I guarantee whatever story you’re about to tell I have heard a hundred times

I’m having a bad couple of months what with family illness and the stress of a new job and the car accident on 9-11 that gave me pretty severe whiplash, so my online presence has constricted considerably to what seemed necessary, but I’m coming back now. Things are good, too: I’ve discovered Poetry Free-for-all and have written some solid poems. And have been enjoying Discovery and Mutemath (Peg, this is the band Vienna Teng said she was obsessed with) and xkcd and my homegirl Kate Beaton and my new status as one of the world’s most personable editors.

Anyway I have run across some really fine work while I’ve been quiet here:

Animated poetry

In a conversation on the Poets & Writers Speakeasy forum, poet Wendy Babiak mentioned videos of poetry animations and short films, citing as a favourite “Forgetfulness” by Billy Collins (animation by Julian Grey of Head Gear).

That’s one of eleven animations of his poetry commissioned by the Sundance Channel’s Action Poetry Series, which includes: “The Best Cigarette” (David Vaio/Will Hyde/FAD); “Budapest” (Julian Grey/Head Gear); “The Country” (Brady Baltezor/Radium); “The Dead” (Juan Delcan/Spontaneous); “Hunger” (Samuel Christopher/FAD); “No Time” (Jeff Scher); “Now and Then” (Eun-Ha Paek/Milky Elephant); “Some Days” (Julian Grey/Head Gear); and “Today” (Little Fluffy Clouds/Curious), which is my favourite animation, although I think “Walking Across the Atlantic” (Mike Stolz/Manic) is my favourite of these poems.

SamuelChristopher also animated “Angel,” which is from Hashisheen by Bill Laswell and read by Nicole Blackman, who I recognize from The Golden Palominos’ album Dead Inside.

Here’s are some other animations and short films based on poems:

Finally, the Poetry Foundation, in association with docUWM at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has a Poetry Everywhere series, which includes: “I started early…” by Emily Dickinson (Maria Vasilkovsky); “The Language” by Robert Creeley (Chad Edwards); “Mulberry Fields” by Lucille Clifton (Jason Walczyk); “Paradoxes and Oxymorons” by John Ashbery (Kate Raney); “Snowmen” by Agha Shahid Ali (Kyle Jenkins); “Some Words Inside of Words” by Richard Wilbur (Anna Wilson); “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden (Allison Alexander Westbrook IV); and “Tornado Child” by Kwame Dawes (Nicole Garrison).