'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 12 July 2020

Review: Slam Your Poetry: Write A Revolution

Poetry is raw and comes from a place of emotions and, in turn, speaks directly to the readers’ emotions. Slam poetry ramps this up a notch. It’s about not just reading, but performing poetry in front of an audience...of actual people. Without props, music or costumes. Slam poets are much braver than I could ever be.

Miles Merrill, the founder of the Australian Poetry Slam, and Narcisa Nozica, a Secondary teacher, describe it as a terrifying ride, of the poet making themselves vulnerable, but they also provide the tools for the poet to develop the confidence to pull it off and win the audience over by forging a connection with them. All in two minutes.

The authors have run slam poetry classes to school children and adults for years, and have distilled their knowledge into a comprehensive guide. 

The process is simplistic but detailed. Merrill and Nozica expertly guide the readers every step of the way: composing, revising, rehearsing and...(gulp) performing. And (while they’re at it), how to run their own slam poetry event.

Full of examples of slam poetry, the book is easy to read and suggests how anybody can find ideas to write about. I loved the hint about finding ugliness and turning it into something beautiful. 

The poets featured in the book varied between the well known and the unknown. Many of the poems scattered throughout the text were written by kids who have been taught and mentored by the authors, and they tell stories of their struggles, their marginalised backgrounds, of their pain and longings, of isolation and rejection - but also of hope, laughter, acceptance and love.

Ultimately, poetry speaks to the human condition and provides a voice to those who have none.

Title: Slam Your Poetry: Write a Revolution
Author: Miles Merrill and Narcisa Nozica
Publisher: New South Books, $27.99
Publication Date: February 1, 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978142236094
For ages: 12+
Type: Young Adult Non Fiction