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Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets under 25 Hardcover – February 23, 2010
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“Moderation can wait––plenty of time for that later,” says acclaimed poet and anthologist Nye. She knows how to reach teens, and this lively collection by young contemporary writers is rooted in the strong, emotional particulars of family, friendship, childhood memories, school, dislocation, war, and more; interestingly, there is almost no talk of sex or romance. The spare lines are passionate, wry, irreverent, and eloquent about meaning found in daily-life scenarios. One poet describes a meditative moment with her cat that “destroys all my knitting to teach me about impermanence.” Another prays for a soldier, a “ kindergarten best friend” who has returned from Baghdad. In several selections, immigrants remember their arrival in the U.S. In a brief, appended biography, one poet describes her draw to poetry: “Unresolved, uncomfortable, and sometimes repulsive moments of memory can be made somehow graceful through writing.” Teens will connect with the passionate, unmoderated feelings that are given clarity and shape in each poem. Grades 7-12. --Hazel Rochman
“Alternately raw, poignant, quiet, and loud…Readers will have no trouble finding little pieces of themselves in this beautifully orchestrated collection.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Gripping and provocative in its portrayal of vastly different lives and experiences, strong sense of place, and sheer exuberance.” (Publishers Weekly)
“[An] exceptionally well-selected collection.” (The Horn Book)
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Of special note, I am amazed at the works by Jocelyn Stott and I look forward to see if she publishes anything else.
I would rate this book a 4.5 stars for readers 12-13 and up. It deals with a lot of issues and events that our children see in life and are ingenuous ways of exploring another person's mind. This was an assigned reading for my Adolescent Literature course, but I enjoyed reading the various poems. Many of them brought back feelings and questions that I had when I was younger.
Nye brings together 26 poets, all under the age of 25, in a collection of moving, insightful, and beautiful poems that cover the spectrum of topics, styles, and voices. Each poet and each poem is unique, with the sort of artistic eye only people who are under 25 can bring. I say that as a 25 year old, which makes it legitimate, right?
A review I read of this title criticized the voices in Time You Let Me In as "young." I would hope so. The insights one gets in poetry from the youth perspective is just as important as the "established" poet (i.e., your old white men to whom you are comparing these poems to). I'll be honest in saying I never once felt I was reading teen angst poems.
Highlights for me included Chase Berggrum's short and pointed pieces, Gray Emerson's disregard for traditional stylings and zesty word play, Margaret Bashaar's treatment of humor and romance (perhaps one in the same), and -- perhaps my favorite -- Kayla Sargenson's grandfather memories. Sargenson has a very powerful poem equating rape with New Orleans that will haunt me for a while, and thanks to the masterful editing job by Nye, I was able to read the next selection of Sargenson's "The Happiest Moment of My Life was When I Realized I was Happy" a little bit differently.
Anyone who has a background in poetry knows one of the biggest challenges in collecting works is exactly how they will progress within a volume. It is a struggle, as your reading of one poem will inform, enhance, or detract meaning from poems following. Nye deserves the highest praises for balancing the order with meaning.
All of these aspiring authors are under the age of twenty-five. Their poems speak of many things - love, loss, culture, war, belonging, and being remembered.
Each author possesses his/her own unique style and flow. Their offerings range from free verse rantings to odes about hair to indexes on love. They use phrases like "pulled your heart like a heavy plate from the cabinet of your chest" and "I'm writing to your soul because your body is ashes."
Their words will resonate with those who are young. These authors are full of hope, and their poetry conveys this in every word, sentence, and stanza. I highly suggest adding this poetry collection to any library where young people are patrons.
Reviewed by: LadyJay