From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
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.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Nye (Honeybee) presents an anthology of poets under the age of 25, each of whom contribute four poems. The poets chiefly employ free verse and utilize intensely personal material, but these are their sole similarities. The poems cover territory spiritual and saccharine, philosophical and experimental, angry and irreverent ("do you think/ if you left your house/ emily dickinson/ your poems would have titles?"). Some writers are concerned with excavating the past, contemplating death and illness, dissecting class divides, and questioning feelings of displacement, be it geographical, emotional, or cultural (Amal Khan, born in Pakistan, writes, "They have called me subcontinental,/ Ethnic and oriental-/ Suffering and my creed-/ It is a romantic thing indeed"). Several exhibit a delicacy in the handling of memory and attention to detail; "She collages her disasters/ by finding her own feelings in the/ magazine faces," writes Ben Westlie. While the poems don't necessarily break new ground, the collection is gripping and provocative in its portrayal of vastly different lives and experiences, strong sense of place, and sheer exuberance. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved