Lights, Words, Action!

Poetry & Cinema

Raúl Ruiz writes in Poetics of Cinema that cinema is “a machine for travel through space and time.” So is the poem! What moves have the movies learned from poems—and what can they teach us poets about the image, really showing things, about movement and transition, creation of moods and worlds? In this workshop, we will explore the history of the poetic image as a synesthetic moment, the activation of all the senses, along with the evolution of cinema: from Imagism and French New Wave to Instagram poetry and digital video art. We will watch films and video old and new, from Maya Deren and Jan Svankmajer to Satyajit Ray and David Lynch, Kalup Linzy and Petra Cortright, and your own favorite clips. We’ll pay attention to the elements of film: cinematography, framing, editing, color, story, sound—and see how our insights can be applied to their poetic counterparts. Have you ever written a poem in black & white? What was the soundtrack? Let’s use our camera-eye to make poems alive with images.

Workshop Details


Born in Croatia, Ana Božičević is a poet, translator, teacher and occasional singer. She is the author of Joy of Missing Out (Birds, LLC, 2017), the Lambda Award–winning Rise in the Fall (Birds, LLC, 2013) and Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009). She is the recipient of a 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism award from Feminist Press and a PEN American Center/NYSCA grant for translating It Was Easy to Set the Snow on Fire by Zvonko Karanović. Božičević received her MFA in poetry from Hunter College. At the PhD program in English at the CUNY Graduate Center, she studied New American poetics and alternative art schools and communities, and edited lectures by Diane di Prima for Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. Božičević has taught poetry at BHQFU, Bowery Poetry Club, Harvard, Naropa and the University of Arizona Poetry Center.