Videohaiku and haibun at the International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia

International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia banner

UPDATE (10/20/20): Here’s the full list of films for The Art of Videohaiku.

The folks behind the Weimar Poetry Film Award and the bilingual Poetry Film Magazine have launched an ambitious new festival, the International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia, October 22-25. I’m pleased to have a minor role in its maiden launch—which, due to the pandemic, will be happening online: a program called The Art of Videohaiku.

Video haikus are small-format poetry films in which the form of the haiku is visually interpreted and adapted. During a workshop with the filmmaker Ana María Vallejo, the genre was explored artistically. In addition to the workshop results, the program shows video haikus and haibuns by the US-American artist and poet Dave Bonta.

They’ve chosen six of my videopoems, three videohaiku from last year’s Summer in the UK series, and three haibun videos from this year’s Pandemic Season series. Ana told me, “I wanted to have these two ‘realities’ before and after corona.”

videohaiku workshop banner

They’ll also be screening the films made by the four students who took Ana’s weekend-long workshop last month. I had recorded a brief lecture for them (below). According to Ana, they found my haiku-writing and video-making practice inspirational, which is highly gratifying if also a little worrying.

The whole program looks wonderful — check it out. I’m especially interested in the focus on African videopoetry and the “Women in Resistance” screening. One 10-Euro ticket ($11.71 USD) gives you access to all the programs, and three weeks in which to watch them.

Watch on Vimeo.

2 Replies to “Videohaiku and haibun at the International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia”

  1. Really thought-provoking, Dave.

    For my money, the concept of ‘incompleteness’ is an under-rated one; more interesting than, say, ‘show, don’t tell’, ‘beginner’s mind’ or notions about disjunction between the two elements of the poem. It also helps in guarding against complacency: Francis Bacon said in one his David Sylvester interviews that if he ever felt one of his paintings was too perfect, he would deliberately mar it in some way because achieving perfection would mean he’d’ve had to give up.

    1. Thanks, Matthew. I really appreciate hearing your perspective on this, as someone who’s been serious about haiku for quite a bit longer than me, I believe. I’m always tempted to paraphrase Laozi: Composing haiku is like frying a small fish. That light touch, that easily ruined but potentially exquisite morsel. It’s really easy to overdo it and I see myself doing that all the time, especially in first drafts. The Zen dictum “First thought, best thought” only works for people who aren’t over-thinkers!

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