Cover image for Listen up! : spoken word poetry
Listen up! : spoken word poetry
Anglesey, Zoë.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : One World, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxvi, 197 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS615 .L47 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"Today, the poetry scene flourishes at New York open-mic spots like the Nuyorican Poets Café, Brooklyn's YWCA Tea Party and Harlem's Sugar Shack. Progeny of hip poets--the Beats of the 50s and protest poets of the 60s and 70s--these up-and-coming literati cast their diverse spells of word beats inspiring young contemporaries in Cleveland, Ohio, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta; later branching out internationally to poetry circuit venues in Tokyo, Rio de Janiero, London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Istanbul."
--Zoë Anglesey
   Editor, Listen Up!

Spoken word poetry is a cross-cultural phenomenon. Here for the first time in one hot volume are poems from the nation's top spoken word artists. Listen Up! features nine brilliant award-winning scribes who have ignited audiences worldwide with their soulful verse, bold alliterations, and sultry fusion of rhythm and rhyme--electrifying audiences as they chant, sing, recite, and improvise their poetry and powerful point of view.

Among these nine literary luminaries are Carl Hancock Rux, named by The New York Times as one of thirty young artists "most likely to change the culture in the next thirty years"; Jessica Care Moore, a record-breaking five-time winner of the Apollo competition; and Saul Williams, co-scriptwriter and star of the feature film Slam, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the prestigious Camera D'Or at Cannes.

Packed with penetrating interviews on the craft of writing poetry, insight into the art of performance, and on-target, off-guard photos of the poets in action at history-making poetry slams, this unforgettable collection is the next best thing to being there live.

Author Notes

Zoe Anglesey is an arts journalist, poet, and translator. A former editor of The Village Voice Literary Supplement and director of the Brooklyn Moon Cafe's "Meet the Author" series, she is now curator of the Literary Arts Reading Series at Pratt Institute. She is also poetry editor at The MultiCultural Review and contributing editor to Bomb magazine

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Spoken-word poetry is designed to be not just read but performed to music or at least a hip-hop or rap beat. The nine young New Yorkers whose work editor Anglesey presents have literary and stage study behind them and quite often have irons in other performance fires, including theater, film, and dance. Anglesey maintains that they "fit squarely within the African American literary tradition" of Langston Hughes by writing on common, in-the-streets life and the big issues--racism, revolution, sexism, etc.--that affect it. Another stated influence is Ntozake Shange, and the musicality of her verse play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf resounds in the work of Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie in particular. Perhaps inevitably, nuances and even primary meanings that oral delivery clearly communicates are lost on the page, but these poets have recorded, too, and a discography is included. If this poetry often seems coarse and naive, it is bracingly sassy and sexy, too. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)0345428978Ray Olson

Table of Contents

Yusef KomunyakaaZoe AngleseyEdouard Glissant
Forewordp. xi
Introductionp. xv
I Got Tha Boogaloosa Feverp. 7
Processionsp. 9
He Called It a Blessinp. 11
No Parts Sparedp. 16
Untitled Ip. 17
Untitled IIp. 19
Writers and Lawyersp. 27
Jettyp. 28
Perfect Dictionp. 29
Winterp. 31
Piano Concertop. 34
Toi Sanp. 36
Angels Get No Mapsp. 41
Daddy's Songp. 46
Nother Man Deadp. 48
Brothers Keep Me Upp. 50
Black Statue of Libertyp. 59
One Afro's Bluesp. 61
I Am a Work in Progressp. 66
There Are No Asylums for the Real Crazy Womenp. 69
Ishahp. 71
Mirrorsp. 74
Switchettes (Las Brujitas)p. 81
Private Service Announcementp. 84
Writers' Delightp. 87
Life Saverp. 90
Stepp. 92
Notes for a Slow Jamp. 99
Reflections on the Metro North (Part II)p. 102
Haikup. 108
Stop Signsp. 109
The Excavationp. 119
Blue Candyp. 121
Suite Reposep. 125
Elmina Blues (Cobalt through Azure)p. 127
Kuta Near Seminyakp. 131
Untitledp. 133
Barefoot Strollp. 143
Forced Entryp. 145
Evolutionp. 147
Elemental Soundsp. 149
Sometimesp. 150
Recollectp. 152
Domino Effectp. 154
Distance's Destinationp. 156
Serenadep. 158
A Woman's Poeticp. 159
Heightp. 160
Gypsy Girlp. 167
Children of the Nightp. 173
Afterwordp. 181
Notes / Glossaryp. 183
Works Citedp. 189
Discographyp. 195
Film and Videop. 197