Winner of the Diode Editions Chapbook Prize
Low Budget Movie weaves together the voices of two contemporary poets into a singular persona who sings about vintage guitars, movie props, Dunkin’ Donuts, misogyny, the male gaze, low budget movies, and the unexpected glitter caught in the cracks of it all.
“The authors do not sugarcoat their messages nor dilute their language. Rather, their poems are unapologetically direct, a form of pushing back against sexist norms that suggest women must adhere to a certain appearance or etiquette. “Must. not. make. eye. contact. with. / the. mail. man. lest. he. think. / I. am. dying. for. a. fuck.” The distinct language makes the reader laugh, wince, grow angry, and ruminate on the poems beyond their immediate place in the collection. By deconstructing patriarchal hierarchy and the masculine form, DeColo and Mills, as Cixous might put it, utilize writing as a means of authority and reclaim the female body.” – in Zyzzyva, reviewed by Anna Denelsky
“Low Budget Movie has all the heart and character of an indie with the glitz, glitter, and feathers of a blockbuster. Through urgent directives and flexible stanzas, Mills and DeColo bankroll the pleasures and dangers of cultural desires for luxury items, for bodies, for possession above all things. Beneath the theater of American life—beyond the shimmer of the Big Screen and the smear of eggshell paint—lies a culture of violence. These poems turn our attention toward it, with sparkling, precise language and an emotional honesty that brings the heart to the throat.” – Traci Brimhall & Brynn Saito
“Low Budget Movie asks us what it costs to be a woman on the screen of late-stage capitalism, ‘when a man says you’d look better in something / tight.’ What’s the price we pay for living in a female body? Who gets to write, watch, and record the narrative? Caustic and sharp, these poems demand that we interrogate America’s brutal tendency to turn womanhood into a prop by reclaiming the script. ‘Let’s publish the screen in dollar bills, act crazy, and quit,’ the collection proposes, as it deftly recasts both the movie and the gaze. Cunning and unapologetic, DeColo and Mills’ poems entreat readers ‘to penetrate / and retrieve what they didn’t know / had been lost.’” – Susannah Nevison & Molly McCully Brown
“A full cast of glittering prop mistresses, fortunetellers & donut shop cashiers. Complicated heroines who narrate the lives of women with antic clarity set against the stark reality of everyday misogyny: ‘Must. not. make. eye. contact. with. / the. mail. man. lest. he. think. / I. am. dying. for. a. fuck.’ Sets staged with the mise-en-scène of everyday life: scratch-off lottery tickets, silver-handled refrigerators, the leather pants of an asshole boyfriend in a bad band. DeColo and Mills are two old-school auteurs with a vision and a million-dollar budget to burn. Here’s your ticket. Grab a seat. It’s a double feature.” – Ryan Teitman & Marcus Wicker
“We welcome the improvisational. The circular. The fragmented.” Noah & Ross go behind the scenes of the creative collaboration between Kendra DeColo & Tyler Mills and their chapbook LOW BUDGET MOVIE (Diode Editions) on the podcast, The Chapbook.
Tyler Mills reads “Women in Line” for the Diode Editions Chapbook Prize Launch.
Unboxing video: Kendra DeColo and Tyler Mills opening Low Budget Movie.
“Challenge in TV Yellow” in Vinyl Poetry
“Poem with a Million-Dollar Budget” in The Adroit Journal