The video sharing site Vimeo tends to get a higher proportion of well-made videos than YouTube, but even still, many poetry-related videos uploaded to the site are not terribly impressive as examples of the filmmaker’s art. I know, because one of the primary ways I find new material for Moving Poems is by searching new Vimeo uploads for anything with the word “poem” in the title, tags or description. I see a lot of dreck.
So I’m very impressed with the new Vimeo group devoted to Video & Film Poetry, which was founded by Brenda Clews just a couple months ago. She had tried to convince me to start such a group, but I declined on the grounds that I was already doing enough here, so she went ahead and founded the group herself — and I think the results so far speak for themselves: a lot of interesting and innovative videopoets have joined the group now, and are adding their new uploads as well as other people’s videos that they might happen to know about. There’s some commenting, but so far it’s been mainly a place to share and discover new work.
This isn’t the first Vimeo group to welcome poetry videos, but I believe it’s the first to take curating seriously. The problem with completely open poetry-sharing sites is that the bad poetry (or videopoetry, in this case) tends to drive out the good. The crucial difference with the Video & Film Poetry group is that, though anyone can comment or participate in the (so-far-unused) forums, only members can add videos or invite new members. If you’re on Vimeo and you’d like an invitation, let me know.