2021 Poetry Films for the Griffin Foundation

In 2021, in lieu of the annual reading by the Griffin Poetry Prize shortlisted poets, Lior Shamriz and Chloé Griffin were commissioned to create eight poetry films.

Read an interview with the Griffin Poetry Foundation about the process of creating the films here.

To create the films, Shamriz projected Griffin’s 8mm materials on landscapes and models in Santa Cruz and Los Angeles, and wrote music to accompany the readings. The sound mix was done by Assaf Gidron.


Yusef Komunyaaka reads from Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth

In this video, Komunyakaa’s reading is accompanied by footage from the 2020 three-screens installation that Shamriz created for the Griffin Poetry Prize, together with 8mm footage that was filmed on islands in the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Tracy K. Smith reads from My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree

This video was filmed in Santa Cruz, California. The model was Kyle Gonzalez.

Canisia Lubrin reads from The Dyzgraphxst

This video includes projection from road trips near Zion National Park, as well as other materials. The model was Matt Polzin.

Victoria Chang reads from Obit

This video was filmed in Twin Lakes, Santa Cruz.

Valzhyna Mort reads from Music for the Dead and Resurrected

This video was filmed in cemeteries around Santa Cruz and Ben Lomond. Images of Pre-Pottery Neolithic period (~7000 BC) masks that were found in the 2010s in Palestine were projected on the tombstones.

Poet Joseph Dandurand reads from The East Side of It All

This video was filmed in Wilder Creek, Santa Cruz.

Srikanth Reddy reading from Underworld Lit

This video was filmed on UC Santa Cruz campus’ music hall. Images of Ashurbanipal, as well as those of the so-called “Pillars of Creation” and of Babylonian texts in Cuneiform are projected on the models and buildings. The models were Emily Robles and Erick Msumanje.

Yusuf Saadi reads from Pluviophile

This film includes 8mm footage by Chloé Griffin, as well as materials that were captured in Antelope Valley in spring 2019.