From Totems to Hip Hop: Poetry Across the Americas, 1900-2002
Posted Mar 27 2006
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In spite of the title, the only direct hip hop contributions to this collection are pieces by Tupac and dead prez. However, in the broader scope of poetry and literature, this remains a fascinating overview of American expression and thought. Selected works include writers such as Gwendylon Brooks, T.S. Elliot, Ana Castillo, Robert Frost, and even a few of Dr. Reed’s students. Although the book seeks to highlight a variety of writers, it has a definite liberal slant. Topics range from family, to nature, to gender issues, while a series of manifestos touch upon subjects such as White people who exploit Native American cultures and spirituality. This is an intense read if one tries to read it from cover to cover in one setting, but there’s definitely some great work in here.