Truth Underground screens on April 7 at 4 p.m. at Aperture 1 and on April 8 at 8 p.m. at SECCA.

The documentary Truth Underground follows three poets — CJ Suitt, Jeremy Berggren and Kamaya Martin — as they express stories of struggle and the poetry they’ve created to confront it.

The challenges the poets have faced throughout their lives are by no means identical, nor were the reasons and ways they turned to poetry.

Raised in Chapel Hill, Suitt, an African American, felt a fear of what he understood as the white spaces in the world around him. Poetry has allowed him to challenge how his hometown labeled him and revere the identity he writes to develop and understand.

Berggren’s struggle with PTSD and the suicide of a fellow Marine, as well as Martin’s challenging memories of childhood abandonment, have led them both to poetry as a means to interpret and illustrate their lives.

Truth Underground weaves the three stories together while including the poetry of each artist directly; viewers observe the poets recite, as well as hear the rhythms and realities the poems establish.

The meaningful effects of poetry on so many of the individuals the film encounters — whether they be the poets or their mentors, collaborators and students — are unmistakable and beautifully captured by the films’ creators.

Joel Sronce

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