The Burden of Proof

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“In the days since her arrest, Mary Ripley has not slept—ironic, since sleeping is precisely what she was doing on the night her landlady was murdered.” In this short animation, Christina Dalcher narrates her seven-sentence story, “The Burden of Proof.” Dalcher is the author of the debut novel, Vox (Berkley, 2018), which takes place in a dystopian United States where women are only allowed to speak one hundred words per day.

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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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American Arithmetic

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“I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible.” This Motionpoems film directed by Mohammed Hammad features Natalie Diaz’s poem “American Arithmetic,” which appeared in the anthology Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation (Penguin Books, 2017) edited by John Freeman.

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The Robots Are Coming

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“They await counterintelligence / transmissions from our laptops / and our blue teeth, await word / of humanity’s critical mass, / our ripening.” Kyle Dargan’s poem “The Robots Are Coming” is brought to life in this animated Motionpoems film by Julia Iverson. Dargan’s new poetry collection, Anagnorisis (TriQuarterly Books, 2018), is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Small Shoes

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“If there are fewer stars now / than when I was a child, / I can’t say / which are missing, / who was the last to see them.” Maggie Smith’s poem “Small Shoes” is adapted into a short film by director Kate Dolan for Motionpoems. Smith is the author of the poetry collection Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017), the title poem of which went viral on social media after it was first published online in the literary journal Waxwing.

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The Ayes Have It

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What are you? Where are you from? / I say, California, / but that’s not what they are looking for...” This Motionpoems film is an adaptation of Tiana Clark’s poem “The Ayes Have It,” directed by Savanah Leaf and narrated by Malina Tirrell. Clark is the author of I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018).

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Preschool Poets

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“Sit down, world / and relax / so you don’t have tornadoes.” Preschool Poets, an animated series codirected by Nancy Kangas and Josh Kun, collects poems written by preschool students in Columbus, Ohio, and matches them up with renowned animators. Animated by Stas Santimov, “Bullets” was written by Brayden and read by his classmate Miracle.

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