Some notes on VIDEO POETRY post- Doolin Writers Weekend Competition

The votes from our 50 grassroots judges are in & we have a winner, which along with runners up will announced shortly.

Many thanks to all entrants and all judges.

Special thanks to Donal Minihane & Doolin Writers Weekend who ran with the idea of the video-poetry competition.

I have approached many leading lit NGOs & Festivals over the years with a view to taking the form of video-poetry more seriously &, true to form, the Doolin Writers Weekend can take full credit for being the ONLY one to be awake enough to enthusiastically go for it.

Donal & the DWW are key to the promotion & enjoyment of grassroots literature in Ireland & please support in any way you can.

As this was our first year, it was of course a learning experience.

Having organised the competition & shortlisted the videos, i found that i simply could not make up my mind between them – i loved them all.

I also realised that it would be unfair and inappropriate for one person to choose a winner as clearly video-poems are not designed to be seen, enjoyed, or indeed ‘judged’ by one person, but by a variety of people with a variety of tastes.

Popularity contests, where every shortlistee gets all their family & friends to vote for their entry are worse again though & not in the spirit of community creativity or grassroots arts traditions atall – something I was reminded of by video-artist Izakatie Freeney .

So I went for a model I used once before –
For the Bogmans Cannon People’s Poetry Competition back in 2015 & enlisted 50 judges from across the grassroots arts world.

This worked great – it meant the videos were seen and enjoyed by many key people in the grassroots arts. There was universal agreement that the standard across the board was very high & augured well for the future of the form.

And every one of the ten video poems was chosen as the best by at least two of the judges. Many were chosen as best by five or more judges. But there was a clear winner too in the end – to be revealed shortly.

To improve the competition in future i would like to introduce categories instead of having just one overall competition – which doesnt do justice to the VARIETY of sub-genres within the overall form. These might be

1: Best community/educational video-poem

2: Best artvideo-poem

3: Best animated/stopmotion video poem

4: Best narrative video-poem

Something like that – but doing so would mean finding extra sponsorship or funding – suggestions on this or any other aspect welcome in comments.

Dave Lordan