Poetry in Wartime

I've been excited and frightened by the prospect of this documentary ever since I was first contacted by Two Careys productions back in January. Why me? I think it is because I am not a published poet, nor anybody much. I am from Texas, Bush's home state, and my poem didn't suck too much.

When I first got the email asking me to give permission for my poem to appear in the Poets Against the War Anthology. I freaked out. I was not really expecting very many people to read my poem. I submitted it to the Poets Against the War website , feeling safe in the knowledge that there were hundreds of other poems already posted to the site. I was sure that mine would peacefully hide among the others, quietly adding to their number, but otherwise being inconspicuous. Now, they wanted to put it in a book! Well, I supposed that would be alright. At the time I expected that the book would contain thousands of poems and mine would take up its small amount of space, remaining mostly hidden among the others.

Then, Jonathon King, from Two Careys Productions contacted me. They were making a documentary. He had read my poem and wondered if I would be willing to be filmed reading it and perhaps do an interview about what inspired me to write it.

Well. I was not too sure about all that. The thought of being in a documentary, while very exciting, was also terrifying. I am not a “center of attention” kind of person. I prefer to hide in a corner, as I had expected my poem to do. Now the poem was dragging me into the spotlight, and I was not too sure how I felt about that. No, that's not quite true. I knew how I felt: scared to death.

Somehow, I managed to agree to being in the film. Two Carey's productions showed up on my doorstep with a film and sound crew, and I wandered back and forth on the beach, trying to memorize the poem I wrote but had never read out loud before. (By the way, I hated the way it sounded out loud. Ick. If I had known it would get this much attention, I would have … not sent it in in the first place, but I digress…)

Rick King, the director and Jonathon King, the producer, were both incredibly nice. The sound guy and camaraman were also very understanding of my need to go away and hide between takes. They even let my boyfriend take some pictures of the whole process, which was kind of cool.

I managed to survive the filming, and in a few days I had gotten over the nerves and everything. Now, the film is being advertised. It is to be released in the fall. Here I go all over again. I am excited to have been a part of such a project, but at the same time, I am not sure I really want to see it. Maybe I can just fast forward through the parts with me in it.

The rest of the film will be well worth the cringing feeling of seeing myself on screen. I hope. I'm pretty sure.

Well, this has been cathartic. Go to the Poetry in Wartime homepage for more information. I think I need to go lie down now. :)

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