PAINT ME LIKE I AM by WritersCorps


Teen Poems from WritersCorps
Age Range: 14 & up
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As anthologies of teen poems become more and more plentiful, WritersCorps offers an attractive volume to supplement teen collections. Poems by teens in the San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC, programs are gathered loosely into sections with titles like “Friendship,” “I Too Am American,” and “Furious.” Each section begins with a quote about writing, and a sample writing exercise. The free-verse poems vary in voice from narrative to lyric to performance; they are edgy, mysterious, and assertive in tone. Subjects range from friendship to parenthood, from the importance of doing right to the importance of doing nothing. “My favorite food is burnt lasagna / Because the world is / Black, bloody and cheesy to me anyway,” proclaims Karen Baylor, while Ember Ward writes, “I hold brightness and shadows in / The hollow where my ribs meet . . . / I hold my ribs, until I feel solid. / Until my legs are tree trunks and / My fingers are fruit.” The poems in the collection are mixed in their effectiveness; there is no editor mentioned, or any indication of how the poems were selected or when they were written. Other collections of teen writing offer a stronger package, such as those edited by Betsy Franco (Things I Have to Tell You, 2001, and You Hear Me?, 2000), or the annual anthologies from the San Francisco Arts Council WritersCorps project (most recently Believe Me, I Know, 2002). Nevertheless, this volume will be appreciated in teen collections that already offer similar anthologies. (Poetry. YA)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-447264-7
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2003


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