Reviews for Wham! It's a Poetry Jam : Discovering Performance Poetry


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Fall
Focusing on performance rather than on creation, this text offers solid pointers on bringing motion and emotion to poetry readings and describes how to hold a poetry contest. Holbrook works too hard at conveying her energy and enthusiasm, and while her own poems are offered as subjects for oral interpretation, readers will want to apply her performance techniques to other, less banal verse. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 March #2
Using over 30 of her own poems as a guide, Sara Holbrook teaches readers how to present poetry with rhythm, movement and a strong voice in Wham! It's a Poetry Jam: Discovering Performance Poetry, with a foreword by Jane Yolen. Much of her advice is geared to teachers; guidelines and advice for organizing a poetry "wham" appear midway. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

----------------------
School Library Journal Reviews 2002 May
Gr 2-5-The author of Walking on the Boundaries of Change (1998) and The Dog Ate My Homework (1997, both Boyds Mills) presents some of her poems along with tips on how to perform them. She explains how to move, how to put emotion behind the words, and how to make rhythm affect the performance in notes at the beginning of each poem, and occasionally in short, chatty captions at the end. Her instructions are easy to follow, although they often feel like lessons ("Can you think of some achy-breaky movements to put with this poem?"). She's also not consistent in the way she talks about voice projection-in two places she mentions volume or loudness, while later she explains that it's actually the strength of the voice, not its volume, that carries. The poems themselves vary in appeal, as they range from the goofy ("The dog ate my homework. You've heard that before? This one ate the table, then chewed through the door") to the righteous ("I'm not on your track, and my whistle is fixin' to scream. I'm warning you, Jack. Peer pressure just makes me get steamed"). Though not illustrated, the book has an inviting, colorful design with stars and spirals in pastels all over each page and text set on blocks of color, matching the energy in Holbrook's voice. Some readers will find this offering too teacherly and "for kids," but younger poets and adults may enjoy her suggestions on how to produce a poetry jam.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

----------------------
VOYA Reviews 2002 August
"Hey, you-poetry jammer! Yes, I mean YOU! Let me show you some poems that beg you to come out and play with them-some rappin' tappin' finger snappin' rhymes for you to perform." So begins Holbrook's high-energy introduction to the world of performance poetry. Not only will students want to read this book in one sitting, but they will also want to begin jamming immediately. The book contains sage, practical advice on voice, rhythm, gesture, attitude, and technique, and it is loaded with good humor and a dose of in-your-face irreverence. More than thirty original poems that the author has orchestrated for solo, pair, and group performance are included, as well as suggestions for poetry competitions and notes for a poetry jam coordinator. In highlighted, irregularly shaped boxes around the pages, she offers tips for experimentation, improvisation, and overall performance techniques: "When you want to convince someone to see things your way, it's always best to look them in the eye. . . . You don't want them looking at the ceiling or (worse) at your feet. That's not a poetry jam, that's toe jam." Youngsters, teachers, and librarians looking for a good beginner's handbook to performance poetry need look no further.-Cynthia Grady. Illus. 4Q 3P M J Copyright 2002 Voya Reviews

----------------------