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Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners
Contributor(s): Nye, Naomi Shihab
ISBN: 0062691848     ISBN-13: 9780062691842
Publisher: Greenwillow
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: February 2018
Annotation: A collection of almost 100 original poems written by an award-winning poet and author of the National Book Award Finalist 19 Varieties of Gazelle honors the artists, writers, poets, historical figures, ordinary people and diverse luminaries, past and present, who strengthen and motivate us to create, to open our hearts, and to live rewarding and graceful lives. 30,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Inspiration; Juvenile poetry.
Hope; Juvenile poetry.
Dewey: 811/.54
LCCN: 2017046142
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 6.00" W x 0.50" (0.80 lbs) 190 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Fall)
In this paean to listening, many of Nye's ninety-five original poems speak to historical and contemporary figures, from storied poets to a trusted hairstylist and a nine-year-old victim of gun violence. The poems themselves are plainspoken, direct, and saturated in meaning, building connections between the world and the ways it's interpreted. Taken in sequence, the poems lead the reader through a natural and profound emotional progression. Ind. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #2)
Many of Nye's ninety-four original poems speak to historical and contemporary figures, from storied poets such as Yehuda Amichai, Lucille Clifton, José Emilio Pacheco, and Walt Whitman to a trusted Honolulu hairstylist and a nine-year-old victim of random gun violence in Ferguson, Missouri. Rather than writing about these people, Nye writes to them, casting them as listeners and making the collection something of a paean to listening. The poems themselves, generally a page or two in length, are plainspoken, direct, and saturated in meaning, building connections between the world we inhabit and the ways that world is interpreted. Careful arrangement adds moments of meaning between the poems: "Belfast" commemorates the violence of that city's conflict; it is followed by "Summer," exploring Americans' appetite for blockbuster movie violence, and then "A Lonely Cup of Coffee," honoring the safety of solitude. Taken in sequence, the poems lead the reader through a natural and profound emotional progression. ?As much as the poems function as windows into their subjects, together they offer a sort of self-portrait of the poet herself, painted in negative space. Through her communication with ?the people who make up her world, ?we see her place in it. Comprehensive ?biographical notes on the "listeners" ?and title and first-line indexes are appended. thom barthelmess Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

"People do not pass away./ They die/ and then they stay," declares Nye's brief poem "Voices in the Air," the titular work in her collection of 95 poems. The meaning of the collection's subtitle is twofold: the poems are moving when read aloud, but Nye is also asking readers to take part in a more profound and subtle type of listening, a kind that cuts through the noise and hears what matters. Each poem is inspired by an individual's life or words, including poet Henry David Thoreau; political activist, writer, and teacher Grace Paley; and Caroline Mueller, an organic farmer from Ferguson, Mo. Valuable short biographies of each figure are included in the collection's back matter, which allows for a better understanding of Nye's references. Some poems directly address individuals. In "Train Across Texas" (dedicated to Langston Hughes), she writes: "Langston, what did Texas look like back then." Other allusions are far less clear, left like trails of clues for readers to follow. Despite being divided into three loosely themed sections, Nye's collection invites readers to freely meander through the pages in order to experience each poem on its own terms. Ages 13-up. (Feb.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 January)

Gr 5 Up—Nye invokes the voices and spirits of countless inspirational figures past and present in her latest poetry collection. From Bruce Springsteen and Langston Hughes to Yehuda Amichai and Vera B. Williams to her own grandfather and a barber in Honolulu, Nye has utilized poetry as an equalizer and shows, without saying, that raised, wise, creative voices are powerful and vital. Nye frames the collection ever so clearly, first with the title, second with the subtitle, and third with her masterly written introduction. Her intentionality is palpable but never contrived. In a time when many young people feel the need to never slow down, Nye reminds readers that the pause and quiet attention required to read a poem can serve as a kind of meditation in itself. At the end, she provides brief biographical information for each person referenced; each serving not only as an explanatory note, but a teaser for those looking to dive deeper into their lives and work. Nye has given poetry readers a brilliantly constructed, thoughtful, and inspiring collection that can be entered and utilized from countless different angles. Or, one can simply savor each poem (for they stand on their own) and practice the habit of slowing down and contemplating the poem's voice. VERDICT A vital addition to poetry collections.—Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, NJ

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.