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The Poetry Deal: A Film with Diane di Prima
A film by Melanie La Rosa
US, 2011, 27 minutes, Color, DVD, English
Order No. W121074
She remains the most famous woman poet of the Beat Generation; her friend Allen Ginsberg called her “heroic in life and poetics.” THE POETRY DEAL is an impressionistic documentary about legendary poet Diane di Prima. Still actively writing in her late 70s in San Francisco, where she is poet laureate, di Prima is fierce, funny and philosophical. She is a pioneer who broke boundaries of class and gender to publish her writing, and THE POETRY DEAL opens a window looking back through more than 50 years of poetry, activism, and cultural change, providing a unique women’s perspective of the Beat movement. Much of the story is told through di Prima’s recorded readings, including a deeply moving reading of her unpublished poem The Poetry Deal, reflecting on her relationship with her art. Essential for women’s studies, poetry studies, women’s history courses and more, THE POETRY DEAL puts di Prima’s life and work on screen in a unique, beautiful portrait using rare archival footage, impressionistic scenes and powerful stories told by friends and colleagues.


  • Michigan Womyns Music Festival

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    "In just 27 minutes, The Poetry Deal brings into clear view the strong determination and e’lan vital of this remarkable poet."
    Ingrid Swanberg
    Feminist Collections

    “[V]isually powerful and provocative, and a tribute to this unique poet’s transformative alchemy as thinker, visionary, and trail-blazer. I highly recommend this documentary to literary scholars, students, writers and anyone interested in the culture of these complicated times.”
    Anne Waldman, Poet
    Co-founder, Distinguished Prof, Jack Kerouac School, Naropa Univ.

    “The film is a visual poem -- a great way to experience DiPrima direct."
    Bob Holman, Bowery Poetry Club
    Endangered Language Alliance Visiting Professor of Writing

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    The Poetry Deal: A Film with Diane di Prima is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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