Three poems by Donna Vorreyer

Escape (a triptych) is Swoon’s first videopoem for a text written in response to his own video prompt. Regular visitors to the Moving Poems forum (or subscribers to our weekly emails) may remember his call for submissions posted on April 24:

I am looking for a writer who is willing to let these three films inspire him/her to write three poems for them…

Look and listen…absorb…look and listen some more…and write…

I’m looking for three new poems (please use the titles of the films) written for these three videos:

Disturbance in the maze
Wailing Wall Crumbs
Ghostless Blues (The story of Vladimir K.)

A number of poets responded to the challenge, and Swoon chose the submission from Chicago-based poet Donna Vorreyer. Personally, I wasn’t surprised by the selection, having recently read Vorreyer’s chapbook Ordering the Hours — it’s terrific.

Swoon blogged a bit about the experiment:

I wanted to turn my working method around. See what came out of it.
Very aware I was, of the fact that these three films were experimental, for the fact the titles could have been a guide for some an obstacle for others. It was an experiment.

I received a lot of questions about what I was looking for in particular, a few questions about timing, a fair amount of poems that were written earlier, not for the three films (though some of them might have worked). […]

I knew Donna from the Propolis Project last year.

Her three poems did exactly what I was hoping for when I put out the call.
She was the first one whose poems gave me the feel that they somehow belonged to the images.
I really had the sense that she reacted to the films and gave them content and a story.

Her poems give these three films a less experimental character, and that was exactly what I was hoping for.
She recorded them for me, so I could start the editing process.

Her words made it fairly easy; I only added a few images or made additional cuts according to the reading of the poem. I did put in some new footage in all three as a leitmotiv, a storyline.

Read the rest (including the texts of the poems). Incidentally, Swoon’s personal website has just been thoroughly revamped to foreground his videopoetry and soundscapes. Check it out.


  1. Reply
    Donna Vorreyer 29 June, 2012

    Thanks, Dave, for sharing Marc’s work here (and for your kind words about the chapbook). I loved watching the film and trying to focus on lyric lines that recycled the words and sounds the way Marc’s three films cycled images. A new kind of ekphrasis, for me, anyway. Perhaps other poets have worked with filmmakers this way? If so, I would love to hear about it.

    • Reply
      Dave 29 June, 2012

      I’m not sure. I’ve posted a lot of collaborations here, and sometimes it does seem as if texts are written in response to images, but I can’t think of any off-hand. In the videopoems I occasionally make for my own work, I do find it’s enjoyable to find or shoot interesting footage and use that as a writing prompt.

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