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MOVIN' by Dave Johnson


Teen Poets Take Voice

edited by Dave Johnson & illustrated by Chris Raschka

Pub Date: March 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-531-30258-X
Publisher: Orchard

A great idea has been turned into a great little book. Poets House and the New York Public Library sponsored a series of poetry workshops for teenagers in various branch libraries. These young people not only read, listened to, and talked about poetry, they made some themselves. This collection is the fruit of their efforts. We recognize these voices: Laura Bierstedt’s gentle musing on a long-haired, fourth-grade friend on the first day of seventh grade, when her hair is short and there is pain between them; or Ben Zeitlin’s “tales of the world” written in his old shoes. Connie Leung writes a villanelle in “Alter Ego” a complex form that she bends to her will to write an achingly familiar song of loneliness. Lia-taré Brown limns the awkwardness of a body that only seems like one’s own in “The Man Hands I Wear.” Poignant introspection, sly observations, lovely images, and droll commentary on life, school, love, and sports are all here for reflection. Raschka’s calligraphic, gestural drolleries enliven the pages, in apt synchronicity with these young writers’ view of themselves and their world. Winning indeed. (Poetry. 12-15)