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American Music

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  71 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
“Chris Martin . . . takes the O’Hara city poet eye in his own direction, showing a sweet vision for the distance between public and private spaces.”—Jacket

American Music, selected by C. D. Wright from over one thousand manuscripts as winner of the Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets, is uniquely attuned to the feedback symphony of a modern city, the lyrical pro
Paperback, 96 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Copper Canyon Press
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May 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
These poems are BEAUTIFUL! And I had the pleasure of hearing some of them read by the author recently. He AMAZED us with a rap poem which included something from each poem/title, truly an original! I would buy this book again and again if I could read it without remembering having read it each time, but you can't. Once you read it, you always remember it, it's that good!
Mike Lindgren
Mar 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
With this lively debut collection Chris Martin establishes himself as a young poet with an arresting voice. American Music is a series of light-stepping meditations on city life that manage to be both profound and playful, with an unpretentious freshness that sets it apart from the usual hipster-in-the-city banalities.

Like all true New Yorkers, Martin comes from somewhere else — in his case, Colorado Springs by way of St. Paul -- and like many before him, he finds New York City a fecund source o
Christina Rau
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I started reading and started to get annoyed by the last stanza. Every poem ends with a single line stanza. As I kept reading, the annoyance melted away and I got into the groove of interesting images and fun wordplay and use of big words I've never heard of that I have to look up. A lot of city scenes. A lot of allusions to other works.

Allusion--meaning alluding to other texts or art or pop culture. Martin takes that one step further and basically steals. That's what all good poets do. On the
Heather June Gibbons
The only thing that kept this from getting four stars from me is that every single poem in the collection is written in tercets of short lines. Now, Martin does wonderful things in many poems, and some of those wonderful effects come out of and are made possible by his use of this formal device. However, I just can't take a book of poems that are _all_ in the same form unless they're from a poet with extraordinary tonal range and/or rare wisdom and insight. Martin has insight and humor and a gre ...more
Nov 03, 2008 rated it liked it
There were lovely moments in here, though I found myself focusing more on those moments than on the poems overall. there was something at once a little too structured (in terms of form) and a little too rambling (in terms of content).
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Lord are those enjambments tight. I love the element of other voices as well.
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Form felt constricted and didn't reflect the freedom of content. Could have been improved with my variety. Interesting ideas on New York nativism though.
Jan 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
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Chris Martin is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Becoming Weather and American Music. In 2010 he was named one of PSA's New American Poets. After 11 years of editing the online journal Puppy Flowers, he is now an editor at Futurepoem Books and curates the response blog Futurepost.
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