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Turn It Up! Music in Poetry from Jazz to Hip-Hop, edited by Stephen Cramer, is a vibrant anthology of 400 pages, including poems by everyone from Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, and Rita Dove to Yusef Komunyakaa, Kim Addonizio, Kevin Young, and Danez Smith. The book contains 88 poets in all (the number of keys on a piano) and is split into three sections: poems about jazz, poems about blues and rock, and poems about hip-hop. The now famous quote -- writing about music is like dancing about architecture -- has been attributed to everyone from Theolonious Monk to Frank Zappa to Elvis Costello. How can one pin down an invisible craft like music with the more absolute definitions of language? Well, the poets in Turn It Up!, responding to everyone from Louis Armstrong to the Rolling Stones to Public Enemy, prove that it can be done, and done in style.
About the Author
Stephen Cramer is the author of Bone Music, From the Hip, and Shiva’s Drum. His work has appeared in journals such as The American Poetry Review, African American Review, The Yale Review, and Harvard Review. An Assistant Poetry Editor at Green Mountains Review, he teaches writing and literature at the University of Vermont.