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
  • Lani Cupchoy

    Grateful to participate. A wonderful venue!

    April 2021
  • Amazing festival! It was so nice to hear the words of so many artists and feel a strong sense of community, especially during these times. I would definitiely recommend this festival. I am also super honored and thankful to have won the Audience Choice Award.

    March 2021
  • Judith Lava

    A wonderful international festival with a real passion for poetry film!
    Fran, Leila and David are great people, always friendly and supportive. In addition to the well selected screenings, there were several professional presenters who were awesome! Their projects, films, discussions and Q&As were very interesting and horizon broadening.
    I was truly honoured to be able to participate with our video poem “Details”, a big thank you to REELpoetry Festival for this experience!
    I can only warmly recommend this festival.

    March 2021
  • The REEL POETRY Festival in Houston is a dynamic event. Its programming is varied and of high quality. There are a lot of short films on current issues. That Ijeoma Black E&J ’Eke's Black Lives Matters videopoetry won the Audience Award tells us how relevant this festival is. Well documented, current but linked to history, punctuated by the words and the voice of an artist who is both strong and in the making: this visual poem should sum up and operate on a major issue at the same time. It should be widely distributed.
    The festival offers workshops and discussion’s spaces that advance reflections on videographic and poetic medias. Sarah Tremlett's participation is very enriching in this regard. It is a festival where women have a strong presence but where men also have their place. The tender and powerful poem An afternoon in may by Dominic Traverzo -on responsibility and paternal affection- demonstrates how the male’s words can be benevolent. While a radically engaged posture of Jack Cochran has its place there is also welcome.
    Among the audiovisual jewels that REEL POETRY FESTIVAL gave us to see, Greenspin by Helen Moore and Howard Vause, The Dealer by Chloe Jacquet or Poem for Rent by Marie Craven also show us how the event is progressive, invested in its art as well as in its environment while being fun. However, it is also in form that the festival is making headway: please have a look on the work of Helen Dewbery and Cameron Chaucer, Pamela Falkenberg or Lauren Flinner, etc.
    Far away from advertising aesthetics (except perhaps a curious short Russian film in a "soft propaganda" manner), REEL POETRY festival is a place of poetic affirmation, transgression of conservatism, meeting and development.
    This remains the words of Colm Scully, who says in his pleasant animation Yesterday's Wardrope: "Never throw away your luck". So, next year, don't miss the chance to follow the activities of Public Poetry because is the Now’s avant-garde.

    March 2021
  • Very well done - definitely one of the top poetry film festivals out there! As with most festivals, this year it was completely online. There was a robust selection of thought-provoking films, and a good mixture of interviews/discussions, along with a number of online networking opportunities. I appreciate the way the festival presents itself as a platform for developing a community of people interested in poetry film - in this way, the festival provides a much-needed service!

    March 2021