programs we love

February 15, 2018

As often happens, in searching for something else, we stumbled across this story, “Mount Vernon students turn poetry into film,” in the Skagit Valley Herald. Voices of the Children, a Mount Vernon, Washington, non-profit, offered a free filmmaking class to Mt. Vernon high school students in which they “translated poems written by those at the Skagit County Juvenile Detention Center into short films.”

This is just one of many collaborative projects VotC has launched, using journalism, poetry, photography, fine and performing arts, and film to build connection by promoting artistic expression and creative freedom. Many of their programs bridge the divide between local and international.

Learn more about Voices of the Children and watch for the student films screening at the Lincoln Theatre in Mt. Vernon in May 2018.

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more poetry on film

December 8, 2017

Here’s another one for the poetry on film file. The film Maya Dardel “depicts the final weeks leading to the ambiguous disappearance of Maya Dardel, an internationally respected poet and novelist, who lived until 2016 in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Dardel announces on National Public Radio that she intends to end her life and that young male writers may compete to become the executor of her estate. They are challenged intellectually, emotionally, and erotically, until one of them begins to fathom Maya’s end game.”

Read the reviews: The New York Times, IndieWire, and Salon.

poetry on film

October 11, 2017

In our ongoing pursuit of all things poetry-on-film, we somehow overlooked Bright Star, a 2009 film by Jane Campion. The story of John Keats and Fanny Brawne, the film was described as “beautiful, wistful” by Roger Ebert (thumbs up) and given 83% on the Tomatometer. Here’s the official trailer and here’s a review from the Academy of American Poets.

Thanks to Joanna Thomas for the tip.

poetry on film

October 3, 2017

One of The Poetry Department’s continuing interests is poetry on film and this looks like a gorgeous addition to the collection: Window Horses. An animated feature filled with poetry and stories, Window Horses is about Rosie Ming, a young Canadian poet who is invited to perform at a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran. The film is now screening at art houses and festivals worldwide. Visit the Window Horses website to watch the trailer and learn about the story, the characters, and the filmmakers. Like Window Horses on Facebook and watch for Window Horses coming to a theater near you.

Late-breaking note: Window Horses is one of 26 animated films nominated for an Academy Award. Read more. The awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018.

poetry film in the making

September 22, 2017

We’ve mentioned the poet Ella Higginson before, and we’ve certainly mentioned poetry on film on many occasions. Here’s a place where the twain shall meet: Just Like the Men.

Just Like the Men is a screenplay written by Ella Higginson in the era of silent film. In essence, it is a romantic comedy depicting the first woman (Frances C. Axtell) elected into legislative office in Washington State, in 1913, and her clever campaign manager.

The community-focused team of filmmakers and multimedia artists known as Talking to Crows has now picked up where Ella left off and is adapting Just Like the Men in the spirit in which it was written.

Read more about the “Ella” project on Talking to Crows, like Just Like the Men on Facebook, and, most important, pitch in a couple bucks to help this piece of Washington literary and political history make its way to the big screen by supporting Just Like the Men on Seed & Spark.

film poetry

September 4, 2017

In our ongoing effort to highlight the intersection of poetry and film, we note that Terrain.org is featuring three short films that blend poetry by Abeer Hoque, video by Josh Steinbauer, and music by Tom Asselin. The films accompany the release of Hoque’s new book, Olive Witch, a memoir about growing up across cultures in Nigeria, the States, and Bangladesh.

Please also note that the submission deadline for Terrain’s 8th Annual Contest in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry has been extended. TODAY, Monday, September 4, 2017, is the new deadline for contest entries. General, non-contest, submissions reopen tomorrow and continue through May 30, 2018.

watch this!

August 23, 2017

The Poetry Foundation has posted a lovely new series of short animated films for all ages. Motion Poems is a selection of contemporary poems retold from the filmmaker’s perspective, created in partnership with Motionpoems (previously mentioned here and here), an independent animation studio that brings poetry to life through film.

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