Thursday, February 19, 2009

Slam Foreword by Tori Amos Edited by Cecily Von Ziegesar

Slam Foreword by Tori Amos Edited by Cecily Von Ziegesar

This book describes the concepts behind doing a poetry slam. It tells you that most poets perform from memory during poetry slams. Because of this many of the contributions in this book are short raps, poems by singers like Jewel or DMX, and contemporary material.

This book is written for young adults. However, the writing feels like it would be accessible to all ages. The book is clearly written to appear cool and happening. The publisher of the book has a web site, It is designed as a cool site for teen girls. I didn't expect them to write a book on slam poetry.

There is an interesting mix of poetry by teenage girls; performance poets like Felice Bell, Beth Lisick, or Jerry Quickly; quality literary poets like Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, Shakespeare, Sylvia Plath and others.

The layout is slightly avant garde. It uses three colors, black, blue, and white. There are a variety of fonts and layouts for the poems. Most of the pages have black and white photographs in the backgrounds.

The back of the book has a mix of one paragraph biographical snapshots and lots of credits for the poems. The book is quite well thumbed by library patrons.

There are quite a few poems from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. I think I want to read more poems from this group.

Some people may not like this book because it is not very traditional. It mixes different skill levels of writing. It would be a very good book for early teens. They would find it cool.

Other people might not like the style of the poetry. Many poems are meant to be read aloud or don't follow traditional rhyme schemes. I liked it because I need to better understand this kind of poetry if I am going to do better in getting people to read poetry in the library setting.

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