Motionpoems was founded in 2008 when animator Angella Kassube approached poet Todd Boss to animate one of his poems. The result—a fully re-imagined adaptation of the text—was so compelling that soon they were reaching out to other poets and filmmakers and facilitating similar collaborations.
Since then, Motionpoems has made 150 poetry films, facilitated more than $200,000 to artists, and launched a series of pop-ups and public art installations, including MōMōVA: The Moving Museum of Virtual Art.
Motionpoems has been recognized by the “Innovations in Reading” Awards from the National Book Foundation, and has worked with top publishers and institutions, Pulitzer-winning, Grammy-winning, and Emmy-winning artists, and has been featured at major museums and festivals in Kiev, Cannes, Berlin, Dublin, London, New York, and Los Angeles.
Our mission is to champion multimedia collaborations that result in new forms and new conversations.
We are a loose collective of producers and artists, led by Founding Executive and Artistic Director Todd Boss. We’re based in Minneapolis, but our operations are worldwide.
“The center of world filmmaking is Hollywood, but the center of poetry filmmaking is Minneapolis.”
—Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel, Zebra Poetry Film Festival, Berlin
Todd Boss, Founding Artistic and Executive Director
Todd Boss is an award-winning author, inventor, producer, lyricist, and public artist whose W. W. Norton poetry collections include Yellowrocket, Pitch, Tough Luck, and most recently Someday the Plan of a Town. Boss holds several patents for consumer electronics accessories. He has also worked as a PR executive, nonprofit arts administrator, journalist, teacher, and business consultant. “I write poetry for people who don’t like poetry,” says Boss, who grew up on a cattle farm in Wisconsin, the son of working-class people, and was educated at St. Olaf College and at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he received an MFA. His poetry has been featured in The New Yorker, NPR, Poetry, American Poetry Review, and The London Times.
For their extraordinary volunteer work as season and special project co-producers, Todd is especially grateful to Angella Kassube, Jennifer David, Amanda Miller, Carolyn Casey, Claire McGirr, Cori Cooperider, Roxanne Artesona, Lisa Effress, Helmie Stil, E. G. Bailey, Jeff Stevens, John Hermanson, and Eric Fawcett..
We’ve worked with hundreds of poets, filmmakers, digital artists, composers, and others—too many to name here! We’ve awarded more than $200,000 in commissions to artists since our founding in 2008. All artists retain rights to their work for us. We exist to support them and present them with new collaborative opportunities. To get involved, click here for instructions.