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Paint Me Like I Am: Teen Poems from WritersCorps Paperback – February 18, 2003
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Grade 7 Up-WritersCorps works with disadvantaged youth, encouraging teens to express themselves through writing and recording voices that might otherwise not be heard. The young people have a lot to say about race, drugs, abuse, and self-image, as seen in these honest and sometimes raw poems. There are some good metaphors here ("Bodies sprawled along the shelter's floor-,/like sloppy cursive writing-" "I'm a sleepy flower,/and the ground waves at me"). "Alone in a darkness that laughs in your face," one poem notes. All the contributors are intensely aware of "self." One girl writes, "When I feel like I'm going to fall apart,/I hold my ribs, all the way around-/I hold brightness and shadows in/the hollow where my ribs meet-/I hold my ribs, until I feel solid." As in any anthology, there are some literary jewels and some less-poetic but more openly honest rants. There is much to learn from these young people.
Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 7-12. "I am the Great Wall sleeping on the land." "I'm the broken pieces on the floor." "My name is furious." "Secretly, I know my name is anything / I want it to be." The teen voices in these poems, collected from the WritersCorps youth program, are LOUD--raging, defiant, giddy, lusty, and hopeful. Grouped into arbitrary categories, the poems explore identity, creative expression, family, neighborhood, drugs, and relationships. They're rough, sometimes cliched, sometimes forgettable. But the brave experiences and "rawdog emotions," as Kevin Powell writes, are what will stay with readers. "I'm rich baby / Ever since you died," writes a girl after she loses her drug-addicted boyfriend. In "Leaving China," Jeff Miao writes, "To say good-bye / Words sick at my heart / The tears would not drop out." A foreword from Nikki Giovanni rounds out this moving collection, which also includes a few thoughtful writing exercises. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.