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Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  291 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
These fifty-four poems, all in different voices but written by one hand, do sing. They make a joyful noise as the author honors the people-the nurses, students, soldiers, and ministers-of his beloved hometown, Harlem. Worship with Deacon Allen, who loves "a shouting church," and study with Lois Smith, who wants "a school named after me." Don't get taken by Sweet Sam DuPree ...more
Hardcover, 88 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Holiday House (first published June 2004)
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Stephanie Jane
I am very happy that the AudioSYNC programme of weekly audiobook downloads is running again this summer. Last year I got the opportunity to hear several books that I might never have heard of otherwise and it looks like that will continue this year. Not all the books are downloadable to the UK so my first two for 2015, actually from Week Three, included Here In Harlem, a poetry collection by Walter Dean Myers.

Myers created his collection by remembering the people he used to live alongside when g
The full-cast audiobook adds a lot to this, I think. It's a great collection of characters in Harlem in the 30s, some with funny stories, others tragic, others just observing. I think it would be a great classroom accompaniment to a lesson about the Harlem Renaissance, or a unit about storytelling through poetry, maybe.
Abby Johnson
Jan 24, 2015 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, diverse, teen, poetry
Listened to this full-cast audiobook on the way up to Ft. Wayne this morning. The poems are a joy to listen to and the book contains a wide variety, from heart-breaking to laugh-out-loud funny. I think the poems beg to be read aloud, so listening to them on audiobook is a great way to experience the book.
Rebecca Weimert
Rebecca Weimert

Here in Harlem is a collection of poems by Walter Dean Myers. The author wrote the poems from different perspectives of people he remembered growing up in Harlem. Each poem has a person’s name, age, and occupation. The time period of the poems begin around 1930s with the mention of swing clubs and blues music. Other poems are from the eyes of children and seniors. Most of the poems mention the struggles of African Americans during this time.

I came across this book while res
Wanda Hartzenberg
Oct 25, 2015 Wanda Hartzenberg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I got this nook via SYNC 2015 and figured hmmmmmmm. Im not going to like this. I was right. Against all expectation I loved this.

I think this is a brilliant work and the narrators rocked the poems.

Ashley Brocious
Jul 26, 2014 Ashley Brocious rated it it was amazing
Shelves: coming-to-voice
Clara Brown:
*they all start with the same song
Part I (CD1#4) Harlem is like an old friend, people altogether Harlem
Part II (CD1#10) “Heart Broken” not chosen because they’re black (dancing as expression that gets stifled)
Part III (CD1#27) found God at Abyssinian Baptist
Part IV (CD2 #1) Fancy Places/Rats
Part V (CD2 #13) Write my life
Part VI (CD2 #23) teach children about being a community
Clara Brown, Retired (CD2 #27) “I danced these streets” “about my harlem”

Mali Evans, Student (CD1#5) “I would
Ben Klayer
Mar 09, 2017 Ben Klayer rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Poems aren't particularly great. However, put together, they create an interesting story of community and history.
Emma Hoyer
Feb 25, 2015 Emma Hoyer rated it it was amazing
Literature Requirement: **Poetry #3**

This book is utterly magnificent. I enjoyed each poem and its contribution to the whole collection. The amount of diversity contained within the covers is astounding. There are people from all sorts of professions, students of all ages and adults of all ages, and I believe this is a near perfect way to capture as many perspectives of a place as possible. Harlem may have stereotypes, and it may cause people to think of something in particular. However, this po
Audio CD

Walter Dean Myers wrote an anthology of poems in "Here in Harlem."
I'm glad to have listened to this book because the 54 poem were told in different voices with the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and more classics in the background. This collection tells the feelings and viewpoints of growing up in Harlem during the early Civil Rights days. Some of the voices were the undertaker, a blues singer, an artist, a furniture mover and a 16-year-old student among many more.


Kristen Scelonge
Oct 15, 2012 Kristen Scelonge rated it it was amazing
Grade/Interest Level: Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Reading Level:1000L
Genre: Poetry

Main Characters:All of the people the poems are wrote about and their experiences
Setting:Harlem 1930's
POV:The people that lived in Harlem

This collection of poems is a tribute and tells the story of the African-American people who lived through the civil rights movements. By way music and poetry these people were able express their feelings and thoughts. The author of this collection of poems takes great pride in iden
A short collection of poetry that perfectly captures the feel of Harlem.
Sarah Schwartz
Oct 10, 2011 Sarah Schwartz rated it really liked it
Genre: Poetry
Awards: 2005 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award
Age Group: Adolescent

Summary: This collection of poems is a tribute to African-American people that the author met during his years in Harlem. He identifies each person, their age, and their occupation and tells their story through the use of lyric poetry.

Evaluation: I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because I think it meets all of the criteria outlined by our text for defining quality poetry. The format of this collection is lyric poetry
Nikki Keegan
Jul 27, 2012 Nikki Keegan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: project-2-1
I do not typically read poetry unless assigned to in a class. However, when I started reading this book, I felt like I was reading a play. The characters are all voices that represent different ages, genders, beliefs, backgrounds, and more. The one thing they all have in common is Harlem; it is their home and they have a deep respect for it. The poetry is moving and I could see students performing the pieces. It reminded me a lot of Spoon River Anthology which was Myers inspiration for the piece ...more
Mackenzie Hunter
Mar 31, 2012 Mackenzie Hunter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2012
When my supervisor started reading the poem about the 32 year-old hairdresser and her gossiping ways, I knew this was one book I had to read. Moreover, when I read on the inside flap that Walter Dean Myers was inspired to write this because of Edgar Lee Master's "Spoon River Anthology" I was even more drawn to it. Spoon River was one of those required reads in high school that never really left me alone.

What a read! What a sense of place!!! From the hairdresser whose sealed lips are the loosest
Lacey Louwagie
I don't read a lot of poetry and I always feel a little bit out of my element reviewing it. I listened to this audiobook right after X: A Novel because I thought they might lend context to one another. Walter Dean Myers captures diverse and authentic voices in this collection, from a gossiping hairdresser to a teenager girl yearning for male attention under her mother's disapproving gaze. Even though I generally don't like audio versions of poetry books, in this book, like October Mourning: A So ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sync-ya, poetry
I wasn't initially sure I would like the format of this. I'm not arguing that poetry shouldn't be performed, but it's harder to look at things like form and word choice when you're listening. After I gave it a try, however, I did like how it was presented. Because this is Myers trying to capture the voices of Harlem, giving them a literal voice works. I liked how the production was managed. There are sound effects that tie into the person's career or location, but they don't overwhelm the perfor ...more
Jun 09, 2015 Marianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library-audio
Listening to this book was amazing. Each poem brought a new and refreshed smile to my face. I could almost see and taste the scenery. The reading was amazing - completed by an entire cast of readers with sound affects in the background making the entire poem come to life. I think this book should be required reading for every student in America because it provided me with a real taste of what Harlem was like - the good and the bad. Since each poem is based on a real person, I almost got the feel ...more
Aug 14, 2012 AnnieM rated it it was amazing
Dearest Walter Dean Myers brings Harlem to life through poems and the lives of people who lived in Harlem in the early 20th Century.

The audio is sooooooo much better than the book. The book has photos, but the audio is read by a variety of narrators. They bring history to life and music adds to the feel of the book. Street sounds and background add to the vibrant time.

Authors like Walter Dean Myers and Ellen Hopkins are helping to bring poetry to readers after generations of teachers and profe
Nov 19, 2008 Scott rated it liked it
I really like the concept behind this book. While the content doesn't "wow!" me, personally, it's a valuable new addition to my classroom library.

This is an anthology of personal poems written by an array of fictional characters. So, basically, it's Walter Dean Myers writing poems from the perspectives of numerous Harlem residents who are identified by name, age and occupation. The poems are accompanied by news clippings and photographs of 1930's and 1940's Harlem, and they include references t
Laura Rumohr
Nov 11, 2009 Laura Rumohr rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Here in Harlem is an anthology written by Walter Dean Myers for older readers (7-12). He wrote this book to honor all of the people he remembers and loves from his hometown of Harlem. Each poem (there are 54) is about a different person who played a role in his life including nurses, jazz artists, students, newstand sellers, mail carriers, etc but he wrote each poem from that person's voice. The whole collection of poems gives the reader a feeling for the kind and loving people that make
Monica Fastenau
Oct 11, 2016 Monica Fastenau rated it it was amazing
Read the full review here:

The audio version of this book of poetry is amazing–there is a different narrator for each character, and there is jazz/blues music and sound effects in the background. The poetry itself is great, too. The collection of poems talks about life in Harlem from the viewpoint of people of all ages and occupations, and Walter Dean Myers’ writing makes each character come alive.
Amanda Northrup
Jun 03, 2015 Amanda Northrup rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
These poems show a great diversity of folks in Harlem. They are young, old, and middle aged. They are professionals, students, laborers, and unemployed. This book's poems invite us into the lives of Harlem's people. I really enjoyed the audiobook with its many readers and perfect sound effects/music. Although the many people in this book were fun to meet, I kept wishing there was more holding the poems together. Maybe a plot or several reoccurring characters?
Dec 01, 2015 Tarissa rated it it was amazing
Here in Harlem is a fascinating look at the life styles, the people, and daily events in the famed Harlem.

Be prepared for some tear-jerkers and some laughable moments. Poetry, whether simple or complex, has a way of touching you -- as each piece did for me in this collection.

The audiobook is of exceptional quality, if you're an audio listener. It includes a whole team of contributing voices, and was a great experience for me to hear each poem in a different voice.
Nov 19, 2015 Crystal rated it really liked it
This was a musical, beautiful work of poetry, perfect for the audio format. It is like a literary Humans of Harlem, with so many voices speaking out clearly. The author does a good job giving them all a voice, and the little bit of information and explanation at the end of the piece is appreciated too. I enjoyed spending an hour strolling the neighborhood and meeting its residents and learning more about the way of life there. Worth the read (or listen) if you have the chance.
Dec 15, 2012 Robert added it
Shelves: poetry
Highschool. I really wish I had this book while teaching at Wendell Phillips High school in Bronzeville. Black youth need to hear the accomplishments of African Americans, especially during a time of criminalization. The language is approachable and the variety of stories have potential to reach many types of learners.
Some of the poems were great, but just not enough to warrant a higher rating. However, the "exercise" of the book - the writing of each poem from the voice of a fictional Harlem inhabitant, is pretty original, and I did enjoy the slice of life vignettes of what Harlem may have been like during the times from the 1900s to the 1960s (or so).
May 27, 2015 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Here in Harlem for a fun way to pass the time on my 45 minute drive to work. It was a great way to pass the time, despite the fact that I don't usually care for poetry. I laughed, teared up a little, and really felt the way that people felt. I think hearing it read in different voices for each person's story really helped.
Nov 02, 2012 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, middle, poetry
excellent poems showcasing different people who lived in Harlem's thoughts. Good for middle school on up. Some powerful poetry in here, and neat photographs. My favorite was Blind Veteran- Homer Grimes or Betty Pointing- Clerk.
Kristina Marie
Jun 01, 2015 Kristina Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2015
3.5. I enjoyed this one as an audiobook- such good narrators! Myers did a nice job making each poem sound distinct even though he wrote them all. This helped make a more complete picture of Harlem and those who lived there.
May 21, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reminiscent of works like Winesburg, Ohio in that the voices of residents tell the story of a place.

Paired with X A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz in the 2015 SYNC audiobook giveaway
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Stacie Williams
Stacie Johnson

Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsburg, West Virginia but moved to Harlem with his foster parents at age three. He was brought up and went to public school there. He attended Stuyvesant High School until the age of seventeen when he joined the army.

After serving four years in the army, he worked at various jobs and earned a BA from Empi
More about Walter Dean Myers...

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