To commemorate its 20th anniversary, the Favorite Poem Project is about to embark on a new series of videos—this time featuring members of the BU community, as well as distinguished guests, in all fields. The new Favorite Poem videos will be filmed in partnership with the BU Arts Initiative, which is celebrating their fifth anniversary. 

Roberto Mighty is the filmmaker commissioned to produce the new series, which will appear on the Favorite Poem Project website, favoritepoem.org. The Favorite Poem videos are a collection of short documentaries showcasing individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love. The videos have been regular features on The PBS NewsHour and are a permanent part of the Library of Congress archive of recorded poetry and literature. 

The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in our lives. Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, founded the Favorite Poem Project shortly after the Library of Congress appointed him to the post in 1997.

The BU Arts Initiative works to ensure the integral role of the arts in the educational experience of every BU student. The Initiative supports faculty, student, and staff projects, making sure the arts are deeply embedded within the cultural and intellectual fabric of the University.

Roberto talks about the role of literature in his family. “When I was growing up, my parents used to recite poetry around the house. Daily life was always connected to the arts. I try to bring that sensibility to my work in film and new media. I'm honored to receive this commission."

Robert Pinsky says "We admire Roberto’s skill and imagination. On a grand scale, his videos are distinct examples of creativity and visual sophistication; on an individual scale, he places vocality at the center of each speaker’s personal experience. Our partnership with Roberto will continue the tradition of the Favorite Poem Project, with its focus on the dignity of the individual voice."

As America’s first Artist-in-Residence at a National Historic Landmark cemetery, Roberto Mighty created 29 short films about the landscape and diverse individuals interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery. He was Artist-in-Residence at Harvard Forest, and is Adjunct professor at Emerson College's Department of Visual and Media Arts.  www.robertomighty.com

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AuthorRoberto Mighty

Roberto Mighty, Mount Auburn Cemetery's inaugural artist-in- residence from 2014 through 2016,  has released an online version of earth.sky, his site specific, multimedia exhibit that he produced and premiered during his residency.

www.earthdotsky.com

The new online multimedia exhibit features all twenty-nine of the short films in earth.sky, each of which is accompanied by related information such as information on the people profiled, cemetery location details, and artist’s statements written by Mighty to provide additional context.

The diverse stories depicted in the films include historical figures such as nineteenth-century slave narrative author Harriet Jacobs, pioneering animal rights advocates George Thorndike Angell and Emily Appleton, internationally acclaimed African-American sculptor Mary Edmonia Lewis, and twentieth-century mathematician and cryptographer Claude Elwood Shannon. More recent profiles, featuring interviews with surviving loved ones, include one of America’s first legally-married Gay men and a lawyer who advocated for abused and neglected children in and out of the courtroom. Additional films  and a still photos gallery focus on Mount Auburn’s landscape, seasons, and wildlife.

The original version, designed to be screened in Mount Auburn’s Story Chapel, premiered in full in November 2016, presenting sights, sounds, and individual stories of the Cemetery in an immersive meditation on life, death, ritual, history, landscape, nature, and culture. Mighty has now released the website www.earthdotsky.com to make the films, music, images, and storytelling of the original exhibit available to audiences worldwide.

 

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AuthorRoberto Mighty