Poetry in motion

Todd Boss and Angella Kassube are on to something big.

Boss – a poet – and Kassube – a designer/animator – have created what they call “motionpoems.” They’re using poems as the scripts for animated shorts. The results are otherworldly:

Karl from Scott Wenner on Vimeo.

It started out with just Kassube animating Boss’ poetry, but it’s expanding to something much bigger; they’re connecting filmmakers with poets from around the world. Their goal is to increase the audience for poetry by turning them into compelling short films.

Up until now it’s been a volunteer project, but Motionpoems has signed on to animate 12-15 poems to accompany Scribner’s 2011 Best American Poetry anthology and is looking to pay participants a stipend for their work.

RENDER, RENDER a poem by Thomas Lux from Motionpoems on Vimeo.

Euan Kerr reported on the Motionpoems project a while back – you can read that here.

You can see more poetry in motion here. What do you think? Are you a traditionalist, or do you think animating poetry in order to draw in a younger crowd is a good idea?

  • I’m a fan of Todd Boss’ book of poetry, Yellowrocket. I’m also a fan of motionpoems. These poems present an interesting, visual, engaging way of reaching a new audience, individuals who otherwise may have considered poetry unapproachable and/or boring.

    Likewise, the Roadside Poetry Project based in Fergus Falls reaches out in a unique way, via Burma Shave style billboards featuring a four-line poem. I was honored to win the spring competition and get my poetry out there in such an unusual, public venue.

    Many Minnesota communities are also imprinting poems upon sidewalks. Weaving poetry into our environment or developing ideas like motionpoems are all great ways to get people more interested in poetry and also offer more opportunities for writers.