question was, "how do you get people to watch poetry
on television?" We encountered a good deal of skepticism
that poetry belonged on television, but we think Coal Black
Voices represents at least one answer to that question. Let
the documentary be poetry, and let the poets do what they
do best, read and discuss their work in the context of their
social and artistic experiences.
trying in some way to illustrate the language with media images;
the work of poetic language is to create its images in your
mind not in media. That insight informs this work. The elements
of Coal Black Voices are "heightened speech': Spoken
memory and experience, poetry read aloud, and written text
joined sparingly with photos.
is worth noting technically that Coal Black Voices was produced
almost entirely with digital media. The process of making
this documentary has given us a glimpse of the potential of
digital media to help us bring wider more diverse cultural
experiences to television.
invite you to enjoy the remarkable poetry we are honored to
share in this documentary and want to thank KET and the Affrilachian
writers for trusting us to find an answer to the above question.