Tag Archives: American Poetry

Poetry in Motion: Poetry Documentaries

staying with poetry documentaries I watched Ron Mann’s 1982 film Poetry in Motion which features writers like Amiri Baraka, Ted Berrigan, William Burroughs and John Cage (to name a few).

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It can be watched – with Spanish subtitles – on youtube here. What was great about this documentary is the amount of footage of poets reading. The film is not just about poetry but also contains alot of poetry.

It got me thinking about how important documentary film making is in terms of gathering and preserving footage which might otherwise remain lost or forgotten about in archives. Furthermore, how documentaries can introduce poetry, poetry movements and individual poets to a wider audience. So I ask, what other poetry documentaries should I watch? Are there any on the British equivalent poetry scenes/periods (Cambridge, London, Essex etc)? What about the idea of documentaries on British or Irish poets? who would you like to see a documentary on?

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Polis Is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place

I watched this decent enough documentary on the American poet Charles Olson today.

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I am always surprised by the amount of poets I meet who have never heard of Olson. This documentary is a very good, and relatively short, introduction into his life and poetry. It is entitled Polis Is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place and was made in 2007 by the film maker Henry Ferrini. For $30 plus P+P you can buy the DVD.

or, thanks to the director, you can see it in six parts on YouTube

 

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