Brett Fletcher Lauer & Lynn Melnick, editors
203 pages with About the Poet and Permissions pages
Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation is not your mama's book of poetry and it's for sure not your grandmother's poetry. This is the poetry of the street: raw, in-your-face, unapologetic and genre defying. Many of the poems throw genre and rules to the winds and take on a prose like look but sound like a defiant street prophet shouting angry verse to unwary pedestrians.
The language is raw and biting, the tone crude and unapologetic, the themes tough and urban. "Yellow Rubber Gloves" and "In Colorado My Father Scoured and Stacked Dishes" takes up the torch for minimum wage workers who are often ignored by the public performing their base jobs like mopping floors and washing dishes. "When at a Certain Party in NYC" comments that a mid-westerner would never fit in with all the "fancy" people who ooze NYC coolness. "There I Was Unrequited" ignites off the pages. The reader can feel the angst and tension in the poet's voice and the steamy rage oozes throughout the poem.
This anthology is for high school and college bound. The language is rough; the poems show a harsher reality than the poetry currently taught in schools. Some of the writing may have been torn from a diary or a scratch piece of paper. These are the thoughts that people cared about--cared enough to write them down for others to read. I would not recommend giving this collection to any person who is in a depressive state.
For a book that touts New Poets for the Next Generation, the cover has an archaic, old school typewriter--and not even an electric typewriter. This is the type of machine Clark Kent may have used in the news room! I think the title of the book and the cover are at odds with each other.
Recommended high school and above. Not for the faint of heart.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)