From Library Journal
"Poems ask only that they be heard, which is the purpose of the slam," Bob Holman says. It has been ten years since Glazner produced the first National Poetry Slam (perhaps best described as a competitive reading), but many poetry enthusiasts remain virtually unaware of the phenomenon. This volume collects an assortment of slam poems and articles about the slams (setting up, judging, becoming participants, and group pieces). Some articles, such as Lisa Martinovic on using props or Daniel S. Solis on slam aesthetics and strategy, are elemental but extremely useful, while Patricia Smith's brilliant piece on persona poetry adds little to the concept of the slam. Adding to the confusion is the growth of the audience for slams and the broadening of their scope to include many poets published by the academy. Are these the same poets whose poems work perfectly well on the page and would not readily be labeled "performance" poetry? Contributors' notes would have been useful. "Good slamming starts with good writing," Solis states, although at times the material here seems closer to stand-up comedy. It's not perfect, but, considering how sparse slam literature is, this book should prove an asset to all poetry collections.DRochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.