I’ve in the Rain by Al Rempel

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A new poetry video from Erica Goss uses text by Canadian poet Al Rempel. She told us that

Al wrote the poem, and his friend Sandro Pecchiari translated it and recorded it in Italian. Al sent me Sandro’s recording and the poem in English. I asked for the Italian translation, and when I received it, I matched it to the English poem, line by line, to get the right pacing for the video.

Some of the images in the video are mine and some are from Pexels and Videezy. My son did the music.

Erica has been part of the international videopoetry community for the better part of a decade, first as author of a monthly column on the genre for Connotation Press, then working with Belgian filmmaker Marc Neys to make one of the most ambitious videopoetry series up to that time (2013-2014), Twelve Moons. In 2016 she began making poetry films herself, taking her time with each as her skills developed. I admire this cautious, deliberate approach because it’s so different from my own slap-dash, “git ‘er done” approach of turning out a huge volume of average-quality videopoems, hoping for the occasional gem.

This is I believe Erica’s first video collaboration with another poet. For Al Rempel, this marks a return to videopoetry after a series of collaborations with filmmaker Stephen St. Laurent from 2012 to 2016.

these days by Ian Gibbins

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I had the pleasure of watching this film by Australian videopoet and musician Ian Gibbins at the Big Poetry Weekend in Swindon, UK last fall. Prophecy never sounded so groovy.

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of videopoems with footage shot from cars, but this is the first time I’ve seen the driver credited (Judy Morris). A nice touch. And I like what Gibbins does visually to suggest the way our vision and possibly our very relationship to the landscape is warped by our love affair with the automobile. Of course it has to have a driving rhythm, as well.

Лялька / A Doll by Hanna Komar

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Click the CC icon for English subtitles.

A poetry video from Belarus, made collaboratively by the poet and performer, Hanna Komar, and photographer/artist Oleg Agafonov. Both are based in Minsk.

Hanna is the author of two poetry collections, Fear of Heights in Belarusian and a bilingual collection, Recycled, as well as a collection of Belarusian translations of Charles Bukowski. She writes in Belarusian and translates her texts into English. In addition to her YouTube channel, she also shares her work on Patreon.

Catarsis / Catharsis by Lilián Pallares

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A 2019 video from the ongoing creative partnership of Colombian poet Lilián Pallares and New Zealand filmmaker and poet Charles Olsen, who wrote:

This was made originally as a book trailer, to capture the essence of Lilián’s latest collection Bestial published in Zaragoza, Spain, by Papeles de Trasmoz, Olifante Editions, 2019. Her collection explores her Afro-Colombian roots and the death of her father. While writing the poems she was taking African dance classes in Madrid and we wanted to capture something of the African influence in this poetry film.

We live in a neighborhood of Madrid with a large migrant population, with people from Senegal, Guinea-Conakry, Morocco, Bangladesh, China, etc., and us (Colombia and New Zealand), and we decided to film this at night in streets with the dancer Marisa Cámara (Guinea-Conakry) and the poet and performer Artemisa Semedo (Galicia/Cape Verde). The music is ‘Zuru’ by the Colombian duo Mitú.

I include Catarsis in my Poesía sin fronteras program exploring translation, otherness, identity and death in cinepoetry from across the Americas, which by the way is available for public screening anywhere in the world — whenever such a thing becomes possible again. In the meantime, you can watch all the films here.

Here by Robert-Jonathan Koeyers

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Here is written and directed by Robert-Jonathon Koeyers, who describes it as:

an experimental visual poem combining video, photography, and animation to examine the lived Black experience and ultimately ask what it means to be ‘here’.

Additional animation was contributed by Lina Maldeikyte, Chellysia Christen, Mireille Kiesewetter, Sibel Vuap and Rebeka Mór.

Extensive artist notes on the piece are to be found at Koeyers’ website.

Lockdown by Simon Armitage

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A brilliant music video/videopoem hybrid directed by Daniel Broadley for a new single by LYR, adapting a poem by Simon Armitage, the current poet laureate of the U.K. and all-’round mensch. I love the involvement of people under lockdown and the incorporation of visual text—it gives the video a real populist feel, while simultaneously gesturing toward visual and concrete poetry. And as music I think the soundtrack succeeds in being both catchy and inventive.

There was a Guardian article about the collaboration between Armitage and the band, but it didn’t say anything about the video, so I’ll quote the YouTube description instead:

Lockdown is a new song by LYR, featuring Florence Pugh and Pete Wareham of Melt Yourself Down. The song is set to a poem by poet laureate Simon Armitage, written in response to the coronavirus restrictions. ‘Lockdown’ moves from the outbreak of bubonic plague in Eyam, Derbyshire in the 17th century – when a bale of cloth sent from London inadvertently brought fleas carrying the plague – to the poem Meghadūta by the Sanskrit poet Kālidāsa, which follows the legend in which an exile sends words of reassurance to his wife in the Himalayas via a passing cloud.

The song was recorded and filmed remotely at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceeds from the release will go to Refuge, a UK-based charity providing specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic abuse. The video was directed by Daniel Broadley. Filmed in Bristol in May during lockdown, he asked locals to partake in the project from a safe distance, resulting in a series of smile-inducing clips.

Daniel says:
“I’m constantly looking for positives within this negative period of our lives. This project allowed me to reach out to Bristol locals from all walks of life, people who are outside my circle whom I would normally not have the pleasure of meeting, let alone collaborating with. Even at a distance I felt a wonderful connection with these people who all poured their time and energy into bringing this piece of work to life.”

For each download sold in the UK or accounted to Mercury KX in the UK, Mercury KX will donate £0.50 to Refuge (Registered Charity number 277424). 150 paid or ad funded streams shall count as 1 download.

Download it here.

The Eyes Have Woods by Shanna Compton

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This author-made filmpoem adapts a text from Shanna Compton‘s new collection (Creature Sounds Fade), for which it serves as a trailer. Compton notes that although all readings and launch events have been canceled in response to the pandemic, the book is still scheduled for release by late summer or early fall, and is now available for preorder from Black Lawrence Press.

“The Eyes Have Woods” originally appeared in American Poetry Review.

Post updated 21 May to correct launch information.