Fourteen Photos from a Bridge is a film based on a Leonard Gontarek poem and was screened as a Winner at the Weisman Art Museum (WAM) in Minneapolis, MN on September 30, 2015. The 2015 Big Bridges Exhibit, curated by WAM, Target Studio for Creative Collaboration and Motionpoems was established as a platform for collaborative interaction between artists, poets, filmmakers, architects, engineers and museum gallery visitors. The Big Bridges Exhibition is an effort to engage the public in an open dialogue about the current need to address structurally deficient bridges and infrastructure throughout the United States.
Fourteen Photos from the Bridge created by the New York-based, grassroots multimedia content producer and visual storyteller Lori H. Ersolmaz.
Here’s some of what she says about it on her website:
My submission was based on the winning poem by Leonard Gontarek, Thirty-Seven Photos from the Bridge. Expressing fourteen of the thirty-seven stanzas, I used original footage shot in Paris and Belgium and filmed locally during summer 2015. I’m especially excited about this award as it provides me with an alternative visual storytelling approach to social issues. I submitted the film in an effort to open dialogue about the current need to address structurally deficient bridges and infrastructure.
There’s a good bio of Leonard Gontarek at the Poetry Foundation:
Philadelphia poet Leonard Gontarek’s poetry collections include Déjà Vu Diner (2006) and St. Genevieve Watching Over Paris (1984). His poems have also been featured in Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry (2006) and in Best American Poetry (2005). He uses juxtaposition to explore themes of transformation and transcendence and has described his poems as “equal parts political, erotic, and meditations on the world.” In an interview with G.E. Reutter, Gontarek continued, “My views on these things are complicated; hence the overlay texture of the poems.” Reviewing Déjà Vu Diner, Amy Small-McKinney observed that “Leonard Gontarek asks his readers to hear, see, and practically touch, as though in a state of synesthesia, the particulars of his world. His poems ask us to suspend our own worldviews, to trust him, and to give ourselves over to his meticulous use of language and startling juxtapositions of imagery.”
Gontarek’s honors include several Pushcart Prize nominations and two fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has edited several anthologies of children’s poetry, including This Is Forever the Room (1979), The Balloonists Are Coming Back from the Clouds (1978), and Rain of the Haunted Trees (1979). He lives in Philadelphia, where he coordinates Peace/Works: Poets and Writers for Peace and has taught through the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership and the Arts League.