As you most likely know, April is National Poetry Month. And all month long, Seattle will be celebrating with poetry readings in nontraditional spaces. We'll highlight some of the best events here on this site in the days and weeks to come, but one of our favorite Poetry Month events is already upon us. It doesn't happen in a bookstore, or even in a civic space that sometimes hosts readings. This one happens in a movie theater.
For every Thursday this month, Northwest Film Forum is hosting Cadence: Video Poetry Festival, a collaboration between poetry and film curated by Seattle writer Chelsea Werner-Jatzke. Its mission statement is pretty clear: "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 second year of Cadence features a wide range of programming including workshops and screenings and the public creation of new video poetry works and more.
On Saturday at 11 am, Seattle Review of Books' April Poet in Residence, Amaranth Borsuk, will be teaching an all-day workshop named "The Image Speaks." The listing for the workshop promises that participants "will write, film, and experiment, conceptualizing and developing video poems that may stretch the bounds of the genre. No experience with either poetry or film is necessary."
Catherine Bresner will serve as poet-in-residence for the duration of the festival, including a display in NWFF's lobby and a youth video poetry workshop on April 13th. Poets who created new work in the workshops will get to screen their work at NWFF on April 25th.
Thursday screenings are themed. April 4th features video poetry created by local organizations including " Interbay Cinema Society, Jack Straw Cultural Center, Mount Analogue, Poetry Northwest, Pongo Publishing, and Seattle City of Literature." And April 18th will feature an international showcase of video poets from Europe and the Middle East.
This isn't a pivot to video, or a bitter attempt to win over future generations through a friendlier medium. Instead, Cadence is an attempt to collaborate on something new by combining two old genres into a bold new field of study. It's National Poetry Month. Go discover a new world.
Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, https://nwfilmforum.org/festivals/cadence-video-poetry-festival/.