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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To Make Use of Water

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“Back home we are plagued by a politeness / so dense even the doctors cannot call things / what they are…” Safia Elhillo narrates her poem “To Make Use of Water” from her collection, The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), for this animated TED-Ed film directed by Jérémie Balais and Jeffig Le Bars.

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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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