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Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam [Paperback]

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Item description for Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, William Camann, Letizia Ragaglia, Ben Saul, Natalia Scurrah, Kathryn Graham & Joel W. Grube...

A history of slam poetry culture in the Big Apple and beyond places an emphasis on three major twentieth-century arts movements, including the Harlem Renaissance, the Beats, and hip hop, in a chronicle that traces the origins of slam at the Nuyorican Poets' Caf and its monumental popularity as supported through such venues as Lollapalooza and MTV's Unplugged. Original.

Publishers Description
Words in Your Face traces the rich history of slam poetry through the lens of the New York City scene that pioneered it. Author Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz situates New York slam poetry in the history of oral tradition in poetry throughout history and around the world, with particular attention to the three major 20th century arts movements that helped set the stage for it: the Harlem Renaissance, the Beats, and hip hop. Aptowicz explores the birth of slam at the Nuyorican Poets' Café and the genre's explosive growth as the media responded with events like Lollapalooza and MTV's Unplugged. The book expands the canvas by examining the connections between academia and slammers, especially the poets of color, the youth slammers, and the burgeoning hip hop poetry scene. Interviews with key players like Chicago's Marc Smith and San Francisco's Gary Mex Glazner help tell this fascinating story from the inside.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   371
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2007
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  1933368829  
ISBN13  9781933368825  

Availability  0 units.

More About Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, William Camann, Letizia Ragaglia, Ben Saul, Natalia Scurrah, Kathryn Graham & Joel W. Grube

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz is an award-winning writer of Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam and popular touring poet and spoken word performer. She lives in Austin, Texas.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > English > American Literature
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > United States > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General
8Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > Public Speaking
9Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam?

A must-read for poets, still engaging for neophytes  Sep 1, 2008
This completely engaging and informative tome of New York poetry history cannot be exalted too highly. Pulling from a variety of sources, experiences and locations to give a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of poetry slams - and New York's key part in developing them - this book gives the perfect balance of lesson, gossip, epistle and documentary. With interviews and back story set down by Cristin Aptowicz - someone firmly placed in the heart of the movement - the book stands alone in its comprehensiveness and testimony to what makes Slam so powerful.

A wholly engaging read for even a cursory fan of poetry, and a must-read for any poet interested in developing their work, their scene or their career.
Great Recent History of NYC Poetry   Jun 28, 2008
This is a great book for anyone interested in poetry (and not just slam) in recent years. It deals with both the good and the bad of slam, covers some history of the beats, and interviews lots of key players from the area. The controversies, the stories, the personalities: it's all there. Whether you're interested in Saul Williams or Taylor Mali, Paul Beatty or Bob Holman, this is a great read.
Great Intro to Poetry Slam  Mar 15, 2008
This is a lively book of literary history--a mix of interviews, historical background, and funny sidebars / sidenotes. The mix of styles, as well as Aptowicz's awesome sense of humor, make it a fast read.

Aptowicz is one of the most important people in the NYC slam scene, and her insider perspective is very useful. She discusses all the poets in a friendly, non-judgmental way. And she doesn't shy away from observing (and recording other's observations) about why people don't like or don't care about poetry slam.

Along with Marc Smith's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Slam Poetry, Words in Your Face is a must-have for people involved in the poetry slam community and for people who want to learn more about it. Experts will learn something, and newcomers will be able to follow along.

Excellent read!  Jan 1, 2008
This book provides a completely engaging narrative of the history of slam poetry in NYC. I was given this book by my husband -- as an infrequent reader of non-fiction with only a marginal interest in poetry slams, I did not expect to finish it quickly. The book was so engaging that I wound up finishing the last 100 or so pages in a single marathon reading session. I highly recommend it! The author does a fabulous job of blending together a truly fascinating narrative with in-person interviews with key figures in the NYC slam scene.
Great read!  Nov 21, 2007
This engagingly-written volume leads the reader though two decades of the an exciting literary phenomenon---slam poetry. It explains the slam methodology, provides portraits of the some of 'pioneers' and new performers, and positions slam poetry in a broader cultural context.

This could have been a dreary academic exercise, but the author's breezy style pulls you in and moves the narrative along at a sprightly pace. Her ability to draw out her interviewees results in insightful nuggets of history about the growth of slam.

All in all, this is a must-read for anyone interested in a vibrant and growing segment of the spoken word community.

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