Things I Carry Into the World by Cynthia Manick

This unusual and ambitious poetry film, created for the seventh season of Motionpoems by directors Jamil McGinnis and Pat Heywood, includes words from five different NYC poets, as Heywood explained in an email (links added):

The film is an adaptation of the poem ‘Things I Carry Into the World’ by Cynthia Manick. It’s an abstract meditation on the body, the feminine, the everyday realities of being young and black, and the fragility between the manmade and the natural. We worked with an incredible nonprofit, Urban Word NYC, who teamed us up with four poets: Esther Aloba, Nkosi Nkululeko, Makayla Posely, and Trace DePass, the scenes featuring them are actually adaptations of their own poems, heard briefly in the opening scene. We ended up with moments from four separate films, crafted under the umbrella of Cynthia Manick’s original poem. We found adapting poetry into film to be creatively liberating. Sort of like putting together a thematic puzzle; juxtaposing images, observing, asking questions, and finding moments of meditation to digest the poem’s text. We had our theater premiere at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis on October 27 and our online premiere on NOWNESS on November 6.

The poems excerpted at the beginning are “untitled” by Makayla Posely, “Rule #1” by Esther Aloba, “band-aids & other temporary healings” by Trace DePass, and “From the Inside” by Nkosi Nkululeko. See Vimeo for the complete credits.

Goddank / Thank heavens by Max Temmerman

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A day late for American Thanksgiving (I was busy hanging with the fam), here’s a Judith Dekker film of a poem by Flemish poet Max Temmerman, with Willem Groenewegen’s English translation in subtitling (and also in the Vimeo description). Dekker notes:

Max Temmerman’s poems and my images are related in a way. They both show the small movements, moments, objects and try to slow down around them. All the images for this one are shot in a time i had to say goodbye to one home to move to another. They are glimpses from both homes. The soundtrack is made by multi-instrumentalist Jon Birdsong.

Click through to Vimeo to read the rest.

Ted by Jon Constantinou

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker: ,

This author-made filmpoem by British filmmaker Jon Constantinou, co-directed by Jake Balfour-Lynn with actor Rick Stupple, was my favorite finalist from this year’s Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, where it won Best Sound/Music. Michele Caruso was the sound designer. As Rabbit Heart organizer Sou MacMillan noted at Moving Poems Magazine, “You could hear every crackle of the fire, the scrape of the blade against whetstone, and grind of pencils being sharpened, all under a gentle and moving score.” For my part, I thought it was a great example of a film-poetic whole that’s much more than the sum of its parts.

Known Unto God by Bill Manhire

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

British animator Suzie Hannah teamed up with New Zealand’s poet laureate Bill Manhire for this poetry film, part of the Fierce Light series co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Writers Centre Norwich. It was “Voiced by Stella Duffy, with Sound Design by Phil Archer,” says the description on Hannah’s website, which continues:

Mud and and pigment animation interpreting Bill Manhire’s poem about tragic death of youths in WW1, comprised of 14 short epitaphs for unknown NZ soldiers killed at the Somme, and for unnamed refugees drowning as they flee from wars now, 100 years later.

The film has been selected for screening at the following: 14th London Short Film Festival 2017, Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016, O Bhéal Poetry Film Festival 2016, Zebra Poetry Film Festival 2016, Interfilm 32nd International Short Film Festival Berlin 2016

“Known Unto God writes the epitaphs to the lost of our world: those fallen soldiers of the Somme whose bodies were never found; those refugees of today who drown seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Bill Manhire and Suzie Hanna have created a bold and powerful memorial to the voiceless, and a reminder that WW1 was a conflict that shook the entire world, and that our lives have grown ever more interconnected since. ” Sam Ruddock, Writers Centre Norwich

Od’e Miikan / Heart Line (Moose version) by Heid E. Erdrich

The latest videopoem collaboration between Heid E. Erdrich (poetry, voiceover), Jonathan Thunder (animation), and Trevino Brings Plenty (music)

arose out of Erdrich’s vision and understanding of Ojibwe/Anishinaabe star knowledge as told to her by elders and in the Ojibwe Star Map.nativeskywatchers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/NSW_OjibweNorth.pdf
In Ojibwe cosmology, the figure seen hunting corresponds to the constellation known to others as Scorpio. Mooz corresponds to the constellation known to others as Pegasus. The Wolf Trail or Ma’iingn Miikan is the motion of the stars across the year, also known as the ecliptic.

This poemo exists in two forms, one with Heid’s voice auto tuned to wolf sounds and one with Heid’s voice auto tuned to moose sounds. You can here composer Trevino Brings Plenty talking about the process here: youtube.com/watch?v=mwIo5THOPNA

This poem film was created to align with the large, interactive animated creatures Wolf and Moose, the Creative City Challenge 2016 Winner that was directed by artist Christopher Lutter with collaborative partners Heid E. Erdrich, Kim Ford, Karl Stroerzinger, Coal Dorius, and Missy Adzick.

Gloed / Glow by Bart Moeyaert

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A text by the Flemish poet Bart Moeyaert in a filmpoem by Dutch photographer and filmmaker Judith Dekker. Commissioned by the library of Genk, Belgium, it was screened at this year’s ZEBRA festival as part of their focus on Dutch and Flemish poetry films. Moeyart supplies the reading used in the soundtrack, and the English translation in titling (also included in the description at Vimeo) is by Astrid Alben.

What Leslie Meant to Say by Cindy St. Onge

Poet: | Nationality: | Filmmaker:

A brief, author-made videopoem by Cindy St. Onge, responding to a voicemail which she’s included at the beginning of the video. This is the the sort of simple, straight-forward video remix that, to my mind, any working poet these days should learn how to make as a matter of course, because sometimes a poem needs to be more than just words on a page. As St. Onge noted on Vimeo:

The video, not the poem, is my response to the much-too-chipper voicemail notifying me that my best friend’s ashes are ready to retrieve. The title gave me the idea for the video, so I changed the first person confessional poem to second person, and achieved a bit of satisfaction.