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Poems From the Big Muddy, the 2004 National Poetry Slam Paperback – 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 113 pages
  • Publisher: The Wordsmith Press (2005)
  • ISBN-10: 1893972224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893972223
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,370,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Debora Marsh on February 9, 2006
The poems and essays in this third NPS anthology really help the reader understand what goes on in the minds and hearts of Slam poets. The wide array of poetry from serious issue pieces like "All Stalls Full in Lithia Park" by Rose Smith to seirously funny pieces like "Nipple Deferred" by Kimberly Brazwell accurately mirrors the kinds of poems the St. Louis audiences heard during the NPS. Adding the essays is an interesting touch and they have become a necessary read for anyone wanting to "talk the talk" of poetry slam. With the variety of pieces, many perfect for classroom and forensic competition use, this book gives the reader more than just spoken word on the page, it also gives the experience of being in St. Louis on some of the hottest (both figuratively and literally) days and nights of August 2004.
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Let's face it, any book of poetry is better if your poem is included, and two of mine were included from the notorious 2004 St. Louis Nationals, a bittersweet experience. From Rose Smith and Eliot Harmon there's some great work that I'm glad my writing is nestled with. For the poet who thinks that slam is about performance this book shows that slam is good for writers too. For the teacher, there's some work that challenges and pushes the boundaries of the performance poem in new and fascinating directions. Having been to a couple of Nationals before, what really stood out about St. Louis was the quality of the poetry. I felt blessed by words, sometimes delivered in small crowded hotel rooms, on street corners and in alleys.
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This is the third collection in a series of work compiled from the annual National Poetry Slam, this time from the notorious 2004 NPS in St. Louis.

Each volume offers something different, and this one raises the stakes by adding essays - an under-represented piece of the Slam canon - to the mix. The poetry is top-notch, edited with a keen eye on range and depth, and the essays are on topics as varied as whether or not judges should be random to the development of black political poetry in Slam.

The anthology that most captures the National Poetry Slam experience, in my opinion, minus an audio component. Great for classroom work at a high school and up level.
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This makes for a good read, the kind of book you can pick up, open to any page, and find something worthwhile.
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