Aloud! Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Edited by Miguel Algarin and Bob Holman
Nuyorican is a hybrid word which combines New York and Puerto Rican. This anthology contains a wide a variety of different authorial voices from many different backgrounds Filipino, Chinese, Puerto Rican, Jewish, gay, straight, and other. The editors call it a multicultural anthology. A few of the poems are in Spanish and some are in a mix of Spanish and English. The Nuyorican Poets Cafe is a place in New York where they hold poetry slams. All of the poetry in this anthology was performed live on stage to an audience. It has a very different feel than most poetry anthologies.
A lot of the poetry draws from life on the street. There are many adult themes, AIDS, sex, drugs, rape, relationships, and music (jazz, hip hop, and rock and roll). The poetry is spoken word, meaning that it includes rap, hip hop, scat, and other nonconventional modern forms in the book. The writing is not tame. It does not necessarily follow traditional rhyme schemes.
Some of the poets in the anthology include Regie Cabico, Jennifer Blowdryer, Sapphire, Greg Masters and many others. There are biographical summaries of the writers at the end of the book. In the beginning of the book is a bit on the history of the poetry slam and the performance space, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
It was refreshing reading this book. If you want to read a book of poetry meant to be performed, this is a very good example. The book won the American Book Award in 1994.