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Oh, Terrible Youth Paperback – 2007

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2007
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: The Wordsmith Press (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893972321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893972322
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,771,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Jeffrey P. Seasholtz on July 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is for all the last-born children in the family. The forgotten child who was taking notes under the dinner table and thought, "One day, all the world will know what happened in this family! One day, I will have revenge!". Here Aptowicz let's all the skeletons (and rotten banana peels) out of her childhood closet. The humiliation of home-made Halloween costumes and the drudgery of camping trips you didn't want to go on in the first place. If you were "awkward" in Jr. High and High School you might mistake this tell-all tome as your own diary! But it's not all Blume and Gloom, Cristin's unstoppable spirit shines through in every poem and lets us know it only gets better, way before that was something everyone was saying!
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Format: Paperback
This is a smashing collection of newer work from Aptowicz. I was familiar with her previous, more performance-ready work and enjoyed it, but this collection shows an incredibly realized amount of growth and focus without losing any of what makes her poetry work. It's better work, and it doesn't need to be performed to prove it.

Aptowicz reaches back through her youth for the meat of this book, with poems about Halloween costumes, nerds and the general forelorn ways of teenagers. The best part is that she addresses these themes with the mind of an adult who knows how teenagers today operate, how they see the world, and she refuses to talk down to them as if they're dense or made of glass. She knows what they think, how they talk when no one's looking, and what they talk about. Better, she does this without getting down to their level. Speaking to someone on their level without dirtying one's self is a difficult line to walk, but for Aptowicz it may as well be a country road, she so deftly navigates it.

Of particular interest to poets are the pieces that she's incorporated that address the writing life. As a writer, I found these poems spoke to me in the contemporary sense as well as the observations about youth spoke to my nostalgic self. Her rejection letter poems are hilarious and real. I'll be incorporating them into my workshops posthaste (and maybe taping one to the wall of my office as a reminder to put the knife down every time I go to the mailbox).

A note for teachers, that brave clan always in search of the poetry buffalo that is smart, well done and safe for their students: get this collection yesterday. It is a book that students will enjoy for its wit, respect for its well-meaning, and there isn't a curse word in sight as near as I could tell...
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