~ Filmmaker: Pete Johnston ~

The Longest Journey by Bob Lucky

Selected for the 2023 Haiku North America Haibun Film Festival. Browse the other selections.

Pete Johnston’s other contribution to the festival, along with The Gone Missing. He says: “I loved reading through the haibun, a format that was new to me, and I was immediately struck by these two poems because I could think of a way in. I have a large collection of train video from my personal archive, from different journeys I’ve taken—on the east coast and through the UK, and any time I get to use my vast collection of largely useless video I will jump at it. I just loved the sardonic tone in Bob’s work—it put a smile on my face and I loved working with the words and images to create the piece.”

Jane Glennie: “Great audio reading of the text and careful typography of the haiku text on screen. Good positioning and delicate without needing extra help to be legible against the background.”

Bob Lucky is the author of Ethiopian Time (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Conversation Starters in a Language No One Speaks (SurVision Books, 2018), and My Thology: Not Always True But Always Truth (Cyberwit, 2019). His work has appeared in Rattle, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Otoliths, Die Leere Mitte, SurVision Magazine, and other journals. He lives in Portugal.

The Gone Missing by Joseph Aversano (Pete Johnston)

Selected for the 2023 Haiku North America Haibun Film Festival. Browse the other selections.

A Super 8-style film by Pete Johnston, one of two films by him that we selected for the festival. Pete Johnston teaches and makes film at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. He co-founded the FILMETRY online festival of poetry and film with Cindy Hunter Morgan.

He told us: “Aversano’s piece, the shortest of the bunch, obviously evokes a lot for so many people, hence why it was adapted so many times! I was no different and got to use some old footage and create some new footage to go with it. I’m fascinated to get to see all the versions and it highlights what makes cinepoetry or filmetry a favorite mode of mine, the way cinema can interpret and reinterpret poetry in unique ways artist to artist.”

Judges’ statement: “We liked the balance between playful fun and melancholy that the two scenes create. It all worked together to create a lovely sense of real people that we could actually know and their journeys away from each other. We also appreciated the treatment of the text on screen, which really helped us make sense of the haibun.”

Joseph Salvatore Aversano is a native New Yorker currently living on the Central Anatolian steppe with his wife Asu. His poems have been published in numerous journals and some have been awarded or anthologized. He is the founding curator of Half Day Moon Press and editor of Half Day Moon Journal. We chose five different films that used his haibun, “The Gone Missing,” intrigued that so many filmmakers chose to work with it, and eager to show the variety of approaches that poetry filmmakers can take.

six feet by Danielle Legros Georges

A poem by Danielle Legros Georges from the anthology Voices Amidst the Virus: Poets Respond to the Pandemic (Eilenn Cleary and Christine Jones, eds., Lily Poetry Review, 2012), adapted by Michigan State University-based filmmaker Pete Johnston for last year’s Filmetry festival.