Guest Post: 12 Moons, a Video Poetry Project Coming in 2014 by Erica Goss

You may remember Erica Goss and her glorious collection Wild Place, which I reviewed here on the blog last year. Her verse was as untamed as the nature inside the poems and her words made the “beauty beneath the scars” tangible.

Collaborative projects require a great deal of patience with time lines and creative sensibilities, and when the project requires not only a poet, but also a video artist and musician, the potential for something groundbreaking can increase exponentially, and the challenges can be large, but overcome.  When Goss told me about her latest collaborative project, I was thrilled to offer her some space to share it.


When I was born

they gave me a name

that itched like a rash

and demanded ritual objects.

-from “Flower Moon” by Erica Goss

One day last winter, my son mentioned in passing that each recurring full moon has a traditional name; i.e., the full moon of January is called “Wolf Moon,” and the full moon of December is the “Cold Moon.” The names of the moons vary only slightly from culture to culture, proving that regardless of where humans live or what they believe, they share an understanding that the moon influences not only the seasons and climate of Earth, but also the imaginations of its people.

This knowledge inspired me, and I wrote “Snow Moon” and “Strawberry Moon” within a few days of each other. I sent those poems to Swoon (Marc Neys), a groundbreaking video and sound artist whose work in video poetry is exceptional, with the hope that he would find them worthy subjects for his art.

Swoon suggested that I write twelve poems based on the traditional names for each month’s full moon, and that he create a video for each one. He also suggested that we include the vocal talents of Nic S., and the musical talents of Kathy McTavish, both artists that he’s worked with before and whose work I admired.

The result is 12 Moons, an artwork combining poetry, voice, music and video. Kathy McTavish’s original music adds complexity to Nic’s intense and compelling narration, framed by Swoon’s precise editing of sound and image, which creates a miniature universe for each poem within the context of the project.

Beginning in January of 2014, we will release one video per month for viewing on the Internet. A DVD and chapbook will be available in via print-on-demand, and for distribution at poetry festivals around the world.

Check back here for more updates on the project, i.e., where you can view the videos, how to order the DVD and chapbook, and more about the making of 12 Moons.

Swoon’s website: http://www.swoon-bildos.be/

Nic’s website: http://verylikeawhale.wordpress.com/

Kathy McTavish’s website: http://www.cellodreams.com/

Erica Goss’s website: www.ericagoss.com

Erica Goss’s column on video poetry: http://www.connotationpress.com/video-poetry

I know that I’m anxiously awaiting the results of this project. 

What do you think about collaborative projects between visual, textual, and musical artists?



  1. Beth Hoffman says

    Oh my gosh, I’m really interested in this. I echo Anna … please let us know when the video is up and running!

  2. Wow, this sounds fantastic! I think such collaborations could really take poetry to the next level and help boost exposure. I hope you will remind us when the first video is available.


  1. […] under development, a collaboration with Swoon (Marc Neys), Nic Sebastian and Kathy McTavish called 12 Moons. Several things interest me about this: the sheer scope of it (twelve videos in twelve months), its […]

  2. […] happy to be part of this project, initiated by the amazing Erica Goss, with filmpoetry star Swoon and super-talented musician Kathy […]