From Publishers Weekly
Aptly titled, this substantial anthology provides exposure to poets, emerging and established-Louis Simpson, Rita Dove, Luis Rodriguez-who write directly from the immigrant, ethnic and/or religious experience. The collection gives evidence of inequality and discrimination, and offers eyewitness accounts of the gross inconsistencies and bigotry of America. The poems tap into visceral energies, either born of or becoming a vitalizing anger; they bristle with a recognition of failed expectations. Thoughtful and attentive, the mother/daughter editorial team of the Gillans divides the book into sections concerned with "uprooting," "performing," "naming," "negotiating" and, finally and hopefully, "re-envisioning." The most moving poems concern a loss of home and custom, and the compromises struck in order to make life tolerable in a quietly (and not so quietly) intolerant society. Also distressing is work describing the intense desire of some poets to assimilate-efforts later remembered as humiliating. This collection is a must for anyone seeking an inclusive, unwincing catalogue of the American experience.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA?Featuring well-and lesser-known American poets from a variety of cultural backgrounds, this volume presents fresh poems that tell the "American stories" of writers such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Soto, Louise Erdrich, Ethelbert Miller, and Lucille Clifton. Selections are grouped by broad themes: "Uprooting," "Performing," "Naming," "Negotiating," and "Re-Envisioning." The editors deliberately selected works that "...did not create a pluralistic play of voices, or...make a simplistic call for diversity, but...that directly address the instability of American identity and confront the prevalence of cultural conflict and exchange within the United States." It is this focus and the conscious effort to avoid producing yet another supermarket survey of multicultural literature that make the book such a find. Brief biographical information is included.?Gretchen Portwood, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.