I was pleased and honored to have been interviewed by Erica Goss for her second column on videopoetry at Connotation Press, along with poet Todd Boss, the founder of Motionpoems. Todd and I do have some differences in perspective, but Erica highlights our areas of agreement — especially our interest in widening the audience for poetry.
It’s always useful to see one’s work through another’s eyes. What struck me in Erica’s description of Moving Poems was her quite reasonable analogy between author-made videopoetry and self-publshing, which had for some reason never occurred to me before.
Since the site focuses on poets and poetry, the videos Dave shows must include the poem’s text, whether spoken or as a visual element. This is a site for DIY, creative types, and therefore Dave features many poet-made videos. (Poets are well-known for self-publishing; Walt Whitman published the first edition of Leaves of Grass at his own expense, and gave away more copies than he sold.)
I guess I am so focused on the creative side of things, and so accustomed to looking at the web through a blogger’s eyes, that the act of uploading to Vimeo and YouTube just seems like a natural and necessary final step of making a video these days. I am of course aware that some poet-filmmakers market their work on DVDs, and so don’t upload more than a sample to video-sharing sites, but they’re the exception rather than the rule.
But this has me thinking, because I’ve always considered author-made videopoems the ideal to strive for, and I most admire those poets who have taught themselves filmmaking in a serious way (or were smart enough to take film in college). Is it possible that in a literary culture in which self-publication is significantly less prestigious than publication by others, that the poet-filmmakers I so admire are at a disadvantage?