From School Library Journal
YA?This collection of 80 poems is representative of the type of poetry showcased on public television's "The United States of Poetry." Based on the premise that poetry reflects the culture of our nation, it combines the works of Nobel Laureates, rock n' rollers, Beats, cowboy poets, rappers, and even former presidents. The varying styles, voices, and ideas incorporated into this anthology provide readers with a view of America that is new and fresh, portraying poetry in a similar fashion. Students will be particularly impressed with the photographs, illustrations, and collages that accompany the selections. Chronicling a visual as well as literary diversity of American society, the editors have collected works that center around themes such as "The Land and the People," "Day in the Life," "The American Dream," "Love and Sex," "The Word," and "Portraits." Teachers will find this book to be an excellent resource for developing lesson plans and for prompting discussion on imagery. A title that will have great appeal for YAs interested in pursuing a casual or more in-depth study of poetry.?Ron Axelrod, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This is the book component--actually, a sort of souvenir program in which gaudy photos and layout largely obliterate the text--of the multimedia blitz whose title it bears. (There are also CD-ROM, broadcast-TV--Public
, of course--and other kinds of merchandise out there under the same label.) The commodity ostensibly promoted by all this packaging is American poetry, which, according to the book's introduction, was "something written by the Dead" before the Nuyorican gang of "perfpos" (performance poets) came along to put it on video. Fortunately, some good poets have contributed to what many may think is a pretty condescending project--call it McPoetry--and the public-culture establishment is pushing the book and video versions at every opportunity. Expect demand for this admittedly well-produced book, but have faith: poetry will survive it. Ray Olson