Jonas Mekas: A Poet With a Movie Camera


Jonas Mekas was born in 1922 in the farming village of Semeniškiai, Lithuania. To this date he has published more than 20 books of prose and poetry, which have been translated into over a dozen languages. His Lithuanian poetry is now part of Lithuanian classic literature and his films can be found in leading museums around the world. He is largely credited for developing the diaristic forms of cinema. Mekas has also been active as an academic, teaching at the New School for Social Research, the International Center for Photography, Cooper Union, New York University, and MIT. More:​

Some poetry of Jonas Mekas can be found here:

“I live, therefore I make films,” Jonas Mekas once said, riffing on Descartes. “I make films, therefore I live.” Because he did both for so long, it seemed to me that he would, could, keep doing both forever. But Mekas, a filmmaker, poet, philosopher, evangelist and one of life’s tireless adventurers, died Wednesday at 96. Trying to measure his influence on American cinema is difficult because it was so profound. Titans like Louis B. Mayer helped build Hollywood; Robert Redford created Sundance, the industry’s pliable alternative. Mekas sought to free cinema. - writes Manohla Dargis in "The New York Times". 

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On 18 July 2018 Agnieszka Smugla's Poetry Evening was held in Kracow, Poland.