"We do not see the world the way IT IS rather we see the world the way WE ARE.""
--Albert Einstein
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                                                     GV6 Reviews & Commentary
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Commentary by Wanda Coleman, Writer & Journalist - Los Angeles

Given that I am from the African-American subculture where questions are used to intimidate, oppress and confuse, it is rare that I enjoy either conducting interviews, or being the subject of them.  However, independent and direct in his manner, and radiating empathy (without being precious or solicitous), Bob Bryan interviews his subjects in an unforgettable manner.  Cool yet excited, all in the same moment, he is asks frank, inoffensive questions of genuine interest.  At times his questions are startling, because they force the interviewee to assess and summarize quickly, leaving very little opportunity for " B.S.".  He does not arouse suspicion, and does not give off the impression that he has some hidden agenda other than the subject at hand.  Because of his careful research, he asks questions that have not been asked 100 times before. (In my case, he asked about how I think!  This seldom happens.)  This does not mean that a Bob Bryan interview is easy.  It is not, because, in my case, it demanded that I do some sharp and quick thinking on timeworn-and-worry swollen feet.  Bob Bryan may not know it, but he asks consummate "clean" questions, questions that are free of the sociological garbage of assumption, implication and innuendo - questions that told me, in my case, that he was open to what I had to say, and that if he had any preconceptions, he was keeping them to himself.  The Bob Bryan experience is lean, comfortable and professional, and one of the best I've ever had.
---Wanda Coleman, Writer, Poet

The Soul’s Voice or A Review of: GV6: The ODYSSEY: Poets, Passion & Poetry
By MarySusan Williams-Migneault
© copyright 2007

The Graffiti Verite’ Documentary Series
GV6: The ODYSSEY: Poets, Passion & Poetry
Featuring 31 Contemporary Poets
The Complex & Compelling Face of Poetry
A Bob Bryan Film © Copyright 2006 Bryan World Productions, LLC.

Bryan has captured on DVD / film the inner lining of the poet’s soul.  Thirty-one featured poets paint their spiritual word-paths, bringing us along with them until both the poet and the audience converge onto Bryan’s lens.  Even if you close your eyes and listen only to the audio, you will hear the symphony of poetic cadence, rhythm and pulsing spirit rising from each line, each image, and each note.  Listening to the spoken word removes the prejudices of stringent, suffocating parameters of syntax and pushes you out beyond the fringe of academic paranoia, opening your senses to the intricacy and complexities of experiences as they explode or whisper to your own soul, drawing you into the poet’s voice.  Poetic visuals rise off the page, fill the lungs of the poet, ooze out their chest, spilling across the screen.  Studying poetry academically can fill your head with words, with rules and metered portions of life – but as we see in this poetic masterpiece, expressing your soul's voice is Poetry that is lived.

Even if all you took away from GV6: THE ODYSSEY: Poets, Passion & Poetry was enjoying the poetry of Askew, Beychok, Bradley, Brandler, Byrne, Campos, Cavat, Chang, Clough, Coleman, Constantine, Daaood, Daly, Danielsen, Dobbs, Dumisani, FrancEyE, Goldman, Hoffman, Dr. Thea Iberall, Kim, Lecrivain, Lummis, Mankerian, Masuda, Mullen, Natal, Rodriguez, Taylor, Thompson, Tseng or Weekley, I would tell you to make sure you buy a few more copies to give as gifts, because this poetic kaleidoscope would be a treasured gift for sure.  With Bryan’s gifted direction, the “Poets, Passion & Poetry” segment of the documentary series is much more than poetic genius or a sound-scape of poets reading their work, it is a necessary educational tool for all poets, beginner or seasoned.  This should be on every reading list in Middle School grades on to Graduate Level Fine Arts Majors.

The words of wisdom passed on under the section titled: Wise Words of Encouragement from the Poets should be heard by anyone who has ever held a pen or tapped a keyboard, hoping to satisfy the drive inside to press their feelings, their thoughts, their vision onto the page or screen. A very gifted poet, Dr.Thea Iberall shares her expertise on Contextual Poetry and Brendan Constantine, another brilliant poet, illuminates the history of Chapbooks.  The light that Dr. Iberall and Constantine shed on these topics are important for all writers and they do a remarkable job of showing rather than telling, thereby drawing the audience into their experience.

As Publisher/Editor of RoadHousePress, poetry columnist for motorcyclegoodies.com, editor for the Poets’ Corner column in Connecticut Cruise News Newspaper I recommend that you not only place this on your Holiday Shopping List, but that you encourage your schools to include this in their Fine Arts or English study programs.  Personally, I will keep this copy on hand for my own spiritual development, as Marcielle Brandler advises “Go on your own path and do it the way that feels right to you… poetry is something you want to create from your soul.”

For further information or to purchase a copy of GV6: THE ODYSSEY: Poets, Passion & Poetry or to see the entire documentary series:

Executive Producer / Director Bob Bryan, BRYAN WORLD PRODUCTIONS, LLC.
P.O. Box 74033, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Please Visit the Graffiti Verite’ Website: www.graffitiverite.com
Email: bryworld@aol.com

Reviewing Poets and their Passion
By MarySusan Williams-Migneault
© copyright October 2007

Listening to your Plath-like devotional,
watching the vapor that you are,
I realize that—
my mother would have called,
but there are no pay phones in purgatory.

I wonder if it’s true—
that jazz plays on in hell;
maybe witches do indeed ride motorcycles.
I will find out soon enough.

You can add just about anything to pancakes,
if you sing while you stir
and you hold nothing back,
remembering to sift salt from sand.

If you shout your laundry list,
does it wipe the slate clean?
Perhaps …

We are all adopted says Gibran
Guess it didn’t work out so well,
for Christ … or me.

P.O. Box 74033
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Hotline Number (323) 993-6163
Tel Number: (323) 856-9256
Fax Number: (323) 856-0855
Email: bryworld@aol.com
Reviewing Poets and their Passion
By MarySusan Williams-Migneault
© copyright October 2007

REVIEW DVD: GV6 The Odyssey: Poets, Passion and Poetry by 31 Contemporary Poets

Title: GV6 The Odyssey: Poets, Passion and Poetry
Features: 31 Contemporary Poets
Website: http://www.graffitiverite.com
Producer: Bryan World Productions, LLC.
Genre: Poetry/Documentary
Publication date: 2006
Length: 72 minutes
Format: DVD

An innovative, energetic approach to poetry.

Talented director, Bob Bryan, has in my opinion successfully encapsulated the expertise of thirty-one award winning contemporary poets, whom expose their heart and soul in this exceptional DVD. GV6 The Odyssey; Poets, Passion and Poetry is a lyrical treat for both the eyes and ears. I guarantee it won't fail to uplift and encourage you to put your own poetic imaginative thoughts down on paper. And if you don't know how to start what better place than here.

Suitable for students, established poets or those who are just curious, this is an inspiring documentary. It's fun enough to be entertaining and informative enough to educate. These talented poets offer excerpts of their work, and insights into their personal life, which cover a variety of topics. These include their reasons for writing, the force that drives them, their love of language and freedom of expression. As they share their artistic struggles, frustrations, the discipline required and even the stigma that comes with being a poet, this reviewer sensed their collective creativity and honesty just leap from the screen!

I found this DVD akin to a feel good movie, even though it was a documentary it had a celebratory, yet down to earth feel. These multi-ethnic characters all have diverse backgrounds but share one common goal – to express themselves with a passion and excitement. And it's catching. To be honest, I never thought a documentary on poetry could be so visually pleasing and stimulating.

Special features include 'What is Contextual Poetry?' by Dr. Thea Iberall, Poet, 'What is a chapbook?' by Brendan Constantine, Poet and also the contact information for all 31 published and respected poets. Please take a moment to click on the link below to read about each author.

Link to poet bios:

Embracing alternative views of alternative books, spoken-word audio CD’s, Instructional DVD’s, music, audio learning courses and interactive learning kits. Includes review blog, competitions, newsletters and author interviews. Fiction or non-fiction; if it has an alternative theme, you’ll read about it here.

VOL.22    The Video Review Magazine for Libraries No. 3
MAY – JUNE 2007  Part 1, Part Two
GV6 THE ODYSSEY –Poets, Passion & Poetry *** (Three Stars)
(2006) 72 min. DVD: $24.50: Individuals; $34.50: institutions (w / PPR) Bryan World Productions, LLC.
Both the nature and the power of poetry are the subjects of Bob Bryan’s documentary, the sixth entry in his GV (“graffiti verite’ “) documentary series.  GV6 THE ODYSSEY  offers a collage of readings, observations, and recollections from 31 poets – an extremely varied group ranging from the quiet, reflective Victoria Chang, who sees her writings as having therapeutic value to Askew, a rangy, volatile  fellow whose work is marked by profanity (bleeped out here for student audiences).
Many of the featured poets are also teachers, who speak not only of their own need to write but also of the positive effects of introducing their students to poetry.  Whatever one’s opinion of the particular writers showcased here, the film succeeds in illustrating their passion and commitment, and though it’s essentially a talking heads production, the editing and graphics effectively tie the segments together.
DVD extras include: --F.Swietek

March 15, 2007
Poets, Passion & Poetry. (color. 72 min.) 2006
Bob Bryan, Bryan World Prods. LLC.,
PO Box 74033, Los Angeles, CA 90004
If you can buy only one poetry program this year, buy this odyssey of 31 poets who read, rant, and philosophize about what they do. This treasure trove of contemporary poets spans all ages and ethnicities—just having them together here is exciting. Each poet is articulate and passionate.

Viewers who already love poetry will be grateful to have so much solid poetry at hand and hear it read so well by its creators. Those new to poetry or unfamiliar with the art will get a gentle and stimulating education.

High school and college students, as well as adults, should respond well to the film as there is so much here to discuss and explore. The bonus features include complete readings. Recommended for all collections. Poetry lives here!
—Ernest Jaeger, formerly with North Plainfield Pub. Schs., NJ

Department of English
Division of Literature & Language Arts

Review of GRAFFITI VERITE' 6 THE ODYSSEY: Poets, Passion & Poetry
Part One, Part Two

GV6 ‘The Odyssey’  
Review by Imani Williams, Writer

This captivating documentary takes an in-depth look at poetry and why people write. Viewers are grabbed from the onset by the eclectic, passion filled voices of those interviewed. As the poets share personal and heartfelt testimonials about what they do it appears that poetry is about survival of the human spirit.

A diverse group of artists from all dimensions and backgrounds take you on individual journeys that explain, define, and capture what it means to be moved by sheer spiritual force to move words felt in the heart and head onto the page. We learn from their stories that sometimes the effort to write is painstakingly difficult.

We find that one has to dig deep in order to reach the core of translating a feeling, vibe or funky emotion that can’t be shaken and that sometimes, the only method of exodus is to ‘get it written.’

The Odyssey works as a teaching tool for educators as well as edutainment for those seeking a closer look into the world of poets and poetry.

Well done, how soon before GV7?

Imani Williams, Writer
‘Voices from an Urban Bush Sistah’

by Mindy Nettifee, editor-in-chief Getunderground.com

April is, as "they" say, the cruelest month.  April also happens to be National Poetry Month, which is kind of appropriate, and I think T.S. Elliott would approve.
These days, (I know, I actually started a paragraph that way, again) the art form of poetry is no longer certain in its standing, either socially or artistically.  Neither are it’s torchbearers, the poets themselves, who are either relegated to the status of secular pope (Maya Angelou), underground art hero (Saul Williams), or mime, and we’re talking street mimes, not the well-paid Cirque de Soleil version, (which pretty much covers everyone else).  I’m going to take a leap and say this is because of poetry’s reputation for being boring, corny, or obscure, and with poets’ collective reputation as pompous unbearable prats who speak with the cadence of a Beat caricature.  Since I’m not even cringing as I write this, I’m pretty sure that reputation is largely deserved.  (Cruel?)
So thank the gods for GV6 The Odyssey: Poets, Passion and Poetry, because while the GetUnderground readership is made up of the kind of people who love a good poem over beer and triscuits, the world, at large, is not.   This new documentary from producer Bob Bryan is a well-conceived and well-edited conglomeration of interviews with 31 poets, none of whom are boring, corny or obscure.  On the contrary: the 31 poets interviewed span ethnicities, gender, age and creed and are, every single one of them, eloquent and funny and profound.  (Peruse the list of all 31 at the end of this article.)
In addition to being delicious, GV6 The Odyssey is also nutritious.  As an educational tool, it spans the subject thoroughly, covering topics from why poets write and how they write to how poems work and what makes the art form relevant and necessary.  Woven together, Bryan ’s interviews with all the poets become an in depth conversation about the meaning of poetry and the meaning of life.
The weaving works.  The interviews are cut with excerpts of the poets reading their own work, and the excerpts are cut with video images that serve as dynamic illustrations of the poems themselves.  It’s all refreshingly good.  These days I can barely sit through an open reading without wanting to play the drums on the chair in front of me or gouge my own eyes out, and I was engrossed the whole way through.  So let me just get to the point: if you teach high school or college English and are afraid to discuss and teach poetry with your students, just skip the rest of this article and go directly to http://graffitiverite.com and order this DVD.  And if you are not a such a teacher but know someone who is, order this DVD and give it to them.  That’s how I feel about the educational quality of this documentary.  The only downside is that there are no outtakes or blooper reel.  (There are a few great special features, though.)
Moving on to less important points, some of my favorite parts about GV6 The Odyssey (without quoting like a maniac) are as follows:

If the poets interviewed in GV6 agree about anything, it’s this: writing is a divination tool for the emotional experience.  In the process of trying to capture in words whatever punched you in the gut, you discover it, or rather, it reveals itself to you.  This is what I love about poetry, and really all art: its staying power as a machinery for self-discovery and self-actualization.  While our culture has headed the towards the shallow end, increasingly celebrating consumerism and instant gratification, poetry has remained doggedly on the path of searching out the deeper meaning of life.  GV6 does it best to capture a piece of this search.  It is more than worthy of 72 minutes of your time.

If you live in or near Los Angeles, you can see GV6 The Oddyssey on the big screen this month as it tours around.  I personally recommend making it to the Saturday, April 7th show at The Found Theatre in Long Beach .  The show starts at 8pm and tickets are $10.  Learn more or make a reservation here.  Click here for information on other upcoming tour dates.
And as promised, GV6 features the following poets, (in alphabetical order):

Hey folks, I just got this email from Poet, Jerry Danielsen. It's from a friend of his.  It reads pretty clearly...enjoy! - Bob Bryan, Filmmaker
Hey Bob,
Here's an email from my friend Lesley (she's a painter and Poetry lover - http://www.myspace.com/silverybirch

"Hi again Jerry, I just have to say ONE MORE TIME how much I like / love the dvd.. I've actually bought quite a few (ahem!) books, cds, dvds etc from myspace 'friends' which has been great, but this one takes the biscuit. It's such a bloody good idea. Wish someone in the Scottish poetry scene would produce something similar!
I've watched it a few times now, and feel quite close to the people - I love them all. And, I really like your voice ... it packs a punch. And your words too of course, are great. I'm passing it onto a couple of friends for them to enjoy....

Hmm thanks for bringing this into my life! "


Thanks, Bob

"This inspiring program features 31 contemporary poets presenting their work and celebrating the enigmatic yet powerful world of poetry. Harryette Mullen, Lynne Thompson, Steve Goldman, Luis Campos, and Catherine Daly are some of the poets features on this intriguing glimpse into the universe of expression and words." ---Newegg

POETIX REVIEW : Poetry for Southern California

GV6 THE ODYSSEY DVD Directed by Bob Bryan
Graffiti Vérité Website: (www.graffitiverite.com)
Reviewed by G. Murray Thomas

The Odyssey is a powerful and varied introduction to modern poetry. Through a combination of interviews and poetry excerpts from 31 SoCal poets, it presents a complex and relatively complete picture of what poetry is. The poets include provide a diverse overview of the poetic talent in SoCal. Among them are Elena Karina Byrne, Jeanette Clough, Wanda Coleman, Kamau Daaood, francEyE, Thea Iberall, Suzanne Lummis and Richard Weekly.

Thank heaven the DVD isn’t as breathless as the press release. “These Poetic Artifacts are likely the Magical by-products of countless hours of disciplined rewriting and soul-searching. This complicated and fastidious process has evolved to a point where each and every passionately inspired word is contemplated, weighed and juxtaposed. Every published ‘word bubble thought’ threatens to be a near-perfect embodiment of that sublime aha birth-marked moment of sublime revelation.” Whew!

Luckily the poets in the video are much more down to earth in their discussions of poetry. They treat poetry as something both magical and everyday. If the video shows anything, it is that poets are eminently qualified to discuss their craft, because they do so poetically. That is, obliquely, rather than trying to hit it squarely.

The Odyssey attempts to answer the great unanswerable question: What is poetry? One of the best definitions I have heard (from one of my college professors) is “the art of saying It [whatever It may be] in other words.” The poets in The Odyssey define poetry by talking about it, without ever actually trying to define it. By circling around the core of what poetry is, they give a fuller picture of poetry and its power than any flat, direct statements could. Perhaps Brendan Constantine say it best: “Life cannot be described as effectively as it can be embodied.”

The movie is shot and edited both creatively and effectively. The structure works well, interspersing the poets’ comments with excerpts from their poetry which illustrate their points. Critically, the complete poems are included as a bonus feature.

The poets are artfully shot in their “natural environments”—offices, classrooms, living rooms and bedrooms—in such a way that the backgrounds offer further glimpses into their character. Also included are images of their respective book covers, which works aesthetically and as an aid to finding their works, if your curiosity is piqued.

Among the bonus features, in addition to the complete poems, are little featurettes on Contextual Poetry, by Thea Iberall, and What is a Chapbook?, by Brendan Constantine. Both are informative sidebars, although perhaps the video medium could have been used more effectively had Constantine actually demonstrated the construction of a chapbook. There are also little words of advice from the poets. These are all good supplements to the issues raised in the movie itself.

The question arises, who is this movie’s intended audience? One obvious answer is teachers and students. Much of the discussion concerns, directly or indirectly, the teaching of poetry. It would make a great video both for teachers to watch, to get ideas on their teaching, and to show in the classroom. (I assume that possible classroom use is the reason for the rather arbitrary censorship in the movie: “Shit” but not “shat”, “fuck” spoken but not printed.) This video would make a very powerful teaching tool, both for stimulating discussions of poetry, and for providing some strong examples of modern poetry.

But I believe this video would work well with a larger audience, namely anyone with a passing interest in poetry. To be honest, I don’t see it capturing the attention of someone who’s already resistant to poetry. It starts with an assumption that poetry is interesting, and doesn’t struggle to grab its audience’s attention. But someone who is already curious would find its revelations fascinating.

In the end, director Bob Bryan has created a thorough and intelligent introduction to the workings of poetry today.
 —G. Murray Thomas
G. Murray Thomas is best known as the editor of Next... Magazine, a poetry calendar/newsmagazine for Southern California. Next... Magazine was published monthly between 1994 and 1998. Thomas currently puts out the Next... Calendar, a monthly listing of poetry events. His latest project is MURRAY, a garage jazz/spoken word band. In MURRAY, Thomas performs his poetry over improvised musical backing. Thomas' first full length collection of poems, Cows on the Freeway, was published by iUniverse in 2000. He has also published four chapbooks, Death to the Real World, Opposite Oceans, Poetry Spilled All Over the Carpet and A Rare Thing. Thomas has performed his poetry all over Southern California, at almost every major poetry venue. He has also performed at Lollapalooza, The Whiskey, The Coach House and the 1996 National Poetry Slam.

Directed by Bob Bryan
Released by Bryan World Productions, LLC.
Tel. Number: (323) 993-6163
Website: www.graffitiverite.com
Reviewed by Jayne Fenton Keane www.poetinresidence.com

The DVD (Graffiti Verite' 6 THE ODYSSEY) is an interesting collage of ideas and personalities that confront the craft of poetry from the perspective of those who practice it. The secret life of poetry, poets, and how they think, work and live, is confessed in a candid style that is sometimes funny, sometimes freaky and sometimes thought provoking. It has an educational feel and would be suitable for teenagers.

In the line up of talking heads there is an eclectic mix of poets, who range from the famous and experienced to the infamous and emerging. These varied perspectives offer vitality to the DVD.

In GV6 you will find 31 poets of varied ethnicities, styles and talents who speak their hearts, minds and passions about poetry. It is clear that poetry is many things to many people, and for some it is an absolute lifesaver. I was especially taken by the discussions in the kitchen with a huge fake spider in the background (Brendan Constantine). Like I said, sometimes freaky...

An impressive quality to the DVD  is the honesty of the project and its intent, and the candidness of the poets. No Hollywood face lifts or flattering lighting, no fashion fests or adolescent sniping, a simple gentle reverence for poetry. I hope that the target audience is won over. As Kahlil Gibran once said, 'poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.' Graffiti Verite'6 shows us that this is still a very current view.


Graffiti Verite’ Documentary Series
Directed by Bob Bryan
Copyright 2006, Bryan World Productions
Running Time 72 Minutes

Review by Richard Wilhelm / Ibbetson Update
Emily Dickinson famously said that real poetry made her feel as if her body were so cold no fire could ever warm her or as if the top of her head were taken off. For Johnny Masuda, “Poetry is about kicking your fucking ass.” It amounts to the same thing. All poets strive to write the poem that shocks the reader into awareness, changes the reader in some way, expands a reader’s consciousness. This documentary is a tapestry of 31 voices talking about their views of poetry, what inspires them to write, and their process. I’ll state my one criticism of the film and get it out of the way: one wishes more time were spent with fewer poets so that the viewer got to know several poets and their ideas about writing more intimately. But, as with criticizing a sumptuous seven-course Italian meal because you just can’t eat everything, it’s not the worst of complaints.

Of the 31 poets interviewed in the documentary, only Wanda Coleman and Luis Campos were familiar names to this reviewer. Happily, that is no longer the case. Many fine poets are featured in this film though space does not allow listing them all.

Kamau Daaood describes the writing process as a process of self-discovery, a “looking outward, and a looking inward, looking out again and looking in.” “I’m talking to me, the me that exists in my imagination,” says Wanda Coleman. She says that, for her, the poem is often written before she sets it down on paper.

FrancEyE talks about writing as self-discovery. “I don’t know who I am and I want to find out.” She adds in the bonus Words of Encouragement feature: “You are the only person who ever was, or will be, you.” Chungmi Kim also describes poetry as a search for oneself. She feels that anyone can join in the process, adding that English is not her first language but that she has discovered the joy, the necessity, of trying to render her experience of life into language. Regarding language, Elena Karina Byrne notes the similarities in usage of children, schizophrenics, and poets: “They all use personification, synesthesia, imagery, and different types of poetic language. When a child bumps into a chair, he may say ‘The chair grabbed me.’ Poets want to say that kind of thing.”

“The power of poetry lies in its ability to lift the spirit, to reveal, to make life shimmer with vitality,” says Rod Bradley. Bradley seems a kind of a Keith Richards of poetry, gesturing gracefully with his hands as he speaks, a la Keith, and conveys the impression of having worked at his art a long time. “I don’t feel I have talent sufficient to what I’m feeling but it allows me to try to grasp this thing and, in the end, I feel like I understand something—I don’t know exactly what—a little better. It’s an act of discovery.” He advises poets to be “fearless. Write without fear.”

The 31 poets featured are a diverse group ranging widely in age and ethnicity. Nineteen are women. Most seem to be West Coast poets but there are folks from other areas as well. Many indicated that they also teach. Brendan Constantine observes: “I think that children are pretty much in a state of shock from the time that they are born until they are about 21, which is why so many of us spend our early adulthood deciphering what happened in our childhood.”
The DVD includes as special bonus features: Wise Words of Encouragement From The Poets; Complete Poetry Readings By The 31 Poets; What Is Contextual Poetry?; What Is A Chapbook?; and Poets Contact Info.
The DVD is a stimulating film about poetry and the writing process and a great introduction to some lesser known but compelling voices. Yes, it is a sumptuous feast.
by Richard Wilhelm /Ibbetson Update (Founder Doug Holder)
Bio: Doug Holder, Location: Somerville, Mass., I am the founder of the Ibbetson Street Press of Somerville, Mass. I am currently the arts/editor for "The Somerville News,"  and the director of the "Newton Free Library Poetry Series," in Newton, Mass. My audio and video taped interviews with contemporary poets are archived at Harvard , Poets House (NYC) and Buffalo University libraries. My articles and poetry have appeared in The Boston Globe, Small Press Review, Cafe Review, Rattle, the new renaissance, The Harvard Mosiac ( Harvard University), Poesy, Main St. Rag, Home Planet News, and many more. I currently host a cable access TV show: "Poet to Poet/Writer to Writer" , and I am on the faculty of Newton Community Education, where I have led poetry workshops for the past five years. My poetry was recently included in "Inside the Outside..." ( Presa Press) an anthology of American Avant-Garde verse. dougholder@post.harvard.edu

A Creative Venture into the World of Words
A Review of Bob Bryans DVD GV6 THE ODYSSEY: Poets, Passion and Poetry
by Ashok Sharda
Edited by Rula Shin

What is poetry and from where does it emerge?  What is likened to this creative process? Is it spontaneous, not unlike any other form of creative art?   How does poetry affect the poet, and what kind of feelings does it ignite in the reader?  How and why does an audience identify with a poet’s personal associations imbedded deep within the poem?

The questions that attempt to identify poetry are but a focused attempt at identifying the creative process and its creations at large, what we generally refer to as ‘art’.  Long debated has been the definition of art perhaps because the ambiguity of ‘quality’ seems as subjective as it is intuitively objective.  How can there be a universally accepted definition of poetry when meaning is as much a reflection of self as it is of its creator?  At the same time, there are large groups of people who concede that ‘this’ is poetic, and ‘that’ is not.

There are as many words endeavoring to define poetry and its creative process as there are poets.  Yet poetry means so much to all of them.  Bob Bryan has done his best to deal with these questions through his own creative endeavor, a film titled Poets, Passion and Poetry wherein words define them selves on two levels, audio as well as visual.  Words are heard in the subtle and concise form of poems reflecting the infinite dimensions of poetic meanings through the dynamics of voice and tone, while images simultaneously allow a visual experience of how words are interpreted through body language.  In addition, the 31 diverse writers share their poetic worlds by producing ‘scenes’ of their experiences during the precious moments of the creative process.  Each poet delves into his/her personal vision of poetic meaning, including the roles external stimuli play in awakening internal associations, what meaning each derives personally from the creative process, and what triggers each to face conflict within and without by gathering his/her glimpses of life inside the boundaries of a known language and form.

This ‘poetic world’ is a very private world.  Nonetheless, it reflects the world the poet dwells in and interacts with, but on a different plane. A poet perceives a ‘scene’ from a unique perspective, from different angles unseen by any commoner.  The hubbub of mechanical ruts makes walking through these illusive doors of perception, existing on a deeper level in the realm of yet another dimension, extremely difficult.  Wordsworth described poetic expression as a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” but is poetry really just an overflow of feelings verbalized through words?  The verbalization of every experience depends on two factors, association and word experience.  And both factors are subjective.  Besides this “overflow” is not ‘common’ nor an ordinary flow of words, but perhaps a ‘connection’ somewhere within between our intellectual, mechanical, emotional, sexual, and intuitive ‘centers’.  Perhaps it is this unique and temporary connection that begins a process creatively compulsive and so full of life.  Creation is pro life, a static expression of a living experience, and not merely an arrangement of selected words.

No doubt that  poets are choosy about words, but words are only a medium for the recreation of a ‘scene’ perceived by the poet when he/she is ‘linked’ within.   The intellectual center gathers and unifies scattered pieces of the ‘scene’, called ideas by some and impressions by many, supported by the mechanical center which keeps on bringing associated impressions to the fore.  Meanwhile, the emotional center provides this intellectual exercise a touch of finer energies imbuing the poet with passion.  When the poet is thoroughly ‘connected’ he/she may walk into the ‘spaces of time,’ reflecting glimpses of the unknown we call ‘insight’.  The architectural and structural exercise is done by the intellectual center either in tandem with the verbalization of the scene or subsequent to the penning.  Normally, the matter determines its own form in the course of being produced.  Still, as the film clearly illustrates, poets have only their word experiences to choose from.  These word experiences compel the poet to subjectively select words that best reflect their moment of ‘connection, vision, glimpse, insight, sense, or emotional realization.'  The creative process is a continuous affair and the construction engineer and the architect inside the poet is actively present when the words appear.  They play with words and let words play with them.

Normally the word should blend the scene with some kind of refined emotional energies that touch the mind, heart and soul of the reader.  This is what causes the reader to identify with any one poem.  At the reader’s level, the success of the poem depends on how a reader identifies with the scene that the poet has reconstructed through the poem.  This seems like the very ‘scene’ the reader himself / herself was perhaps unable to perceive before with clarity or to verbalize thoroughly, yet the poet’s expression evokes an intense recollection or identification with the reader’s personal experience. Words may differ, but the mood is recognizable, the word experience may also vary between poet and reader, but not the underlying affinity of ideas and/or impressions.  The clarity of the scene depends on how succinctly and distinctly one perceives.  The extent of SEEING is the success of the seer.  Producing the ‘scene’ as seen is the success of the poet in the seer.

One cannot extrapolate any objective truth from a subjective viewpoint, as no answer can ever transcend the periphery of questions.  No truth can ever be pronounced final as ‘scenes’ are layered.  These layers are the layers and levels of our awareness and from each layer shall appear a new realization, a new dream that is like a dream inside yet another dream.  Without the possibility of complete objectivity, these layers may extend infinitely.  Dreams, reality, realizations thus prove to be synonyms in this meaning. We can add ‘poem’ to these synonyms, subjectively.  But this realization must not prevent humanity from continuing with the journey from one realization to another, from one dream to another opening up doors of perception at different levels, from different layers. Poetry epitomizes these dreams and perceptions as against the so-called day to day realities.  Poetry verbalizes these impressions one may happen to register from a different layer.

No doubt that poetry has lost its appropriate place from the lives of many. It doesn’t touch and imbue the heart and souls as it used to once upon a time. The hubbub of modern days and its mechanical ways have killed this precious ‘source’ of life.  The hidden persuaders of technology and its product have penetrated too far deep in the lives of mankind, displacing poetry from its rightful place. Yet poetry continues to survive this onslaught of technology.  Technological evolution represents one side of mankind’s growth, but it is not complete without the evolution of another very important aspect of man’s growth.  One cannot evolve as a whole by emphasizing the material side of life while ignoring the mind, the heart, and the soul.  Poetry is one branch of art that balances this shortfall of the evolutionary process.  The poets in Bob Bryan’s Poets Passion and Poetry are a wonderful representation of the beating heart of this creative evolutionary movement.  Through the eyes of a man who is trying to SEE and capture the ‘scene’ as seen by various seers, the film transcends the rut of this every day life to explore the ‘spaces of time’ and bring the viewer glimpses of ‘reality’ from an altogether different layer, gathering some scattered pieces into a unified whole in an attempt to define poetry using poetry.  This film is an eye turned inwards to SEE from inside to inside a world that exists beneath the surface of common perception.  For me, the film proves this point that poetry is still ALIVE.
Although this review is filled with so many of my own notions of meaning, of poetry and art, and of humanity itself, I would like to praise the producer of this film for his reliance on the evidence to give evidence, choosing not to narrate his own views, but to explore both creator and creation itself.  Normally a film maker focuses on the basic ‘pleasure’ instinct of the viewer rather than stimulating the subdued WILL to MEANING which Bob Bryan has endeavored to focus on, in his own quest for meaning.  This film is a documentation of the glimpses of this ‘poetic world’ wherein a poet feels at home, wherein a poet returns, time and again, to evaluate his/her reality.  This film penetrates this world of poets and presents a seventy-two minute concise and meaningful account of this world through the very words of those who wander it.  Those who shall derive any meaning will also derive pleasure and a subtle charge from watching this film, a definite by product of meaning.

The process of creating is the process of growing, the process of changing the inner value system, the process of living, and the process of defying death.  Unlike history true art is not merely created by the victors, nor does it succeed to move humanity as a static document of events or propaganda.  No, poetry is an art that gives new meaning and dimension to an old story, the story of mankind’s creative evolution, the story of the ‘other’ side of his destructive nature.  In poetry mankind’s potential and essence survives, so long as the poetry survives.

Thank you, Bob, for adding yet another piece to this infinite puzzle the poet continually strives to pull apart in order to fit together.
by Ashok Sharda

by Pat Hartman, VirtualVenice.com

I was a Venice virgin……..until taken one night to a poetry event at Beyond Baroque, back when it was on West Washington Boulevard. Wasn't that a great introduction to Venice? It was Alice through the looking-glass, a whole different world, and this movie reminds me of the excitement and novelty of that long-ago arrival in an unknown country. What a piece of work is GV6: THE ODYSSEY !

Filmed in the intimate settings of the poets' own homes, or in natural surroundings, interview segments alternate with the reading of shorter or longer bits of poetry. There are lots of interesting, quite agreeable visual effects. The whole thing has an amazing unity, considering all the different places where it was shot. Bob Bryan and everyone else involved in the production did a hellacious job.

Of course, I'd be crazy about anything with Wanda Coleman in it. What I like best about GV6, in fact, is that it's packed with Venice poets. Coleman has been on the scene since the Beat days, and her poem "His Old Flame, Lady Venice" is definitive. There's photographer Rod Bradley - check out his business card from the early 80s, with the motto "Neither master nor slave." Luis Campos joined the original Venice Poetry Workshop in 1969. Steve Goldman has run Venice Poetry Readings in the New Library and the Old Jail. Jim Natal and Jeanette Clough do the HyperPoets reading series at the Rose Café.

Most or all of the other 31 poets represented here also have Venice connections of some kind, showing up time after time at Beyond Baroque and other venerable venues, leading workshops, publishing in the Free Venice Beachhead, and so on. The bearded witch of Ocean Park, francEye, is known as the female Charles Bukowski. Lynne Thompson is a self-described "recovering attorney," and Marie Lecrivain is "writer in residence at her apartment." For the most fascinating reader in the group, I'd have to pick Chungmi Kim.

The comments of the poets are grouped together by theme, suggesting that they were asked to elaborate on at least some of the same questions, but no questions are ever heard. The comments are made in such a way that knowing the questions is unnecessary. It's a technique you have to have tried yourself in order to realize how much skill went into the editing.

You can tell that one of the suggested topics was the relationship between poetry and dreams, and another, teaching the young. Several of these poets teach at the college level, others are or have been involved with introducing elementary school children to poetry. Steve Goldman speaks of the need to "evoke poetry from the kids, not to teach it." Wanda Coleman addresses young poets with some very interesting thoughts.

Brendan Constantine, who comes from a theatrical family, talks about how his father asked him the equivalent of "What are you going to be when you grow up?" Momentarily relieved to find that his son had no ambition to be an actor, the father was instantly dismayed when the answer proved to be "poet." How had young Brendan managed to hit upon the one career more hopeless than acting, where even the successful are bums, and the unsuccessful are something even worse?

This movie and its accompanying extras make up a motherlode of quotable remarks and observations. I notice this in particular because I collect quotations and present them organized by topic. Here's an example of my kind of quotation, from Shahe Mankerian:

"The minute that we have the notion that there is such a thing as taboo, I think the writer is obligated, and I underline that word obligated, to write about those issues."

Johnny Masuda, whose work is described as "not for the faint of heart," writes about stuff like being raped as a child. His demeanor can be offputting. "Johnny's the guy that you don't want to come knocking at your door at midnight, because he's not bringing good news." Still, he has nice eyes.

I have only one problem with this movie, and it's as insignificant as a freckle on the Mona Lisa's elbow, but I'm going to mention it anyway. The bleeping of naughty words is not only annoying but inconsistent. I heard a few rude ones with perfect clarity, and a couple of cusses are only partially bleeped. If the bleeping was done in earnest, it's not a very good job. If it was done in a mocking spirit, it's a miscalculation. The very fact that it's unclear whether the bleeps were added with satirical intent, should tell you something.

Is it federally mandated that censored words must be covered up by an extremely irritating and attention-craving audio cue? Couldn't some other sound be substituted - a musical chord, for instance, or even silence? The dreaded bleeps strike a jarring note, and detract from a splendid piece of work that otherwise closely approaches perfection.

For some reason, a recurring vision comes to me where a small group of teenagers gather before a TV, somewhere in rural America, to watch this movie. There still are towns without poetry workshops, and there still are vast distances between places. I can see GV6 becoming a monster hit not only among the urban literati, but among the young and hopeful who live in places where they feel culturally deprived.

Better yet, I'd love to see this movie exported on a large scale. Some foundation should buy thousands of copies and give them away overseas, to anyone who will take them. Let's get something out there to show that America is not all Miami Vice or Dallas, and that Americans are not all Rambo or Britney Spears.

Bryan!  I just finished a reading in Washington, D.C. at the Folger Shakespeare Library and had to tell you that 2 different people said they saw your DVD (GV6 THE ODYSSEY)  in class and loved it and that they came to my reading because they saw me in your DVD.  I just wanted to pass along that information to you to tell you that you are reaching people with your work. The reading was incredible--The Folger is an incredible venue--the stage was like an old Shakespearean stage.

I thought the DVD was really well done.  I particularly liked the diversity of poets, the variety of voices, and the wide-range of viewpoints.  I also liked the pacing of the DVD--it seemed like you really thought about how to maintain the interest of the viewer.  Since pacing is also important in poetry, it was interesting to me to see how pacing manifests itself in a visual medium.
Victoria Chang, Poet

Hi, Bryan.

Many of my students are purchasing my books and also the DVD, because of my poetry. Since they love my work, they are encouraged to investigate more about poetry and poets. It's all good.
Hope to see you soon.

Marcielle Brandler, Poet

"I loved how the film turned out -- it was bold and unusual, loving and supportive...you have a gift for interview, which I admire...so good on you, as they say Down Under..."

Best regards,
Nika Hoffman, Poet

"My initial response from viewing GV6  is that it is a marvelous work that seeks to bare the inner workings of the sensitized souls and the creative process of these artists who create and express their passion through poetry. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Its real!"
--Glenn Towery, Reviewer
OFFICIAL GV6 REVIEW  (coming soon)
by Glenn Towery

GV6 THE ODYSSEY- Poets, Passion and Poetry
A Bob Bryan Film
Bryan World Productions, LLC
P.O. Box 74033, Los Angles, CA 90004
Ascent Aspirations Magazine
A Review by David Fraser
Bob Bryan’s documentary film, GV6 THE ODYSSEY – Poets, Passion and Poetry is a monumental achievement. Thirty-one contemporary American poets candidly open their souls with their comments and the sharing of their work. Bob Bryan takes the material filmed with each poet and creatively edits the footage into a cohesive presentation interspersed with text, graphics and visual images to produce a stunning film depicting the universality of poetry, full of messages that can be applied to any form of creative endeavor.
Poets such as Wanda Coleman, Kamau Daaood, Brendan Constantine, Victoria Chang, Steve Goldman, Chungmi Kim, FrancEye, Lynne Thompson and all the rest explore what poetry is about, the relationship between the writer and the reader/listener, taboos and fears, the power of poetry, and the relationship with truth and self-discovery. In the process they reveal their personalities, expose their struggles, give us their poetic voice and show us how their ideas evolve and how others can learn to write poetry. There is an openness that is full of eclectic ideas that never even closely approaches the pedantic. Bob Bryan clearly manipulates the infrastructure in his editing process but this does not detract from the cohesive messages that are both bombarding and calming. Opposite feelings and ideas are expressed by the various poets and these ideas are often juxtaposed to produce an enlightening, revealing sense of what poetry is, what passions are involved and how poetry is created. The messages are so real and down to earth that they appeal to everyone; established, emerging, or beginning poets and to students who are still hesitant to wade into the language.
The poets in various comments and readings show what poetry is about and their passion for the spoken word and in the process, they expose their raw feelings. Some talk of the searching for self, of being honest, of writing as a form of therapy. One poet (Wanda Coleman) says “I am in constant dialogue with myself” and explains how poems emerge. Jennifer Tseng speaks about getting creations out of herself as if she is getting rid of toxins. When asked about taboos many felt that the writer is obligated to write about them (Shahe Mankerian). Others talked about suffering and traumas, and phantoms (Chungmi Kim), while others spoke of being sometimes too afraid of making wrong moves even though they know it is important to let go and be more fearless (Victoria Chang).
In the process of the film the audience is brought toward an understanding of the process as each poet opens up bits of him or herself in genuine and truthful ways. We get ideas about what poetry is – “poetry is a second use of language”, “it translates the velocity of expression to the stillness of art” (Brendan Constantine), “poetry is hell, a kick in the gut, an emotional reaction” (Dr. Thea Iberall) , “interaction, dance, song, meaning and sound and sometimes a tightened ball of reality" (Marcielle Brandler), and  “a process of reshaping a feeling’.
Through each poet’s passion we see the power of poetry to “lift the spirit, address the agonies of life, and to bring us together to make sense of this life” (Rod Bradley) . The writers reminisce about their youth and how they came to poetry. Parts of the film focus on bringing poetry into the classroom and how students need to write about things for which they have passion (Johnny Masuda). There is a sense of the sacred here where the students are not taught poetry but are a part of a genuine process that evokes poetry and helps them to hear language, and see images and emotions as raw material for making poetry. The poets speak of helping themselves and others to look inward and outward and to try to see how these two connect (Kamau Daaood). Advice is given to find your voice, to write and write until you find your voice, in the process of reviewing everyday life and getting it all out (Johnny Masuda)!  We are reminded to be courageous when we write even though the open truthfulness involves some fear and discomfort.
The ideas are a buffet from which we can all feast. Some feel poetry is born within them; others feel we can all learn to write poetry; most however see the teaching of poetry more as a process of guiding, of standing at the crossroads and pointing the way (Nika Hoffman). In terms of where ideas come from, some allude to the imagery of dreams (Harryette Mullen), others prefer the muses and acknowledge the need to stay in touch and not neglect them, one poet (Catherine Daly) doesn’t believe in gods or muses and knows the treads come from within, another feels a big silence that comes from different places, places of joy and places of turmoil. Kamau Daaood in his deep baritone saxophone voice says, “it comes like water; it just flows as if you are channeling the stuff”.
The film is a great accomplishment that is deeply, insightful, entertaining and functionally practical for anyone interested in any creative art form, and especially poetry. Doors are opened through the raw honesty of the responses. Veils of mystery are peeled way exposing the human condition and the efforts and struggles to make sense of the life around us. Poets, writers, artists, teachers, and students will find this film a must-see experience. You will return to it time and again for inspiration, motivation and entertainment.

Ascent Aspirations Publishing:  www.ascentaspirations.ca  ascentaspirations@shaw.ca  ascent@bcsupernet.com  Member of the Federation of BC Writers   http://www.bcwriters.com/  Member of WAVE Publications Cooperative  http://www.wavecoop.com/   Member of the Canadian Poetry Association  http://www.canadianpoetryassoc.com  Member of the Canadian Federation of Poets  http://www.federationofpoets.com/

I just finished watching GV6. Wow! I am totally biased about this because I know a number of the poets included in this doc and I love all of the LA poets' work. There is such an energy and vitality in the LA poetry scene that is like nowhere else. This DVD is a treasure...I really mean that.

Hearing all those great poems, listening to the poets riff on poetics, listening to dear Brendan explain (in the most concise way ever) what a chapbook is...it was just a treat to watch this DVD. This would be a great tool in the classroom, especially at the high school level.

Here's what I want to thank you for the most tonight: Actually "hearing" Suzanne Lummis. I love her work, but watching and listening to her in GV6 has turned me into a groupie!

Collin Kelley, Atlanta News Group

by Collin Kelley

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DREAMING: My trip to California in April is shaping up nicely and I just added another reading to my itinerary thanks to Larry Colker and the Redondo Poets. I'll be reading at the Coffee Cartel at Redondo Beach on Tuesday, April 10, at 7:45 p.m. This is such a cool spot and a fantastic reading run by Larry and Jim Doane and I always have a great time there.

Speaking of SoCal poetry, I watched the documentary GV6 The Odyssey: Poets, Passion & Poetry over the weekend. Featuring 31 poets riffing on poetics, the doc is a who's who of the LA scene. What a treat to see Suzanne Lummis read (I love her work, but had never seen her perform), the brilliant Brendan Constantine, Wanda Coleman, Luis Campos, Victoria Chang, Catherine Daly, Marie Lecrivain, Elena Byrne, Harryette Mullen and so many other amazing voices. The film was directed by Bob Bryan as part of his ongoing Graffiti Verite Series about everything from art to hip-hop.

Not only do you get to hear the poets talk about what poetry means to them...and the passion they have for the writing...but you get to see full, uncut readings of poems by each of the poets. Snippets are woven into the doc, but there is a separate section where you get the poems in full. Brendan gives a concise history of the chapbook in another featurette. This would be a perfect classroom tool for any teacher wanting to get their students into poetry. It's also a total immersion into the SoCal scene, which I love.

As a director, Bryan seems to have made all the poets comfortable enough to talk honestly about the creation of their work. I loved how Victoria Chang was so honest about her fears of writing too much truth and she wished she could be more fearless in her writing. Catherine Daly plainly admits she has no belief in god or the always elusive "muse", but finds the poems within herself. And I love how Suzanne tries to explain that unexplainable transfer of energy a poet gets when he/she connects with an audience during a reading. A "third thing" is created, she says, but like her, I've never been able to name it either. Perhaps it's just finding connection. Bryan's documentary does that for sure.

You can buy the DVD at www.graffitiverite.com or it's available for rent on Netflix. I highly recommend it.

Ahadada Books
Review of GV6: The Odyssey  Directed By: Bob Bryan
by Daniel Sendecki
Producer: Bryan World Productions; Format: DVD: ASIN: 0536109262
Length: 72 minutes

GV6: The Odyssey’s scope is epic, packing 31 poets into 72 minutes of film. This is its greatest weakness but also, in a manner of speaking, its crowning achievement—framing an engrossing narrative despite such a large assemblage. That being said, there is no one subject whose appearance I could do without, but many times found myself wanting a poet to elaborate on their answers (Luis Campos, for example). To be fair, the extras included on the DVD do provide further context.

Bob Bryan make the quick cuts—necessitated by the vast ground that he has to cover—often work to his advantage. The frenzied pace offers images, for example, of Brendan Constantine and Jennifer Tseng juxtaposed—Constantine’s boisterous enthusiasm for his subject serves to illuminate Tseng’s careful, sometimes self-effacing answers. When asked about the nature of poetry,  Poet Steve Goldman boisterously offers, “Poetry is life and its avoidance is death” while Tseng tenders her answer: “An internal world”. And they are both absolutely correct.

Interviewed in often private spaces—Bob Bryan elicits candid, thought-provoking answers from his subjects touching on subjects from the personal to the public, the sacred to the profane, touching on elements of culture, family, love, language and self-perception, among others. The movie opens with the statement: “There is no one truth”. Throughout the rest of the film, this statement is echoed in the answers from a plethora of representative poets, whose experiences resonate from varied ethnicities, cultures and ages (although, not necessarily geographies, as the majority appear to be operating out of Southern California). The diversity of his subjects, as Bryan is well aware, serves only to underline and strengthen their similarities: their love of language, and their need to express themselves.

One minor quibble though: what’s with the censoring of words? I realize that this DVD, serving as a basis for beginning writers, is likely destined for the classroom but the censorship is intrusive and not necessary. In the course of the film, Jawanza Dumisani recounts the advice of one of his mentors, “Tell us what you want to tell us and just trust the language. Trust the language.” If there’s one thing this documentary makes an effort to understand, it’s that, if a poets says fuck, they mean “fuck”.

In answering the question “What is poetry?” performance poet Askew offers: “It’s like taking a big shit.” Truer words were never spoken, but their impact is diminished somewhat.

In the waning minutes of the film, South California poet FrancEye offers “Everybody is a poet. They just don’t exercise that part of themselves.” It appears to me that this is a statement Bryan wants his audience to take to the bank, but it’s one that rings particularly hollow–at least to these ears. These poets are not everybody, they are special—by virtue of their genius, their insanity, their egos, their introspection, etc. Some would argue that poets enjoy a privileged and enviable position, having the opportunity to express themselves and contribute to the shaping of American culture in contrast to most individuals who are more or less forced into the passive position of consumer–payment for books or DVDs being their only contributions.

But this, of course, is not what Bryan is after. The film’s message doesn’t play out in the big questions, ie “What is poetry?” or “What is the nature of truth?” but in its multitudinous and divergent answers.

by Daniel SendeckiAhadada Books publishes titles both online and in print. We present broadsides, limited-run chapbooks, and perfect bound books of diverse literary forms.
As co-publisher of Ahadada Books, Daniel Sendecki currently serves as book designer and web editor. Most recently he served as Foreign Program Coordinator at Chonnam National University, in Gwangju, Korea. He currently resides in Burlington, Ontario.

One of the things I'm always hearing about is how poetry is no longer viable or useful in the creative world. Unless, obviously, you can turn it into a pop song and make enough money to buy some land in Tokyo. But other than that, the general opinion for poetry and where it's headed is not an optimistic one. Fifty years ago, if your luck held out, you actually had a shot at making some decent money on poetry and poetry alone. Now, you're lucky if you can walk away with a contributor's copy of the few magazines that still publish poetry. And people point to that, the serious decline of magazines that feature poetry or books released by major publishing companies, as evidence of how no one gives a damn about it anymore.

I hear that a lot, and honestly, I can't say I believe it.

If you really think no one cares anymore, head over to Google, or whatever search engine turns you on (I prefer the easy ones, obviously) and hunt down web sites like www.pathetic.org, or look up a few e-zines and ask the editors how many submissions they receive in a given period, or head out to the fringe of publishing and see how many writers are kicking ass in the self-publishing field. It's nothing to get excited about, and it's probably not going to change the world anytime soon, but it will prove, if nothing else that poetry's in better shape than some people are saying.

And some people take a completely different route to keep poetry alive, like DVDs, which is one I honestly, for some strange reason, never envisioned as a means to the end of moving poetry along.

Again, I don't know why it never occurred to me that you could promote poetry on DVD. It might have something to do with the way the obvious almost never comes to my mind until it's entirely too late to do anything about it.

But I can't say for sure.

At any rate, that's pretty much what filmmaker Bob Bryan has set out to accomplish with Poets, Passion & Poetry, which is the latest and, according to Bryan, final installment in what has been a six film series dedicated to not only poetry, but to graffiti, and a more specific, focused branch of poetry, hip-hop. To watch even one is to watch a subject that the people involved are clearly immersed in. It's something they know everything there is to know about it, and it's something they want other people to know more about. So far, the series has done quite well to that end, with numerous festival appearances and awards, and positive reviews from just about everybody who's come into contact with it. And it's not difficult to see why, if Poets, Passion & Poetry, which is the one I'm dealing with here and now, has anything to say about it.

Running at about seventy-two minutes, with numerous special features, including complete readings from all thirty-one of the featured names, Poets, Passion & Poetry is an in-depth look at thirty-one different poets, from countless walks of life, philosophies, and personalities. It's not just limited to their own work, which is a major aspect of the documentary and one of its main points, to show you how wildly diverse and varying poetry can be. The documentary also intends to bring you closer to the poets themselves, something that is generally left up to a few words in a short bio on the back of their book. And this where the whole thing held the most interest for me. I love poetry, as it's probably pretty easy to tell, but what I like more, possibly, because I don't deal with it as much is direct contact with the poets themselves. I find that part relentlessly fascinating, to hear where the writer got his start, what brought him in, what keeps him going. I don't think it should be taken as personal gospel, but I do think there's something to be said for listening to your peers, your contemporaries and maybe, at most, using that opportunity to try adding something onto your own ideas and beliefs. The idea is to get you thinking about sides of poetry you might not have looked at before. Poets, Passion & Poetry brings out this opportunity brilliantly, offering more perspective than I think I've ever seen gathered in a single place.

And just so you know, the poetry's not bad either. There's some brilliant, brutal work to be found throughout. It's the kind of insight, intelligence that makes you wonder why these people aren't getting all of the credit they truly deserve. All of them had something to say, but some of them struck me in such a way that I had to seriously wonder why the hell these people aren't in the same regard as Bukowski, Angelou and the like. Of course, there's no guarantee that you're going to love every poet's work. But really, there's nothing about this that demands you do that. In my mind, lining up all these major forces in poetry is a lot like setting up a music festival. If you don't like the first act, well, stick around for the next one, because it's not going to be anything like the one you just saw, and so on. Personally, I found something good or, at the minimum, interesting, in every poet that came on. I can't guarantee watching Poets, Passion & Poetry is going to be like that for everybody, but I can almost definitely promise that you won't be bored. Director Bob Bryan is clearly aiming this at not just people who might be starting out at poetry, but people who have no real experience in the medium to begin with. I honestly think this is the group Bryan wants to approach most of all, more than the people who already have a rough idea of what Bryan's trying to express. I'm talking more about the ones I mentioned at the start of this, who don't think poetry has anything to say in 2006. Bryan wants to prove to those people that the truth of the matter is that poetry is as alive, vibrant, and vicious as it was in the days of Dorothy Parker and Anne Sexton. Thanks to his excellent, well-paced, well-handled direction, I don't think he's going to have any problem continuing to do this, as he's done with the previous five volumes.

This is an essential purchase for anyone who's either already well-immersed into the world of poetry, or someone who just wants to know what the whole thing is about. Bryan is a documentary director of serious, confident talent. He's the kind of guy you want to keep your eye on, because there's a very good chance that anything he happens to be involved with is going to make for an extremely worthwhile trip. For less than forty bucks, you get a documentary that's a prime example of how the phrase "No wasted motion" applies to a film, and you get an in-depth look at some of the most talented, underrated writers of this moment in time.

As far as I know, you couldn't possibly ask for more than that.
--Gabriel Ricard  is a Staff Interviewer at Unlikely 2.0. You can learn more about him at his bio page.

Poetry For Christmas
by Victor D. Infante

myainsel, chryslerpoet and I watched GV6: The Odyssey: Poets, Passion & Poetry last night, and it near-well did my brain in. The documentary is filled with excellent poets reading and discussing their work, including Harryette Mullen, Elena Karina Byrne, Jeanette Clough, Wanda Coleman, Brendan Constantine, Kamau Daaood, FrancEyE and Jim Natal -- many of my favorites.

Unlike a lot of documentaries and cinematic treatments of poetry, the discussion was deep and engaging. The poets all had widely different styles and backgrounds, and the overwhelming majority of the poems were excellent. Some of the poets weren't to my taste, but that's to be expected. I really only actively disliked one, and found a couple others dull. The rest were excellent. (There's also some cheesy interstitials that distracted a bit, but ultimately they prove forgivable.)

But more important was the discussion of poetry, hearing so many writers talk unguardedly about process, and about the role poetry plays and can play in the their lives and in the world.

Frequently, I lament that the conversation about poetry at local readings is facile. People don't talk about writing much. I think everyone who writes poetry should watch this DVD. it gives a lot to think about.
---Victor D. Infante
Victor D. Infante His poetry and journalism has been published in dozens of periodicals internationally. He has recently completed his first novel, Nihilist Chic, and is working on a book on writing, How to Succeed As A Failing Writer, and his third screenplay, "The Ones That Got Away." He lives in Worcester, MA, with his wife, Lea. He recently published his eighth chapbook of poetry, Warhol Days.

At present, he is a copy editor for The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, a regular contributor to OC Weekly and a columnist for GotPoetry.com. He is also editor in chief of  The November 3rd Club, an online literay journal of political writing.

DVD Review-“Graffiti Verite’ 6-The Odyssey: Poets, Passion & Poetry”
by Chad Myers (Strangeroad.com)

“Poetry is about kickin' your fu*kin' a*s,” and so begins the 72 minute documentary (GV6 THE ODYSSEY) directed by Bob Bryan in which 31 poets muse about what poetry means to them and to the greater world around them. Some of the poets featured in this video are young, some old, some rich and some poor, with different creeds, beliefs and nationalities, but they are all poets. They read from their own books as we watch on, with images intermitting treating our senses as the words dance from their souls. The video takes the viewer on a trip through the poets psyche, revealing what makes them tick through such subjects as whether to be genuine or not, self discovery, apprehension, fearlessness (or not), inspiration, the dream scape, the muse (or lack thereof), and the interpretation of poetry. This information is exciting, educational and entertaining because it comes straight from the poet, no filter, in their words and actions, their expressions and their writings.

Quite simply, as a writer myself, my eyes didn’t leave the screen until the video ended. It was like nothing I had ever seen or had the pleasure of hearing such sound principles before. It’s hard to understand poetry from books or a classroom, but from the poets minds and voices themselves it all makes perfect sense. That is why this is such a great reference tool, because the poets are passionate,  the art is real, and today, not from some textbook.

I think teachers will get a lot out of using this video to inspire their students, and to break through the walls that inhibit young people from putting pen to paper. To help students "discover" their poetic voice, because the main point I took from the video is that poetry is raw, it cannot be controlled or forced, and so the first and most important thing when teaching poetry is simply to get the students to put the pen to the paper and let what may come, come.

You don’t have to be a student, or teacher to find value in this great production though, quite the contrary. It is well put together, entertaining, with great cover art, and is a good reference guide for those of us who write, those who want to write, and simply those who may want to understand what poetry and poets are all about. To me there is poetry in a lot of society these days, specifically music, which is something that we all enjoy.

I highly recommend this video for anyone who has written a poem, would like to in the future, or who just wants to entertain themselves learning about the expression of the poet, which can transcend all form and meaning. I will watch it again and again because as a person, rather then a poet, I am constantly learning about expression, and that is what this video is all about.

-Chad Myers, www.strangeroad.com
Strangeroad.com encompasses the spirit of the counterculture, the artist, the bohemian, and the revolutionary all rolled into one. The inspiration for the site comes from places like San Francisco, New Orleans, Venice Beach, and Austin, Texas; From people like Jim Morrison, Jack Kerouac, Tupac Shakur, Hunter S. Thompson, and Che Chuervo. Basically, the spirit of the underground mixed with the vast possibilities of the internet.

The people of strangeroad.com are committed to the principals of artistic expression and the free flow of ideas. Our main purpose is to provide a venue where independent artists of every kind can display their work for a National audience, as well as a forum for the common citizen to express his or her ideas and opinions.

Review of GV6 THE ODYSSEY: Poets, Passion and Poetry (DVD) - 72 minutes-Unrated.
by Jack G Bowman, MA MFT

Executive Producer and Director Bob Bryan

A cyclone collage of images, words and ideas and of course humor.  What poetry is; where it came from and where it may go? If its dead, alive or in transition? How many forms it has; if it needs one in the first place?  Does any of it make the slightest difference?

All of these questions are asked and explored from a variety of poets. 31 in all give their expertise, share their experiences, from the inside out. This film at times causes tears, reveals hidden hypocrisies, small biting and beautiful glimpses of what may be called "Artistic Truth."

Who am I? "A Dialog with myself..." Wanda Coleman.  What is it? What it should be? Not be? Art? Therapy? Clear, unclear, metaphor, feelings...something sacred?

Topics: Sexual Chaos, Nature -Loneliness, Patterns of Relationships, Oppressions and gangland and police responses, "...The Funk of Dreamless men...-- Kamau Daaood.

African Americans, Asian faces, Latina faces, mixed races, angry faces, Armenian voices, women, straight, not so straight, white people ...all tell their stories.

Taboos; deep painful emotions, attacking the past abuser, forbidden feelings... thoughts.

When can you write, where? How long does it take?

Poetry in the classroom... Who is it written for? The Elite? Every man / woman, dirty old men?  "In Isolation I create phantoms...." Chungmi Kim

Who is a poet? Everyone ?

Reading them aloud in public? "...something happens, vivid and alive- A sort of third thing is created..." Susanne Lummis
"De nobis fabula narratur...Their Story is Our story..." Vicarious thinking..." --Elena Karina Byrne.

In the end, there are no conclusions, only their words... the poets speaking for themselves.

If you have an interest in poetry, curiosity, an obsession, watch and take notes.

Love, Peace and Knowledge
--Jack G Bowman, MA MFT
Reviews of my fellow poets projects and published works. Check out more of my reviews and interviews in www.poeticdiversity.org

" I thought it (GV6 THE ODYSSEY) was very informative and enlightening.  I watched it twice because for a novice it was overwhelming at first.  I then went through the the special selections and was able to put it all together.  I do feel it can be use very much as an educational tool.  I wished I could have had this kind of exposure as a high schooler and college gander.  I do believe that journaling ones thoughts is very important for self-growth and understanding.

There is a lot of information in this film and actually could be studied for a semester.  One thing " I got " when I was done viewing the film was " just get it down and work it out later." 

Thanks for letting me see view the film.  I really hope this is a useful tool for young and old minds."
---Janice M Frucci, Head of Vocational Rehabilitation, South Bend Indiana

Lessons About Life Through Poetry
by Michelle Angelini

GV6: The Odyssey: A Bob Bryan film

Take a journey with filmmaker Bob Bryan where 31 published poets give of themselves and their time to share with young less experienced writers. Each poet is unique in their craft and information, so that taken together, the dvd provides a sound basis for beginning writers. While being surrounded by language and events everyday, transforming life's experiences into an art form takes no particular skill except willingness and passion. This passion is what these poets share. As I watched the film, I found myself smiling and nodding when I heard something I learned in the past from verse writing seminars and from some of these poets  whom I've had the pleasure of meeting at workshops and poetry readings. Yet, for as many years as I've been writing, I heard such a wealth of information here that it gave me a fresh viewpoint on my own writing.

Thirty-one poets, with unique styles, techniques, backgrounds, and poems, reach across societal boundaries. In this craft, language, passion, and emotions are the common thread tying the artists together. Although each may have a dissimilar way of expression, internal emotion leads them to a similar goal - getting it out of their minds and onto paper or the computer screen. Bob Bryan goes into the homes of most of the poets, so that the casual nature of the interviews makes the young poet feel at ease. While some of the poets read their work, brightly colored words flash across the screen – the content of the poem. Other poets' themes show outdoor scenes, family photos, or their books while they read. This personal glimpse allows the student to see the poet not only as a published writer, but also the person behind the poem. Many times students read the work of a published writer and feel what they've accomplished may be beyond them. But as the poets talk about their craft and share their advice and suggestions, young writers realize this isn't the truth. A single sentence opens the movie, "There is no one truth," and each poet proves it with the diversity of their ideas.

Some of the themes covered include culture, race, family, memories, performance, self-growth, nature, self-discovery, self-perception, language, and love. Yet, these are by no means the only topics the poets write about. Many of the themes blend to make a rich tapestry, uncovered only through the process of time and revision. The poems are self-journeys, which are freeing by their nature. The film is divided into chapters, covering segments of the craft students might not yet understand. And the poets do not by any means agree, giving credence to the quote about there being "no one truth."

If I have any criticism of the film, it is that the poet contact information flashes across the screen too quickly.

GV6: The Odyssey has so much valuable information, it is impossible to process it all in one viewing. It should not only be shown in all verse writing classes and workshops; it should also be part of the required material for each student in these classes. Community college and University libraries should have a copy of it, as the poets presented here are those to whom the young student aspires. (end)

"This inspiring program features 31 contemporary poets presenting their work and celebrating the enigmatic yet powerful world of poetry. Harryette Mullen, Lynne Thompson, Steve Goldman, Luis Campos, and Catherine Daly are some of the poets features on this intriguing glimpse into the universe of expression and words."

"Many poets I know from earlier days appear in GV6: The Odyssey, Poets, Passion, & Poetry, Bob Bryan’s innovative documentary on poets and what poetry really is. Some poems employ alliteration, some are precise and mathematical, while others are angry and vicious. Some images seem drug induced and fantastical. Others are simple tear jerkers.

Poetry speaks in the language of the heart and soul, oftentimes with frank simplicity juxtaposed against magical lyricism. Most of the poets tell us what poetry is to them, and how they “teach” the writing of poetry.

As we listen to snippets of their work, they give us their jazz-wrenching, slammin’, languid, and bone-cracking words. We can see, taste, hear, and touch the experiences these writers give us. This documentary is truly the only of its kind in the universe. I am honored to be one of the poets included in this work. Groundbreaking!"
Marcielle Brandler, Award-winning author of The Breathing House: Imagist Poems

" 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.".
 --Askew, Poet

 "Congratulations on your poetry DVD. I  thought the featured poets each had something worthwhile to say and the content was interesting throughout. I wish you much success with this  and future projects."
--Jim Natal, Poet, Publisher (Conflux Press) 

"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
"I thought it was magnificent! Had some very nice touches... a door closing, something else unexpected happening... that's what we picky critics call ' vitality ', letting things happen but also making things happen visually. Obviously done with care. I give it three thumbs up!"
---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

Actually, there were two showings.  I personally have seen it at least a dozen times and I just keep getting more out of it each time I see it.  I'm even starting to like the ice queen.
At the seven o'clock show, Chris and Susan showed up with Adam and Rose (Adam is on leave from Afghanistan) and a huge pot of homemade chili, shredded cheese, onions, cilantro and some kind of sweet wine.
Remember, Chris and Susan have already seen it.  A few minutes later, one-eyed Joe and Lloyd showed up.  I think they smelled the chili--it was really good.
After everyone got food and drink, we fed the DVD to the machine.  Nothing but silence and total focus from start to the intermission, which, by the way, is perfectly placed.  Adam was just nuts about Constantine and Askew.  He said I was great, but thought Askew rocked.  He wants a CD of his songs.  I told him, I didn't know if he had one, but that there was contact information in the flick.
Joe, who is mentally challenged and I mean that sincerely, was riveted to the screen.  Afterward, he told me that he has been writing songs, but was afraid to tell anyone.  He thought people would laugh at him.  Now he feels like he can screw up the courage to share some of his songs.  Joe's a special guy and isn't easily moved to show himself.  He didn't say a lot, but the fact that he spoke at all is amazing.
Lloyd is a gregarious guy and loves to laugh.  He laughed a lot.  Especially with the asian woman (Jennifer Kwon Dobbs) and her "I am woman--hear me cum!"  He thought she was really cool and asked about getting her book.  Again, I referred him to the contact info.
Adam and Rose are going to buy the DVD asap.  They want it for their kids. Although the kids are still in diapers.  The six of us talked poetry and writing to about 11:00 pm.  After that Art, aka "Sickboy" and Laura showed up.  I didn't know they were coming over, so we watched it again.
Art is the guy that told me awhile back, that reading my book made him really understand poetry for the first time in his life.  He basically said the same thing about the flick.  He wanted to borrow my copy, but I told him I could get him a deal cause I know the guy that made it--little joke there.  I'll be placing an order for a couple of DVD's when I get paid friday.
Adam is ordering one to take back to Jallalbad when he goes next month.  He's with the 10th Mountain Division.  He said the guys in his company have already worn out his copy of my book.  He's real excited to show the flick to them.  He said that they watch a lot of vids in their down time.  He also said that they are working on writings of their own.  I suggested that they send me a collection of their work and Tom and I would edit it and create a chapbook for the unit.  He thought that was a great idea.  I'm excited too.  The flick has opened doors for friends of mine and their friends to the possibilities of their own talents.  Just imagine the works that will come out of a group of soldiers.  I can't wait till the poems start arriving.  Thank God for the internet.
It's almost 8:00 am.  Everyone left by 5:00, except for Joe--he's sleeping on my futon.  The chili was really good, it must have been, Joe's farts like a cow.  I think something died inside.  I'm worn out.  I haven't spent this much time with people in ages.  All in all, I think it was a great magical evening filled with excitement and hope.  I'm sure that everyone went home feeling the poet in themselves.
Your hard work is paying off in ways that I don't think you could have imagined.  I know you shit like everyone else, but in this case, you've knocked the ball out of the park.  I wish you could have been here--fly on the wall.  Just so you could see the effect on their affect.  There are so few magical moments in life.  In the last few days, I've had the humble honor of experiencing magic.  I'm too tired to think of anything more to say.  I'll give you a call later, after I sleep for a day or two.  Your man in South Bend.
---Johnny Masuda, 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 of poetry."
---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

"It's Great!!!...

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 lovely"
---Elena Karina Byrne, Poet

"I love the film and am very proud of our work together. What a blessing to know you and to work with you!"   :)
---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

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