Cadence: Video Poetry Festival 2021 [Online]


Cadence Festival Passes are available!

General Pass: $50

NWFF/Frye* Member Pass: $35

Passes grant access to all film programs in the festival. Marilyn Freeman’s live Cinema Divina event is not included with a pass; Haiku You workshop registration is also separate, but free. * Frye members will receive a code to unlock their pass from the Frye!

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.

Apr. 16–25 *

2021 Festival Program:

* All Cadence 2021 programs are available on demand from Apr. 16–25, with the exceptions of Cinema Divina (Apr. 21) & Haiku You (Apr. 28)

Cadence 2021 Awards:

Read about past editions of the festival at the foot of this page.

ICYMI: Cadence Casual!

At Cadence Casual, the informal artist/audience Zoom gathering that inaugurated Cadence 2021’s opening weekend, sixteen of the festival’s featured artist teams discussed their experiences with and approaches to video poetry.

Mana Jahangard – Can you hear me?
Emma Penaz Eisner – Lairs
Elisabeth Brun – 3xShapes of Home
Vito A. Rowlands – Flames that Drift (Laai ende Drift)
Jeff Stern – This Fog
Raluca Popa & Simona Nastac – return
Charles Olsen – Sit Here (Noho Mai)
Darryl Dillard – Who’s With Me
Angela Lemus-Mogrovejo – A Blessing All My Own
Natachi Mez – Lineage is Not Linear
Edward Gunawan – I Dream of Water
bobby Morris + Ariadna Franco – Liberty
Lyr Casper – Rotten Fruit
Meike Redeker – Ophelia
Fiona Tinwei Lam + Jack Cochran + Pamela Falkenberg – Legacy
Shanley Fermin – Delirium

Cadence Artist-in-Residence: Natachi Mez

** The Cadence Artist-in-Residence program provides resources and tools for the development of a new video poem to screen at the 2021 festival! Purchase tickets for the festival, then RSVP for a discussion with Natachi Mez on April 19. **

Natachi Mez (she/her) is an Igbo, Nigerian-American writer, performer, and emcee from the Sacramento area in California. Natachi is a two time finalist at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI), and has featured at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Oberlin College, as well as at venues in Accra, Copenhagen, and Istanbul.

Natachi facilitates dynamic experiences that deepen audience engagement and celebrate community voice. Natachi has worked with youth communities and people who are incarcerated to engage writing and rapping as tools of empowerment. She has facilitated writing and performance workshops at Tufts University, Rutgers University, Rikers Island, and more.

Natachi graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Computer Science, and works as Business Program Manager, focusing on community building, communications, intercultural awareness, and design.

You can find Natachi’s words featured or forthcoming in Interstellar Flight Magazine, Unplug Mag, Gumbo Magazine, Breadcrumbs Magazine, Write About Now, or on Instagram



Cadence Artist-in-Residence call for new applications will resume in 2022!

Northwest Film Forum selects an artist or artist team of two to develop a new video poem for inclusion in Cadence: Video Poetry Festival each year. The selected artist(s) will have access to NWFF’s film equipment and edit lab, as well as an opportunity to participate in a scheduled workshop to develop or supplement their filmmaking and/or editing skills. The Artist-in-Residence will be asked to participate in a post-screening conversation with festival co-directors and other participating artists.

Artists or artist teams of two residing in Seattle, 18 years of age or older.

Read past application requirements here.

Meet the Jurors:

Roland Dahwen

Roland Dahwen

** 2019 Cadence featured artist! **
Poetry by Video Artists Award

Roland Dahwen is a filmmaker and visual artist. He has been a recipient of the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship, an artist-in-residence at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Creative Exchange Lab, and a finalist for the Seattle Art Museum’s Betty Bowen Award. He has made videos with several poets and writers, including Samiya Bashir (Field Theories), Dao Strom (Traveler’s Ode, Flower Diatribe #1, Love|Object|Treason), and Stacey Tran (Haft-Seen).

Caryn Cline

Caryn Cline

Collaboration Award

Caryn Cline is a Seattle-based filmmaker, curator and educator, originally from the Missouri Ozarks.  Her short experimental, animated, found footage and “botanicollage” films have been screened at the Venice Biennale, Alchemy, the San Francisco Exploratorium, Antimatter, Experiments in Cinema, Anthology Film Archives, Analogia, and other festivals and venues.  Besides making films, she teaches handmade film techniques, is the Executive Director of the Interbay Cinema Society, and co-founder and co-curator of the Engauge Experimental Film Festival.

Catherine Bresner

Catherine Bresner

** 2019 Cadence Artist-in-Residence! **
Video by Poets Award

Catherine Bresner is the author of the chapbook The Merriam Webster Series; the artist book Everyday Eros (Mount Analogue 2017); and the empty season, which won the Diode Edition Book Prize in 2017. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the VOLTA, b l u s h, Sixth Finch, The Offing, Heavy Feather Review, Gulf Coast, Passages North, Paperbag and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Juniper Summer Institute fellowship and the 2019 Cadence Residency through the Northwest Film Forum. Currently, she is the publicist for Wave Books and lives in Seattle, WA.

Nico Vassilakis

Nico Vassilakis

** 2018 Cadence featured artist! **
Adaptations/Ekphrasis Award

Nico Vassilakis writes poetry about reading seeing and draws language that focuses on the visual jettisoning of letters from their word position. He has published several books of poetry and text/art. Most recently VOIR DIRE was published by Dusie Books. Vassilakis co-edited The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 (Fantagraphics Books) and was a curator of several international visual/concrete poetry exhibitions. He currently lives in Greenville, IL with his wife and animals.



Northwest Artist Award

Moss is a literary journal of writing from the Pacific Northwest. Published annually, Moss is dedicated to exploring the intersection of place and creative expression, while exposing the region’s outstanding writers to a broad audience of readers, critics, and publishers. Since its debut issue in the summer of 2014, Moss has received praise for its sharp design, strong editorial hand, and its commitment to supporting new and emerging writers. You can find Moss at independent bookstores across the Northwest, and online at

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke

Cadence Co-Director
Wild Card Award

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke is a writer exploring the liminal spaces of the literary arts. She is the author of the chapbooks Adventures in Property Management (Sibling Rivalry, 2017) and Thunder Lizard (H_NGM_N, 2016). Her interest in how words are experienced has led to solo work and collaborations with artists across media to create gallery installations, classical music performances, broadsides, karaoke, and video poetry. She is co-founder and director of Till, a literary organization that offers an annual writing residency at Smoke Farm in Arlington, WA and a museum communications professional.

Rana San

Rana San

Cadence Co-Director
Wild Card Award

Rana San is an artist, curator, and media maker whose creative practice melds dreamwork, written word, embodied movement, 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. In community, Rana crafts collective experiences that elevate the work of storytellers, artists, and activists using moving image media and contemporary performing arts to cultivate intimacy and incite connection through creative expression. She has developed and produced cultural festivals, museum programs, and intimate creative salons in Seattle, Istanbul, and Barcelona and serves as the Artistic Director at Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, WA where she co-curates year-round programming, including the annual Cadence: Video Poetry Festival.

Cadence Call for Entries

Cadence accepts works that fit within the following categories of video poetry for inclusion in Cadence Video Poetry Festival.

  • 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.

Submissions for Cadence 2021 closed on March 1, 2021. Pacific Northwest video poets: please consider submitting to our new Local Shortiez initiative! Local Shortiez seeks under-3-minute short films of ANY genre, and is free to submit to.

Past editions of Cadence:

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1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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