World Poetry Day 2012 – Looking at Poetry & Film
Since 2002 Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, which is also home to lyrikline.org, has been organising the biannual ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival, showing short films that are audio-visual realisations of one or more poems. At this point, the archive is already filled with thousands of entries from the past 10 years. They show the exciting and multifaceted approaches of artists from different cultures to combining poetry and film. Works are sent from all over the world that range classic motion picture to animated shorts, video and media art, poetry performance clips, and documentaries about poets. They’re based on poetry from Shakespeare to sound poems. The filmmakers’ individual conceptions are as varied as the names they attribute to their works: poetry videos, videopoetry, poetry film, filmpoetry, poetry clip, cinepoem and more.
Diverse as the entries might be, there’s one thing that all the good ones have in common: they succeed if one can experience in some way a clever and maybe even poetic relationship and correspondence between the words and images. When poetic principles and features, such as rhythm, tempo, meter, imagery, denseness, and tone unfold, poetry and film together can reach another level and merge into something unique.
On the occasion of this year’s UNESCO World Poetry Day, next to publishing many new poets on lyrikline.org, we collected statements focusing on poetry & film from filmmakers, poets, and film and literary scholars (see below). Many thanks to Paul Bogaert, Avi Dabach, Tom Konyves, J.P. Sipilä, and Uljana Wolf!
If you would like to join the discussion about poetry and film, the audio-visual realisation of poetry and its many variations, or see more films, please visit the ZEBRA Facebook page, the ZEBRA youtube channel or explore Moving Poems, an online anthology of poetry videos.