Fable by Howie Good: Moving Poems contest winners (2)

1ST PLACE: Swoon

This video captures the nightmarish aura of the poem, but at the same time becomes a separate work of art. It does more than interpret the poem; it reinvents the poem in a new medium. Its propulsive imagery, editing, and soundtrack create an unnerving sense of urgency that the original never attained, but that it greatly profits from in its second life as a video.


2ND PLACE: Rachel Laine

This video gives precedence to the poem’s words, but without sacrificing or marginalizing visuals. In fact, the dense, gloomy background visuals and monotone music heighten the tragic sense of the poem, punctuating its doomsday storyline and elegiac atmosphere.


3RD PLACE: James Brush

The most visually crisp of the videos submitted, it also uses some of the most unexpected imagery, as when the word “cornfield” is blackened out in the text. And how can you not love that ukele being plinked in the background.


Thanks again to all the entrants, congratulations to the winners, and thanks to Howie for acting as judge. (Those are his blurbs for each of the prize winners.) I’m very pleased with how this contest turned out: the goal was to showcase a diversity of approaches to the poetry-film or videopoetry genre, and I think we succeeded in doing that.

I am very open to suggestions for future contests. I don’t want to sponsor contests so often that they become a chore, but I’m not sure I want to wait a whole year before doing another one, either, so maybe in three to six months… I also don’t want to do the exact same thing next time with a different poem, unless perhaps it’s a radically different kind of poem; I’d rather come up with a novel challenge. Feel free to email me or leave comments with your ideas.


  1. Reply
    Swoon 26 April, 2011

    Thank you, Howie and Dave…
    For the honor, for letting me play around with these words,…

    I had fun making it.

    Congrats to the others too, some very nice imagery and atmospheres…

    Best ragards, Swoon

  2. Reply
    James 26 April, 2011

    Yes, thank you, Howie and Dave. I very much enjoyed playing with Howie’s poem, and I’m honored to have my video included among such fine work. Thanks again.

  3. Reply
    Brenda 26 April, 2011

    I enjoyed every video poem, thoroughly. Such talent in the community! Each with its own perspective, something unique to add to our understanding of the poem. Which is a fable, which lends itself to many and wide interpretations. A great choice, Dave, and you must be delighted with the video poems, Howie.

  4. Reply
    Dave Bonta 27 April, 2011

    It was a good choice, wasn’t it? Patting myself on the back here!

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