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Live for a Living

4.58 of 5 stars 4.58  ·  rating details  ·  291 ratings  ·  26 reviews
"Tender, jarring and deeply human, Live For A Living is a book of poetry that is pulsing with the same electricity and honesty found in Buddy's live performances."-Andrea Gibson; International Poet-Activist
Paperback, 140 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Write Bloody Publishing
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(showing 1-29 of 969)
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Write Bloody Publishing

“One of my heroes, Buddy Wakefield.”
- Ani DiFranco, punk folk legend

“Monster of energy, Keeper of Hope...”
- Benjamin Morse, EasyReader

“I could not have enjoyed his work more.”
-Norman Lear, Producer (Princess Bride, Stand
By Me, The Jefferson’s)

“Tender, jarring and deeply human, Live For A Living
is a book of poetry that is pulsing with the same
electricity and honesty found in Buddy’s live
- Andrea Gibson; International Poet-Activist

“If you’ve never been rocked back by th
Dale Jr.
Enjoyable read with some great insight to Buddy's own life and though process between poems. Although I enjoyed it, I really do believe his poetry comes off more powerful when performed. This is the case with most "performance" poets, I find. Not to detract from the words found here. You're just missing that extra dimension when you read it.
Kent Winward
Wakefield's other book of poetry, Gentleman Practice, is a better poetry book. Most of this book was diary entries, rather than poetry. These are clearly performance pieces and lose a little on the page, especially the group pieces.
Ronnie Stephens
I give this book 4 stars instead of 5 only because I am reviewing it after having read Wakefield's newest book, "Gentlemen Practice." Don't let that dissuade you from checking this one out. It is filled with Wakefield's ever inventive voice, and the poems virtually force you to read them out loud for friends. Many of my favorite performance pieces appear in this book, and they stand up as well on page as they do on stage. "Live for a Living" is an exciting move from Wakefield, leaps and bounds b ...more
This is an excellent collection of Buddy Wakefield's poems and his thought processes that lead into his poetic work. My favorite poem is "Gandhi's Autobiography." He prefaces this poem with an anecdote from his life and the sentiment of feeling like the work a writer does is never good enough. But you can't sit down and expect to create a masterpiece every time. The idea is you are writing, and eventually that will lead you to something great. Action is better than inaction. Plus, regardless of ...more
An unconventional, raw, and powerful collection from one of my favorite modern poets. For being primarily a performance poet (memorizes his work, reads theatrically), his poems work surprisingly well on the page. He uses rather obscure language a lot of the time, a lot of combined metaphors and even words, which yield to close reading. "Gospelstitch" and "Human The Death Dance" (as well as it's follow up, "The Art of Die Smilingly") are probably my favorites of his. The book is also laced with j ...more
Buddy Wakefield's poetry is a hollered "Amen!" without the hellfire fear. He writes two-fistedly, if fists were made of hearts. He's an EMT for language, wielding his shock paddles in love "this'll hurt us more than it'll hurt either of us, but we'll be ok. Hang on."
Jaycia Hunt
Powerful full of intrigue & comfort. I carry this book in my bag & find moments where I need to be brought back.... I sit & center myself & read.
I saw Buddy perform live & it was what I needed, his spoken word... Phenomenal
Beautifully written and truthfully spoken. My emotions were on a roller coaster throughout reading this (in a good way) and no other book has really ever done that to me. I am in awe of his pieces
Kelsie Caldwell
I have read this over & over again & I fall in love with it more each time. Buddy is my favorite poet and is someone I admire as a writer & poet. I would recommend this collection to anyone and everyone because it is something I feel everyone should read at least once. Some of my absolute favorite poems are from this collection. My favorite poem is "The Information Man". & im very fond of "Healing Herman Hesse". Other favorites that I would recommend are "My Town", "Giant Saint E ...more
total lifesaver
I meet Buddy Wakefield October 2011, crossing him off my "Top People I need to Meet in my Lifetime List". What he does with words is so incredibly complex that I read and listen to his words over and over just to feel alive with him. Living for A Living is so brilliant. He is a true poet with all the courage of the world to spill his heart on the page and walk away stronger. "Sometimes I miss you so badly, I beg for the plane to crash for just enough time in the free fall to call out your name." ...more
Noor Al-samarrai
i saw buddy wakefield read (or, recite rather) and couldn't get him out of my head for days, which in turn sparked a poem that i've been working on for about a month...
anyways--i would reccomend this book to anyone, just keep in mind that it's spoken word poetry...
wakefield is a genius, the kind you have to see for yourself...ummmmm

my favorite poem from this book would have to be "Gandhi's Autobiography"--it's subliminal...
Eric Bach
This is brutally beautiful.
So are we.
This is endless.
So are we.
We can heal this.

See me for who I am. We got work to do.

This is a wonderful collection of poems and journal entries from my personal favorite poet. His words can strike a chord with anyone. I highly recommend. It's a pretty quick read but it will reverberate with you for long after you read it.
sara ahmed
finished this book with a heavy heart.

a mixture of involuntary smiling/tearing, goosebumps and heartache. brilliant, brilliant man. youtube him to watch him do his thing/ see why i loved him way before i read this book. i wasn't 'feeling' the journal entries as much as the poems but they were a great addition to the book.

There is no substitute for seeing Buddy Wakefield perform live. However, the book is still excellent because it includes journal entries and a few explanations about his poems. I'm pretty sure this is one I'll read again and again.

If you ever get a chance to see him live I highly recommend it.
Buddy Wakefield has the most powerful presence of any poet touring the great us of a. this translates beautifully to the page. you will be shook, slapped and revived all in one stanza. an absolutely essential read for anyone. buddy is of my top five poets.
I found Buddy on youtube looking up clips of spoken word poetry and ended up buying this book in a bundle with his newest CD, Live at the Typer Cannon Grand. His writing's every bit as lovely on the page, just honest and beautiful.
Buddy Wakefield's poetry constantly blows my mind with its honesty. Buddy strikes me as a guy who is always on the watch, always looking for those scraps of meaning. As someone who also does this, I appreciate and love Buddy.
I find myself carrying this book around with me, reading the poems over and over. Buddy's poems are very earthy, funny, real and entertaining. Buddy's writing really resonates with me.
Lynn Lane
Buddy Wakefield is a phenomenal performance poet with many International Individual Poetry awards to his name. This book captures the energy and feel behind his work as you would expect.
Excellent spoken word poetry by one of today's best performance poets. If you ever read or heard the live performance of Cannonball Man you'll know what I'm talking about. Great stuff.
This is the most opened book on my shelf. If I'm having a bad day or week, I open this up, read a bit of it and just feel incredible. Inspired.
Rachel Werz
This is brutally beautiful.
So are we.
This is endless.
So are we.
We can heal this.

See me for who I am. We got work to do.
why are you reading this review instead of buying this book?
Tyler LeBlanc
Excellent, Wakefield is an incredible s
Armand Cognetta
Armand Cognetta marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2014
Emily marked it as to-read
Dec 26, 2014
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BUDDY WAKEFIELD is the two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion featured on NPR, the BBC, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and most recently signed to Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records. In 2004 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Finals thanks to the support of anthropologist and producer Norman Lear then successfully defended that title at the International Poetry Festival in Rotterdam, Nether ...more
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“I should have told You
before talking in terms of Forever
that any given day wears me out and works me sour,
that there are nights when the sky is so clear
I stand obnoxious underneath it
begging for the stars to shoot at me
just so I can feel at Home.”
“I am standing like shoe polish on an overstocked shelf hoping that one day someone will pick me to make things better.” 41 likes
More quotes…