Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: What Learning Leaves

Purchase What Learning Leaves: New Edition here.


YouTube search “What Teachers Make” and witness almost 5 million views. It’s not a video about teacher’s salaries; it’s a poem performed by New York City poet and four-time National Poetry Slam champion Taylor Mali, the world’s most popular, passionate teacher turned full-time poet. His new spring release, What Learning Leaves, is an eloquent and entertaining poetry collection centering on his experiences as a middle school teacher.

What Learning Leaves is Mali’s second poetry collection published with Write Bloody Publishing. His first, The Last Time as We Are sold over 10,000 copies. And, Mali, like any writer worth their salt, is getting better with age. His words don’t just stick, they reverberate. 


When I was first dipping my toe into slam poetry videos on YouTube, I found Taylor Mali almost immediately.  I enjoyed school growing up, so I liked listening to a teacher.  I love his approach to teaching and his approach to slam; in a way, Mali is also a teacher to new slam poets.  This collection is sprinkled liberally with his recognizable poems, as well as newer material that shows a more personal part of Mali's life, and all of it is wonderful.  I may be biased, but this is my review, so tough cookies.  Taylor Mali will make you laugh, he will make you angry, he will make you pause, and he will make you think.  And you will be better off for it.

Until next time, happy reading!

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