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Poetry Speaks Who I Am with CD: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else
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Poetry Speaks Who I Am with CD: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else

by Elise Paschen, Dominique Raccah (Editor)
 

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Poetry Speaks Who I Am is filled with more than 100 remarkable poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Dive in-find the poem you love, the one that makes you angry, the one that makes you laugh, the one that knocks the wind out of you, and become a part of Poetry Speaks Who I Am by adding your own inside the book.

Poetry can be life

Overview

Poetry Speaks Who I Am is filled with more than 100 remarkable poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Dive in-find the poem you love, the one that makes you angry, the one that makes you laugh, the one that knocks the wind out of you, and become a part of Poetry Speaks Who I Am by adding your own inside the book.

Poetry can be life altering. It can be gritty and difficult. It can be hilarious or heart-breaking. And it's meant to be experienced, so we've included a CD on which you'll hear 44 poems, 39 of which are original recordings-you'll only find them here. You'll hear poets both classic and contemporary, well-known and refreshingly new, including:
—Dana Gioia expresses the hunger of a "Vampire's Serenade"
—Elizabeth Alexander waits for that second kiss in "Zodiac"
—Langston Hughes flings his arms wide in "Dream Variations"
—Marilyn Nelson reads to her class in "How I Discovered Poetry"
—Paul Muldoon's poem "Sideman," brought loudly to life by the band Rackett
—And 39 more poems that are immediate and vibrant

From Lucille Clifton's "Here Yet Be Dragons" to Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee" to "Tia Chucha," by Luis J. Rodriguez, Poetry Speaks Who I Am is a collection that is dynamic, accessible, challenging, classic, edgy, and ultimately not quite perfect. Just like you. If you're lucky, it'll serve as a gateway to a lifetime lived with poetry. At the very least, it'll be a good time. Dive in, and happy hunting.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This addition to the Poetry Speaks series aims at middle-grade readers with more than 100 strikingly diverse poems by writers including Poe, Frost, Nikki Giovanni, and Sandra Cisneros. The works are slotted together in mindful thematic order, beside occasional spot art. In Rosellen Brown's untitled poem, she reflects, “Nothing. They are for nothing, friends,/ I think. All they do in the end—they touch you. They fill you like music.” Just opposite, is Langston Hughes's “I Loved My Friend”: “I loved my friend./ He went away from me./ There's nothing more to say./ The poem ends,/ Soft as it began—I loved my friend.” Pairing a contemporary poem like Toi Derricotte's “Fears of the Eighth Grade” alongside Keats's “When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be,” results in a refreshing lack of literary hierarchy that enables disparate works to build and reflect upon one another. An accompanying CD features recordings of 44 of the poems, and blank lined pages at the end allow readers to integrate their voices into the chorus. A sound and rewarding introduction to the joys of poetry. Ages 9-12. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
""Teen readers will find much to enjoy in "Poetry Speaks: Who I am...a highly eclectic collection of 100 poems about everything from valentines to being black to mowing the lawn."" - Scripps News

""The power of spoken poetry is at the heart of Poetry Speaks. Poetry is a vocal art, an art meant to be read aloud. Listening to a poem read aloud can be a transforming experience. Poetry Speaks not only introduces the finest work from some of the greatest poets who ever lived, it reintroduces the oral tradition of poetry, of poetry performed."" - Powells Books

""Poet Elise Paschen is turning her attention to yet another most universal of human experiences: awkward adolescence...[Paschen] can turn this subject into something that we can laugh about now." " - NPR

""Poetry Speaks Who I Am is the perfect book to introduce tweens & teens to Poetry... [Poetry Speaks Who I Am] also features blank pages in the back, where teens can write their own poetry. The book's design also speaks to younger readers — with the pages created to look like they belong in a teenager's notebook, with scribbles and doodles around the edges...This adds yet another dimension to the experience of poetry, which is sometimes considered a performance art more than anything else."" - Portland Examiner

""Elise Paschen: poetry for teens caters to the rebel in each of us... So what if that happens to be written by some fancy-sounding napoetryme such as Percy Shelley or Paul Muldoon? So much the better."" - Chicago Tribune

""This volume of verse is aimed at teenagers and is, not surprisingly, full of strong emotion... It's a standout collection, packaged with a CD of the poems read aloud, many by the poets themselves."" - The New York Times

""An added bonus to Poetry Speaks Who I Am is that is comes with a CD of 47 poems being read by their authors or others. There's something hypnotic about listening to poems being read, especially by the author, who knows where she intended emphasis and can add tone."" - Reading Local: Portland

""Humorous, biting, tender, angry, confused—the range of moods and voices reflect those of young people themselves as they make and lose friends, fall in love, worry about school, hug (and hurt) parents and try to figure out their place in the world."" - Washington Parent

""A sound and rewarding introduction to the joys of poetry."" - Publishers Weekly

""Teen readers will find much to enjoy in "Poetry Speaks: Who I am"(Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, $19.99). Editor Elise Paschen asked poets to send poems either that were important to them as teenagers, or poems they had written themselves about being teenagers. The result is a highly eclectic collection of 100 poems about everything from valentines to being black to mowing the lawn."" - The Seattle Times

""These clear and powerful readings add a welcome dimension and will no doubt enhance readers' enjoyment of the collection. The design of the volume, with its funky typefaces and brightly colored cover, will also appeal to young teens. The final pages provide space for readers to add their own poems-a good idea, because after paging through this eclectic and powerful anthology many will indeed be inspired to take up the pen."" - Kirkus

""The greatest contemporary poets speak to our youth and to us all. This marvelous anthology contains over 100 poems that matter, by such luminaries as Langston Hughes, Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe, to the greatest of our own lifetime: Nikki Grimes, Joy Harjo, Richard Wilbur, Jason Shinder, Nancy Willard, N. Scott Momaday and scores more. A rich experiential collection is featured on the included CD with 47 new, recent and archived recordings of the poets and editors reading their work! The look, feel and design of this volume is cool and relevant — just like the poetry. This gem is a gift of a lifetime." - National Parenting Publications Awards" - NAPPA

Scripps News
"Teen readers will find much to enjoy in "Poetry Speaks: Who I am...a highly eclectic collection of 100 poems about everything from valentines to being black to mowing the lawn."
Powells Books
"The power of spoken poetry is at the heart of Poetry Speaks. Poetry is a vocal art, an art meant to be read aloud. Listening to a poem read aloud can be a transforming experience. Poetry Speaks not only introduces the finest work from some of the greatest poets who ever lived, it reintroduces the oral tradition of poetry, of poetry performed."
NPR
"Poet Elise Paschen is turning her attention to yet another most universal of human experiences: awkward adolescence...[Paschen] can turn this subject into something that we can laugh about now."
Portland Examiner
"Poetry Speaks Who I Am is the perfect book to introduce tweens & teens to Poetry... [Poetry Speaks Who I Am] also features blank pages in the back, where teens can write their own poetry. The book's design also speaks to younger readers -- with the pages created to look like they belong in a teenager's notebook, with scribbles and doodles around the edges...This adds yet another dimension to the experience of poetry, which is sometimes considered a performance art more than anything else."
Chicago Tribune
"Elise Paschen: poetry for teens caters to the rebel in each of us... So what if that poetry happens to be written by some fancy-sounding name such as Percy Shelley or Paul Muldoon? So much the better."
The New York Times
"This volume of verse is aimed at teenagers and is, not surprisingly, full of strong emotion... It's a standout collection, packaged with a CD of the poems read aloud, many by the poets themselves."
Reading Local: Portland
"An added bonus to Poetry Speaks Who I Am is that is comes with a CD of 47 poems being read by their authors or others. There's something hypnotic about listening to poems being read, especially by the author, who knows where she intended emphasis and can add tone."
Washington Parent
"Humorous, biting, tender, angry, confused--the range of moods and voices reflect those of young people themselves as they make and lose friends, fall in love, worry about school, hug (and hurt) parents and try to figure out their place in the world."
The Seattle Times
"Teen readers will find much to enjoy in "Poetry Speaks: Who I am"(Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, $19.99). Editor Elise Paschen asked poets to send poems either that were important to them as teenagers, or poems they had written themselves about being teenagers. The result is a highly eclectic collection of 100 poems about everything from valentines to being black to mowing the lawn."
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Robert Frost, Langston Hughes and Sylvia Plath share space with contemporary poets Marilyn Nelson, Joy Harjo and Sherman Alexie in this collection of more than one hundred "poems of discovery, inspiration, independence, and everything else" (to borrow from the subtitle). Humorous, biting, tender, angry, confused—the range of moods and voices reflect those of young people themselves as they make and lose friends, fall in love, worry about school, hug (and hurt) parents and try to figure out their place in the world. Ron Koertge's Cinderella complains about being "lost in ever after" with a boring prince; Nikki Grimes writes of the "sunshine in jeans/and knee-high boots" of young love; Sandra Cisneros describes a sad abuelito (grandfather) who "used to laugh like the letter k." The sum of all these poetic voices and styles is a powerful whole that, as Rosellen Brown says of friends, can "fill you like music." Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
VOYA - Courtney Huse Wika
Attempting to alleviate teens' fear and loathing of poetry, Poetry Speaks Who I Am presents 108 motley selections by both contemporary and anthologized poets. With such an assortment, readers will connect with at least one text and discover that poetry can excite and inspirit, and allow them to see their world in a new way. This compilation hopes to move readers, but also to inspire and awaken their creativity; lined pages at the back of the book await the thoughts of its burgeoning poets. As a bonus, the collection is accompanied by a CD with recordings of forty-seven of the poems, often read by their respective authors. This collection is impressive. Newer poets appear next to writers like William Shakespeare and W.B.Yeats, and this organization, combined with the diverse styles and schemes, further demystifies the genre, confirming that verse does not have to be traditional nor formal to be considered poetry; it simply has to make the reader feel something. With the absence of author introductions on the accompanying CD, the poems meld into a myriad of voices, emphasizing poetry's fluid nature. Each poem is grounded in a familiar setting, such as the kitchen, the classroom, the bedroom, the school hallway, or the back yard, and invokes everyday conflicts and desires of adolescence. The poems summon love and love lost, first kisses, childhood memories, teen embarrassments, identity crises, family influences, plights of loneliness, and celebrations of acceptance. Aptly titled, this collection speaks to the reader while simultaneously speaking of the reader. Reviewer: Courtney Huse Wika
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—This extraordinary collection is alive with pathos, sensitivity, humor, beauty, controversy, and insight. The more than 100 poems are by prize-winning authors and relative newcomers. Familiar classics and contemporary selections sing out with profound ideas and simple truths. To define "who I am," there are selections about racial and ethnic identity; about ordinary and lofty ideas; about love, friendship, and family connections. They exhibit compassion, confusion, and anger. The poems are at once personal and universal, each told in a voice that speaks candidly to the target audience. The accompanying CD includes readings by many of the poets, and some of them describe the inspiration for their work, creating an intriguing perspective and connection to the piece. Blank pages at the end of the book invite readers to compose selections of their own. The variety of poems could easily hook youngsters on the genre as a comforting, accessible art form. This special book will enrich poetry sections.—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Julie Just
It's a standout collection, packaged with a CD of the poems read aloud, many by the poets themselves.
—The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402210747
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
03/01/2010
Series:
A Poetry Speaks Experience Series
Edition description:
Book and CD
Pages:
161
Sales rank:
260,595
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction:

This is not a poetry anthology for adults, for children, for classroom study, or for required memorization and recitation. It's made just for you.

When I was younger, I wish I had possessed an anthology like this one-a compilation that brings poetry to life through words and recordings. In grammar school, I memorized the poems I discovered in a favorite poetry anthology my parents had given me. In high school, after my British Literature teacher introduced me to the work of William Butler Yeats, I began to understand how to write a poem. But in middle school there were no poetry anthologies compiled just for students and poetry was not taught in class. So I gravitated toward poets of the past and read William Shakespeare's love sonnets, trying to imitate them. I had no idea that poets were alive and writing. This anthology attempts to fill that void by offering poems about subjects that might express what's on your mind.

Youth inspires poets. So when we asked poets to send poems either that were important to them at your age or that they'd written about being your age, we received hundreds of submissions. Many writers try to capture those moments you may be thinking about now as you step into a new world.

We strived to create an anthology where you can discover poems about the changes taking place in your life. We offer first kiss poems like "Zodiac" or "The Skokie Theatre." If you've ever stood in the outfield, waiting to catch a fly ball, check out "Baseball." There are some Bar Mitzvah poems called "33" and "49." Poems about changing bodies such as "Bra Shopping." Poems about the times you think you hate your mother as in "The Adversary" and poems about loving her such as "Dear Mama (4)." Poems about loneliness like Robert Frost's "Acquainted with the Night." We even have a "Vampire Serenade." There are poems about navigating the turbulence of friendship like "Caroline" or the riptides of your parents' marriage as in "Mediation." We have paired classic poems with contemporary poems, from John Keats to Toi Derricotte, so you can read how poets throughout the ages have mulled over the same subjects.

Some poems will help you catch your breath, others will let you slowly exhale. Many of the poets traveled to studios to record their poems for Poetry Speaks Who I Am. When you listen to the CD, you will hear the immediacy of their words and the nuance of expression, and you will be able to hear and perhaps understand the poem from the poet's perspective.

In seventh grade, my friends and I would get together at each other's houses, listening for long afternoons to our favorite records. Older siblings introduced us to Carly Simon, James Taylor, Carole King, and we would sit and talk and sometimes just sit and listen to the songs, memorizing each one, playing them over and over in our minds. Let's hope that these poem recordings touch that same nerve for you and that they hold the same power that music did. Throughout my life, whenever I read a book I often scribble down a draft of a poem in the back pages. In Poetry Speaks Who I Am, you will find pages at the end where you can write down your own thoughts. Maybe some of the poems in this anthology will stir you to write some poems of your own.

We hope you will find inspiring company with these poems and with these poets. As the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke writes: "Live a while in these books..." So live a while with these poems.
-Elise Paschen

Meet the Author

Elise Paschen is the editor of Poetry Speaks to Children and co-editor of Poetry Speaks, both New York Times bestsellers. She is the author of several acclaimed poetry collections of her own, including Bestiary and Infidelities, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Former Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, she is the co-founder of Poetry in Motion, a nationwide program that places poetry in subways and buses, and co-editor of Poetry in Motion and Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast.

Series Editor Dominique Raccah is founder, president, and publisher of Sourcebooks, a leading independent publisher outside of Chicago. Today Sourcebooks is the world's leading publisher of poetry in book-and-audio form, and also publishes nonfiction and fiction. Raccah was the initial visionary of the books Poetry Speaks, Poetry Speaks to Children and Hip Hop Speaks to Children, seeing them as interactive, engaging ways to experience spoken and written poetry.

Advisory Editor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher. Most recently, she composed and delivered "Praise Song for the Day" for the inauguration of President Barack Obama, also published as a book. She has published five books of poems, including The Venus Hottentot, Body of Life, and American Sublime, which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and was one of the American Library Association's "Notable Books of the Year."

Advisory Editor Brad Leithauser is the author of five novels, a novel in verse, five volumes of poetry, a collection of light verse, and a book of essays. His poetry collections include Curves and Angles, The Odd Last Thing She Did, The Mail from Anywhere, Cats of the Temple, and Hundreds of Fireflies. Among his many awards and honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Grant, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Advisory Editor Joy Harjo's seven books of poetry include She Had Some Horses, The Woman Who Fell from the Sky, and How We Became Human. Her poetry has garnered many awards including a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.

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