Call for submissions + new documentary on Motionpoems’ “Arrivals and Departures” installation

If, like me, you’ve been wondering just how Motionpoems managed the logistical hurdles of projecting films onto the front of a train station, what it looked like, and how it was received by the general public, this great little “micro-documentary” gives a pretty good indication.

If you’re a U.S.-based poet and would like the chance to be considered for next year’s version of Arrivals and Departures, the deadline is fast approaching: November 30! I got this reminder in my email inbox yesterday from the CRWROPPS-B list:


See your poem turned into a film and projected onto the 1,000-foot neoclassical facade of Saint Paul’s Union Depot in Motionpoems’ latest annual public art installation. Poems accepted on the theme of “Arrivals and Departures” through Nov 30. Broad interpretations of the theme encouraged. Poems accepted from all non-Minnesota U.S. residents (Minnesota poets will be invited to submit again in Year 4).

Entrants are urged to consider the theme of “Arrivals and Departures” in broad terms. Although this project celebrates the newly revitalized Depot, the Depot isn’t the project’s subject. It’s just the canvas upon which the poems will be experienced. Entrants should consider not what the Depot is, but what it represents, as a source of diversity, culture, commerce, influence, inspiration, and exploration. Also consider the Depot as an early manifestation of newer depots in modern life, which may include the International Space Station, for example, or other ways in which mankind is ‘departing’ or ‘arriving’ culturally, intellectually, spiritually, etc. Poems about trains are less encouraged. Poems published within the last five years will be considered in addition to previously unpublished poems.

Submissions can only be made online via Submittable at Submit one poem only; multiple submissions will disqualify you. The poem should be no more than 500 words. Translations are not eligible, but poems published within the last five years are eligible. Use the “bio” and “cover letter” fields to tell us who you are, how you learned about this project, and why you would like to be part of it.

Entry deadline is November 30, 2014. No entries will be accepted after the deadline.

All finalist poems will be presented to filmmakers, but only a handful will be developed into films. That handful of poems will be selected by participating filmmakers based on individual preference, as part of an open call to filmmakers in partnership with Independent Filmmaker Project New York. Motionpoems does not guarantee the number of films to be made. Remember: Not all finalist poems will be made into films.

To read the complete guidelines and submit:

To read the Official Terms of Entry:

For more about Arrivals and Departures Year 1:

To learn more about Motionpoems and watch 5 seasons of motionpoems:

In other Motionpoems news, there’s an interesting note on their About page regarding their next regular season of films: “Season 6 is a special collaboration with VIDA: WOMEN IN THE ARTS, designed to balance the Motionpoems ecosystem with more poetry by women.” I’ll be looking forward to that. VIDA is a good organization.

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