What it is: The cream of the crop of teen-penned poems collected from the terrific New York Public Library and Poets House teen program, Poetry in the Branches. Editor Dave Johnson led poetry workshops where teens could write/read/share their poetic endeavors. Johnson picked these 36 pieces to represent all the good stuff he heard.
What it ain’t: Cheesy! This is sincere, from the heart poetry.
Who will like it: Wanna-be published, currently adolescent poets.
A Sample: Shoes/They’re my old men in rocking chairs,/spitting biographies into the sky./They’re gatherers of stories,/picking up the spit of kings,/the seats of beggars,/and the smell of babies/from crannies in the sidewalks/that glitter like a prostitute’s makeup/when the sun hits right./And the tales of the world,/in elegant calligraphy,/are written on their soles./–Ben Zeitlin