How to Be Alone – Video Poem by Tanya Davis

As you know, I love a great poem joined together with a great video.

I recently came across this amazing piece by poet Tanya Davis on YouTube (with over 1.5 MILLION views as of this writing). Her poem pairs perfectly with the style and eye of film maker Andrea Dorfman.

It’s an instructional video that teaches us how to be comfortable in solitude. Not only that, but how to really go out of your way to really embrace it.

As as self-realized introvert, this video makes me all warm and fuzzy inside and pulls a gentle smile to the corners of my mouth. Tanya’s words really speak from a soul who has come to terms aloneness. Though it isn’t clear if she has struggled with it at some point or has always just embraced it.

What do you think?

Lunch Poem – Video

Here’s a nice poem put to video. I like how the video creator, Andrew Kamp, let the sounds bleed through to Tracy K. Smith’s poem so that both became part of the other. Some poetry videos tend to be words laid on top of video with no real interaction.

Well done.

Suitable Poetry – Fry and Laurie

A humorous sketch from the BBC comedy “A Bit of Fry and Laurie“, which I never heard of until Simon from Slam Idol interviewed Stephen Fry a few years ago about his book “The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
” (aff). I still need to purchase that. American fans may recognize Hugh Laurie from his role in the current television show “House“.


Kate Tempest – End Times

There are some spoken word artists who absolutely stun you with their performance. Kate Tempest is one on those artists.

Her presence is pure emotion when she is on stage and her words pierce your soul and intertwine with your emotions as she speaks. Amazing.

Listen to her poem “End Times” in this video and tell me what you think.

I found this video over at Viral Verse –another great site for quality poetry videos. Be sure to stop by, check out their videos, and subscribe!

Despite Death Threats, Poet Hissa Hilal Speaks for the Silent

Saudi Arabian poet Hissa Hilal recently took part in a poetry competition for an Abu Dhabi TV show called “Million’s Poet“. The name comes from the fact that the top poet receives a one million dollar prize. I could go into a five paragraph post on that alone, and perhaps I will eventually, but the most remarkable part of this story is that she performed at all.

Hissa received death threats as the result of her appearances on the show and for the words she spoke. She didn’t just speak poems of love and nature, but she chose the opportunity to speak about issues of women’s equality in a region where the phrase is scoffed at and demeaned. Her courage in this competition earned her and the women of the region more than that one million dollars could have ever purchased.

Every time we speak out what we as poets believe, we speak for those who have the same thoughts and words, but don’t have the means to share them. We have our open mics, blogs, podcasts, books, and magazines to speak truth as we know it. We have the opportunity to reach more people than some will ever reach in their entire lives.

Embrace that, poet.

Here’s a video from ABC Nightly News where Hissa Hilal is featured as the Person of the Week. I hope it inspires you.

Here’s an article from ABC as well, in case the video is regionalized by ABC: Person of the Week: Poet Hissa Hilal

Moving Poems – A Great Web Site for Good Poetry Videos

I recently wrote a post about the lack of good video poetry available to viewers and how we sometimes have to search through multiple videos before we actually find a good one.  Well, poet Dave Bonta of Moving Poems has done most of the hard work for you.

Moving Poems scours the web for great examples of poetry put to video and video worked around poetry. Dave decided to start the site “in part to learn how to make better video poetry”.

What I like best about the site is that he doesn’t just post the video, but he gives good insight on why he likes it and even interesting tidbits about the video.

A good example is the information he provided about a couple of Walt Whitman poems that were recently featured in televised advertisements here in the states. I had seen the Levis commercial featuring “Pioneers! O Pioneers”, but wasn’t aware of all the discussion taking place about it on the web and media. I definitely recommend taking a look at the full article.

Here is the Levis ad that was mentioned:

Let me know if you come across a good video that you think others here would enjoy. I’d love to share it!

Let me know in the comments or via Twitter!

Blackout Poet – Video

I came across this video while doing one of my periodic searches for poetry on Twitter. Poet Austin Kleon came up with a creative way to pen poetry.

He takes an article from a newspaper, looks for key words that inspire him, then blacks out all the rest. It’s a different take on those magnetic poetry or refrigerator poetry kits you can by online, but it is a cool idea none the less. He’s also releasing a book of poetry based on his creations. Check out this video report:

I could see this as a great exercise to try when you think you are running into a creative brick wall.  The words are already written for you. You just have to get rid of the unnecessary ones.

"AmeriKa" by RaD aka Ryanaustin Dennis – Video

I love a good poetry or spoken word video.  You have to search through so much to find a real gem.  Let me be clear, there are thousands of great poems being recorded to video out there, but very few great poems with great video.

I present to you today, a decent poem being performed on great video.  AmeriKa by RaD (aka Ryanaustin Dennis) is a typical angry-at-America poem shot beautifully and artistically by Christopher George for his Senior Graphic Design Thesis.

I’m hoping to see more poets team up with video artists to create the visual art we need.

*Caution: the following video contains strong language and visuals that my be offensive to some*

What are your thoughts on the current state and future of video poetry?

Share them in the comments.

Video – Team Santa Fe – Brave New Voices 2008

Team Santa Fe, New Mexico. The only all Native American team at the Brave New Voices 2008 International Youth Poetry Slam gives their introduction. The crowd loves it!

Brave New Voices 2008 – Team Santa Fe from Will Brown on Vimeo.

Here’s a great article in the NY Times about the team and their mission:
Young American Indians Find Their Voice In Poetry

The crowd was really supportive of the team and they deserved it. They gave one of the tightest performances of the afternoon as opposed to some teams who seemed to be holding back their best for the competition.

The HBO crew seemed to be giving this team a lot of attention, so you’ll be sure to see more of them in the documentary HBO is making on Brave New Voices 2008.

Video – Brave New Voices 2008 – "Unofficial Proclamation"

Brave New Voices 2008 is off to a great start. I captured some great pieces today. More to follow, but for now enjoy this highly motivating piece “Unofficial Proclamation”:

Brave New Voices 2008 – International Youth Poetry Slam from Will Brown on Vimeo.

What do you think?