Animation Festival in Tel Aviv, where this animation was one of many featured the day before.

Integrating multimedia with live readings is something poets don’t do nearly enough, in my view, and I’ve also long felt that there ought to be more efforts to get university film and animation students to collaborate with poets, so I was excited to learn about Moving Words. (I also really like their name, for some reason.)

Fucking Him by C.O. Moed and Adrian Garcia Gomez

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“Love and fucking may sometimes be the same. But not when it counts,” reads the synopsis for this 2015 poetry film directed jointly by Claire Olivia (C.O.) Moed and Adrian Garcia Gomez.

Last year, Fucking Him won Best Experimental Film at the Manhattan Independent Film Festival and Curator’s Choice for Best Sound/Music at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, was the Grand Prix Winner for Found Footage at the 2015 Interference Festival in Gdansk, and has been screened in a number of other festivals as well.

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