Listen to the Poet investigates two Arizona spoken word poetry groups—a community group and a high school club—that are both part of the same youth organization. Exploring the writing lives and poetry of several members, Wendy R. Williams takes readers inside a writing workshop and poetry slam and reveals that schools have much to learn about writing, performance, community, and authorship from groups like these and from youth writers themselves.
"Listen to the Poet is well written, engaging, and a pleasure to read, with a flow to the chapters that gives the whole book an effective narrative."—Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, author of "You Gotta BE the Book": Teaching Engaged and Reflective Reading with Adolescents
"A timely and necessary book for literacy educators and all adults who work with young people on their creative writing."—Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, coeditor of Gumbo for the Soul: Liberating Memoirs and Stories to Inspire Females of Color
"Through rich and nuanced ethnographic detail, Williams beautifully ushers us into the world of a group of diverse and talented youth poets who join together to nurture their voices, hone their writing, and literally get their words out into the world. By revealing how and why literacy lives so powerfully and vitally among these youth, Listen to the Poet promises to not only help educators develop writing curricula that draws upon students' strengths but also provide a commanding counter narrative that challenges and reframes the typically deficit oriented depictions of young people in much of our contemporary sociopolitical landscape."—Robert Petrone, coauthor of Re-thinking the "Adolescent" in Adolescent Literacy