Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review: Songs From Under the River

Purchase Songs From Under the River here.


If someone says a poetry reading is a perfect opportunity for a nap, check to see if their head is under a rock. Today’s poet performers have kicked it up a few hundred notches. Poets like Anis Mojgani, a two-time National Poetry Slam champion, winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam and author of Over the Anvil We Stretch and The Feather Room. Mojgani has put together his third gathering of poems, Songs From Under the River: Early and New Work, a striking collection of his best out-of-print and new works that jump off the page and prove a performance on their own.

Songs From Under the River showcases what is expected from an artist of Anis’s considerable talent. His words have the fluidity of paint strokes, creating vivid imagines while structured to invite rhythmic reading. Anis’s poetry proves a universal art form, telling his story while at the same time evoking the reader’s own personal interpretation.

Songs From Under the River exhibits all the brilliance Anis’s fans have been reveling in for years. He is playful and whimsical and has the uncanny ability to lift us up while grounding us; flawlessly exemplified in his performance of Shake the Dust, the YouTube video of which has had more than a million hits. The popularity of Anis and other like him proves poetry is not just alive — it’s flourishing. 


There is nothing so refreshing during a poetry slam as a poem that makes you laugh. Slams are filled with so much sadness and anger and anxiety that they are emotionally draining, so any bit of laughter is beautiful and appreciated. In his most recent collection (released today), Anis Mojgani manages to convey all of the sadness and anger and anxiety that other poets express, but he manages to infuse humor and hope into his lines as well, saying we kiss and breathe like poetry and also "they poop like poetry!" Anis Mojgani manages to weave a beautiful collection that does not lose anything in an attempt to make his readers smile. If you like Mojgani or slam in general, this is definitely a necessary addition to your poetry collection.

Until next time, happy reading!

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