"Wow wow wow... Great job!"
--Rod Bradley, Filmmaker, Poet
"I really appreciated the way the narrative
flowed throughout the presentation.
It was captivating--and my friends thought so as well.".
"What was that dream playing out in your mind, just as you were waking up? What was that thing you thought you heard? What is it you'd really like to tell THAT person? What do you wish you could say but are afraid?
This production pokes a playful but honest finger in the chest of students while encouraging them to pour, bleed, and / or shout-out the answer into a poem.
In this 72 minute documentary, 31 Poets drop their egos and provide candid commentary on such subjects as a defining poetry, motivations, forms, and processes for writing. The general consensus being that through a 'search for self' and 'artistic discipline,' poetry offers a way of 'bleeding out' toxic infections (through a good ol' number 2) and cleansing them with bleach. Further, they suggest that the power of poetry is to 'lift up the spirit' 'by kicking you in the gut' and 'dragging you through hell' until you learn to stand and run. :)
Included are a number of bonus features for the young mind that wants further encouragement, seeks more poetry examples by the poets from the documentary, has questions regarding publishing, and contact info for the poets presented within.
Overall, I'd say educators are sure to find the hope they've sought...
to set young pens on fire."
---Deidre Elizabeth, Poetry Editor for Erosha & Verse Libre Quarterly
"Hey Bob! Man, I thought I was a genius, but you got me beat from here to Hoboken! Great work!
I haven't played it yet, but I don't have to have seen it to know
its quality, judging from the care & imagination of the cover. CONGRATULATIONS!"
(Review of GV6 coming)
---Luis Campos, Poet
"It is beautiful. Dazzles! Really is a short punchy course in what it is to be a poet, and what poetry is. Invaluable! Big congrats!
... Saw the Film a second time. It is a reference work. So meaning intensive that one could refer to it for a lifetime. GV6 is truly a breakthrough triumph!
Of the 31 poets depicted in the film, I note with dismay that 30
of them are not me. "
---Steve Goldman, Poet
"I have had a chance to watch the DVD twice now. Congratulations! I know that represents tons of work. I thought you worked the "story-line" very well, and the entire presentation is very informative for those who might be curious about poetry, as well as those who are into it already.
I was especially pleased to hear / see my work during the credits. The guitar during the ending piece was completely improvised, and i guess it turned out okay. thank you for including some of my material / ideas in the body of the DVD too. You managed to capture the insanity / sanity part of the mind with some great ideas from the poets.
I have shown it to some friends and family, and they all love it
-Very pro!!! "
---Jerry Danielsen, Poet
"Who the f*&k are these guys? No one and everyone.
They are the grimy crap stuck between your toes and the growing cyst of
puss under your arm. But more importantly, they are the brunt winged
angels of our soul standing on the corner of heaven and hell pointing the
direction only you can see--and no one else.
If you walk away from this film scratching your head because you didn't get it, call your mommy. Otherwise, take the time to revel in the 72 minutes of Magic and Enlightenment and pick up your pen!
Poetry is for all of us and your voice is the perfect harmonic match
to the souls that sing their hearts out in this walk through their lives.
If you didn't grow after watching this film--you're already dead."
---Johnny Masuda, Poet
"... Almost all the poets on the DVD, I have known at one time or another. Thank you for a great quality piece of work. It is indeed unique. I loved how you cut back and forth. The quality is great, and I like the variety of poets and that you talk to older poets who really are committed and who know what they are doing. Richard Weekly has been involved in writing for many years, as Suzanne Lummis has. Of course, Wanda has been involved for a long time. She and Suzanne and I have performed together. In fact, I organized a reading in Old Pasadena when parts were still boarded up in the early eighties, and we had Wanda and Austin Strauss, her husband read.
I really liked the film,"
---Marcielle Brandler, Poet
"It's gorgeous!! You did a great job. Thank you from the Poetry community
for doing this beautiful documentary."
---Dr. Thea Iberall, Poet
"Good job; your compilation makes for fascinating viewing --- and listening. Kamau Daaood's reading had real power, and several other poets, too, made fine contributions in their poetry and comments. I expect it to be a hit in the classroom. ...Thanks again for all your work and dedication.
...And, say, that's great news that your work is getting so much
attention, so quickly. I'll be showing sections of it to my UCLA
Extension group on the last day of class, week after next. "
---Suzanne Lummis, Poet
" The video was excellent, great production values and I love the
cover! Thanks for including me in this impressive project."
---Cheryl Beychok, Poet
"DOCTOR DOCTOR! YOU DID IT! I went out of town for a few weeks and my neighbor got my copy of the disc. I didn't see the
film 'til last night. YOU DID IT! It looks great, boss!
How do you feel about it? Are you happy? You did a hell of a job? What's next? Vacation? Another film?
Wasssssssssup? Tell me, you GENIUS!
---Brendan Constantine, Poet
"Nicely done. Good synthesis and effects. (What a bunch of editing - - Wow -- you amaze.) "
---Richard Weekley, Poet
"...What an Odyssey it is. Bravo to you. It must've been an incredible journey."
---Shahe Mankerian, Poet
" It's a wonderful documentary. I've watched it three times.:)
You deserve a lot of kudos (and hopefully green)
for putting so much time and effort trying to make our lot seem legit.:)
I actually found myself liking poets as a whole again. More later..."
--Marie Lecrivain, Poet
" I'm impressed with the work you've done to create a comprehensible
portrait of a diverse community of poets. I appreciate being included in
your project. It was a pleasure meeting you, just as it's been a pleasure
to see how you've infused this work with your own enthusiasm for the art
---Harryette Mullen, Poet
"I finally saw the dvd and what an amazing job you did; I love the
inter-splicing & the "extras"! I'm sure the other
poets are as proud as I am to be part of such a wonderful, professionally-presented
project -- you the man as "they" say!!
Thanks again for including me in your project -- it's terrific!"
---Lynne Thompson, Poet
I was watching and came in to say a quick bravo===my self-criticism aside, I liked the variety of poets and what they said, the pieces of poems-- I thought the pacing was great too--very important in a doc film like that---the way sometimes the poets' statements spoke to each other--I haven't looked at all the special features yet, just bits, so tonight I will indulge in your genius / generousity.
...well everyone had an element of personalized strength, which must
have been the point--Wanda always packs a punch, Thea I never met before
but enjoyed...I think Victoria's quite smart and FrancEyE is an icon of
the unexpected kind....Great Job --truly---and yes I too loved Brendan's
clips--thought Suzanne was fine--great also and Kamau & Harryette --lovely
---Elena Karina Byrne, Poet
"I love the film and am very proud of it." :)
---Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Poet
"Watched most of it last night. It was EXCELLENT! Every poetry
class should have this as required viewing."
That's my unofficial review. (Completed Review due this Friday)
---Michelle Angelini, DVD Poetry Reviewer
"A first-rate production that creatively cuts from poet to poet on “What is poetry?” A lotta wisdom here from some very special beings on this planet. Here’s a taste:
“Poetry is life, and the avoidance of it is death.” – Steve Goldman
“You’re a bum (even) if you’re a success.” – Brendan Constantine
“Poetry (is), a second use of language.” – Brendan Constantine
“It’s like taking a big sh(bleep)it.” – Askew
“Poetry is a tightened ball of reality.” – Marcielle Brandler
“Everybody is a poet. They just don’t exercise that part of themselves.” – FrancEye
“It's like I’m opening up a little bit of myself.” – Keren Taylor
“It’s scripture for them.” – Shahe Mankerian
“Why is the sweat of the heart invisible?” – Kamau Daaood
“The chair grabbed my leg.” – Elena Karina Byrne
“I’m trying to keep you alive!” – Johnny Masuda
“Cats with knives for teeth.” – Brendan Constantine
“(They say) my poem has saved their lives.” – Wanda Coleman
“What you say is more important than the line breaks.” – Marie Lecrivain
“I can teach them forms. But what they put into it is the content.
(I give them) the container,
but what they put into it, is entirely their own.” – Aleida Rodriguez
“Bring in an image that is unique.” – Elena Karina Byrne
“The hypnogogic trance of language.” – Harryette Mullin
“You have to own all of it.” – Askew
“Words began to come out of me. I guess this is poetry?” – Richard Weekley
“You know you’re channeling this stuff.” – Kamau Daaood
“At the core it’s raw.” – Nika Hoffman
“An internal world.” – Jennifer Tseng
And when you hear and see their poems in this video…you’ll feel they’re worth twice the price of admission! I hope there will be a volume 7…and 8….
...My only regret is not making more of an effort to be a part of
your fine production. It is first rate."
---Don "Kingfisher" Campbell, Poet, Educator
(Don "Kingfisher" Campbell teaches writing in the "California Poets In the Schools" and "Occidental College Upward Bound " programs and hosts "Tuesday Night Poetry" at Borders Books in Pasadena, CA.)
" I received the DVD right before Thanksgiving. I'm really pleased
with the finished product. I have high hopes for the success of your
effort. The timing couldn't be better. There's a WORLD
STAGE Anthology that's hot off the press and a few other irons that
are starting to heat up. Thank you so much Bob for making me a part
of this terriffic project."
---Jawanza Dumisani, Poet