Rachel Hadas and Shalom Gorewitz are attempting to fuse poetry and digital filmmaking through a collaborative process that is not illustrative or narrative, but a kind of syncretic linking.
For examples, in “Another Film about Powell’s Bookstore” Hadas performs a poem about books while looking through books within an audio visual contemplation of volumes, titles, and space. In “Offering to Yemaya” Hadas’ voice-over gives a context to the rituals and symbolic imagery as well as a powerful plea for help from the Ocean spirit.
In Vermont Suite (2013), a sequence of six short poems, there is an attempt to both place the poet in the space she is referring to, as well as extending the mood, tone, and meanings implied by the words.
Just as Rachel Hadas is known for synthesizing dreamlike visions and formal precision in her poetry, Shalom Gorewitz often uses words in his experimental films.
The “Show” lasts one hour and alternates between reading and short films. After a short film from the Vermont Suite that shows Hadas at work there, she reads several poems from her published books. Gorewitz then says a few words about his work and shows some short videos. Hadas reads from her more recent work and they show examples of the collaborations. Hadas concludes with a few recent poems. There is time for questions and discussion.
There is a long rich tradition of poets and visual artists working together and inspiring new work.
Sometimes these collaborations are unabashedly beautiful, romantic, and erotic.
Variations of The Rachel and Shalom Show have occurred recently at the NYU Bookstore in New York City; the Honors’ Commons at the University of Houston, Texas; Literary Arts, Portland, Oregon; the Athenaeum of St. Johnsbury, Vermont; Brattleboro, Vermont Brooks Public Library; the Hellenic American Union and the Athens Center, Greece; and Book Culture in NYC.