Pacific Cinematheque
Visible Verse: Festival of Video Poetry

Date and Venue 13 October 2012 @ 7pm | Pacific Cinémathèque

Canada.  Curator: Heather Haley. 2 hrs 28 mins.

Reviewer Shannon Rayne

A night for my senses to be sparked, excited, and lulled by the best in Canadian and International video poetry.   An inspiring evening.

Video poetry is much more than poems + interesting moving image.  It is a hybrid creative expression, merging words written to engage our senses through poetry, or lyrical prose with artfully designed visuals and music.  Together, these elements fuel a truly unique experience.

I have attended the last five years of the video poem festival, and this was my favorite year because of the diversity and quality of the work presented.  Curator Heather Haley did a remarkable job bringing a full roster of culturally and artistically diverse video poems to the festival, which made for a fun and eclectic evening.  Videos ranged from quirky anime and sci-fi fantasy to beautifully filmed short films with a narrative structure.  I enjoyed the way the 38 video poems were presented, with funnier work following sentimental pieces, and experimental images following work that had more of a short-film feel.

One of the highlights for me was the number of international video poems.  This year had a very global feel, with many European countries represented.  In addition, there was a sizable selection of video poems exchanged from Argentina’s Video Bardo Festival.  

A second highlight was the quality of the work from many of the poets who have emerged from the Spoken Word scene such as Taylor Mali, Ian Keteku and Jeremy Loveday; and poets experienced with the subtleties and musicality of the poem, including: Dennis E Bolen, Robert Priest, Fiona Lam, and Heather Haley.  Their voices were engaging, rhythmic and commanding.  Combining this with image, music or movement on the screen gave these poems a new level of meaning and interpretation that left my senses firing.

© 2012 Shannon Rayne