~ Cadence Video Poetry Festival ~

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.

Where to watch poetry films in April

April is Poetry Month in the U.S. and Canada, so it’s no surprise that a couple of major poetry film festivals are held then. First up: Houston’s REELPoetry Festival.

Online April 1-5, 2024
In Person April 6-7, 2024
922 Holman St, Houston, TX 77002
REELpoetry/HoustonTX 2024 is an international poetry film Festival. This week long event showcases 100+ screenings under 6 minutes from 20 different countries. Connect with international curators and presenters in real time online, and in-person on the weekend; watch world premieres from Houston creatives; experience ASL poetry and performances; join use for two fabulous after parties.

Then toward the end of the month, it’s Seattle’s Cadence Video Poetry Festival.

Verse meets visuals in motion at Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) in April 2024. Cadence Video Poetry Festival, presented by Northwest Film Forum, programmed in collaboration with Seattle author Chelsea Werner-Jatzke and intermedia artist Rana San, is a series of screenings, workshops, and discussions on the genre of video poetry, taking place annually during National Poetry Month. This year’s festival takes place in-person April 19–21 and online April 19–28. Cadence approaches video poetry as a literary genre presented as visual media, cultivating new meaning from the combination of text and moving image.

In its seventh year, Cadence Video Poetry Festival remains the only festival dedicated to the form in the Pacific Northwest. The festival program includes four themed screenings with works selected from an open call for submissions, including video poetry by the 2024 screening team and jurors.

“This year, we did away with the submission categories the festival has had in place for the last six years. Moving away from submissions organized by how they were made (collaboration, video by poets, etc) places further emphasis on what is being made in the video poetry genre,” says co-director Chelsea Werner-Jatzke. “For the first time, a screening team of prior Cadence Artists-in-Residence helped program the festival, broadening the diversity of perspectives considering the video poetry that is screened as part of Cadence.”

“The 2024 festival includes video poems from 20 countries in 11 languages with a strong Pacific Northwest contingent, a quarter of the works representing artists based in Washington, British Columbia, and Montana,” notes co-director Rana San. “In conjunction with the online and onsite festival screenings and workshops, there will be gatherings for artists and audiences to connect in-person and virtually. We’re also collaborating with Frye Art Museum again to host a special satellite screening and artist discussion in May following the fest.”

Meanwhile, in Weimar, Germany, though details so far remain scant, one is advised on the Poetryfilmtage Instagram account to

SAVE THE DATES – Lit.Collage x Poetryfilmtage 2024

This year we are setting with „Lit.Collage“ a special accent. The collage and poetry festival is combined with our film festival and is meant for those who enjoy experimenting with editing techniques and sharing them with others.

…so as you can see: this year we have a lot more action going on and you can join our festival from the 13th of April till the 1st of June. Make sure you’ll save the dates! 🤩

More details on the individual events will follow soon.

It’s great that people anywhere in the world with a good internet connection can virtually attend these festivals, but I am just as excited by another new trend: more and more general poetry festivals are including film and video in various innovative ways. In Madison, Wisconsin, for example, the Hawthorn Public Library will be screening “some of our favorite video poems featured in the first four years of the Midwest Video Poetry Fest,” and in Newtown, Pennsylvania, poet Vasiliki Katsarou will be screening her feature film Fruitlands 1843. So be sure to support your local poetry scene!

Cadence Video Poetry Festival 2023 – Seattle and online

The 6th Annual Cadence Video Poetry Festival will take place as a hybrid event with screenings in Seattle, and online. There are multiple events in the programme and you can choose between single event tickets or festival passes. The in-person events will be between 27-30 April, while the online programmes will be available for a week longer until 7th May.

There are five intriguing sounding programmes in the festival, including The Edge of Here, The Great Entanglement, and the fantastic title of A Tune to Contain All Your Revolt, as well as a satellite in-person film programme at the Frye Art Museum.

Promotion image from ‘The Great Entanglement’ programme: April 28 at 7pm
Promotion image from ‘A tune to contain all your revolt’ programme: April 29 at 7pm

There are also three, live, collaborative workshops with a mixture of in-person, hybrid, and online events.

See the Northwest Film Forum website for more details and a full programme.

Call for work: Cadence Video Poetry Festival 2023

The sixth Cadence Video Poetry Festival in Seattle (USA), will take place in person and online in April and May 2023. It is presented by Northwest Film Forum and programmed in collaboration with Seattle author Chelsea Werner-Jatzke and artist Rana San.

The organisers say:

“Over the last five years the festival has screened 272 video poems from 38 countries in 24 languages, and hosted annual youth and adult workshops, touring programs, and artist talks. All selected works at Cadence receive an honorarium, which NWFF began offering artists in 2021 to support the generation and exhibition of their work.

This year’s festival continues as a hybrid program, offering international audiences access to showcases, workshops, and artist talks both in-person and online. Cadence approaches video poetry as a literary genre presented as visual media, cultivating new meaning from the combination of text and moving image. The 2023 call for submissions and Artist-in-Residence applications are now open.”

Submissions are open until 1st March 2023 via FilmFreeway in five categories of video poetry:

  • Adaptations/Ekphrasis: Videos created to bring new meaning and dimension to pre-existing poetry. Any poems used for this purpose must be in the public domain or else used with written consent of the author.
  • Collaboration: Video poems created in collaboration between a video artist and writer.
  • Video by Poets: Poets creating video from, or as, their writing.
  • Poetry by Video Artists: Video artists using text visually or through audio intrinsic to the poetic meaning.
  • Wild Card: Video work that’s poetically informed or poetry that’s visually informed that doesn’t neatly fit into one of the other categories.

Cadence 2022 continues: online until 1 May

Cadence Video Poetry Festival 2022 in person was this weekend in Seattle, USA (21–24 April) but there is still time to enjoy the online element of this hybrid festival.

There are five intriguing programs of films available:

As the wind is breathing • It is strange and kinda symbolic • Its flashes are flashes of fire – What is hidden needs to be seen • When I’m not asking for permission

… which showcase between 6 and 13 films each. Tickets are available for the whole online event, but also for individual programs.

More about the whole festival is on the main site: https://nwfilmforum.org/festivals/cadence-video-poetry-festival/

Or if you want to skip straight to the online screenings: https://watch.eventive.org/cadence2022

Cadence: Video Poetry Festival 2021 debuts online on April 16

Cadence Video Poetry Festival

Tickets to the fourth annual Cadence: Video Poetry Festival are now available and the festival starts on Friday, April 16 and runs through Sunday, April 25. All tickets are sliding scale and all screenings will be available throughout the 10-day festival.

Cadence: Video Poetry Festival, presented by Northwest Film Forum, programmed in collaboration with Seattle author Chelsea Werner-Jatzke and artist Rana San, is a series of screenings, workshops, and discussions on the genre of video poetry, during National Poetry Month.

Cadence approaches video poetry as a literary genre presented as visual media that makes new meaning from the combination of text and moving image. Featuring screenings, an artist residency, generative workshops for youth and adults, and juried awards, the festival fosters critical and creative growth around the medium of video poetry.

“One thing that really impressed us about the submissions pool,” Chelsea and Rana told me in an email, “was how many of the video poems were made in the last year—it’s so impressive and encouraging to see artists creating amid the complicated tumult of our time.”

Festival Highlights

The Uncanny Intermingling showcase will feature a collaborative video poem by participants in the festival workshop, Animated Poetry with Neely Goniodsky, set to Anastacia-Reneé’s poetry currently featured in the exhibition, Anastacia-Reneé: (Don’t Be Absurd) Alice in Parts through April 25 at the Frye Art Museum.

Natachi Mez, NWFF’s 2020 Cadence Artist-in-Residence, completed her residency virtually in 2021 and the resulting video poem will be featured in (and provides the titular line of) the This Is How I Excavate showcase.

Award winners have been selected by guest judges: Nico Vassilakis (Adaptations/Ekphrasis), Caryn Cline (Collaboration), Catherine Bresner (Video by Poets), and Roland Dahwen (Poetry by Video Artists), and Moss Literary Journal (Northwest Artist Award). Submissions in the Wild Card category are judged by Festival Co-Directors Chelsea Werner-Jatzke and Rana San.

Festival Program

Included in Festival Passes:

Embarkation by Shin Yu Pai

Writer and artist Shin Yu Pai told us that

“Embarkation” was created with Scott Keva James and commissioned for the Ampersand Live! showcase in Seattle in Fall 2019. We initially created the piece as a performance-based work with a two-channel video projection (one on my body, and one on a screen behind me on stage); and then adapted it as a film. “Embarkation” also recently showed at Cadence Festival.

The YouTube description supplies additional background:

Embarkation reimagines the traditional Wang Yeh Boat Burning Festival, a Taoist ritual, that takes places in the southern port town of Donggang, Taiwan, every three years. A life-sized boat is built by the community and loaded with the hopes and the fears of the people. The gods are then invoked to pilot the barge up to the heavens in a send-off of fireworks and flames.

Footage of the festival was provided by Ye Mimi, a gifted filmpoet in her own right.

News Round-Up: Pandemic Edition

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPti3riEkh0

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!?”

T.I.A. (THIS is Africa) by Ronan Cheneau

Seattle’s Cadence Video Poetry Festival has kicked off for 2020. The event has been rapidly moved online this year, evolving with world circumstances. Each of the programs are being made available for viewing at any time during a series of 24-hour slots, from 15-19 April 2020. So far I have seen just the first program, Sight Lines, and was rewarded with some outstanding films.

To give readers a sense of the high quality of the programming, I am sharing T.I.A. (THIS is Africa). It is a collaboration between director Matthieu Maunier-Rossi and poet Ronan Cheneau. Congolese dancer and choreographer, Aïpeur Foundou, is a compelling, dancing presence throughout this moving film.

Tickets to the remaining four sessions of the festival are on a ‘pay as you can’ basis (from $0 upwards). See the Cadence website for more information.

Announcements of winners of the different competition categories are spread out over the five days, one or two revealed in the video intros at the start of each day’s program.

Call for work: Cadence Video Poetry Festival 2020

Cadence 2020 poster

Cadence: Video Poetry Festival is open for submissions! This annual festival at the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, Washington will host screenings on April 16 and 17 and is looking for work ranging from adaptations to collaboration to include in the festival. Cadence approaches video poetry as a literary genre presented as visual media that makes new meaning from the combination of text and moving image. Send Cadence your video poetry through March 1 via FilmFreeway.

The foregoing is the (slightly altered) text of a social-media-adapted press release that Chelsea Werner-Jatzke emailed me this week—a good indication, I suspect, of just how well organized this festival is generally. In case you missed it, I interviewed Chelsea and her co-conspirator Rana San last July. See “How to start a major new videopoetry festival: an interview with the co-directors of Cadence.”

How to start a major new videopoetry festival: an interview with the co-directors of Cadence

Dave Bonta: Seattle’s Cadence: Video Poetry Festival is one of the most exciting new poetry film festivals in North America. I love how many different activities you have, and the tie-in to Poetry Month, but most of all I like the way you present the genre, right at the top of the festival website: “Cadence approaches video poetry as a literary genre presented as visual media that makes new meaning from the combination of text and moving image.” This is especially striking coming from a group called Northwest Film Forum—one would expect the festival to take a more conservative, film-centric approach, foregrounding directors and treating the film adaptation of pre-existing poems as normative. So I’d like to know what’s behind this: How did each of you come to videopoetry, and what led you to want to put on a videopoetry festival like Cadence?

Rana San: The collaboration came about organically, as does much of the multidisciplinary programming staged at Northwest Film Forum, a film and arts space centering community programming. We first floated the idea of starting a video poetry festival in late 2017. It was my first week on the job and over Thai food Chelsea was lamenting the lack of outlets for exhibiting video poetry in our region and beyond. So the following week we began our research, brainstormed festival titles, and started reaching out to potential collaborators. Seattle is a UNESCO City of Literature with a tight-knit filmmaking community, it felt important to offer a space for this hybrid genre to shine on its own.

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke: As a literary artist, I was sort of confused about what to do with it once I had created a video poem. The video was presented at a couple visual art events, I submitted it to online journals and I wanted to present it at festivals. It became apparent rather quickly that the large majority of these festivals were international. I was excited by this different presentation format—not a reading but a screening. My piece was accepted at Video Bardo in Buenos Aires in 2016 but I was unable to find a translator for it in time and it wasn’t shown. At that time, I thought Seattle would be a great city to host a video poetry festival and Northwest Film Forum does so much interdisciplinary programming that it seemed a natural fit. It was a passing idea that started to take real shape once Rana began working at the Forum.

Dave: This is your second year for the festival, but I believe the first to open up the contest to poets and filmmakers from anywhere in the world. How did that transition go? Were you satisfied with the quantity and quality of submissions?

Rana: We honestly didn’t expect the volume of submissions we received in the festival’s first year from the Pacific Northwest alone. In fact we didn’t even use a submission platform and just invited interested parties to submit via email. Moving the application process to FilmFreeway both enhanced the festival’s visibility globally—we received works from 17 countries—and freed us up to do concentrated outreach to community partners. We were thrilled by the quality of submissions and had to make some tough choices to whittle down our final selections.

Dave: It’s always interesting to see what categories the organizers of a videopoetry or poetry film contest will come up with. Cadence has four categories, each with a different judge: Adaptations/Ekphrasis, Collaboration, Video by Poets, and Poetry by Video Artists. Why these four, and not, for example, style- or subject-based categories (Best Animation, Best Political Videopoem, etc.)?

Chelsea: The most common question we are asked is, what is video poetry? Over the last two years we found that using these categories as examples helped people better understand what we meant. I struggled with whether the categories were too restrictive or limiting and got a lot of differing feedback on this. One of our judges really liked the categories while one of artists felt like they really didn’t know where to place themselves. Like all things with the festival, we may handle this differently next year and see what we get back. There are a lot of people out there making weird poetic video work and we are hoping the categories will help the video poetry weirdos identify us as a place to submit.

Dave: A standard film festival can be a pretty passive experience for the attendees, with a hard and fast line between creators and viewers, but the 2019 Cadence program included two videopoem workshops, one for children and one for adults, with a screening for the results. How did that turn out? Were you able to convert some of the viewers into makers, and vice versa?

Rana: The workshops are one of my favorite parts of the festival, serving as an opportunity for seasoned and emerging artists alike to generate and exhibit new work. The youth workshop, designed to support the next generation of makers, was led by our first Cadence artist-in-residence Catherine Bresner and they had so much fun working with stop motion! Scholar, poet, and book artist Amaranth Borsuk led the adult workshop in which participants created a collaborative video poem—a triptych written, voiced, shot, and edited as a collective. Completing the creative process with a group of strangers was truly transformational and distinct from last year where each participant predominantly identified as either a poet or filmmaker and developed an individual piece. Our hope is that once participants get a taste of the possibilities that video poetry presents, they continue to make work on their own.

Dave: A lot of poetry film festivals kind of do their own thing, but one of the striking things about the  Cadence program is just how many partnerships you’ve already formed, in your second year, with local publishers and arts organizations on one hand, and other international festivals on the other. Why is this important to you?

Chelsea: Building connections between organizations that might not otherwise overlap feels like a natural side effect of offering a festival in an artform that connects two seemingly disparate mediums. There are many people, publishers, and orgs in Seattle working in ways that connect to the art form of video poetry and Rana and I have worked to offer a wider interpretation of the form than just our perspectives since the festival started. This is why we had a panel discussion in 2018 to discuss the definition of video poetry. This year we asked other orgs to present mini-showcases as opportunities to share a larger diversity of work.

Rana: Partnerships are at the core of our work as a community-based organization, we consistently seek co-presentation opportunities with organizations whose missions align with NWFF programs, and this effort extends to Cadence as well. We have much to learn from each other. The more we build alliances to support each other’s work in meaningful ways, the better equipped we are to incite public dialogue and social change through the arts.

Dave: I’ve seen some poetry film/video festivals that exist entirely online, and others with barely any web presence whatsoever. On the one hand, it seems a shame not to take advantage of the nearly worldwide reach of video streaming platforms, but on the other hand, if everything is available online, many festival directors feel audiences won’t show up. What are your thoughts on the proper balance between web and IRL where festivals are concerned, and do you plan any additional online efforts to share the videos screened or produced at Cadence?

Chelsea: I think this is similar to watching a movie at a theater versus streaming it online. Or looking at a photo of a painting as opposed to standing in front of it at a museum. A lot of the audience at the screenings are the writers, filmmakers, their friends, and other artists. I don’t think that has to do with material being available online. You see this in the audience across media at gallery openings, literary readings, etc. What’s cool about a video poetry screening in comparison to a literary reading, is seeing more cross over between artists of varying media in attendance. I think there’s also value to experiencing the selection of works presented by a specific festival.

Rana: This is a delicate balance indeed and one that NWFF faces daily. Our preference has been for participating video poets to determine whether and when to make their work available online. In contrast with digital platforms for consumption, the festival is intended to bring people together for a shared cinematic and artistic experience under one roof. Nothing can really replace the gripping silence that befalls a crowd during a film without sound or the accumulative laughter that lingers long after the credits.

Dave: What’s next for Cadence? Will the 2019 program be touring anywhere? What if anything will likely change next time? And do you plan to keep it an annual event?

Rana: Selections from Cadence 2019 are already touring poetry and arts festivals in the region and will continue to as we lead into the 2020 edition. We’ll continue to pursue collaborations and resource-sharing with local organizations and international video poetry festivals, as our combined efforts are truly a service to the artists we represent. The generative workshops may take place the month prior to the festival next year, to allot sufficient time for getting pieces festival-ready.

Chelsea: So far we screened works from the festival at the Cascadia Poetry Festival in Anacortes, WA in May and just shared a showcase of video poems from the 2019 line-up at the Arts in Nature Festival in Seattle. Next year we are talking about shifting the screening schedule and allowing more time for the production of new work as part of the festival’s output. Talking with other festival directors has been very useful in looking at what we’re doing and how we can switch it up to the benefit of the artists involved.

Submissions for Cadence 2020 are scheduled to open in January via FilmFreeway: https://filmfreeway.com/CadenceVideoPoetryFestival
To be added to the contact list, please email rana@nwfilmforum.org. For more information about the festival, visit nwfilmforum.org/cadence.


Rana San is an artist and arts administrator who, prior to stepping into her role as Artistic Director, served as the Community Programmer at NWFF, co-creating programming driven by and for the community. Rana co-directs the annual Cadence: Video Poetry Festival, the only video poetry festival in the PNW and one of three nationally.

Drawing on her background in performing arts and cultural management, she has developed and produced cultural festivals, museum programs, and intimate creative salons in Seattle, Istanbul, and Barcelona. Her creative practice melds dreamwork, written word, body in motion, video poetry, and analog photography. She’s interested in the ways we relate to ourselves, each other, our surroundings, the unknown, and the new meanings that are made in spaces where artistic mediums meet.

Rana’s first stop motion animation short disarmed screened at Local Sightings in 2016 and she serves on the short film committee for the Seattle Turkish Film Festival.

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke is the author of Adventures in Property Management (Sibling Rivalry, 2017) and Thunder Lizard (H_NGM_N, 2016). She is co-founder and director of Till, a literary organization that offers an annual writing residency at Smoke Farm in Arlington, WA. She is outreach coordinator for Conium Review and was previously managing fiction editor at Pacifica Literary Review. She has received support from Jack Straw Cultural Center as a writing fellow, from Artist Trust as an EDGE participant, and from the Cornish College Arts Incubator. She’s received writing residencies from Vermont Studio Center and Ragdale Foundation. Werner-Jatzke has taught creative writing through Seattle Central Community College and served on the board of Lit Crawl Seattle. She received her MFA from Goddard College, during which she was editor-in-chief of Pitkin Review and founded Lit.mustest, a now-defunct reading series.

Bios copied from the NWFF website.

Call for entries: Cadence Video Poetry Festival

Cadence Video Poetry Festival - Northwest Film Forum banner

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke recently contacted me to let us know about a videopoetry festival that she’s helping to organize in Seattle, and due to a snafu in communications, I’m a little late in getting this news out. But there’s still time: the deadline for submissions is March 1. Chelsea wrote:

Verse meets visuals in motion at Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) in April 2019. Cadence: Video Poetry Festival, presented by NWFF, programmed in collaboration with Seattle author Chelsea Werner-Jatzke, is a series of screenings, workshops, and discussions on the genre of video poetry, throughout National Poetry Month. Entering its second year, Cadence is growing considerably to fill a gap in the presentation of video poetry in the Pacific Northwest. Featuring four screenings, one each Thursday of the month, the festival’s inaugural Artist in Residence, generative workshops for youth and adults, and a juried selection of open submissions, Cadence fosters critical and creative growth around the oft overlooked medium of video poetry.

Cadence approaches video poetry as a literary genre presented as visual media that makes new meaning from the combination of text and moving image.

The website adds:

Video poetry is language as light. As an art form, video poetry is lucid and liminal—on the threshold of the literary and the moving image. It articulates the poetic image visually, rather than metaphorically—it shifts words from page to screen, from ink to light. A video poem makes meaning that would not exist if text was without image, image without text. It is language-based video work or a video-based poem. Video poetry is a literary genre presented as visual media.

Which is a damn good definition, I thought.

Cadence Call for Entries

NWFF is accepting video poetry submissions for inclusion in the April 18, 2019 screening of Cadence Video Poetry Festival. We are looking for works no longer than 5 minutes that fit within the following categories of video poetry:

  • Adaptations/Ekphrasis: Videos created to bring new meaning and dimension to pre-existing poetry. Any poems used for this purpose must be in the public domain or else used with written consent of the author.
  • Collaboration: Video poems created in collaboration between a videographer or video artist and poet.
  • Video by Poets: Poets creating video from, or as, their writing.
  • Poetry by Video Artists: Video artists using text visually or through audio intrinsic to the poetic meaning.

Cadence Video Poetry Festival proudly accepts entries via FilmFreeway.
Submission deadline: March 1

Please direct questions regarding submissions to NWFF Artistic Director Rana San at rana@nwfilmforum.org.

The screening of selections from this open call for entries on April 18 is just one of four Cadence screenings, and the two workshops also sound very worthwhile, one on April 6th, and another on April 13 for teenagers. See the website for details about all those events.

This is actually the festival’s second year. In 2018 there was a call (which I missed) for entries from filmmakers in the northwest region.