~ Poet: David Starkey ~

Poems for Santa Barbara by David Starkey

This half-hour show, produced by The Santa Barbara Channels community media network, includes 11 videopoems written and recited by the poet laureate of Santa Barbara, David Starkey. He calls this a cooperative endeavor with the people of Santa Barbara: all the poem topics were suggested by residents, and the music in the videos is all the original work of local musicians. Starkey also provides brief commentaries on the poems, kind of in the style of a poetry reading, except that they follow rather than precede the poems.

I love this project. Starkey really shows what it means to be a local poet, responsive to local concerns and helping people inhabit their landscape with imagination and grace. I hope other local arts commissions copy this. While of course I liked some of the constituent videopoems better than others, overall it’s one of the best made-for-TV poetry programs I’ve seen, not excluding the interviews and animations produced by the BBC.