and more poetry on film

February 5, 2019

Known as “The People’s Poet,” Milton Acorn was born and died on Prince Edward Island. But in the years between, he meandered across Canada, earned the Governor General’s Literary Award, and published at least 13 books (five more collections were published posthumously).

In The Northern Red Oak, poems for and about Acorn, published a year after his death, poet Gwendolyn MacEwen wrote, “You could go for years without seeing him, and yet he’ll always be there somehow, a great craggy presence at the back of your mind, a gnarled tree in silhouette on the horizon.”

In Love and Anger,” an hour-long documentary directed and produced by Kent Martin, meanders along with Acorn as he tells his story and recites his poems.

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season’s streaming

December 27, 2018

Looking for something to do between celebrations? Check out this selection of 18 Literary Documentaries to Stream Over the Holidays in BookRiot.

more poetry on film

August 14, 2015

Emily Dickinson

As long as we’re on the subject of poetry on film, here’s more (times two). In 2015, Liverpool-based Hurricane Films began production on a feature film called A Quiet Passion, directed by Terence Davies. The film stars Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson (Jennifer Ehle and Keith Carradine are also in the cast) and it will be completed in 2016.

But, “While working on the set of A Quiet Passion and feeling inspired by Dickinson’s life and words, our entire team at Hurricane Films felt it was essential to dig even deeper into the life and times of one of the world’s greatest poets. We decided to make a documentary.”

A “companion piece” to A Quiet Passion, PHOSPHORESCENCE “will endeavor to reflect qualities inspired by its subject, Emily Dickinson — deft words, passionate beliefs, searing individuality and a great story well told. The film has the support of the Emily Dickinson Museum and will be completed in mid 2016.”

Hurricane Films has launched a Kickstarter to fund the documentary, with lots of great swag for backers. Check out Phosphorescence on Kickstarter.

poetry on film

August 13, 2015

Derek Walcott

Here’s a documentary film to put on your watch-for list: Poetry is an Island. Directed by Ida Does, the film is an intimate portrait of Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott. The filmmakers visit Walcott’s “art studio, his childhood home, and his current residence in St. Lucia. It also includes exclusive archive material from the Nobel Prize Festivities in 1992. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this film is about Walcott’s poetry.”

The film world-premiered at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival in 2013 and continues to make the rounds of festivals worldwide. It will screen on September 18, 2015, at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts in Frederiksted, St. Croix. The film has won a number of awards, including Best Feature Documentary Feature at the Honolulu Film Awards.

More on the Poetry is an Island website and Facebook page. You can read a number of Walcott’s poems on the Academy of American Poets website and an interview with Derek Walcott by Edward Hirsch in the Paris Review.

Deaf Jam, the movie

September 21, 2011

Deaf JamMark your calendar: Thursday, October 27, 2011, 5:30pm, for the free screening of “Deaf Jam” as part of Doctober at the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham. Poetry meets American Sign Language as the documentary follows Aneta Brodski, a deaf teen living in New York City, preparing to be one of the first deaf poets to compete in a youth slam.

Learn more and watch clips at the Deaf Jam website.

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