The Rose Thief (excerpt) by Michael Bagwell

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A very professional, author-made poetry book trailer in the form of a videopoem. Bagwell is a graphic designer as well as a poet, and it shows. Here’s the description at Vimeo:

Constellations is an excerpt from the poem The Rose Thief, which is a part of the collaborative book Or Else They Are Trees with poetry by Michael Bagwell and artwork by Rebecca Miller. The book is new from El Aleph Press and is available for purchase at

Occasional China by Gaia Holmes

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Jessica Symons writes:

This a film of a poem, Occasional China first published in ‘Lifting the piano with one hand’ by Gaia Holmes (Comma Press, 2013)

I am a member of Bokeh Yeah, a filmmakers club in Manchester. We got together with Comma Press, publishers of poetry, and chose Gaia’s poem about a recent bereavement.

One autumn day we gathered in a local cemetery to film Pete Ramsay walking among the graves trying to come to terms with the death of his mother. It is a poignant poem which reminds us of the fragility of life, as well as the fear of the loss that death brings.

114 & Lenox, 4AM by Molly Murphy

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A Vimeo find. I don’t know anything more than this:

Director of Photography Jordan Chlapecka
Performed & Read by Molly Murphy

Shadows by Langston Hughes

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I suppose this is technically a music video rather than a videopoem, but it strikes me as much closer to the latter genre to the former — save for the fact that the poem takes the form of a very beautiful art song.

Composed by Lior Rosner
Soprano: Janai Brugger
Directed and After Effects by Tal Rosner
DoP: Adam Woodhall
Dancers: Cameron McMillan, Fiona Merz

About the project:
One of America’s greatest poets, Langston Hughes was a social activist and early innovator of jazz poetry. Hughes distilled the experience of his generation of African Americans into poems that sang in his clear and unapologetic voice. In “In Time of Silver Rain: Seven Poems by Langston Hughes,” composer Lior Rosner uses his music to liberate Hughes’ words from the boundaries of historical context. Rosner’s modern settings challenge us to consider the contemporary relevance of Hughes’ frank and often searing meditations on the universal themes of oppression, loss, frustration and love. While the emotions captured in these songs are indeed timeless, beneath the undeniable modernity of Rosner’s music, there are subtle harmonic nods to the jazz that provided the sonic backdrop for the Harlem Renaissance.

Born to Die by Zaher Mousa

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One poem, one cameraman, two films! Reel Festivals commissioned both Alastair Cook and Swoon (Marc Neys) to make films for a piece by the Iraqi poet Zaher Mousa, using footage shot in Iraq by American poet Ryan Van Winkle. Here’s how Alastair introduced his film (the first one above) on Vimeo:

Born to Die is a poem by Iraqi poet Zaher Mousa and is in his native Arabic. There are no subtitles, as I want you to hear to the emotion in this great poet’s voice. The English text of the poem is available on the Vimeo site if you click through. Born to Die was a commission from Reel Festivals and was shot in Iraq for Filmpoem by Ryan van Winkle. It is a pair with Swoon, with him making the English language counterpart translated by Lauren Pyott and read by Jen Hadfield; this is the second film we have paired, the first being Aan Het Water.

These films are part of a larger collaboration between Reel Festivals and Zaher Mousa. Check out Mousa’s essay, “Reel Festivals – Dialogue through Poetry.”

Pets by Vickie Vertiz

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A mash-up of public-domain footage from the Internet Archive by Kenji Liu.

Poet Vickie Vertiz reads the poem “Pets” from her book Swallows (Finishing Line Press, 2013), available at

Coelacanth by Charlotte Henson

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A new poetry film by Rachel Laine is always worth waiting for. This one features a poem and recitation by UK poet Charlotte Henson.