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First on the Listening List,
Top of the Reading Stack
Bob Holman's Essentials for 2001: The Best CDs and Books
  Related Articles
• Bob Holman's Poetry Wish List 2000
• Other featured book & CD reviews
Poetry Bookstore (with Barnesandnoble.com)
Independent Poetry Shopping

These lists below are not in order of best/favorite. They are non-hierarchical listings.


 Buy the CD
• All Over the Road

Danika Dinsmore: All Over the Road (2000). 

 Buy the CD
• Music Text

Music Text (Capstone Records, “Living Voices in Contemporary Music”): Composers Fuller, Korde, Dashow & Delio matched with poets Williams, Neruda, Ashbery & Inman.

 Buy the CD
• nycSLAMS

nycSLAMS: 13 of New York’s hottest poets. Out of Bar 13 comes the cream of this year’s NY slamsters: Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Roger Bonair-Agard, Kirk Nugent, Felice Belle, Taylor Mali, Lynne Procope, Morris Stegosaurus, Marty McConnell, Bassey Ikpi, Yolanda Wilkinson, Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, Beau Sia, Bryonn Bain. Keep on it!

 Buy the CD
• Po Fu

Whitman McGowan: Po Fu (Viridiana: 2000). Funnyman, Poignantman, PoFu on the Brain. Whitman’s a one-of-a-kind mimeo CD poet, and he’s in great form here.

 Buy the CD
• Poems From the Like Free Zone

Taylor Mali: Poems From the Like Free Zone. Straightforward production & drop dead funny poems from the Slam vet, voice-over king, grade school teacher... “Listen... and you learn How to Read with your Ears.”

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• Going Down Swinging

Going Down Swinging: Australia CD zine the size of a CD. Open this box at your own risk -- it's literature like you’ve never read before, a slide the CD into the slot in your head, shred the text and slither it into your ear kind of thing. Here’s writing that comes complete with backup singers and dance moves, escape plans from life itself, and (finally!) An Index.

 Buy the CD
• Vocalor

Jaap Blonk: Vocalor (Staalplaat: 1998). The master of the Voice as Universe Producer unleashes sounds’ textures and vocabularies of breath.

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• The Blues of the Birth

Mikhail Horowitz: The Blues of the Birth (Sundazed Music: 1999). Horowitz is the US Clown Prince of Poetry. Lord Buckley lives!

 Buy the CDs set
• Boom Dot Bust
• Alternative Rose Parade

Firesign Theatre: Boom Dot Bust (Rhino: 1999) & Alternative Rose Parade (Firezine: 2000). The Firesign is back, smarter and wackier than ever. Boom Dot Bust predicted the cyber/NASDAQ bellyflop; AltRose allows you to watch the Rose Bowl Parade while the boys give you the rumors behind the news...

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• Satirical Verses

Ed Dorn: Satirical Verses (Alternative Radio). Cowboy poet of the intellect, the most cynical realist to ever write poetry’s range, amberized here by Anselm Hollo and Joe Richey. Sunset, Slinger.

 Buy the CD
• Welcome to the Afterfuture

Mike Ladd: Welcome to the Afterfuture (Ozone: 2000). One man poet posse, Ladd represents the top of the head ripped off, big ear school of poetry.


 Buy the book
• The Red Crab Gang

Calvin Hernton: The Red Crab Gang & Black River Poems (Ishmael Reed Publishing Co.: 1999).  This is a wonderful book by Umbra founder Calvin Hernton. A song cycle, a symphony, an ocean -- topnotch.

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• Kapow! chapbooks

Kapow! These little chapbooks combine poetry and comics. Altoids for the brain -- you’ll love 'em! My pick hits include The Girl With the Glass Eye by Kenn Rodriguez/Rafael Navarro, The Misfit Clique by Juliette Torrez/David Lasky, Sensitive Little Poetry Boy by Shappy/Sam Henderson. Get 'em from Last Gasp.

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• The German Lunatic

Bob Hershon: The German Lunatic (Hanging Loose Press: 2000). Too long has Mr. Hershon’s poetry been thought a sideline to his publishing/printing activities. This book lets the secret out of the bag -- for one of the most casually brilliant writers around, for Borscht belt humor with Einsteinian predilections, go, Bob, go!

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• It Concerns the Madness

Nancy Mercado: It Concerns the Madness (Long Shot Productions: 2000). Nancy Mercado’s long-awaited first book seems so simple, then digs a little deeper, and... by the time you’ve finished one poem and gone on to the next, the one before it reappears, demanding your full attention. “The concrete impedes the grass / From flowering beneath our feet.” From Long Shot, one of the best of the small presses.

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• The Rose That Grew From Concrete

Tupac Shakur: The Rose That Grew From Concrete (MTV Books: 1999). The remarkable facsimile edition of Tupac Shakur’s notebook that is The Rose That Grew From Concrete places you inside this poet’s genius. Nikki Giovanni’s introduction differentiates between Tupac and Artist formerly in a most contentious fashion....

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• Marriage: A Sentence

Anne Waldman: Marriage: A Sentence (Coffee House Press: 2000). Aphorisms, tonguetwisters, blurts and hurts and megahertz -- the Fastspeaking Woman opens new territories. Great!

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• Southside Rain

Quraysh Ali Lansana: Southside Rain (Third World Press: 2000). This book brings together the “greatest hits” by this inspiring, and inspired, young poet, former Chicagoan now New Yorker. Try the title poem for a deep draught of the real.

 Buy the book
• We Have Our Voice

Reesom Haile: We Have Our Voice: Selected Poems, translated by Charles Cantalupo (Red Sea Press: 2000). Poet laureate of Eritrea Reesom Haile spells the vision from Africa’s newest country, fresh from war with Ethiopia. The book is bilingual, Tigrinya-English, translated by Professor Charles Cantalupo in an eloquent conversational mode -- it speaks Forman the ages, for the ages.

Bob Holman

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