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.

Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

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This is To The Marriage Of True Minds, a 2010 narrative short about Iraqi asylum seekers in the UK directed by Andrew Steggall. Producer Sunny Midha describes it on Vimeo as an Arabic adaptation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116. William El Gardi and Amir Boutrous are the two main actors; full credits are on the Motion Group Pictures website.

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.

1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim by Anida Yoeu Ali

Made seven years ago, this collaboration between Cambodian-American performance artist and poet Anida Yoeu Ali and Japanese-American filmmaker Masahiro Sugano is, sadly, more relevant than ever, with hate crimes against Muslims (and those erroneously assumed to be Muslim) escalating in the U.S. under an administration that has embraced a white Christian supremacist ideology. This was the Film of the Month for January at Poetryfilmkanal. See the 1700% Project website for much more information about the film, including bios of the collaborators and the text of the poem, a cento based on hate crimes committed shortly after 9/11. The video description reads:

In this video, narratives collide with music, poetry and politics to create a complex and layered experience. A poet, dancer, angel, prisoner converge with members of the Muslim community to speak, deflect, and intervene against racial profiling and hate crimes. This convergence exemplifies a spirit of defiance and resistance from communities of people who refuse to end in violence.

This spoken word video is a collaboration between artist Anida Yoeu Ali and filmmaker Masahiro Sugano with over 50 diverse volunteers, participants and community members in the Chicagoland area. It is part of an ongoing project that engages art as a form of intervention against the racial profiling of Muslims in a post 9/11 era. The larger project titled “The 1700% Project” uses a multi-faceted artistic approach to educate the wider public about the diversity within the Muslim community. The number 1700% refers to the exponential percentage increase of hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims and those perceived to be Arab or Muslim since the events of September 11, 2001.

As the article in Poetryfilmkanal notes, the lack of didacticism makes this film more powerful and provocative than most political poetry. Ali says in her artist’s statement:

The project acknowledges that politically driven works are complex and layered thus often requiring a multitude of ways for expression and encounter. … My work continues to investigate the residual stain of performance and how the live body completes the experience for both audience and performer. Performing narratives is an act of social storytelling that contributes to collective healing. For me, performance and storytelling become ways of bridging the interior and exterior space of self as well as initiate critical dialogues between communities and institutions.

Offering by Paul Perry

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This new videopoem by Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon with a text and reading by Irish poet Paul Perry appears in the inaugural issue of Poetry Film Live, whose editors note:

Marc is a composer/video artist from Belgium and is one of the leading and most prolific figures in modern videopoetry. That makes it a particular privilege that Offering was made for the launch of this site.

Click through for the text of the poem. This is the second third Swoon film based on a Paul Perry poem, following Drift (2012) and River of Light (2103).

Clouds by Lucy English

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This recent addition to the Book of Hours project is

A poetryfilm by Jutta Pryor (Aust) with the words of Lucy English (UK) and soundscape created for ‘CLOUDS’ by

Bruno Gussoni: Flute, Alto Flute, Tibetan Bells (Italy)
Claudio Ferrari: Electronics (Italy)
Iao Aea: Fretless Electric Bass (Italy)

Click through for the text for the poem.