~ Poet: Caroline Rumley ~

One Step Away by Caroline Rumley

One Step Away is a touching, personal piece by Caroline Rumley, an outstanding writer and film-maker whose work has been awarded and screened widely at international festivals and events over the past several years.

Written from a dream, the video has an understated quality focusing on simple details, a light touch that is evident in much of her work. The choices in found footage and the rhythmic editing are deft and assured. Caroline’s writing seems to arise only to be entwined with media, and the filmic elements are just as poetic as her words. Artist statements describe an interest in the “thin-sliced instance, the brief flash that tells you all you need to know.”

Moving Poems has previously published another three of her videopoems. One Step Away is not recently produced but Caroline’s films are so beautiful they seem never too late to share.

Twenty Times by Caroline Rumley

This deservedly won the Audience Award at the 2020 REELpoetry/Houston TX festival in January, where I first saw it and was moved by the juxtaposition of disturbing imagery — either actual police body camera footage, or a very good simulacrum of it — with the speaker’s sedate description of her own backyard: a powerful indictment of the racism and class divisions permeating American society, where Black men risk death by police or vigilante shooting every time they go out the door, even into their own grandmother’s backyard. Rest in peace, Stephon Clark. I wish this videopoem didn’t still feel so necessary and relevant.

Twenty Times was runner-up in the Atticus Review 2019 Videopoem Contest. Marc Neys, the contest judge, wrote:

“Twenty Times” is a powerful political and poetic video. The use of ‘lo-fi’ imagery adds to the suspense and darkness of the video. The contrast with the every day life described in the poem sets the perfect base for the message.

Click through for a bio of Rumley, and visit her website for links to all her films.

Open Season by Caroline Rumley

From Caroline Rumley, a film-maker/poet I admire greatly, this is Open Season, a melancholy response to living in the USA since 9/11. Rumley’s description on Vimeo:

After reading Albert Samaha’s powerful reporting on the first hate crime after 9/11 in the United States, I was inspired to make this found footage retelling of a glimpse of his story.

Here’s the Buzzfeed article she drew upon for her information and some of the text.

Shoes Without Feet by Caroline Rumley

“After the chaos of the Nazi march in Charlottesville, one key voice is hapless,” reads the description of this 2017 film by filmmaker/poet Caroline Rumley. She notes further that it was “Created in response to this photo, which eventually won a Pulitzer: [link].” Stevie Ronnie drew attention to it in his report from the 2018 ZEBRA festival as one of the stand-out films there for him. It was also screened at the 2107 Ó Bhéal and Filmpoem festivals.