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Book Review: The Breakbeat Poets


Every now and then I read a book of poetry that manages to jump out of the pages at me, pulling me into the heart of each poem and demanding that I pay attention. I mean really pay attention to what it has to say. The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, is one of those books. Edited by Kevin Coval, Quraysh Ali Lansana and Nate Marshall, this poetry collection drew me in with its raw, honest poems. It forced me to consider how ethnicity, poverty, sex, and hip-hop have affected not only the collective consciousness of twenty-first century America, but also our individual sense of place and identity.

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