~ literary magazines and websites ~

Review of Cadence 2024 for SeattleDances

A new online review of the Cadence Video Poetry Festival takes a deep dive into poetry films that incorporate dancing for SeattleDances, “an advocacy organization dedicated to supporting Seattle-area dance performance through in-depth journalism and free resources to dance artists and audiences.” Author Kari Tai took advantage of the festival’s hybrid format to engage with the films at home—an experience I’ve always likened to solitary reading, since the viewer can pause and/or re-watch as often as she likes. For example:

Each time I watch Antipodes, I glean something more of the yin and yang of relationships the poem describes. The scenes toggle between black and white and color underscoring the complementary interconnectedness the poem expresses. The choreography amplifies this tension as dancers pace facing each other across a field to the line The ebony magnetism of existence binds poles. Throughout the video, the spoken words rise and fall with the crescendo of the music and crashing of the surf as the dancers feet tattoo the earth–a demonstration of how choreography and poetry use repetition, theme and variation that stimulates empathetic waves of emotion in the viewer. The pace of the video editing between scenes acts like poetic punctuation or choreographic choices for stillness amid frenetic movement. 

Another film prompts this observation:

The festival literature remarks that throughout history poets have been persecuted for not writing the party line and it strikes me that dance also has often been outlawed as a subversive form of expression. When I think about how video is instantly shareable across the world via social media and how, like dance, it offers a form of communication that transcends spoken language, it is understandable how video has become a powerful tool of modern revolt. Exiles combines all three—video, dance, and poetry—a triple threat, an amplified way to shout out to the world.  

a still from Exiles (Exils), directed by Josef Khallouf

Why does dance work so well in videopoetry? Tai has some ideas:

I think one thing that is key to illuminating my empathetic response to watching Only is a principle I learned through my training as a Dance for Parkinson’s instructor. Scientists have discovered that watching someone dance pleasurably activates the brain’s movement areas. In the classes I teach, the participants feel a fuller movement experience just by watching the teacher even if they don’t express it on the outside. 

Perhaps that is why when we watch dance, even about topics we have not personally experienced, we can feel aligned with the “otherness” dancers can express. This happened for me watching Fairies, a video poem about growing up queer on a farm in the Netherlands.

Read the rest.

Poetry Film in Conversation: Janet Lees, Lee Campbell and Kathy Gee

This coming Thursday, 14th September at 19:30 BST/14:30 EDT, join Helen Dewbery on Zoom via Eventbrite for the latest installment of the series Poetry Film in Conversation from Poetry Film Live, with support from the Lyra Bristol Poetry Festival. This time she’ll be talking with three poets who make their own poetry films: Kathy Gee, Lee Campbell and Janet Lees, asking about their processes and raising the question “Why make a poetry film?”

Janet Lees is a lens-based artist and poet. Her films have been selected for many festivals and prizes, including the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival, the International Videopoetry Festival and the Aesthetica Art Prize. In 2021 she won the Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition, and in 2022 her work featured in the landmark exhibition Poets with a Video Camera: Poetry Film 1980 to 2020. Janet’s poetry and art photography have been widely published and exhibited.

Kathy Gee studied history and archaeology, worked as a museum curator, established and directed a regional government agency, ran an independent museum consultancy and retrained as a leadership coach. She is now a poet. Checkout (2019) and Book of Bones (2016) were both published by V. Press. She has been shortlisted in the Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition.

Dr Lee Campbell’s poetry films have been selected for many international film festivals since 2019. His film SEE ME: A Walk Through London’s Gay Soho 1994 and 2020 (2021) won Best Experimental Film at Ealing Film Festival, London 2022 and shortlisted for Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry 2023 at the Southbank Centre, London in 2023. Insta and Twitter @leejjcampbell

Call for Work: Button Poetry Video Contest

"now open: 2023 button poetry video contest!"

The spoken-word channel/platform Button Poetry has just announced their 2023 poetry video contest.

We are thrilled to host our eighth annual open-submission video contest!

There are so many ways to record and present poetry, and we want to continue giving people around the world the chance to step up on the digital stage and share their work.

We are looking for brave work that crosses borders or effaces them completely, work that enters into larger social conversations, work that lives in the world, work with a strong, unique voice and palpable energy.

Here are the guidelines. The deadline is August 31. Good luck!

Call for poetry films: Spelt Magazine

Spelt Magazine cover image

Spelt, a UK-based literary magazine focused on rural life and the natural world, is open for submissions through 25 November for their winter issue. Here are the guidelines.

  • Include a cover letter in the body of your email. This should tell us a bit about you (and the poet/filmmaker if different), where your poetry films have been seen and why you think Spelt is a good fit for your work. Also include the title of your poetry film/s and the length in minutes and seconds.
  • Include in the body of your email YouTube or Vimeo link/s for up to two poetry films. (Include passwords if necessary.)
  • Your poetry film/s should not exceed 5 minutes.
  • If your poetry film is selected, we will require it to be captioned.
  • Please ensure you have copyright/permissions for all materials used.
  • Send your submission to speltmagazine@gmail.com
  • Please put POETRY FILM in the subject line of your email.

Poetry film editor Helen Dewbery also has a page of tips for beginning filmmaker-poets.

Call for work: online multimedia prize for Slippery Elm Literary Journal

Slippery Elm is a publication of the University of Findlay, Ohio, USA – a journal that is …

“committed to promoting the best fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and visual art being created today.”

Their fifth annual multimedia contest is open – the Deanna Tulley Multimedia Contest, and they are looking for “your hypertexts, your nonlinear narratives, your videopoems, your illustrated  stories!” The deadline is 30th September and entries must be sent via Submittable. Find out more on their website: https://slipperyelm.findlay.edu/multimedia-contest-guidelines/

All entries should be original and previously unpublished in an online multimedia literary context. More specifically, if a piece has been shared around a bit or seen moderate traffic on your own personal social media or webpage, that’s ok, but Slippery Elm want work to be generally new to the world and their readers. Substantially altered multimedia works that have  previously appeared in print or conventional text-only formats are welcome.

Atticus Review Submissions

Atticus Review has published videopoetry in their Mixed Media section for over 10 years. The journal is currently calling for submissions of work for publication…

Atticus Review seeks all types of mixed media works for publication: videopoetry, short/experimental films, electronic/digital/interactive literature, visual artwork, animation, comics, audio soundscapes, sonic compositions, etc. If you like to push literary boundaries with alternative approaches, send us your best. We do accept previously published/screened work.

We potentially accept work with any theme, but upcoming themed issues are: The Internet (August 15th, 2022), Language (December 15th, 2022).

To submit, send an email with the subject “Mixed Media Submission” to mixedmedia@atticusreview.org. For video, audio, and interactive literature we prefer that you send links on Vimeo or YouTube or Soundcloud (or wherever the work is posted online) rather than send us files directly.

How to publish poetry videos in a literary magazine: 20 tips and best practices

“Hello World! or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise” by Jason Eppink (CC BY 2.0)

Video content is so pervasive on the web, it’s a bit surprising that so few literary magazines include it, though the pandemic has begun to change that, with a growing desire to fill the vacuum created by the nearly universal suspension of live readings. Still, there’s a whole world of poetry in video form that they’re missing out on. I’m actually a bit annoyed that Moving Poems has become such a dominant site for poetry videos; why the hell don’t we have more competition? Perhaps because the culture of video sharing on the web is a challenge to the way literary magazines tend to do business, to say nothing of the technical challenges of submitting, editing, hosting, etc. Many online magazine editors aren’t techies, and may believe that sharing videos is more complicated than it really is. And what to do if your journal is mainly print or PDF?

So I thought I’d be helpful and post some suggestions based on my nearly two decades of online publishing (including the pioneering online literary magazine qarrtsiluni). This is a work in progress, so if you have any additions or push-back, please let me know in the comments.

1. Consider adjusting rules on submission to allow previously published or screened films/videos, because otherwise you will get very few submissions. Any video that’s been uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc. and made public has been published.

2. Submission by web link (public or private) is easiest for everyone.

3. At least 75% of the good poetry films out there have been made by someone other than the poet, and that person is likely to be much more motivated to send it out. Especially since the text may have already appeared elsewhere as a page-poem, so the poet has moved on. Therefore journals need to reach out to poetry filmmakers, by for example posting a call-out on FilmFreeway as well as Duotrope or Submittable. There are also Facebook groups that editors could join where poetry film/video makers hang out, such as Poetry Film Live, Agitate:21C, and Pool. And I’m always happy to share calls for work here.

4. Encourage readers to share and embed the work anywhere rather than expecting that everyone will come to your site to watch it. If you include a link to the website or issue archive at the end of the video, this makes every share a free advertisement for the journal.

5. Do not try to host videos yourself unless you have nearly infinite resources and very good tech support. Streaming videos so that they scale down or up depending on the user’s device and internet speed is not easy, and it uses a lot of server CPU. WordPress.com video hosting and Vimeo video hosting are two very affordable alternatives that aren’t all junked-up with ads. But YouTube is fine, too. And there are others.

6. While it’s OK to share videos from the author’s or filmmaker’s account on Vimeo or YouTube, consider uploading all videos to your own accounts(s) instead. This gives you more control over presentation and guarantees long-term archiving. On Vimeo you can create a showcase for each issue, or on YouTube a playlist. Also, it’s all too common for user-uploaded content to eventually disappear — accounts get deleted or videos get taken down for any number of reasons. Moving Poems takes this risk because we’re fundamentally still a blog, and therefore accept a certain degree of ephemerality. But part of the responsibility of publishing a proper journal, I think, is to preserve an archive. The Internet Archive may index every page on your site, but if the video content disappears, there’s nothing they can do about that.

7. Don’t worry about redundancy. The same video might be uploaded to Vimeo multiple times by various people involved in making it. You might decide to upload everything you post to your journal to several major, competing video hosting services, to take advantage of social and search functions unique to each. It’s all good, as long as you don’t get trapped into thinking that there should be one, canonical location. That said, every video hosting location you control, be it YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, or Facebook, should include in the accompanying description a link to the journal location.

8. A Vimeo Plus account ($75/year) gives you the ability to put a working link (e.g. to your website) at the end of the video, as well as to remove Vimeo branding and cross-publish to YouTube and Twitter. Another reliable, non ad-ridden alternative is the aforementioned Internet Archive’s own video hosting service.

9. Consider not hosting video on Facebook and Instagram. Their APIs are more restrictive, they assert more rights over content, and Facebook’s lying about the importance of video content helped bankrupt some great newspapers. In short, Facebook sucks. Its corporate priorities in many ways directly conflict with your own, since it aims to replace the open web on which we all depend with its own, privatized alternative. Ultimately it may not be worth the trouble to upload videos to Facebook, in particular, given the way new content will only be shown to fans of a page if the page owner pays for the privilege — kind of an extortion racket. You’ll get more engagement simply by encouraging poets and filmmakers to share their posts on whatever social media platforms they’re active in, which could well include ones in which a literary journal would have little presence otherwise, such as Reddit or Twitch.

10. Give each video in a magazine its own post or page. You want a link that people can share. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to direct someone to a video on a page with a bunch of other videos on it. To say nothing of how such pages slow down your website. (Starting in May, Google search results will be penalizing pages that load too slowly.) Set up the video or multimedia section of the journal as a category of posts rather than a single page that is continually edited. For one thing, that means that those of us weirdos who still use feed readers will be alerted when you post new video content.

11. EMBED! Don’t make readers click through to somewhere else, for crying out loud. (If your website is built with WordPress, embedding is as simple as including a Vimeo or YouTube link on a line by itself.)

12. While embedded videos can usually be expanded by clicking on the lower right, regardless of the video host, not everyone knows how to do that, so it really helps to display videos at as great a width as possible on the laptop and desktop versions of your site, and make sure it goes full-width on the tablet and mobile versions. Resist the temptation to install a plugin that uses Javascript to pop out the video automatically when a user clicks on it. This would obscure any accompanying text, which if it includes the transcript is vital for accessibility.

13. Editing videos to add uniform branding at the beginning or end may be more trouble than it’s worth, and also obscures the true copyright situation in almost all cases. I tend to think that video/film branding should be organic and in keeping with over a century of film tradition. Incorporating the journal’s name into the video strongly implies that you helped produce it in some way — which is certainly an option (see below). Otherwise, hosting it from your own account provides all the branding that you realistically need.

14. Should you care if a video has already appeared elsewhere, in online or real-world festivals, or even in other journals? Remember that journals’ most valuable role in an age of content overload is curation, not uniqueness. Readers don’t have any expectation with other sorts of magazines that they will never reprint anything. A new music video may appear in dozens of competing magazines.

15. Accessibility: If you’re uploading videos to your own Vimeo or YouTube channel, think about adding closed captions. Also or instead, include the text of the poem alongside the video, both in the video description on the hosting platform you use, and in the post/page for the video in your journal.

16. If the poem previously appeared as text in another journal, be sure to link to it there — that’s just basic web etiquette.

17. Print or PDF journals can also include videopoetry! Include one or more stills, ideally in color, a short description of the film, a full transcript, a shortened URL, and a QR code linking directly to the video so that anyone with a mobile phone in their pocket can watch it right away. There are a number of free online services that will generate a QR code for any link.

18. Build relationships with existing poetry film producers (Motionpoems, Elephant’s Footprint, poetrycinema, the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation, etc.), most of whom would probably be thrilled if you posted their videos on a regular basis.

19. If you have the resources, consider working with filmmakers to produce your own videos. This is certainly the best way to assert your primacy as a publisher, while still allowing the content you produce to be shared or embedded anywhere. Even a typically cash-strapped journal might be able to pull off something like this by forging an alliance with one or more teachers at film schools, where students could be supplied with texts from poets willing to let their work be put to transformative use.

20. Make sure a still from the video appears as the featured image for the post when it’s shared on social media or in email. (We use a WordPress plugin that does that automatically, as well as the Open Graph Protocol plugin.)

Festivals, Competitions, Journals: Open for Submissions

Source: Thomas William, Unsplash
Source: Thomas William, Unsplash


Festival Fotogenia, Mexico
Entry fee: US$25
Submissions close: 20 September 2020

Versi di Luce, Italy
Entry fee: US$10
Submissions close: 30 September 2020

Deanna Tulley Multimedia Prize, USA
(from Slippery Elm Literary Journal, University of Findlay, Ohio)
Entry fee: US$10
Submissions close: 30 September 2020

Queensland Poetry Festival: Film & Poetry Challenge, Australia
(for Australian artists)
Entry fee: AUD$15
Submissions close: 10 October 2020

Mayflower 400 Poetry Film Competition, UK
Entry fee: free
Submissions close: 19 October 2020

Helios Sun Poetry Film Festival, Mexico
Entry fee: US$15
Submissions close: 31 October 2020

Athens International Poetry Film Festival, Greece
Entry fee US$6
Submissions close: 27 November 2020

REELPoetry Festival, USA
Entry fee: US$15
Submissions close: 15 December 2020

International Migration & Environmental Film Festival, Portugal
Entry fee: US$20.50
Submissions close: 31 January 2021

Caafa International Film Festival, Nigeria
(for African and African-descended artists)
Entry fee: US$10
Submissions close: 18 June 2021

Poetry Film Live relaunches

s reenshot of Poetry Film Live home page

Poetry film Live relaunched last Wednesday with new content and a slightly new focus. Published and edited by the poetry film-making duo Helen Dewbery and Chaucer Cameron, it has a new tagline, “A New Way with Poetry,” and is described as “a UK based webzine which publishes poetry film, performances, readings, essays and reviews. It is also the platform for Elephant’s Footprint online poetry film training.” A welcome message currently at the top of the home page goes into more detail:

Poetry Film Live has made some changes!

Following a brief furlough from the end of last year, Poetry Film Live has come back with a renewed focus on the work of poets and the type of poetry film that is a literary form. A form of poetry that is visual, not solely textual, that moves rather than stays put on a page.

Poetry Film Live has responded to the changes that have developed during the Covid19 pandemic. The future of poetry gatherings, reading series and open mics is uncertain both in the short and longer term, therefore, Poetry Film Live is including performances and readings of poetry.

These are new and exciting times and we hope you will consider participating and supporting Poetry Film Live by sending us your submissions, we look forward to seeing your work.

Start by watching the two videos below: ‘How to Make Voice Recordings from Home Better’ and ‘Top Tip for filming yourself reading a poem from a smartphone’.

We have also announced the launch of online poetry film training for poets – see the link for more details.

Learn Poetry Film Making

The course is only £75 and I’m not aware of anyone else offering this right now, so I’m glad they’re featuring it. It’s a real service to the community.

The submission guidelines are mostly sensible, though it’s too bad the maximum duration is so short (six minutes). My only other criticism of the site is the large sticky header, which reduces screen real estate significantly. Viewers not in the habit of expanding videos to full screen, or clicking F11 on a PC to push the website to full screen, are sure to be frustrated.

But these are minor quibbles. It’s great to be able welcome Poetry Film Live back to active duty. (We at Moving Poems know all about unannounced brief furloughs!) Go visit.

New Poetry Video Magazine: Blank Verse Films

I’m a little late with this news, but back on April 1, the poetry video producers Blank Verse Films expanded from their YouTube channel into what they’re calling a video magazine about poetry. I’m a firm believer that everyone who can afford to should establish their own, independent website and not be completely at the mercy of corporate hosting platforms, so this is really welcome news. Quoting their About page:

Blank Verse Films is a video magazine that produces poetry-related films. Our mission is to broaden the reach of poetry & literature by putting it on screens. We are operated by a few like-minded readers in Southern and Northern California.

Poems are selected largely through our own lonely impulse of delight. Commissions and partnerships are not our focus, but if you would like to reach out, we are receptive and you can email us with any inquiries. We operate as a non-profit through our fiscal sponsor Film Independent. You can support us through their donation page.

Our ambition is to establish ‘poetry videos’ as a recognized genre of film like music videos. If you want to post your own poetry video here, we encourage you to send it to us. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates on our films.

News Round-Up: Pandemic Edition

“Why Poetry?” Video Podcast Special on Poetry Film with Lucy English


This is such an excellent look at the role of collaboration in poetry film-making. A very well-edited and satisfying program, focusing on Lucy English’s Book of Hours project, it ought to work well as an introduction to the genre for poets and filmmakers alike.

Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition Open for Submissions

Guidelines here.

Weimar Poetry Film Award: Festival Postponed, Deadline Extended

Guidelines here.

FVPS Deadline Extended and The Symposium Postponed until Fall 2020

“The Film and Video Poetry Society will postpone our 3rd annual symposium; we are hopeful, and are committed to rescheduling for fall 2020. Submissions remain open and our deadline extended to August 3, 2020.” More here.

Newlyn PZ Poetry Film Competition Winners Announced

The 2020 Newlyn PZ Film Festival was cancelled, but we still know the winners of the poetry film competition thanks to a post at the increasingly indispensable Liberated Words website.

Cadence Video Poetry Festival, Other Film Festivals Move Online

Rather than cancel entirely, the Cadence Video Poetry Festival made the choice of screening films online in five screenings on 15-19 April. A number of other film festivals are opting to screen films online for a few days as well. It’s a shame that so many film festivals bar submissions of films that are freely available online. Otherwise it might be possible for Cadence and others to post all competition films to the web on a permanent basis, and people with dodgier internet connections (including myself) would have an easier time watching them. If the pandemic makes meat-space festivals impossible for the next couple of years, as seems possible, some festivals might end up doing a 180 and requiring all submissions to be available on the web. That would certainly shake things up!

Visible Poetry Project Films All Online

The Visible Poetry Project is one web-first, festival-like thing that wasn’t hurt by the pandemic. A film went up each day in April, and you can watch them all on their website.

New Book on Videopoetry by Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel H. Dugas

Books on or about videopoetry are a rarity, and this one is available for free as a PDF, with a print version due out later this year. Here’s Sarah Tremlett’s mini review. It’s cool to be able to read about the making of a film and then click a live link to watch it. I’ll be interested to see whether the print edition includes QR codes allowing readers with mobile phones to watch the films as they read.

Online “Festival of Hope” Features Videopoetry

This is a cool festival. And it looks as if the films may remain live for a while.

Corona! Shut Down? Open Call and Ongoing Release of Videos

New Media 2020 Corona Festival banner

It’s not just for poetry videos, but this is well worth checking out — and submitting to. As they say, “Corona isn’t the plague, and not all infected people are gonna be dying. Probably, the crisis is a wake-up call – to rethink and change!?”

Call for Entries: Atticus Review’s 2nd Annual Videopoem Contest

banner for the Second Annual Atticus Review Videopoem Contest

This week Atticus Review, one of the best online magazines to regularly feature videopoems, poetry films, and other multimedia literary works, announced that their second annual videopoem contest is open for submissions. Marc Neys AKA Swoon is the judge.

Atticus Review is happy to announce our second annual Videopoem Contest judged by Swoon. You can submit up to 3 videopoems. The cost for entry is $10. You may submit video files or links to Vimeo or YouTube pages. Please no submissions from former students or close acquaintances of the Contest Judge. The videopoems can be previously published.


First Prize: $250 & Publication
Second Prize: $50 & Publication
Third Prize: Publication
Deadline: January 12th, 20120
Winner Announced: January 31st, 2020


Marc Neys / Swoon / No One


No One is a composer, Swoon a video-artist, and both personas reside in Marc Neys from Belgium.


As one of the leading and most prolific figures in modern videopoetry he made videopoems for and with writers from all over the globe. He inspired new creators through his workshops and showcases on videopoetry.


He creates works with a focus on the purely poetic quality of the moving image in relation to the spoken or written poem. A sophisticated interplay of constructed soundscapes and images with personal reflections. Through a visual language and references to his everyday life, he creates a framework in which the poems come to a different development.


He released 3 CDs over the last two years and his videos have been selected and featured at festivals all over the world.



Marc follows Moving Poems’ own Marie Craven, who judged the contest last year. (Here are the results.) Marc wrote about his philosophy on judging poetry film contests after his experience on the ZEBRA jury in 2016.