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Our 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.

Forget 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.

It 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.

We 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.

   Producer/Directors: Jean Donohue & Fred Johnson

   Consulting Producer: Frank X Walker

   Director of Photography: Mark Stucker
   Sound Recordist: John Butler Jr., C.A.S
   Editor: Miguel Huarcaya
   Motion Graphics : Randall Wright
   Technical Manager: Tim Kraus
   Consultant: Dan Dawson
   Consultant: Gurney Norman
   Grip: Marcel Calabre
   Assistants: Neal D. Donohue, Katy Pody
   Assistant: Debra Arapa
   Production Photographer: Tracy Hawkins