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Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Paperback – August 15, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st edition (August 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805032576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805032574
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

New York City's Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a Lower East Side institution, is known for hosting poetry slams, or public recitals of poems competitively graded by the audience. This is participatory performance poetry with an urban groundswell behind it-oral, multicultural, political, uninhibited. But how does the poetry come across once it's been conventionally-and "silently"-published? "Hear this book with your eyes!" exhorts coeditor Holman; in his rambling introduction, Algarin urges poetry as "a living art," as if to fight off print's inertia. All readers won't be floored by the result, which includes lines and stanzas (by Mike Tyler, Edwin Torres, Willie Perdomo, Raul Salinas, others) that beg to be sung or shouted, and do not rest easy on the page. But the vitality of the collection is conspicuous even when its anarchy causes some impatience. A maximalist poetry-compounded of emotional drive, visceral detail, real-life words and rhythms-offers something vigorous even when it reads as virtually unedited. The voices collected (more than 100) are challenging.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Manhattan's Nuyorican Poets Cafe, located in the low-rent district of Alphabet City, has become well-known over the past two decades for its poetry performances and "slams." Founded by Algarin and the late Miguel Pinero, it is the home for New York Puerto Rican poets and other poets of various nationalities and ethnic groups. This remarkably full collection, winner of the 1994 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, includes 260 poems by 145 poets of highly varied voices, a breadth that gives the anthology an urban energy that has transferred well from stage to page. Most of the works are interesting to read, some are heartrending, and others just plain fun. Nicole Breedlove's poem about growing up on welfare ("And my brother/joined the army/to get away/from the government"), Dael Orlandersmith's "Poem for Anne Sexton" ("Her perfume is the bathwater/of faded party girls"), and Sapphire's troubled "In My Father's House" ("my mother slipped on her sweater & disappeared") are a few of the many standouts. Holman's "Invocation" (a sort of foreword), Algarin's introduction, and the sometimes witty, sometimes precious authors' biographies are not to be missed. Highly recommended.
Harold Augenbraum, Mercantile Lib., New York
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I think this book was the best book of poetry i have ever read.
Michelle
It's a wonderful gathering of voices of folks from all kinds of backgrounds speaking their own truth with courage and lyricism.
Coya Artichoker
I heard a poet in Sacramento read from this book during her feature at Luna's Cafe in 2000 or so.
K. Sadira Dorran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Darnell on September 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
When I bought my first copy of "Aloud," it was 1994. Four years later I have given numerous copies away of this anthology that brings American poetry audiences home. This home is one filled with anger, laughter, skepticism, worry, joy, love, dreaming and observation built with the tools of post-modern exploration. "Aloud" is where poets and readers begin to understand the 1990's.
As a lover of poetry, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe takes readers on a ride to life as it is, not as it was in the traditional poetry we grew up reading in school. This is a significant reason why I use this anthology to teach my college students that poetry DOES speak to you, IS about you and IS written by people like you. Poetry has a glorious tradition and the 'now' poetry of "Aloud" demands a place in that tradition.
If you truly love poetry, you will truly become a lover of this text. My only disappointment is that there isn't another anthology from this haven of rhythm and soul. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "fiftylashes" on February 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
i was shocked by the enormous beauty contained in the words - the simple english, spanish, or hybrid mixture words - how much emotion, how much skin and sweat can be placed within them. i am a poetry fan, but what i like is particular and peculiar. the poetry in this book speaks to and about human beings in the honest, skin-blood-bones-organs-nerves way that i feel has not been captured since the Beats. while i love sylvia plath, this poetry contains none of the almost ascetic, sterile, abstraction of most poetry, poetry like how you think "british" when you think poetry. this is tactile poetry, and though one may not personally relate to the writer, one would hope (I would hope) that the reader can relate to the words as they are placed, the emotion invoked and evoked by the words-plus-tone, by the very act of those very particular words placed together to create this poetry. this is where appreciation lies. this is where poetry is. this is turning feeling and thought and experience into sounds and words - into poetry.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This darn book had me laughing and second guessing myself. The poems are filled with things that you usually only share with your close friends. It pounces upon the thing we all find ourselves saying to someone else at some point in our life: "You think that too? I thought I was the only one!". I love this collection. I first found it when I was 18, and have since found myself quoting it, or at least recalling some of the poems fondly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Danny Sanchez on September 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
Just last year, Miguel Algarin visited the campus of the University of Florida and performed some poetry for us. I never really understood poetry in high school, but that's because I was never exposed to such a book as Aloud and the style of the poetry slams.
This book begs to be performed and shared. The verses sing, scream, coerce and laugh off of the pages. I love the idea of "poetry as language" and hope there will be much more to come from the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe.
Poetry's not dead after all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 17, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has got to be the best anthology around.So many different styles of poetry. It has become my favorite book in my entire collection. I have given this book to freinds who swear they hate poetry and have changed their whole outlook on the art.I first read this 4 years ago and it inspired me to pick up my pen (after not writing for almost ten years) and make my voice heard
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Okay, I'm not into poetry, but this book is one of my favorite books ever. Lots of different voices, so there is will be someone who will put to words your experience. But the most interesting poems are the ones where the author is coming from different space and the messages still cut through. No cliches here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Satia Renee VINE VOICE on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
My only complaint with this lavish anthology is that there simply isn't enough. I want more, more, more! Some poets only have one or two poems included and I just wanted to know what else they have to offer. I was surprised by a few missing voices. Nevertheless, how often can one read this many poems panting for more? Not only did this book leave me painfully homesick, it made me wonder . . . will there be a volume 2?
PS: The babe on the cover . . . Yummmmm! *wink*
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
In Aloud Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Cafe tons of poets came together and made an incredible book, many different races, cultures religions even languages, from skin heads to mothers, spanish people to africans, hermits, to loud mouths this whole book was great.
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