Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Number of pages: 64
Weight: 159 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 6 mm
I loved it. I'd already known from watching her films on Vimeo that Pamela Robertson-Pearce is a good director who knows how to get out of the way and let the poems and the poet speak for themselves, and this talent is very much on display here. I watched the DVD in two long sittings and was entranced... The film is playful and serious by turns, just as Zephaniah's poems are, and gave me a lot to think about, especially on the role of performance in poetry, the social responsibility of artists, and the various ways in which oral and literary traditions intersect... Brilliant performance poets like Zephaniah remind us that poetry is first and foremost an oral, embodied medium. Zephaniah's example challenges us to take living more seriously, and to question whether our words and actions and politics are truly aligned as they should be. And needless to say, for a type of poetry that so emphasizes the physicality of language, film/video is the ideal medium. Neil Astley's Foreword in the book offers a more comprehensive biography than any I've seen online, and people who already own some or all of Zephaniah's earlier books with Bloodaxe and Penguin will want this one, too, since it includes different versions of many poems, updated to reflect how they have evolved as he continues to perform them on stage. -- Dave Bonta * movingpoems.com *
The two-hour DVD tucked into the back cover of To Do Wid Me encapsulates four years of filming by Pamela Robertson-Pearce. The footage of 18 poems from five live performances is intercut with interviews at his home and with his eloquent mother Valerie. Every word of the poems on the DVD is printed in the book... In 2009 a BBC poll voted Zephaniah Britain's third favourite poet of all time after T. S. Eliot and John Donne. While he is in his way as musical as Eliot and as witty as Donne, To Do Wid Me reinforces my sense that he is permanently atop an alternative galaxy where other superstars...include Bob Marley and William Blake. -- Michael Horovitz * The Times *
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