Posts Tagged: The Poetry Storehouse

Death Meditation by A.M. Thompson

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This is the second of two films by Marie Craven using Poetry Storehouse poems by A.M. Thompson. (I also liked the first, Unavoidable Alchemy, but felt that it ended too abruptly.) Here she has used footage by Mollie Mills, guitar music by Josh Woodward and a voiceover by Nic Sebastian to create a surprisingly upbeat video remix. I’ll let viewers decide whether it succeeds, but I salute its boldness as an experiment in confounding expectations. (Read the text.)

Facing the Wall by Laura M Kaminski

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A Swoon film from five months ago that I somehow forgot to share until now. Laura M Kaminski‘s text (from The Poetry Storehouse) is meditative enough to make the slow revealing of lines work here. You’ll probably need to watch the video in HD in order to read them all, though. The poem appears in Kaminski’s 2014 collection last penny the sun (which I happen to own, and recommend highly).

Swoon (Marc Neys) shared some process notes on his blog, as he usually does. Here’s an excerpt:

This poem felt perfect for another film composition (rather than an audible videopoem), so I started with constructing a (longer) soundscape;

[listen on SoundCloud]

During my trip to Bristol I filmed some close ups and details of walls. Footage that fitted perfectly together with other recently filmed images. A search through IICADOM and Videoblocks completed the collection process.
After that came the fun part. Combining lines from the poem with the suitable footage, trying out different fonts and sizes for the text on screen, placement of words… It’s a puzzling way of editing.
I’m not only editing film anymore, I’m carefully trying to blend sound, image and text in one edit. It feels more like composing. It makes me rethink the way I worked (and still work) with audible videopoems.

Reading Arabic by Amy Miller

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A Moving Poems production. I uploaded this to Vimeo five months ago but never got around to sharing it here, side-tracked by my trip to Berlin for the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival a week later. And then when two of Amy Miller’s poems got made into such superlative films by Lori Ersolmaz (“Backward Like a Ghost“) and Eduardo Yagüe (“I Was Grass“), I sort of forgot about my own, more primitive effort. But I was reminded of it again by the rising tide of anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia around the world. This videopoem with its hopefully not too obvious calligraphic touches was meant as a gesture of deep respect to the aural and visual qualities of a great literary civilization.

The text is from the Poetry Storehouse and was first published in Faultline. I used some Creative Commons-licensed footage from Equiloud (Uwe Schweer-Lambers), rearranged and turned black-and-white—the colors of ink and paper. I thought Miller’s understated reading from the MP3 file at the Storehouse could carry the video without any additional sounds, especially since the poem’s all about reading. Like the insects in Equiloud’s macro shots, literate human beings are thoroughly absorbed and enmeshed in the warp of text. (In Latin, text means “woven.”)

The writer, editor and videopoet Dustin Luke Nelson also tried his hand at a remix of Miller’s text. He took a very different approach:

It’s fascinating how much variation there can be in how we see or hear a given text.

The Society for the Prevention of Something by Dale Wisely

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Dale Wisely has acknowledged the Belgian filmmaker Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon as one of the major influences on his recent foray into videopoetry. Here Swoon returns the favor with a video remix of one of Wisely’s poems from The Poetry Storehouse. He shared some process notes on his blog.

I found this poem perfect for a ‘filmcomposition with txt on screen’ type of video.
First  I made a re-edit of a track I made earlier to give me a nice timeframe and a ‘mood’ to work with.
For some reason I wanted animals (crawling, floating, …)  in this video. Browsing different footage providers gave a good collection of jellyfish, crows, a worm, insects,…

I combined these with shots of nature, agriculture, hunting (all very moody) and tried out what lines from the poem worked best with what image. I still think it’s a fun way of ‘composing’ a videopoem.

For Zachary by Mary Jo Balistreri

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A black-and-white film by Marc Neys AKA Swoon for a poem by Mary Jo Balistreri in The Poetry Storehouse. Marc posted some process notes to his blog:

A very beautiful poem. Heartfelt.
Nic Sebastian did a poignant reading that led to this track;

[listen on SoundCloud]

The visuals for this one are a combination of footage I shot during a hiking weekend last december (moody shots of trees, reflections, shadows…) alternated with the repetition of a boy falling (carefully edited out from a very lively action video by Justin Kauffman (under the Attribution license CC BY 3.0)

I think the ‘endless’ falling of the boy works well with the rest of the footage. Creating the right atmosphere for the poem and the soundtrack. There’s some comfort in this one I think.

A reminder, for any poets who might be reading this: the deadline for submissions to The Poetry Storehouse is coming up on February 28. After that it will transition to archive mode, adding new remixes (including videos) only up through September.

Lilies of the Field by Laura M Kaminski

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Australian artist Marie Craven‘s video remix of a poem from The Poetry Storehouse by Missouri-based poet Laura M Kaminski. Craven recently blogged some process notes on three films she’s made with Kaminski’s poems, including this one:

I met Laura on social media after the first video, and our mutual membership of the Pool creative group put us in more contact after that. I sent her a message about making something new with her writing, and asked if she would be interested in responding in poetry to four pieces of royalty-free video footage I had found at VideoBlocks. She was interested in a continued collaboration and willing to write a new poem. But her first response to the images I sent was that they reminded her of a poem she had already written, ‘Lilies of the Field’. I loved the poem, agreed there was a fit, and so went to work. I decided text on screen might be the way to go for this video. To that end, I rearranged the line breaks in the poem to better suit the screen, which Laura welcomed in the final result. In response to the poem, I also found additional video images to go with the original ones I had sent Laura. One of these – the road at night shot – is by videographer, Gene Cornelius in Alaska, whose fantastic videography is featured in some of my previous videopoems. The music in the video is Slow Blizzard by Clutter (aka Shaun Blezard in Cumbria, UK). Shaun and I have been in online contact on and off for several years and this is a track I’ve loved since I first heard it in about 2010. Once the video was completed, I contacted Nic Sebastian at The Poetry Storehouse to ask if she might be interested in publishing the poem and video at the site. They are both now there.

Dictionary Illustrations by Sarah Sloat

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Sarah Sloat is an American poet who works as journalist in Germany, and whose poems appear widely in print and online journals—including at The Poetry Storehouse, where Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon found the text for this film. As he notes in a recent blog post, it’s the first in a series of at least five films based on Poetry Storehouse poems that he has in the works.

I really loved the poem (the visuals) and the reading (so good) by DM.
Making a track for this reading was fun;
[listen on SoundCloud]
Broken rhythms crashing in a fleeting piano. Not much more was needed for this.
For the visuals I wanted to go back to my childhood.
As a kid I loved hanging ’round the local market. The colours, the noise, the shouting, the smell,…
I thought it might be a good idea to match this poem/soundtrack with images and footage from IICADOM.

Combining images from different market places with shots from local animals filmed at several travels. It gives the video the right amount of colour and naïve amazement I was looking for.

A reminder, for any poets who might be reading this: the deadline for submissions to The Poetry Storehouse is coming up on February 28. After that it will transition to archive mode, adding new remixes (including videos) only up through September.

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