To view more videopoems by various artists, visit Visible Verse on Facebook


Heather Haley can bring a selection of videopoems to your town. She has access to ten years of Vancouver Videopoem Festival and SEE THE VOICE: Visible Verse archives and can work with you to arrange a suitable program.


Call for Entries and Official Guidelines:

•VVF seeks videopoems, with a 15 minutes maximum duration.
•Either official language of Canada is acceptable, though if the video is in French, an English-dubbed or-subtitled version is required. Videos may originate in any part of the world.
•Works will be judged by their innovation, cohesion and literary merit. The ideal videopoem is a wedding of word and image, the voice seen as well as heard.
•Please, do not send documentaries as they are outside the featured genre.
•Videopoem producers should provide a brief bio, full name, and contact information in a cover letter. There is no official application form nor entry fee.

DEADLINE: Sept. 1, 2011

•Send, at your own risk, videopoems and poetry films/preview copies (which cannot be returned) in DVD NTSC format to: VISIBLE VERSE c/o Pacific Cinémathèque, 200-1131 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2L7, Canada. Selected artists will be notified and receive a standard screening fee. For more information contact Heather Haley at:


In 1999 the Vancouver Videopoem Festival—the first of its kind in Canada—began as an effort of the Edgewise ElectroLit Centre, a non-profit literary arts organization dedicated to expanding the reach of poetry through new media with programs such as Telepoetics Vancouver and the Edgewise Café electronic magazine. The Vancouver Vdieopoem Festival became critically regarded owing to its progressive regard for spoken word in cinema, presenting poets both in performance and on the big screen. The audience could explore the merits and distinctions of poetry rendered in these two forms, stage and screen, sparking new dialogue as to the essential nature of poetry. The Vancouver Videopoem Festival then built upon that foundation, with widened explorations into poetry cinema across national frontiers. They presented significant new works from Europe and the Americas, and continued to offer Canadian audiences a remarkably broad selection of new videopoems from their own country.

Pacific Cinémathèque has been the VVF’s partner since 2000 and throughout the dissolution of the Edgewise. Founder Heather Haley continues to provide a sustaining venue for the presentation of new and artistically significant videopoetry as host and curator of SEE THE VOICE: Visible Verse. And owing to Vancouver's strength in the film and television production industries, Haley has been able to cultivate critical interest between filmmakers and poets, with positive consequences for both.

To celebrate entering their second decade of showcasing videopoetry, Haley and the Pacific Cinémathèque are presenting two screenings this year as well as poetry performances, a panel discussion and an awards gala, Friday Nov. 19 and Saturday Nov. 20, a veritable videopoetry festival.

For more information contact Heather Haley at:

Friday, November 19 – 7:00 pm

Part I

On Screen: Vancouver Videopoem Festival Retrospective 1999-2002

This retrospective program is comprised of videopoems from the 1999 to 2002 festivals, and features works by Zaffi Gousopolous, Jill Battson, Verbomotorhead, George Aguilar, Michael Turner, Adeena Karasick, Sheri-D Wilson, Tom Konyves, Patricia Smith, Mike Hoolboom, Kirk Miles, Ian Ferrier, Doug Knott, Bud Osborne, David Batemen, Seth Adrian Harris, and Alice Tepexquintle.

Intermission (15 mins.)

Part II

On Stage: Poetry Performance by Ellyn Maybe of Los Angeles

On Screen: Current Works

Intersecting Circles • 2009. Moe Clark/Calgary, AB. 5 mins.
Circles • 2010. Terry Westby-Nunn/ Cape Town, South Africa. 1 min.
Ne pas oublier / Don't Forget • 2008. Digital Outsiders/ Lyon, France. 9 mins.
Deersigns • 2005. Taien Ng-Chan/ Montreal, QC. 1 min.
There Were Two Girls Who Looked A Lot The Same • 2009. Ellyn Maybe/Los Angeles, CA. 6 mins.
Cul de Sac • 2008. Benedict Newbery/ London, UK. 2 mins.
There Was A Young Man • 2010. Kathryn Maclean/Edmonton, AB. 8 mins.
Stretch • 2009. Arturo Cubacub, Sarah Weis/ Chicago, IL. 4 mins.
River of Rain • 2010. Elizabeth Zetlin, Marlene Creates/ Markdale, ON. 7 mins.
Driving Through the City • 2005. Taien Ng-Chan/ Montreal, QC. 2 mins.
Bushwhack • 2010. Tina Schliessler, Heather Haley, Chris Coon/ Vancouver, BC. 6 mins.
Retro disk chunter • 2009. Stuart Pound/ London, UK. 1 min.
The Crying of the Forest • 2009. Stuart Pound/London, UK 4 mins.
That Night I Dreamed We Were Rain • 2010. Joe Boyce Burges/Vancouver, BC. 2 mins.
Apocrypha • 2010. Gerard Wozek, Russell, Kurland/Chicago, IL. 4 mins.

Saturday, November 20 – 4:00 pm


"Seeing the Voice: The Evolution of Videopoetry from Cocteau to YouTube"

A hybrid of verse and video. A wedding of word and image. Panellists will address the state of the union while discussing the past, present and future of the once obscure genre of videopoetry.

Panellists: Tom Konyves, Canadian videopoem pioneer • writer, director Katrin Bowen • Warren Dean Fulton, poet, publisher, videographer and past curator of the Vancouver Videopoem Festival • Jill Battson, Toronto poet, playwright and filmmaker (to be confirmed) • Kurt Heintz, Chicago-based writer, new media artist and director of

Moderator: Danika Dinsmore, poet, novelist, screenwriter and past President of Women in Film and Television Vancouver.

Saturday, November 20 – 7:00 pm

Part I

On Screen: See the Voice – Visible Verse Retrospective 2003-2009

In 2003, the Vancouver Videopoem Festival evolved into Visible Verse, an annual evening at Pacific Cinémathèque devoted to videopoetry and live spoken-word performance.

This retrospective program is comprised of videopoems from the 2003 to 2009 Visible Verse events, and features works by Leanne Averbach, Fiona Lam, Heather Hermant, George Bowering, Hari Alluri, Hilary Peach, Kedrick James, Penn Kemp, Amber Dawn, Katrin Bowen, and Janet Rogers.

Intermission (15 mins.)

On Stage: Poetry Performance by Vancouver's Tanya Evanson

On Screen: Current Works

A Big Ball of Foil in a Small NY Apartment 2009. Matthew Yeager, Sean Logan/Brooklyn, NY. 14 mins.
in earth dreams • 2010. Daniela Elza, Dethe Elza/Vancouver, BC. 2 mins.
The Electrician • 2010. Terry Westby-Nunn/Tania Van Schalkwyk Cape Town, South Africa. 2 mins.
Fiapo / Excuse • 2010. Alexandre Braga/Lisbon, Portugal. 5 mins.
Helen – queen of crows • 2010. Susan Cormier/Vancouver, BC. 1 min.
Little Plank Walk • 2010. Carolyn Doucette/Alice Hamilton/ Chemainus, BC. 5 mins. Rorschach • 2009. Susan Cormier/Vancouver, BC. 2 mins.
How To Remain • 2010. AURAL Heather (Roderick Shoolbraid, Heather Haley)/ Vancouver, BC. 3 mins.
Flightpath • 2010. Steven McCabe/Toronto, ON. 12 mins.
Being An Artist • 2009. Ellyn Maybe/Los Angeles, CA. 3 mins.
Walking in Plastic • 2010. Kai Loggsott/Cape Town, South Africa. 5 mins.
Spring Lines • 2009. Marilyn Zornado/Portland, OR. 4 mins.
Monochromatic Melody • 2008. Giuseppe Ferreri/Pianoro, Italy. 5 mins.
All This Day Is Good For • 2010. Tom Konyves/ Surrey, BC. 3 mins.

Visible Verse Logo


About Visible Verse

Sometimes I use the term media poet to describe my work though poetry exists beyond media; always has, always will. I tend to push boundaries by creating across disciplines, genre and media as a poet, author, musician, performer and director. My work manifests online, on paper, on stage, on disc and onscreen.

I believe Jean Cocteau was the first poet to employ film. In 1930 he produced Blood of a Poet, usually categorized as surrealist art. Recently I read about “film poets” from the West Coast abstract school, James Broughton, Sidney Peterson and Hy Hirsh, the latter two collaborating with John Cage in 1947. In 1978 Tom Konyves of Montreal’s Vehicule Poets coined the term “videopoetry” to describe his multimedia work. Rather than get bogged down in semantics, I’d like to point out that I think in terms of moving images and don’t make a huge distinction between film and video. I have worked primarily in digital video as it is accessible and affordable, important considerations to a poet with a small budget and again, poetry exists beyond media.

 Though most of us in the West are visually literate, it is brave—foolish some say—to adapt the oral tradition to a medium where image is metaphor. I’m drawn to it simply because it’s natural for me, having grown up with television and cinema. According to my mother, I sat with my mouth open through the entire 78 minutes of Jungle Book, my first movie theatre experience. It’s a powerful medium and I still can’t resist its lure.

 In 1999, as one of the curators of the Vancouver Videopoem Festival, I defined videopoem for a journalist by describing it as “a wedding of word and image.” Achieving that level of integration is difficult and rare. In my experience the greatest challenge of this hybrid genre is fusing voice and vision, aligning ear with eye. Some poets like to see words on the screen. The effect can be exquisite but I find that film/video doesn’t accommodate text well. We are busy listening to the poem with our eyes, assimilating it through our ears. I prefer spoken word. Voice is the critical element, medium and venue secondary considerations. Unlike a music video—the inevitable and ubiquitous comparison—a videopoem stars the poem rather than the poet, the voice seen as well as heard. My friend and associate Kurt Heintz, of and director of award-winning videopoems, states it much more eloquently than I can:

"Our extension of poetry into video seems only to ratify a deeper understanding, as poets and performers, that poetry rests in a continuous spectrum of expanded genres, each genre an amalgam, offering aesthetic expressions that conjoin text with some other creation. Poetry music. Poetry performance. Poetry theatre. Poetry film and video. Whole literatures in the cybernetic realm where the computer enacts by proxy the author's will upon the text.

The breakdown of psychological barriers from literature on the page to literature on the stage was the public's prelude to realizing broader rewards in media poetry of all forms. Poetry video is the public's first step beyond. Even in its most essential form, it demolishes the old assumption that page and poem are one. We now know poetry is where you find it, in the expressions the world offers. We construct, save, and transmit these experiences for the future. Images and sounds now operate as words where we had no previous literature because the symbols of our poetry were confined to paper in the reader's hands. So we have not the end of a literacy, but the construction of a new one: visible, audible, temporal, conscious, tactile, bonding author and reader by their gaze."