Antwerp poetry festival features videopoems

Last week, the Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp, Belgium, organized by Michaël Vandebril, included a feature on videopoetry, with filmmakers Alastair Cook and Swoon Bildos (Marc Neys) as invited participants. It garnered some good press in De Standard newspaper, including a mention of Moving Poems! Marc also sent along this report on the proceeedings. —Dave B.

I didn’t attend the first day. Alastair was just arrived and we were both a bit tired. (Day one was about Belgian Poetry, including a discussion of whether there’s actually such a thing as Belgian poetry, being a bilingual country.) So for starters, here’s a small video-impression I made of the second day of the festival:

This is an impression of the second evening, the international evening with poets. Jan Lauwereyns is from Belgium, but lives in Japan. He did a poem with a simultaneous Japanese translation and later he also translated a small part of a Ron Silliman poem into ‘Aantwaareps’, our local dialect. Ron Silliman was there, Will Stone, Chus Pato (Spanish), and Emilian Gaaicu-Paun (Romanian), who was translated into Dutch by Jan H. Mysjkin.

Leonard Nolens was also there (and on the video). He’s more or less the greatest living poet in Belgium. You could hear a pin drop during his reading. We also had Ronelda S. Kamfer, but I didn’t get to shoot footage of her — a shame, because she was very good.

Alastair and I had a short talk about videopoetry and showed some of our work. Alastair showed two of his ‘Absent Voices’ project:

and an older one:

I showed:


After that, we both showed our commisioned work for a Bernard Dewulf poem (Bernard is ‘City-Poet’ of Antwerp this year), ‘Aan Het Water.’ (See the main site to watch the two films. —Dave)

In the afternoon of that same day, Alastair and I — it was the first time we actually met — had a 90 minute lecture about filmpoems and videopoems. No images from that, but we each showed 10 of our videos and films and talked about our working process and projects. (That’s why there was that interview in the paper, BTW. It’s one of our leading and most respected papers.)

So, there you go: a good festival and a good chance for video- or film-poetry to ‘get out there’.

Swoon is a videopoetry & soundscapes addict with more than 200 international collaborations to his name. You can find him at