I Have My Own Song for It (director unknown, 2002)
[note: review originally published 27Nov2008; originally written sometime during the latter half of 2004]
Actually, it’s possible I Have My Own Song for It has no director. One camera, one angle, a couple of cuts to get it down to an hour of screen time. A videotaped performance of the first reading to promote the book of the same name, published at Ohio’s bicentennial and celebrating the state. Thirteen (including the two hosts) readers.
And I learned something: watching a poetry reading on videotape is a lot like watching a poetry reading live. Needless to say, the quality here is higher than that one finds at the usual open mic, but the same glaring problems still remain; most notably, that everyone wants to explain the poem before reading it. We’re not dumb, folks, we’ll get it.
The best thing about this video is, of course, the poems themselves. There is some excellent work here, and fans of poetry should seek a copy of this out. (I’m not sure, however, it can be found anywhere other than the Hudson Public Library.) But if you’ve ever been to a poetry reading and found yourself falling asleep, avoid it. ** ½
Good luck finding a trailer for this online. So instead you get local poet (and dear friend) Tom Orange rocking out at the SWOH festival a few years back.