Mark States "Oakland Crazy"
Premiere Screening
Tuesday, July 20th, 2004 6:45 PM
Lakeview Branch, Oakland Public Library
550 El Embarcadero, Oakland
Followed by discussion: "Taking Your Art Into the Community"
What the critics say:
"Mark States's new video, Oakland Crazy, is a great one. Not only does it have fine footage of Oakland neighborhoods from Lake Merritt to the Avenues, not only does it have Mark doing one of my favorite pieces
of his, Poetry Readings, Incorporated, but the fact it's on video means that you can watch it over and
over again and catch more of the subtleties of Mark's performance, from the cleverness of some of the lines
that need more than one listening to the artful artlessness of his gestures to the joyful look on his face when the audience reply comes in on Madmanifesto. Gritty, real, funny, fun, it's 27
minutes not to be missed." Dale Jensen, The Outpatients
" Most local TURF music/spoken word video productions RESEMBLE sincere artists? efforts that have gone awry. NOW, Mark States has brilliantly turned the tables by spawning a new music/spoken word video parody genre. So, journey his urban landscape to experience the spunky pulse that binds." Diana Q, spoken word artist

"Mark States is the future of poetry!" Anthony R. Miller, slam poet

Oakland Crazy is among the first multiple-poem videos by one poet. Slam poetry groups have produced DVDs and many national-level performers have produced CDs, however, a mini-feature length video by one person is a new phenomenon.

Most of the poems were taped at my Birthday Bash feature last fall in Berkeley, at The Whole Note (many thanks to host Dorothy Jesse Beagle for her assistance.) These are performance poems that in one way or another reflect life and culture in Oakland.

Talking Story
was videotaped live at Kwik Way, and relates the story of three Oakland men (including me) in line Talking Story about our street life experiences. This poem is an anti-violence statement popular at many of Mary Rudge's peace readings. There are also visual clips of various Oakland landmarks such as the Grand Lake Theatre, the Lake, and scenes from the neighborhood in East Oakland where I grew up.

I believe Oakland Crazy is truly cutting-edge in terms of combining art forms: poetry and video. It is the next wave in poetry, and I hope this project will inspire other local poets to take up video cameras and chronicle their art and experiences. Already, Talking Story has opened the 10th Brainwash Movie Festival, where one of the contenders for awards was "The Question" by the incomparable The Suicide Kings (Jamie Kennedy, Geoff Trenchard, and Rupert Estalano). So come see this groundbreaking video and be inspired! Peace,

Mark States "Oakland Crazy" © 2004 Mark States produced by The Poet Formerly Known As Mark States for Dream Boogie Productions

Produced by SF Bay Video with cameos by diana q, Dale Jensen, Rico the guitarist from the bands "tiny g" and The Jon Roniger Band music by C. Piddy

For DVD purchase information contact Mark States at

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