POETRY in combination with film and video propels “REELpoetry/HoustonTX” 2021, a five-day international, curated, poetry film festival taking place online FEBRUARY 24-28, 2021 We explore this genre with poets and filmmakers working solo or collaboratively, on a cell phone or in a studio, with new or remixed or previously created work. We're inviting open submissions in four separate categories, and also featuring invited guest curators’ screenings, films about poets or a particular poem, as well as a Salon des Refusés, Q&A with poets and filmmakers, workshops, live readings, panel discussions, and more.

This year’s poetry film/ video festival invites responses to the times we are living in now from a social, environmental, political, and personal point of view. If it’s relevant, previous work can be submitted, with no restrictions on when the work was created or whether it has been shown before.

At REELpoetry/HoustonTX, you’ll see some of the world’s best video&film poems, as well as two unique offerings that no one else has.

We’ve created an on-ramp for poets with a video prompt contest that uses a simplified checklist to produce a videopoem – perfect for neophityes and the videopoetry curious…or anyone who wants to try this out.

Our Salon des Refusés provides an opportunity for everyone, and we do mean everyone, to have their work screened! If you’re not designated as an Official Selection, your work will become part of our Salon des Refusés (unless you tell us otherwise). A feature of the Paris art world that showed work excluded from the official Salon, it turned out that the Salon des Refusés exhibited many of the most influential artists that we know of today. In that spirit, we surely don’t want your work to be overlooked either.

REELpoetry/HoustonTX is a project of Public Poetry (publicpoetry.net).

Prizes will be awarded in each category.


• Entries may either be brand-new or pre-existing work, or a repurposed combination of these two.
• The poetry can be your own, or a collaboration with poet, or used by permission of the poet or poets’ estate, or that is no longer subject to copyright.
• Filmmakers may use footage in the public domain from sites like Creative Commons (creativecommons.org)
• The film can be in any language but must include a translation or sense of the poem in English
• Collaborations can also include other artists (dancers, musicians, illustrators, cartoonists, painters etc.), and art forms.
• All submissions must include closing credits on the screen.

NOTE: Public Poetry monthly members receive a 27% discount on the entry fee. Memberships start at $8/mo. To join: http://www.publicpoetry.net/membership-here/

• You can submit in one category or in multiple categories as often as you like
• Each entry must be submitted separately.
• Entries in each category will be judged by a separate panel of noted filmmakers, poets and community members.

By submitting to REELpoetry/Houston TX you acknowledge that work is yours, and that you have obtained permission(s) where required. You also agree to allow your work to be included in a curated series that may travel nationally and internationally.

Overall Rating
  • Fiona Tinwei Lam

    I wasn't able to attend this year's festival but heard that it was wonderful, especially because of the presenters (including Dave Bonta, Mary McDonald, Sarah Tremlett) and the range of poetry videos screened (with audience discussion between sets of poetry videos). Interaction and informal engagement was high, I heard. I was very honoured to find out that my short poetry video won the Judges' Award this year.

    February 2020
  • Caroline Rumley

    Though I didn't get to attend the event, it looks to have been very robust, with thematic programming as well as a general selection of poetry films. The curators are well-known and respected in the field and the director was very easy to communicate with.

    February 2020
  • I wasn't able to attend, but like many indie filmmakers, my films get to go more places than me. I was very impressed with their communication and enthusiasm. I wish I could have attended; I'm sure it was great!

    February 2020
  • Vanessa Zimmer-Powell

    REELpoetry is a brand new cinema poetry festival. I really valued the hard work and care that went into getting this off the ground. I was also extremely impressed with the quality of the juried films! The festival is still working out its infancy bugs, but I will definitely be back. It inspired me to make more films!

    August 2019
  • Margo Stutts Toombs

    The first annual REELpoetry was a topnotch film festival! The screenings and workshops were professionally executed. I'm looking forward to future festivals.... Even more fabulous the second year!

    August 2019