Situation 5

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In “Situation 5,” a short film by Jackson Prize–winning poet Claudia Rankine and photographer John Lucas, a history of racial oppression forms the backdrop to a lyrical meditation on racism, imprisonment, and identity. “My brothers are notorious. Though they have not been to prison, they have been imprisoned. But the prison is not a place you enter. It is no place.”

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The Illegitimate

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In this short film directed by Matthew Thompson, Galway-based artists Alice McDowell, Theophilus Ndlovu, and Benjamin Enow Oben perform “The Illegitimate” at Coole Park in County Galway, Ireland, the home of Lady Augusta Gregory. This film is part of a series commissioned by the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation in collaboration with Druid Theatre.

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First Kiss by Tim Seibles

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“My mouth / had been a helmet forever / greased with secrets…” Tim Seibles narrates his poem “First Kiss” from his collection Buffalo Head Solos (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2004) for this TED-Ed animated short film directed by Hannah Jacobs, part of the “There’s a Poem for That” series.

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Embarkation

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“Butter lamp, incense stick, bees wax / votive, the occasion of poem, rites I enact…” In this video poem, Shin Yu Pai reimagines the traditional Wang Yeh Boat Burning Festival, a Taoist ritual, in the context of personal grief. Created in collaboration with filmmaker Scott Keva James, the short film was commissioned for the Ampersand Live showcase in Seattle. Pai is the final judge for Slippery Elm’s Deanna Tulley Multimedia Prize, which is open for submissions until September 30.

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On Being a Black Male Writer in America

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This behind-the-scenes short film directed by Yvonne Shirley of a 2018 T Magazine photo shoot at the Brooklyn Historical Society features Black American male poets, playwrights, and novelists—such as James Hannaham, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Ishmael Reed—speaking on identity in the publishing world and paying tribute to their favorite Black female writers.

Why Should You Read Moby-Dick?

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“It’s a multilayered exploration of not only the intimate details of life aboard a whaling ship, but also subjects from across human and natural history, by turns playful and tragic, humorous and urgent.” In this TED-Ed animated lesson by Sascha Morrell and directed by Martina Meštrović, the unique narration and imagery of Herman Melville’s classic novel is explored and celebrated.

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