Broken Lines by Marc Zegans

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Oakland-based video poet Jenn Vee makes a poem by Marc Zegans her own in this charming mash-up of poetry film and vlog. It’s the first of four films based on Zegans’ work that I’ll be featuring this week. The poem appeared in his 2015 collection The Underwater Typewriter.

Read my interview with Zegans in Moving Poems Magazine.

Reflections on La Scapigliata by Lois P. Jones

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Los Angeles-based poet Lois P. Jones supplies the text and part of the voiceover (along with Katia Viscogliosi) in this wonderful new poetry film by Jutta Pryor. It’s the April 5 installment in the Visible Poetry Project‘s release of 30 poetry films in 30 days, which anyone with an interest in poetry film or videopoetry should be following, either on Vimeo or at the website, which includes much more information about the poets and filmmakers (but sadly shoehorns all the videos from each year into a single post, making subscription impossible and download times formidable for those of us with DSL connections).

Canoe by Kate Marshall Flaherty

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Mark Korven directs this adaptation of a poem by Kate Marshall Flaherty, one of a series of three such films supported by a grant program associated with the Georgian Bay Land Trust,

integrating [Flaherty’s] performance poetry with the original music of award-winning composer and film-maker Mark Korven […] Set against the memorable backdrop of Georgian Bay landscapes, these films will highlight the jack pines and quartz rocks of the shorelines, striving to capture in word, sound and image the unique character of this region.

Watch all three films on Korven’s Vimeo page.

The Center by Annelyse Gelman

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A simple but powerful videopoem by Annelyse Gelman, from TriQuarterly 155. Here’s how editor Sarah Minor introduces it:

Our second video, “The Center” by Annelyse Gelman has us eyeing the eerie potential for non-human entities to replicate or replace human jobs, relationships, and even literature. Like examples of video art that pushed the limits of early green screen technology, “The Center” repurposes face swap and text-to-voice in a savvy, uncanny pairing of poetry and digital media that brings out the specific resonances of the text. Gelman’s project nods to animal experiments involving cages with electrified flooring, centers and peripheries that implicate and confront the viewer: “Are you thinking about your own heartbeat?”

Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods by Tishani Doshi

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Indian poet and fiction writer Tishani Doshi dances the title poem from her third collection in this film by Gareth M Davies. The music was composed by Luca Nardon.

I’ve featured a lot of unique dance poetry videos here over the years, but this is certainly one of the most powerful — perhaps because the poet herself is the dancer and choreographer. This doesn’t feel like an interpretation of the poem so much as the poem itself in a different form.

St. Umbilicus by Cindy St. Onge

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Portland, Oregon-based poet Cindy St. Onge is no stranger to Moving Poems, but mostly as the maker of her own videos. This one’s the work of Australian filmmaker Marie Craven, herself a Moving Poems regular, and I love the way she both literalized and extended the poem at the same time. She posted some process notes on her blog last May which are worth quoting in full:

‘St. Umbilicus’ is from a poem by Cindy St. Onge, and is one of my shorter video pieces. As well as a poet, Cindy is a maker of videopoems I admire. She also gave her voice to the soundtrack of this video. This is the second video I’ve made from Cindy’s poetry. The first was ‘Double Life‘. The collaboration was closer on ‘St. Umbilicus’ and grew out of personal chats we had recently on Facebook and via email. These led to me expressing an interest in collaborating further, to which Cindy agreed. The poem is about the navel and its bodily reminder of our connection to our mother. To express this, I chose a very close, still image of a navel to be a ‘frame’ for a series of central images featuring mothers and children. The still image, which rotates slightly throughout the piece, was found on creative commons licence at Flickr. The artist is Linnéa Sjögren. The moving images contained within it are from ‘Scenes at the Beach Club‘, a 1927 home movie from the Prelinger Archives. I selected historic images here to emphasise the timelessness of the theme. Music is by Chris Zabriskie, his ‘Prelude No. 12’ from the ‘Preludes’ album.

Semechki (Семечки) by Eta Dahlia

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Be sure to click the CC icon for English subtitles.

A fascinating collaboration between Russian poet and filmmaker Eta Dahlia and UK poet and artist Iris Colomb. It grew out of a residency at the Center for Recent Drawing, one of “a series of experimental translations of Eta Dahlia’s minimalist Russian poems into gestural drawings,” Colomb writes, which were

entirely process-led. I made use of my limited knowledge of Russian, allowing me to experience the poems phonetically without semantic bias. Translating the poems’ sounds into gestures became the basis of my systemic approach.

I listened to each poem repeatedly for an hour, interpreting each sound as a separate movement tracing a line. Throughout this process my repetitive gestural sequences produced an increasingly intricate network of lines, generating a tightly layered shape. My movements evolved with each iteration, the drawing itself exposing their range.

The resulting compositions became complex maps of my changing perception; areas and textures displaying different levels of conviction and doubt, making these drawings both translations and documents of performance.

The video was featured in 3:AM Magazine last September as part of their Duos series.