The Country by Billy Collins

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Another in the popular series of animated Billy Collins poems produced by JWT-NY. This one’s by Brady Baltezore. Purely as a cartoon, I think it might be the most satisfying of the lot.

For Poetry, this by Tony Curtis

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Irish poet Tony Curtis reads his poem about the death of Delmore Schwartz in this animation by Tim Phelan.

Song to Belong by Nathan Jones

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An innovative video by the Liverpool-based arts collective Mercy for a poem by their creative director, Nathan Jones.

Shiver & You Have Weather by Matthea Harvey

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A piece by Matthea Harvey, delightfully illustrated by Joseph Kraemer for the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Everywhere series.

The Genius of the Crowd by Charles Bukowski

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I’m not a big Charles Bukowski fan, but this is a well-done animation and deserves to be included. It was evidently a collaborative effort: Stefano Internullo, Lorenzo Miglietta, Emanuele Roccucci, Enrico Tanno, and Giacomo Tessitore are the names given in the credits, and they are all evidently from a Rome- and London-based design firm called Digital Bathroom. About this film, they say:

The concept was to make the same feeling of dirt, disullusione and inevitability of events in a short film. The pencil was chosen to give an intimate tone in the project.The video was made in a week, from concept to dvd, and the illustrations have this inherent urgency that makes the tract nervous.

The Long Street by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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Paul May says, “A little super8 movie I shot in college. It’s based on the Ferlinghetti poem The Long Street.” The poem appeared in A Coney Island of the Mind, and may be read via Google Books here.

Bombing of poems, Warsaw 2009

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You never know what’s going to turn up on Vimeo. The instigators behind this event were a collective of Chilean poets called Casagrande. They explain,

We chose Warsaw due to its literary tradition and importance during relevant events in the XX century. It is the land of brilliant philosophers, musicians and poets. For the latter we consider it an important moment to claim the role of written word in life and human history. This year the city commemorates the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII and the 65th anniversary of Warsaw Uprising. We recognise the unquestionable and universal importance of these historical experiences, still formative of the inhabitants of Warsaw as well as for the identity of Europeans in general.

According to an article in a Chilean newspaper, the group, which consists of poets Julio Carrasco, José Joaquín Prieto and Cristóbal Bianchi, began its poem-bombing campaigns back in 2001, with an event designed to commemorate the 1973 Chilean coup. The 100,000 leaflets dropped over Warsaw included the works of 40 contemporary Polish poets and 40 contemporary Chilean poets translated into Polish. Carrasco assured the newspaper that they were not littering: based on his experience with previous poem-drops, he said that within five minutes after it was over, not a single poem would remain on the street.

There was also a public, bilingual poetry reading in Warsaw two days in advance of what I am beginning to think of as P-day.