Sandra’s Constellation and the Black Hole in Conroe by Cindy St. Onge

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Portland, Oregon-based poet Cindy St. Onge‘s latest videopoem is an ambitious departure from her usual remixes. I’ll let her explain:

“Sandra’s Constellation…” is anchored by the poem I wrote after seeing Werner Herzog’s documentary, “Into the Abyss,” specifically, it’s my reaction to the crime scene footage. The poem is my attempt to process the artifacts of Sandra Stotler’s last moments before she was shot twice by Michael Perry, in juxtaposition to the gruesome aftermath of her murder (October, 2001).

The last stanza of the poem essentially describes the beginning of the crime scene tape, captured by Conroe law enforcement, as they walk into her home days after she’d been murdered, and her body discarded in a nearby lake. Thank you to my sister in law, Mary, who portrayed Sandra in this video.
You can read about the Herzog documentary here.

Hate for Sale by Neil Gaiman

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Buy my hate. You’ll come right back for more.
Hate for sale. Enough to start a war.
Hate the rich, the brown, the black, the poor.
Hate is clean. And hate will make you sure.

The Visible Poetry Project‘s final video for National Poetry Month was a real corker: a topical, satirical poem by the great Neil Gaiman recited by Peter Kenny in the soundtrack for a beautifully done stop-motion animation by Anna Eijsbouts.

Lament For Graham Parkinson by Karl Parkinson

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An intense, affecting videopoem from Irish poets Karl Parkinson (text, voiceover) and Dave Lordan (video), along with musicians Conor O’Connor, Claus Jensen and Charlotte Hamel from The King Mob. Parkinson wrote about the making of the videopoem for The Irish Times. The poem came first, arising from his grief at the death of his nephew Graham from cancer at the age of 21.

Graham was my sister Elaine’s only child, and he grew up living alongside me in the same flat in O’Devaney Gardens, on Dublin’s northside. With him being an only child, and me having no brothers, we formed a very special bond during his short life. After his death, I wanted, as a writer, to create something beautiful and lasting in his memory, and eventually wrote a long elegiac poem about his fight with cancer, and also my own grief for his passing.

He studied the canon, re-reading the great “poem[s] of elegy and mourning, especially from one male on the death of another male.” The resulting poem

was first broadcast on RTÉ’s Arena arts show, on the first anniversary of Graham’s death, and recently published in my collection Butterflies Of A Bad Summer (Salmon Poetry). But I felt that the best way to honour Graham’s memory was to make a video poem, to take it to a larger audience, particularly those in my own community, the Dublin council estates, and inner-city working class, where to be honest poetry books are not big sellers.

[…]

The video draws on new technology and on the history of avant-garde cinema/film, especially modernist experiments of the 1920s and ’30s. It’s a 16-minute long piece in which we tried to push the video-poem tradition at least a small bit in the way of serious artistic expression. We hoped to merge the old poetic tradition of elegy and lament with the new and very exciting medium of indie video art, now open to almost any artist in the western world, at a relatively small expense, compared to what it would have cost 20 years ago. I feel, and hope, that we have done justice to Graham’s life, struggle and memory with something that may have a lasting appeal for others that have been affected by cancer, or any other life-stealing disease, or by the loss of someone young and dear to them.

Night Court by Erica Goss

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A new author-made poetry film from Erica Goss, who notes on Vimeo that

This is the first video poem from my poetry collection of the same name. Night Court is the winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award from Glass Lyre Press. I will making more videos in the coming months.

I filmed, recorded and edited the video over a two-week period. I filmed the moon shots, beach and pier scenes, and the memorial wall a couple of years ago while on vacation in Aptos, CA. The rest of the footage I took at my home in Los Gatos, including the special appearance by Nick the cat.

Goss has been such a fixture on the videopoetry scene, first with her column in Connotation Press and then with her leadership of Media Poetry Studio and the 12 Moons series she collaborated on with Marc Neys and Kathy McTavish, it’s hard to believe that this is only her second author-made videopoem. Though given her evident perfectionism, perhaps it isn’t such a surprise after all. I’ll be looking forward to the sequels.

How It Starts by Patricia Killelea

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You should know by now there’s no such thing
as clickbait: only the fear of not knowing
where the blood is coming from next & the quiet
just before the stars
are torn out from under you.

This author-made videopoem by Patricia Killelea is featured in the latest issue of Poetry Film Live, including the text, a few stills, a bio, and some very interesting process notes, which conclude:

In my view, videopoems are multi-sensorial, but instead of merely “fleshing out” the words of the poem itself, the kinesthetic experience of a videopoem can create a space of encounter with language that more closely resembles the actual groping towards meaning and understanding that goes on in our minds on a day to day basis. This groping is always both within and beyond language, and these new poetic forms make that process more transparent even as they seek to complicate it.

Go read the rest.

THESAURUS dot COM by Kassy Lee

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Narrative poetry film done right: Kassy Lee‘s quiet, devastating poem, which originally appeared in Apogee Journal, has been turned into a film by Michelle Cheripka for the Visible Poetry Project.

Fragments by Nataly Menjivar

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A short animated poem by Los Angeles-based designer, illustrator and animator Nataly Menjivar, who calls it “A motion poem about loss and disassociation.” Menjivar’s text is voiced by Kailey Stephen-Lane, and the music is by William Basinski.

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