Presenting the Award-Winners of Cadence Video Poetry Festival 2021
Northwest Film Forum (NWFF)’s 4th Cadence Video Poetry Festival (April 16–25, 2021) has announced six award-winners from among the 60 artist teams that were selected this year. The annual festival presents screenings, workshops, and discussions on the genre of video poetry, and remains the only festival dedicated to the genre in the Pacific Northwest. To date, it has been curated by Seattle author Chelsea Werner-Jatzke and media maker Rana San.
Cadence co-curators Rana San and Chelsea Werner-Jatzke (awarding the Wild Card Award) are joined this year by festival jurors Catherine Bresner (Video by Poets Award), Caryn Cline (Collaboration Award), Roland Dahwen (Poetry by Video Artists Award), Nico Vassilakis (Adaptation/Ekphrasis Award), and Moss literary journal (Northwest Artist Award).
Each of the six award-winning artist teams will receive a $100 cash prize and a prize pack from Moss.
- NORTHWEST ARTIST AWARD: Delirium (dir. Thelma Tunyi & Shanley Fermin, poetry by Tjawangwa Dema, US)
- ADAPTATION/EKPHRASIS AWARD: Lairs (dir. Emma Penaz Eisner, poetry by Jane Penaz Eisner, US)
- COLLABORATION AWARD: No Words (dir. Mariam Al-Dhubhani, poetry by Ahmed Abdul Raqeeb Alkhulaidi, Yemen)
- POETRY BY VIDEO ARTISTS AWARD: 3xShapes of Home (Elisabeth Brun, Norway)
- VIDEO BY POETS AWARD: I dream a queer allegory (Michael V. Smith, Jared Mitchell, RM Vaughan & Finn Ballard, Canada)
- WILD CARD AWARD: Dream Delivery (Yuan Zheng, China)
ABOUT THE AWARD CATEGORIES
- Adaptation/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.
- Poetry by Video Artists: Video artists using text visually or through audio intrinsic to the poetic meaning.
- Video by Poets: Poets creating video from, or as, their writing.
- 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.
More info, juror statements about each film, and juror and artist bios below.
Receives the NORTHWEST ARTIST AWARD
Delirium plays in 2021’s Foam to Form short film program
Honorable Mentions for the Northwest Artist Award:
an excerpt of Resilience (Suns)
An intimate, vulnerable performance grounds this powerful piece, which made brilliant use of layering (both visual and audio), repetition, and cacophony to explore the relationship between past and present, and between “history” and the self. an excerpt of Resilience (Suns) reminds us that the history of oppression is at once inextricable from the present, and under ongoing threat of erasure. As the filmmaker probes the limits of words and language to resolve these cycles, we realize that though the piles of books surrounding the performer offer a way in to this history, they may not offer a way out. At the end of the piece, no easy answers are given, but the agony and the anger in the performer’s final silent scream brings the viewer face to face with the fact that these questions can’t be ignored.
(dir. D.K. Pan, poetry by Pol Rosenthal, US, 2021, 5 min, in English, with hardcoded English subtitles)
an excerpt of Resilience (Suns) plays in 2021’s Uncanny Intermingling short film program
Barbed Wire Land
This smart, well-researched piece starts with a seemingly small footnote in the history of Western expansion – the invention of the barbed-wire fence – and finds within it a powerful metaphor for the entire American way of seeing and being in the world. The filmmaker’s multilayered story of place, people, technology, and ideology is brought home by fantastic archival footage, strong and well-paced editing, and a clear-eyed sense of what the country they call Barbed Wire Land, at its core, is all about.
(Olivia Louise, US, 4 min, in English, with no subtitles or captions)
Barbed Wire Land plays in 2021’s Housed but Never Homed short film program
Receives the ADAPTATION/EKPHRASIS AWARD
Lairs plays in 2021’s Housed but Never Homed short film program
Receives the COLLABORATION AWARD
No Words plays in 2021’s Ink of the Unfamiliar Pen short film program
Honorable Mention for the Collaboration Award:
Delirium creatively and humorously conveys the global banality and craziness of this pandemic year.
(dir. Thelma Tunyi & Shanley Fermin, poetry by Tjawangwa Dema, US, 2020, 7 min, in English, with no subtitles or captions)
Delirium plays in 2021’s Foam to Form short film program
3xShapes of Home
Receives the POETRY BY VIDEO ARTISTS AWARD
3xShapes of Home plays in 2021’s Housed but Never Homed short film program
I dream a queer allegory
Receives the VIDEO BY POETS AWARD
I dream a queer allegory plays in 2021’s Uncanny Intermingling short film program
Honorable Mention for the Video by Poets Award:
Shea, by NASRA
Effy Adar’s video poem is gorgeous, not only visually but sonically. Here is a poem that strikes a delicate balance between song and spirit while curiously exploring the ways that poetry can be seen, heard, and felt.
(dir. Effy Adar, poetry by Nasra Adem, Canada, 2021, 3 min, in English, with English closed captions)
Shea, by NASRA plays in 2021’s Housed but Never Homed short film program
Receives the WILD CARD AWARD
Dream Delivery plays in 2021’s Uncanny Intermingling short film program
Honorable Mention for the Wild Card Award:
It’s rare for a video poem to elicit a laugh, but the opening of Rotten Fruit did just that. These five stanzas contain more than humour, though. We love the poetic structure of the segments of Lyr Casper’s piece and the original footage, packed with symbolism. Bookended by collaged found audio, this poem questions what is expected. – Chelsea Werner-Jatzke
(Lyr Casper, US, 2020, 7 min, in English, with English intertitles and text)
Rotten Fruit plays in 2021’s Foam to Form short film program
Meet the Jurors:
** 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 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.
** 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.
** 2018 Cadence featured artist! **
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 mosslit.com.
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.
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: Video Poetry Festival is an annual series of screenings, workshops, and discussions on the genre of video poetry, held during National Poetry Month. The festival approaches video poetry as a literary genre that is presented as visual media, cultivating new meaning from the combination of text and moving image.
In its fourth year, the 2021 festival features 80 artists from throughout the world. Cadence is the Pacific Northwest’s only festival dedicated to the form of video poetry.
- Huw Wahl’s The Republics
Short film programs:
- Foam to Form
- Housed But Never Homed
- Ink of the Unfamiliar Pen
- This Is How I Excavate
- Uncanny Intermingling
- Cinema Divina: Contemplative, Creative, Communal Practice with Marilyn Freeman (Apr. 21 at 5pm PT)
- Haiku You: An All-Ages Film Poetry Workshop (Apr. 28 at 4pm PT)