Aptowicz uses anecdotes, stories, and interviews to chronicle the life of this unique art form. The general public holds an image of an aggressive, in-your-face poet shouting words on stage, but the author shows a movement with surprising levels of depth and diversity. Although many may know the backgrounds and names of the poets who made a big splash on popular TV programs like MTV's Spoken Word Unplugged and Def Poetry Jam, the stories of Slam's beginnings and how it continued to grow in spite of its sudden popularity are what make this book so fascinating. Teens with an interest in writing lyrics will love the stories and will find Aptowicz's style accessible and entertaining. A number of photographs and addresses to major Slam venues are included, but there is no index or bibliography of major published works. Slam Poetry has spread to coffee shops, art galleries, and even libraries across the country; knowing and understanding its roots only enhances the power the style already holds over its audiences. -- School Library Journal
"A serious history with just the right amount of dirt." -- Gillian McCain, co-author of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
Throughout the book, Aptowicz seems like a cool older sister with the inside scoop on the hottest pop-cultural phenomenon this side of the 20th century. She steers clear of academic analyses of the poetry world, opting instead to familiarize the reader with all the relevant controversies and debates surrounding slam, including the oft-touted accusation that slam is all show and no content...
Words in your face is perfect for slam newbies and fans of the Big Apple's seemingly endless supply of alterna-history tales. And for established fans, Aptowicz's juicy info on the competitive underbelly of slam gives an extra punch to an already perfectly researched read. -- BUST Magazine, April/May, 2008