Sunday, July 10, 2022

video saved the poetry star

Today, the Facebooks reminded me that it had been 2 years exactly since I created the very first video poem--what would wind up one of 5 total trailers for my SEX & VIOLENCE book. Five total, mostly because there is a lot going on in that book and it felt like it needed more than one. Also, because I really liked making them once I started and kind of couldn't stop. I was using the Adobe suite, which was free through the college, and it had a tendency to make both my laptops at home and my desk computer at work crash, but I muddled through and learned how to take various things, photos, graphics, archival footage in the public domain and free stock video to make videos I was pretty happy with.  This continued on afterward with the SWALLOW series--13 video poems I released in late 2020, and a couple trailers for other projects, both written and visual. It was also a bit serendipitous since a year later, Tiktoks and reels would slowly gain popularity, and those same skills could be applied to create moving versions of the postcards I had been making all along for Instagram, which get a fair number of views. 

In many ways, it scratches the same itch for the visual that collaging does, and the process to create them feels a bit like collage.  I also think back to that summer, coming out of lockdown and having to go back to work, terrified in a pre-vaccine world and just beginning to feel the sort of ennui that guided the past two years, how readily I bent my head to the task of learning how to make them, which gave me something to concentrate all that nervous energy on.  It also didn't look like we'd be back to live readings any time soon (and really we're still not at the point even now that I'd feel truly safe.) So what better way than to share work in video form--be they recorded readings or text. I was also coming out of a fallow, frozen period in which I could barely read or write or make much of anything, so these were a reach toward some sort of artistic productivity.

Granted, I've gotten much better and swifter than I was.  I've since learned to use various other software, free and paid to get the effects I want. I can put a video together in a few hours vs. the day it used to take me. I've written much more material that sometimes seems exactly right for video.  I am more than halfway done with the MEMOIR IN BONE & INK series, the newest one, but there are sure to be more on the horizon as I prepare to release another book in the fall. You can follow along with that project here, as well as view some of the other videos from the past two years...

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