Looking through the crowd, one can spot nervous poets frantically typing away at their phones or scribbling in their journals, finding those last fault lines that will truly sing. Mason goes onstage. Conversation falls into silence, then applause. The first reader goes up.
ATM: What is your take on the poetry scene today?
NM: The poetry scene is fired up. People are starting to look to poets in a time where it is becoming harder and harder to trust news and the official story of anything. Poets are really stepping up to this responsibility. The poets in the film have really become spokespeople in their community. People are expressing in an artful way what it makes to be them and a part of the world.
Read the full interview here.
"Following a team of New York slam poets as they prepare to compete in the National Poetry Slam during the charged summer of 2016, DON’T BE NICE shows the value of a team in developing, workshopping and refining a poem before it is ready for competition."
"Featuring a diverse group of poets — each mining their feelings about race, sexuality, gender and popular culture, and digging deep from painful personal experiences — this exhilarating film demonstrates how collaboration and communication between artists can allow them to better understand who they are and what they want to say."
AFI spoke to director Max Powers about the film, which plays AFI DOCS on Friday, June 15, at 1:15 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Get tickets here.