Synopsis by Mark Deming
A group of young poets verbally spar, both on and off the stage, at a coffeehouse's open mike night in this independent drama. Lance (Christopher Jaymes) is a short-fused hipster with a quick wit and rapid-fire verbal delivery. His buddy Clay (Ben Caswell) is easy-going and laid back, but a demon with real skills behind the microphone. Carolyn (Rachel Parker) has come to perform, but is emotionally sidetracked by relationship woes. And Kurt (Brian Gattas) balances his poetic ambitions with political activism, and has some surprises in store for Lance. These four friends interact and wait for their chance to read, while several real-life poets of note (including Bob Holman and Ellen Rooney) share their work with the audience. Originally titled Slam before another film about young poets with that name beat this to the theaters, Verses was screened at the 1999 Taos Film Festival.