watching poetry

July 29, 2019

If you enjoy seeing and hearing poets, dip into the free online collection of the Library of Congress (note new logo!). The largest library in the world, the Library of Congress also hosts and records public events, which are now available for browsing and viewing.

Here, for example, is a search that includes 232 online event videos from the Poetry & Literature Center. When you’re done with those, try some other search terms. Enjoy.


going on now

July 16, 2019

If you happen to be in — or traveling to — Los Angeles, New York, or Moscow, between now and August 3, 2019, check out the goings-on at The Film and Video Poetry Symposium

over 30 international films and will screen in three cities: Moscow, Los Angeles, and New York City. In addition, the symposium will feature 9 guest speakers, educational workshops, poetry readings, and a gallery exhibit celebrating the work of 18 artists and poets. Our audience will experience poetry films, performing arts, videopoetry, experimental media, poetry readings, essay films, media installations, and films from the avant-garde.

The Symposium is a program of The Film and Video Poetry Society (FVPS), which encourages film and video poets to further their ongoing explorations by providing a platform for these artists to activate, collaborate, discuss, and maintain creative work developed through the convergence of these art forms.

See the complete Symposium schedule here.

Visible Poetry Project

April 30, 2019

National Poetry Month 2019 presents a third year of daily postings for the Visible Poetry Project, which brings together a collective of filmmakers to create a series of videos that present poems as short films. Meet the filmmakers and poets, read the poems, and watch the VPP films for April 2019.

film in 48 hours

March 20, 2019

We’ve mentioned Motionpoems here a number of times. “Motionpoems explores the space between poets and other artists to create hybrid artworks that connect with contemporary audiences in new ways.”

In keeping with that mission, Motionpoems is currently running a (very modest) Kickstarter campaign for Hothouse. The project matches four award-winning poets with four cutting-edge filmmakers and gives them 48 hours to produce a film.

The all-or-nothing campaign ends Wednesday, April 10, and the Hothouse films will be screened at the Loft Literary Center’s Wordplay Festival in Minneapolis on Sunday, May 12, 2019. Read all about it on Kickstarter.

more poetry on film

March 7, 2019

Here’s another entry in the poetry-on-film file: “Secrets,” currently in production, is a short film by Kathryn Roszak based on the poetry of Tomas Tranströmer. The film layers Tranströmer’s words with dance performed by members of Danse Lumière, and a trailer can be viewed here.

On a related note, “Österjöar” is a film by Eva Jonasson Wine and James Michael Wine that also features poetry by Tomas Tranströmer, read in Swedish, and filmed on location in the Stockholm archipelago. A trailer is here and a discussion of the film appears on Moving Poems Magazine.

poetry, film, and hockey

February 11, 2019

Because we are interested in the places where poetry and film intersect, here’s an addition to your watch-for list. “Goalie” is an independent film about hockey legend Terry Sawchuk, scheduled for release on March 1, 2019, in Vancouver and Toronto. Co-written by sisters Adriana Maggs and Jane Maggs and directed by Adriana Maggs, the film was inspired in large part by a book of poetry written by their father, Randall Maggs.

Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems (Brick Books, 2008; 10th Anniversary edition 2018) “follows the tragic trajectory of the life and work of Terry Sawchuk, dark driven genius of a goalie who survived twenty tough seasons in an era of inadequate upper-body equipment and no player representation.” You can hear Randall Maggs reading from the book on YouTube. Read the poems; watch for the film.

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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