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The Spoken Word Revolution (slam, hip hop & the poetry of a new generation)

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  423 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
This collection of spoken word poetry captures electrifying words and voices in text and audio. It brings to life the written and performed works of more than 40 influential slam, hip hop, performance artists and poets.
Paperback, 241 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Sourcebooks Mediafusion (first published 2003)
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Jimmy
May 06, 2015 rated it liked it
The poetry on the page wasn't very good. A DVD goes along with it. I enjoyed that more, which is the point of spoken word poetry.

Here is one example:

"The Foxhole Manifesto"
by Jeffrey McDaniel

There are no atheists in foxholes.
--old Christian proverb

The first god I remember was a Santa Claus god, who you only
turned to around Christmas time,
who you tried to butter up, and then got mad at if you didn't
get what you wanted.
That didn't make sense. I knew if there was a god, he could see
through us, li
...more
Anna
May 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Former Poet Laureate, Billy Collins states in the prologue of this book, “So, hearing a poem lends the experience of literature an immediacy, a reality not found on the page where we must conjure up the ghost-form of the poet who wrote the poems,” and the audio CD that accompanies The Spoken Word Revolution provides just that intimacy with dramatic voice and occasionally music for its verses. This anthology is selectively comprised of six parts with an explanatory essay and numerous poems to ill ...more
Jennifer
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads, poetry
As with any poetry anthology, The Spoken Word Revolution has its hits and misses. The hits can be raw enough to peel the skin back from your nerves. The misses...well, one presumes they do better within the theatrical context of a spoken word event than on the page, though some of them are so weighted down by pretension its impossible to picture them going over well anywhere.

More consistently excellent are the introductions and various short essays scattered throughout the book on the evolution
...more
Resi
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed some of the poems, and there are some very powerfully written pieces. However, I didn't enjoy that most of the writers/artists here were men. I read another spoken word book prior to this (Word Warriors, which is exclusively women artists), and so in regards to gender, this book was disappointing in that diversity.

As a spoken word artist/poet myself, I came into the art through a lens cognizant of identity, and my first pieces were very much written with/in a social justice and inters
...more
Kasandra
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I rescued this from a dumpster at work because the CD was missing. That said, yes, a lot of slam poetry doesn't "work" on the page, and must be heard to be appreciated. If you've never been to a poetry slam, you're missing out. However, there are plenty of poets in this book whose work rises to the level of both page and stage, including Daniel Solis ("Elephant Song" in this book is one of my favorites), Sherman Alexie, Regie Gibson, Jack McCarthy, Jeffrey McDaniel, Taylor Mali, Viggo Mortenson, ...more
Janet
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The CD was the best part.
Tabitha Vohn
This is an amazing anthology of modern spoken word. It gives a nice sampling of each movement in the American spoken word revolution, starting with the Beats and moving up through Youth Speaks.

I really got into the short historical essays that prelude each section. The CD (with some of the pieces performed by the poets) is a cool bonus, too.

I recommend this for poetry teachers, poetry workshop facilitators, and anyone interested in spoken word poetry.
Judeo
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I think The Spoken Word Revolution has the potential of being awarded 5 stars if the poems were read aloud by each poet. I prefer listening to poetry rather than reading it, therefore it was hard to grant 5 stars to the anthology. The poems range in topic from "First Period," about a teacher's lack of faith in one of his students, to "Chicago," about the wonderful and horrible things that go along with being poor in that city, to "Belated Valentine: A Work in Progress," about the ups and downs o ...more
Miaree
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-2012
Summary:
This is a collection of poetry that isn't strictly young adult, but I think that it would appeal to young adults because these poems are meant to be read aloud and heard by an audience. These poems are very much like music, and the CD that comes with the book is amazing. There is a good selection of the poems on the CD, but because it's a recording of a live performance there are wonderful spontaneous things that happen too. The book adds to the catalog of amazing poems. The poems range
...more
Magpie
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A very awesome book. Good for the casual enjoyer of poetry, the reader who is adventurous but has never appreciated poetry before, the teacher who wants to find a way to make poetry come alive in his classroom, and the casual listener who simply wants to be entertained.

Included along with this inspiring book is a cd which includes many of the better spoken word poems being read aloud, sometimes by their authors, sometimes not.

Among others, check out everything in the "redux" edition of this book
...more
Amelia
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I'd been interested in spoken word poetry since high school, but picking up this book is what gave me a basic grounding in the history and famous names of spoken word. There are some very powerful pieces in here, and it's even better when they're one of the ones recorded on the CD that comes with the book. I wish they'd had room for more recordings, but I understand there was no way they'd be able to include everything in the book.

Some particular favorites were 'How to Write a Political Poem,'
...more
Shedim
May 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
The CD which comes with the book is worth more than the rest, and even that is only fifty percent fair. Like much of the poetry, the essays are self-indulgent and preposterously portentous in their comical pomp. But, oh, how here and there are such gems of the contemporary world - not for their modernism, but their transcendence. Check it out from the library and don't be afraid of the next track button.
Riah
Apr 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Like most others who have posted here, I believe that the enclosed CD is perhaps more valuable than the words written on the page. Performance poetry is best appreciated in just that way. I loved some poems, hated some, and was grateful for most. I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in not just the poetry, but also the history of the poetry, the performance, and the collaboration of artists and movements involved in this revolution.
Cassie Cox
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved it. This school year, my students and I will end with spoken word poetry. This book is packed with poems my students are certain to connect to. With this said, there are many poems that contain vulgar language. I found, too, a number of poems that will be perfect for imitation like the one titled "Before I Read This Poem" by George David Wheeler.
Lindsay
Dec 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Students doing Mr. Wood's anthology project
The Spoken Word Revolution has a wide range of contemporary poetry aimed at a younger generation. There are hip-hop lyrics, slam sessions, and more. Students doing the Mr. Wood anthology will love this because it fulfills their requirements, but also might hold their interest. The biography information in the back is also complete except for birth dates.
Aaron
Aug 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy alternative poetry
Recommended to Aaron by: Kelly Stedem
Shelves: poetry
This book is an interesting collection of urban and hip-hop style slam poetry. It provides great insight into the struggles inherent in those lifestyles and subcultures, but the language can be somewhat harsh. Not a read for the easily offended.
Jenne Lorraine
Sep 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Check out the words of today's poets, though glad the cd is included as page poems and spoken poems can be *very* different beasts, and on the page, much of these fall flat, but rise in the landscape of sound.
Lauren
Sep 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very much enjoying. Pulling out excerpts of poems for my classes and getting excited about playing some slam and hip hop for my poetry studies. Definitely defacing the book with some black marker, however. Lots of F words!
Mike (Michaela)
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great compilation of poems- now I have to go listen to them all! I enjoyed all of the personal essays, although some basically said the same thing as others (I suppose that means that there is consensus among the spoken word community!).
Crystal
Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, poetry

A combination book and CD set explains and demonstrates the evolution of contemporary performance poetry such as hip-hop and slam. There are many examples of the poetry and the best part is the audio CD that demonstrates the power of the spoken word.
Sara
Dec 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Mix of anthology/reference; not for a classroom library, at all, but good for the poetry teacher understanding modern spoken verse. More poems than not are inappropriate for school, which is a damn shame.
emma
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
huge fan of this book.
huge huge fan.
think: cool nonfic on slam, hip hop and other spoken poetry, beside rad poems.
really love this one.
(JUST WHY WAS THE CD MISSING COME ON.)
Terry
May 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A good place for a survey of spoken-word pieces. The accompanying disc is good, though not a complete roster of poems from the book.
Andrew
Mar 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Decent compilation of poetry, though I thought the essays interspersed throughout the book were disappointing.
D. Elaine Fields
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
comes w/ a cd - both are awesome.
Donna
Jul 02, 2010 added it
I liked having the CD to listen to with this book - sometimes performance poetry doesn't quite live up to its possible impact when it is just sitting on the page.
Kat
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eyeopening, poetry
Naughty pleasures at their best -- this book is fun and eye-opening, eyebrow lifting and spirit soaring fun.
Miami University Libraries
King Library, Ground Floor, IMC | PS615 .S65 2003
angrykitty
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
not as great as poetry speaks...partly due to the fact that a lot of the poems are hit or miss depending on what you're teaching, but it's still a really great book to get into spoken word poetry.
Ashley
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, poetry, 2010
This was a great book, with some really mind-blowing poems. I liked it more for the poems & the CD than the essays, but some of them were interesting as well.
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William A. ("Billy") Collins is an American poet. He served two terms as the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. In his home state, Collins has been recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004.
More about Billy Collins...

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