On Lockdown

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“We are // more vulnerable / by far // than is realized / by even our // least sung, / furthest flung, // and most / compromised.” This Motionpoems short film directed by Calum Macdiarmid features a poem written by Motionpoems founder Todd Boss, the first in a series that specifically speaks to a pandemic-ridden world which was commissioned by the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Center for the Art of Medicine.

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Cranes, Mafiosos and a Polaroid Camera

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“What streams of light might escape me and reveal / about the things I collect and hide...” This Motionpoems film directed by Tash Tung features Natalie Diaz’s poem “Cranes, Mafiosos and a Polaroid Camera,” which was first published in Spillway and will be included in her second collection, Postcolonial Love Poem, forthcoming from Graywolf Press in March 2020. 

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The Transformation

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“It wasn’t fair that fish could see color, / and whales could not, but I was okay: I loved my new body. / I don’t know what kind of whale I was. In the ocean / there were no mirrors.” Emily Jungmin Yoon’s poem “The Transformation,” which appears in her debut collection, A Cruelty Special to Our Species (Ecco, 2018), has been adapted into a Motionpoems film directed by Malin Sandberg. 

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I Come From the Fire City

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“I come from the fire city / fire came and licked up our houses, lapped them up like they were nothing / drank them like the last dribbling water...” This Motionpoems short film, directed by Daniel Daly and starring Khadija Shari, features Eve L. Ewing’s poem “I come from the fire city.” from her debut collection, Electric Arches (Haymarket Books, 2017). 

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Boy Saint

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“In the beginning we were one blood. / Then the body, stem of thorns, grew / its disagreement from the inside / out.” In this Motionpoems film directed by Tom Speers, Peter LaBerge’s poem “Boy Saint” is narrated by Michael McElhatton. LaBerge is the editor in chief of the Adroit Journal and the author of the chapbook Makeshift Cathedral (YesYes Books, 2017).

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