Sadly, my stint as a Harriet vlogger is officially over and I haven't yet thanked the amazing folks who helped with the "What Is Poetry?" videos. First, thanks to all the brave souls who agreed to speak to me on camera. I asked SO MANY people and its a rare character who will agree to go on record defining something like poetry. I met with lots of outright "no's." Oh well, I thank them too - I was going to make a highlights video of all the people we recorded waving us away - but that doesn't seem really fair. Second, thanks to Juan David Gonzalez Monroy for sound recording and translation work - you rock. And, thanks to the the PF folks for inviting me to contribute in this odd way. And, finally, thanks to all the readers of Harriet who enjoyed or were annoyed by the videos. I appreciated every comment and, after every posting, I looked forward to what you all had to say. THANK YOU!!

Originally Published: January 12th, 2010

Melissa Friedling is a filmmaker, a writer, and an educator. She earned her PhD from the University of Iowa. Her work has been exhibited widely in galleries and museums, including MoMA PS1 and the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, and in numerous international festivals. Her writing on film, art, and...

  1. January 12, 2010
     Rob Taylor

    I really appreciated your series of videos - I wish they would become a permanent feature! They will be missed.\r

    Thank you!

  2. January 12, 2010
     Wendy Babiak

    I second that. They were really fun to watch. \r

    Defining poetry is's such a chimera, and every time someone says poetry is, or poetry must, or poetry should, or shouldn't, or mustn't...I always think, really? Who says? So it's a brave soul indeed who'll go on camera and try to say something about it off the cuff.

  3. January 12, 2010
     Teri G.

    My favorites were the Russians. And the kids.

  4. January 12, 2010
     Sina Queyras

    They were great, and I will miss them as well.

  5. January 13, 2010
     Ol\' 333

    There's no real such word as 'vlogger'. Try saying it out loud. It just gets your teeth dirty. Change is good, but that one you can keep it. There must be a better we are a website packed with poets, help must be on the way even if it isn't on the way here...i think 'vidjit' is probablyt aken, and seems lady? Or maybe just 'Host'? Naw, that's full Lawrence Welk. Edilogger? Visual blogger? V-logger? Oh, wait. Damned if that isn't my own petard i'm hanging from. Since my name is Peter, I guess I've just been being petarded.\r

    Night all.\r