(May 2015)

Motionpoems unveils sixth season of poetry films

All-female lineup of poets inspired by VIDA-Women in Literary Arts

Walker Art Center, May 21, 2015
Two free public screenings 6pm, 8pm. Panel 7pm.

Motionpoems, Inc., will premiere 13 new poetry films at the Walker Art Center on May 21 with two screenings punctuated by a panel discussion about the confluence of poetry and film trending worldwide. The films will then be released free to subscribers monthly at The evening will be co-hosted by Motionpoems Executive and Artistic Director Todd Boss and MPR “movie maven” Stephanie Curtis.

The season was produced by Psyop-LA executive producer Amanda Miller, with production management by Egg Music of Minneapolis. Production support has been provided by SoundLounge NY, Nice Shoes of Minneapolis, and HDMG of Minneapolis, among others.

The nonprofit Motionpoems has commissioned more than 75 films based on contemporary poems by Pulitzer winners and early-career writers alike, but Season 6 poets are all female, thanks to a unique partnership with VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. “VIDA’s annual count was the inspiration,” says Boss, “for my decision to curate an all-female season.” The nonprofit VIDA’s annual “count” is a painstaking tally of gender disparity among literary publications and book reviews.

Twenty filmmakers and fourteen poets will be represented in two identical screenings of 13 films at the Walker. The films are

“A Day at the Mall Reminds Me of America,” poem by Sarah Blake, film by Ayse Altinok

“Cigar Box Banjo,” poem by Kim Addonizio, film by Danny Madden

“Creased Map of the Underworld,” poem by Kim Addonizio, film by Bryan Michurski

“Crows, Reckoning,” poem by Jessica Goodfellow, film by Chase Masterson

“How Not to Need Resurrection,” poem by Michalle Gould, film by Diego V. Lozano & Satten Roeg

“I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast,” poem by Melissa Studdard, film by Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini

“I’m Over the Moon,” poem by Brenda Shaughnessy, film by Jessica Hundley

“Falling Lessons: Erasure One,” poem by Beth Copeland, film by Ahn Vu

“The Mother Warns the Tornado,” poem by Catherine Pierce, film by Isaac Ravishankara

“Once” poem by Meghan O’Rourke, film by Angela Kohler and Ithyle Griffiths

“She Shakes Chilies from Her Hair,” poem by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, film by Jeff Stevens

“The Long Deployment,” poem by Jehanne Dubrow, film by Nicole McDonald

“Triolet for Laika, First Dog in Space,” poem by Ann Kolakowski, film by Emory Allen & Alicia Reece

“Undersong,” poem by Stacey Lynn Brown, film by Matt Smithson

Two free screenings at 6pm and 8pm on May 21 will flank a 7pm panel discussion on poetry + film with several featured guest artists.




(November 2014)

Call for poems: “Arrivals and Departures”

Motionpoems invites non-Minnesota US residents to submit poems on the theme of “arrivals and departures” for the 2nd year of an annual public art installation of the same name. Deadline Jan 15. Details here.




(October 2014)

Motionpoems presents colossal public artwork in Saint Paul

Motionpoems presents a massive, one-of-a-kind audio-visual public art experience at Union Depot Oct 10 – 11 to coincide with the St. Paul Art Crawl. The project, titled “Arrivals & Departures,” is a compilation of four poems on the theme of “arrivals and departures” by Minnesota poets that have been made into four short (four to five minute) films by Minnesota filmmakers. The films are projected across the façade of Union Depot on nine 35’ tall screens hung between the structure’s massive sandstone columns. From dusk to 10pm the films run on a continual loop.

The work celebrates the beauty and renaissance of the historic Union Depot through a series of motionpoems created using 3D mapping technology to fuse poetry and film into a spectacular community gathering. The project has been planned since 2012, with an estimated 1,000 hours in production. The poets were chosen from a statewide contest co-sponsored by the Loft Literary Center and include Linda Back McKay, Robert Dougherty, Brian Beatty, and Mike Rollin. Motionpoems is working with Pixel Farm Creative of Minneapolis who digitally mapped Union Depot and created an architectural template for use by the filmmakers. The four filmmakers include the teams at Pixel Farm, Browntown Collective and independent artists Nick Clausen and Barbara Weiner. The films’ voiceover work is by talent from the Guthrie Theatre and New York City artists.

The project was funded by support from the City of St. Paul, the St. Paul Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a successful Kickstarter campaign and many individual donors.

The goal is to make “Arrivals and Departures” an annual event. Following this inaugural year featuring Minnesota artists, the plan is to invite poets and filmmakers nationally to submit their work for the 2015 projection, internationally in 2016 and then statewide again in 2017.



(July 2014)

Motionpoems hires Amanda Miller of Psyop

Motionpoems has hired a new producer to manage film production of Season Six: Amanda Miller will join the production team at Egg Creative (Minneapolis) from her base as Executive Producer at Psyop (Los Angeles). Miller will be in charge of recruitment of filmmakers for the coming year, and overseeing the production calendar.

Miller has 10 years of agency experience (Saatchi LA) and a four-year history with Psyop. She’s worked on a range of clients and projects including a documentary series called “Line of Scrimmage” that highlighted high school football teams during the Sunday Night Halftime show with Bob Costas, and a 45-minute documentary tracking two race teams that ran the 48-hour Baja 1000. 

“I am lucky enough to become part of Motionpoems after it has already gained a lot of traction and recognition,” says Miller about replacing outgoing Season Five producer Jennifer David, who joins Motionpoems’ board of directors. “I hope to help refine the production process, bring new filmmakers to the list, and get our films seen in more places! In advertising parlance, ‘expand the brand’!” 

“This is a big opportunity for Motionpoems,” says Eric Fawcett, Executive Producer of Egg Creative, Motionpoems’ production management team for the second year in a row. “Psyop is a major name in the creative industry, and Amanda is a superb talent; we’re all very excited about what she’s bringing to the table.”

One of Psyop’s filmmakers developed a Season Five film that premiered at the Walker Art Center in May 2014 (Georgia Tribuiani’s adaptation of Mark Wunderlich’sWhite Fur‘) that “took the poetry film genre to new levels of production and interpretation,” says Motionpoems Executive and Artistic Director Todd Boss. “So we’re delighted they’re involved in helping us advance our artistic leadership in the coming year.”



(April 2014)

Motionpoems presents world premiere of Season Five

New poetry films to screen May 22, 2014 at Walker Art Center

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. (April, 2014) – Minneapolis-based nonprofit Motionpoems, Inc., the world’s only poetry film company, will premiere its fifth season of new commissioned short film adaptations of contemporary poems at the Walker Art Center May 22. The annual premiere screening, emceed by Motionpoems’ founding Executive and Artistic Director Todd Boss and MPR “movie maven” Stephanie Curtis, offers audiences a rare glimpse at a wide range of bold examples of this new hybrid form. Several featured poets and filmmakers will be in attendance. The event is free.

The 16 films, in a mix of styles (live-action, documentary, cross-disciplinary, animated), will range among poems lyrical, narrative, absurd, and experimental. There’s a poem by prominent Uruguayan poet Circe Maia translated from the Spanish, and a poem for kids by current U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt. Several films have been developed by lead artists whose primary medium is not film, like Dave Matthews Band bassist Stefan Lessard and installation artist Evan Holm.

“Taking the reigns as Motionpoems’ production manager this year, our goal was no less than to recruit some of the most creative filmmakers in the world.,” says Egg Creative’s EP Eric Fawcett, citing filmmakers from leading international production companies, like Psyop, MPC, The Mill, Hello Stranger and others. “Motionpoems provides filmmakers with a rare opportunity to unbridle their talents and make amazing fine art within an existing supportive structure.”

Poetry was provided by partnering publishers Alaska Quarterly Review, American Poetry Review, The Believer, Best American Poetry 2013, Copper Canyon Press, Graywolf Press, The Iowa Review, Milkweed Editions, The Poetry Foundation, and Tin House.

As of press time, the program on May 22 will include 19 films:


“Stupid Sandwich” by Nathan Anderson (OH)

adapted by Jens Mebes / Carolyn Figel / Andrew Montague of MPC (NYC)


“The Imagined” by Stephen Dunn (NJ)

adapted by Matt Craig of Squeen (NYC)


“Western Civilization” by Peter Jay Shippy (MA)

adapted by Alicia Reece of Neighbor (Minneapolis)


“Operation Get Down” by Alex Lemon (TX)

adapted by Angella Kassube of HDMG (Minneapolis)


“JUNG/MALENA/DARWIN” by Albert Goldbarth (KS)

adapted by Chris Jopp of Open Window (Minneapolis)


“White Fur” by Mark Wunderlich (NY)

adapted by Georgia Tribuiani of Psyop (Los Angeles)


“All American” by David Hernandez (CA)

adapted by Richard Johnson (London)


“Eggheads” by John Koethe (WI)

adapted by Rob Perez (Minneapolis)


“Perspective” by Laura Kasischke (MI)

adapted by Pablo Delcan (NYC)


“This Is Not A Fairytale” by Laura Kasischke (MI)

adapted by Laurent Barthelemy / Shizuka Kusayanagi (Los Angeles)


“Working Order” by Dora Malech (MD)

adapted by William Campbell / Will Johnson of Gentleman Scholar (Los Angeles)

“When the Men Go Off to War” by Victoria Kelly (VA)

adapted by Noah Dorsey (OR)


“The Ring-Toss Lady Breaks a Five” by Mark Kraushaar (WI)

adapted by Stefan Lessard / Fred Schroeder (Los Angeles)


“Albert Einstein” by Matthew Zapruder (CA)

adapted by John Akre (Minneapolis)


“Postcard to My Third Crush Today,” Sean Hill (MN)

adapted by Sam Hoolihan (Minneapolis)


“Treason” by Circe Maia (Uruguay)

adapted by Julian Wayser (Los Angeles)


“Wayne the Stegosaurus” by Kenn Nesbitt (WA)

adapted by Aran Quin / Rob Pietre / Jeff Dates of The Mill (NYC)


“Antique Sound” by W.S. Merwin (HI)

adapted by Evan Holm (Oakland, CA)



(November, 2013)

Motionpoems announces major public art project

Citizen poems will be projected onto Saint Paul’s Union Depot

Motionpoems® Inc., in association with Minnesota poet and public artist Todd Boss, announces an open call for poems on the theme of “Arrivals and Departures.” Winning poems will be turned into short films and projected onto the block-wide neo-classical façade of Saint Paul’s historic Union Depot as part of a free public poetry/film installation to take place during the St Paul Art Crawl, October 2-4, 2014.

Full submission details are here.  Entrants must live in Minnesota and be able to provide proof of residence. A prominent non-Minnesota poet will judge. All manuscripts will be judged anonymously.

Entrants are urged to consider the theme of “Arrivals and Departures” in the broadest possible terms. “Although this project celebrates the newly revitalized Depot,” says Boss, “the Depot isn’t the installation’s subject, it’s just the canvas upon which the poems will be illustrated and experienced, in film. Poets should consider not what the Depot is, but what it represents, as a source of diversity, culture, commerce, influence, inspiration, and exploration. Also consider the Depot as an early manifestation of newer depots in modern life, which may include the International Space Station, for example, or other ways in which mankind is ‘departing’ or ‘arriving’ culturally, intellectually, spiritually.”

This project is supported by a McKnight Foundation grant from Forecast Public Art, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the City of Saint Paul Cultural Star Program, and the Lowertown Future Fund of the St. Paul Foundation.



(September, 2013)

Motionpoems partners with Egg Creative, Jennifer David

Adds more publishers

Motionpoems will partner with Minneapolis-based Egg Creative as its production management team, and has engaged Jennifer David (formerly Executive Producer of Fallon Worldwide) to produce  the coming season of 12 poetry films.

Egg Creative will provide production management assistance, and its music and sound division, Egg Music, will provide Motionpoems’ film projects with original scores, music supervision, audio production and finishing. Executive Producer Eric Fawcett says, “I’m inspired by how much raw talent exists in the ad industry, and we’re eager to connect those talents to Motionpoems’ film projects.”

Replacing Motionpoems co-founding producer Angella Kassube (who takes a seat on the board), freelancer Jennifer David brings 15 years of experience in agency work, including stints at Martin Williams and Carmichael Lynch before a 9-year run at Fallon serving as EP on Cadillac and Chrysler, and as Producer on accounts like Virgin Mobile, Travelers Insurance and Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Her 5+ years on the board of the Weisman Art Museum acquaint her with the nonprofit arts sector.

Motionpoems’ annual season consists of 12 short films per year, adapted from poems cultivated in partnership with some of America’s most important poetry publishers. In recent years, Motionpoems has partnered with Copper Canyon Press, Milkweed Editions, Graywolf Press, and Scribner’s annual Best American Poetry anthology. All will contribute poetry again this year, along with newcomers American Poetry Review, McSweeney’s, The BelieverTin House, Alaska Quarterly Review, FSG, Wave Books and others to be announced. Motionpoems has produced 40+ films over the past four years, working with  Pulitzer Prize winners and early-career poets alike.

“Motionpoems is building a quality brand,” says Executive and Artistic Director and poet Todd Boss, “and these relationships are key to raising the bar. Our mission is to broaden the audience for poetry, and we don’t intend to just woo new readers, we intend to wow them.” A recent article at says the films are “astonishing, powerful, and hilarious.”

Production is already underway for the 2014-15 season and film teams are being recruited.

Subscribe free to get a new motionpoem each month.


(April, 2013)

New Motionpoems to premiere at Walker Art Center April 24

A dozen new motionpoems comprising the 2013-14 season will premiere at the Walker Art Center April 24, 2013, with two screenings at 6pm and 8pm. Both screenings are free and open to the public but reservations are encouraged through the Walker box office: 612/375-7622. Both screenings will feature lights-up discussions with contributing poets and film artists. The event is co-presented by the Minneapolis-St Paul International Film Festival, and is sponsored by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.



(Sep, 2012)

New DISCUSSION GUIDE brings conversation to 2012 films.

Motionpoems films are often used in classrooms, bookstores, libraries and elsewhere to introduce new audiences to the world of poetry. Now there’s a Season 2012 Discussion Guide that can help facilitate conversation about each film.

Download your own free PDF version of the 2012 Season Discussion Guide hereMP12 Discussion Guide

The Discussion Guide is packed with provocative commentary from filmmakers and poets, thoughtful questions about the ways in which the languages of film and poetry overlap, and “Try it” writing exercises.

Because our 2012 season is made up of poems drawn from the Best American Poetry 2011 (Scribner), The Discussion Guide refers to content in that volume as well. Together, the films, book, and Discussion Guide make for a lively event.




(July, 2012)

Twelve motionpoems selected for ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin!


We’re thrilled to announce that twelve motionpoems were chosen from among nearly 900 entries from 63 countries to compete and/or screen at the Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin this October! Work from video artists Emma Burghardt, Angella Kassube, and Amy Schmitt were chosen to compete in the festival. Their films feature poems from K. A. Hays, Thomas Lux, and Erin Belieu. You can view the selected motionpoems here:

“Just As, After a Point, Job Cried Out” | film by Emma Burghardt | poem by K. A. Hays
“Render, Render” | film by Angella Kassube | poem by Thomas Lux
“When at a Certain Party in NYC” | film by Amy Schmitt | poem by Erin Belieu


Judges selected an additional nine motionpoems to screen at the festival. You can see those motionpoems below:

“Andrew Wyeth, Painter, Dies at 91″ | film by Tom Jacobsen | poem by L.S. Klatt
“French Movie” | film by Scott Wenner | poem by David Lehman
“Karl” | film by Scott Wenner | poem by Dag Straumsvag
“Render, Render” | film by Jeff Saunders | poem by Thomas Lux
“Sea Salt” | film by Amy Schmitt | poem by David Mason
“The Cloudy Vase” | film by Jeff Saunders & Scott Olson | poem by Jane Hirshfield
“The Poem of the Spanish Poet” | film by Juan Delcan | poem by Mark Strand
“Thoreau and the Lightning” | film by Adam Tow | poem by David Wagoner
“The Trees – They Were Once Good Men” | film by Emma Burghardt | poem by Todd Boss


Congratulations to all the video artists and poets whose work will be featured!




(Oct, 2011)

Motionpoems to premiere new season at festival screening, Oct 25, 2011.

Join Motionpoems for the premiere of a dozen short films based on poems by major emerging and established poets, including Richard Wilbur, Jane Hirshfield, Erin Belieu, Mark Strand, and many more selected from Best American Poetry 2011, America’s most popular poetry anthology. Celebrate the poets and video artists involved, meet them, and hear the stories behind the projects in this unique collaboration. 

Special guest: poet David Lehman, series editor of Best American Poetry   

TWO SCREENINGS: October 25, 2011 — 6pm & 8pm at Target Performance Hall, Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue S, Minneapolis

Reception immediately following both screenings in the studios of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts where you can print your own keepsake letterpress broadside courtesy of Kent Aldrich and his Nomadic Press.

Free and open to the public. Seating is limited.



(Oct, 2011)

Motionpoems announces 2012 Season in partnership with BEST AMERICAN POETRY

In a new pilot-year partnership, Motionpoems will release a dozen new film adaptations of poems from the 2011 volume of BEST AMERICAN POETRY (Scribner) edited by David Lehman and Kevin Young. The poems, to release throughout 2012 on a free subscription basis, are designed to broaden the audience for some of the most vital and interesting new poetry being written in America today. Motionpoems forthcoming include verse from Mark Strand, Richard Wilbur, Jane Hirshfield, Michael Dickman, Matthew Dickman, Erin Belieu, David Wagoner, and more. The poems, first selected for the volume by Lehman and Young, were then selected for development by Motionpoems’s network of video artists.

“We’re thrilled to be working with this kind of talent,” says Motionpoems co-founder Angella Kassube, “both on the poetry side and on the video side. We can’t wait to show you the results.”

To subscribe, fill out the simple form at SUBSCRIBE above. Subscriptions are free.




(July, 2011)

Motionpoems surpasses $15,000 fundraising goal on, gaining 300+ new backers

In its first fundraising year since its founding in 2008, Motionpoems has reached and surpassed a $15,000 goal set a month ago on the fundraising website, with donations flooding in from 300+ backers in eight countries. The cash arrives during a period of enormous growth and change for Motionpoems, which is moving from a volunteer-only model to one in which participating video artists can be paid a stipend for their work.

“It’s a stipend, not a salary,” says Motionpoems co-founder Todd Boss. “It doesn’t come close to paying these extraordinary artists what they’re worth, but it’s something. We’re gratified to know that backers agree it’s important to reward great artistic work.”




(June, 2011)

Motionpoems receives first grant from Minnesota State Arts Board

In its first fundraising year since its founding in 2008, Motionpoems has received a generous grant from the Minnesota State Arts Baord that will allow Motionpoems to host a festival in October 2011 when its new 2012 season is set to premiere. The grant will also allow Motionpoems to bring a guest speaker to the festival, staff it, and promote it.

The grant, offered as part of the State Arts Board’s “Festivals” grant program, will allow Motionpoems to expand its 3rd annual screening to include two showings at 6pm and 8pm on Oct 25, 2011, at the Target Performance Hall at Open Book, 1011 Washington Avenue S., Minneapolis. The grant also makes it possible for Motionpoems to bring special guest poet David Lehman, editor of BEST AMERICAN POETRY for 24 years, to appear that evening.

Motionpoems co-founders Todd Boss and Angella Kassube are grateful to the people of Minnesota for this grant. “We are working hard every day to be good stewards of it,” says Kassube.