The Poetics of Poetry Film (Book)

Film Poetry, Videopoetry, Lyric Voice, Reflection

The Poetics of Poetry Film examines the formal characteristics of the poetic in poetry film, particularly in relation to lyric voice and time. The book includes interviews, analysis and a rigorous and thorough investigation of the poetry film, from its origins to the present. 


Set to generate future discussions in the field for years to come, The Poetics of Poetry Film is an encyclopaedic work on the ever-evolving genre of poetry film. Tremlett provides an introduction to the emergence and history of poetry film in a global context, defining and debating terms both philosophically and materially. Including over 40 contributors and showcasing the work of an international array of practitioners, this is an industry bible for anyone interested in poetry, digital media, filmmaking, art and creative writing, as well as poetry filmmakers.

Poetry films are a genre of short film, usually combining the three main elements of the poem as: verbal message; the moving film image and diegetic sounds; and additional non-diegetic sounds or music, which create a soundscape. In this book, Tremlett examines the formal characteristics of the poetic in poetry film, film poetry and videopoetry, particularly in relation to lyric voice and time. The volume includes interviews, analysis and a rigorous and thorough investigation of the poetry film, from its origins to the present. 

Sarah Tremlett is a poetry filmmaker, writer, artist and arts journalist and theorist. She co-founded the first MIX conference and Liberated Words CIC, a poetry film organization. 

Introduction: Poetry, Song, Philosophy – The Combined Lyric Aesthetic


Part One

Terminology across Time                                        

Realization and Structure               

Voice and Narrative

Time and Mind

Constructing Dynamic Spatio-Temporality

Tonality, Light and Colour

Sound Design                                                                         

Poet on Screen: Persona and Subjectivity

Part Two: Artists’ Voices

The Pioneers                                                                                      

George Aguilar

Enzo Minarelli

Tom Konyves

Javier Robledo

Peter Todd

Heather Haley

Thomas Zandegiacomo

Zata Banks

Gabriel Labanauskaite

Dave Bonta

Alastair Cook

Marc Neys


Chaucer Cameron

Lucy English

Kate Jessop

Adeena Karasick

Martha McCollough

Charles Olsen

Caleb Parkin and Helmie Stil

Maciej Piatek

Dave Richardson

Othniel Smith

Howard Vause

Susanne Wiegner

Poetry Film and Videopoetry in Portugal and Spain: Alive and Thriving by Charles Olsen

Alexandre Braga

Manuel Vilarinho

Eduardo Yagüe

Tarha Erena

Alejandro Céspedes

Celia Parra

Jordan T. Caylor

Belén Gache

Santiago Parres

Lola López-Cózar

Agustín Fernández Mallo

David Argüelles Redondo

Ángel Guinda

Charles Olsen and Lilián Pallares

Marisol Bellusci: Experimental Poetry in Argentina since 1960

Liberated Words: Developing a Poetry Film Festival and Workshops

Helen Moore and Howard Vause: Butterflies Haven Workshop

Part Three: Selected Narrative Forms



Haiku and Haiga                             

A Documentary Approach to Poetry Film                                 

Dance and Movement                                                      

The Ecopoetry Film



Examples of Leading Poetry Film Festivals

This is an encyclopaedic, groundbreaking manuscript on an area of film production that definitely needs more attention, and stands to be the book to surpass for quite some time; the author knows her territory intimately ... It is the most incisive and complete analysis of filmic poetry to date; it’s very diverse, includes women, minorities and transgender filmmakers, and Tremlett's descriptions of the films, and the intent of the filmmaker poets, and is both accessible and clearly written. This is a sharp, up to the minute manuscript on the bleeding edge of film criticism. ... A book exploding with dazzling, evocative images and trenchant analysis.

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Willa Cather Professor of English & Film Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

This is a gem of a book.  It brings together in one place crucial ideas and information for practitioner and academic.  I wish very much that it had been available when I found my way into videopoetry ... Considering the scope of the subject matter, what has been achieved here in terms of clarifying and anatomizing is remarkable. 

Dr Meriel Lland, writer, photographer and film-artist
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